Social Media for Tanning Salons
I recently came across an article written in 2016 about social media in the tanning salon industry and thought that it would be beneficial to share. This research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Prevention Research Center and showed that:
There is no research investigating indoor tanning advertising on social media. We assessed the use of social media to promote indoor tanning. We subscribed to social media platforms in six US cities and content-analyzed promotional messages received. We captured 662 messages on Twitter and Facebook, through salon emails, and in daily deal coupons. Salon postings were most frequent on Twitter and Facebook, with an average of 2–3 postings per week. National chains posted more frequently than local businesses. Forty percent of messages were devoid of tanning content and included photos, jokes, or popular references. Thirty percent mentioned price reductions, and 28 % referenced an upcoming holiday. Sunless tanning (17 %) was promoted more often than ultraviolet tanning (9 %). Tanning salons actively use social media as a strategy for maintaining relationships with customers and offer pricing deals that promote loyalty and high-frequency tanning.
What does this say about the tanning salon industry?
An article written two years ago wasn’t always considered “outdated.” On some topics today, you could make the case that an article written yesterday is outdated. Although the referenced article was written in 2016 and doesn’t even mention Instagram, the research and data that was gathered are still very important. The charts in the article show that tanning salons are not fully utilizing their internet presence to bring in business and especially so with smaller companies: “Among indoor tanning businesses, national chain salons were the heaviest users of social media, presumably due to a greater infrastructure to produce communications compared to independently owned salons.”
What does this mean for you? Opportunity. Your internet presence matters, and if your bottom line hasn’t convinced you of that fact just yet, it will. And, you don’t have to spend a ton of time or money creating campaigns and pay-per-click advertisements. Keep it simple and put some pictures on Instagram to start. Be consistent and add another level when you feel comfortable.
How do I focus my posts?
“Explicit beauty (4 %) and health, safety, or mental health claims (2 %) were rare. No communications mentioned the importance of a base tan to prevent sunburns while on vacation. Only one communication mentioned vitamin D and did not explicitly link tanning to vitamin D: “Another SunFactTM from Captain D: New research presented at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting has found that Vitamin D helps with neural health and muscle performance. This finding corroborates with past research. www.vitamindcouncil.org.” The volume of claims about mental health (e.g., “improves mood”) was equivalent to the volume of health claims (0.8–0.9 % of all posts).”
The way that I would focus content if I were a tanning salon owner would be 80% of what other tanning salons are doing with your own personal twist, and 20% from the above excerpt from the study I previously mentioned. Promotions and local b2b collaborations are a great way to spread word of mouth. Before the holidays, run a promotion for people going away on vacation. Free SOCIAL PROOF content: ask to take pictures with your customers and post them on social media for a free tanning session (make sure that you get their written permission to do so).