Social Media for Dance Studios – Is Online Search Your Enemy?

Day 38 in the 90-Day Social Media Success Challenge for Dance Studios

People nowadays use online search to help them make decisions about everything! My sister, for example, your classic Type A personality, is the queen of searching, investigating, and gathering all types of detailed information online, in order to make a decision about pretty much anything. This includes shopping for clothing, choosing leisure activities, family vacation destinations, and of course, purchasing a new home. When it comes to my niece and her activities, she gets even crazier!

This is common for many moms, and is how most people operate nowadays. People are not going to the Yellow Pages book to find information anymore. They automatically search online in order to make decisions about what to purchase, where to shop, and the best activities to enroll their child in. They try to gather as much information as possible online first, about a particular product, event, or business, before making a decision on where and how to spend their money.

I do the same type of online search and gathering of information when choosing a restaurant to go to (by the way, I live in New York City, where there are only about 1 million restaurants, most of which are fabulous!). I visit different restaurants’ websites, look at their menus, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages for any specials, discounts or promotions, see what types of comments people are posting on their pages, and check out their reviews on Yelp.

If I was trying to decide on what dance studio to enroll my child in, I would do the same type of thing. I would go to their website, visit their Facebook and Twitter pages, see if they have any YouTube videos, and read the comments to learn what their customers and students are saying about them. I would definitely do an in-depth search online before I even thought about stepping foot into the actual dance studio in real-life.

That being said, what would I find out about your dance studio if I did an online search? Would I find information that would: a) Sell me on your dance studio to the point where I’d feel motivated to visit it? b) Differentiate your dance studio from others in your area in a significant way?

If you’re not sure of the answer, do an online search of your dance studio yourself, and see what comes up. Are there press releases about events that you’ve had, or awards that you’ve won? Are there links to comments, testimonials, and videos that highlight your dance studio? If you don’t currently have any social media pages for your dance studio, I can tell you that most people will look at this and assume that you’re a bit behind the times. This can definitely work against you. It’s similar to going into a business establishment nowadays, and reaching for your debit card or credit card, and being told, “we only accept cash”. What business doesn’t accept credit cards nowadays?

Remember the days when hip-hop dance was just a fad, and not looked upon as a legitimate genre of dance to be taught at a dance studio? Then things shifted, and now hip-hop dance classes are some of the most popular classes at any given dance studio in the country.

Remember the days when you didn’t even need a website for your dance studio? When being listed in the Yellow Pages was enough?

Remember the days when you had only 3 or 4 channels on your television, and an antenna on top of it to get clear reception, and cable tv, dvr’s and dvd’s didn’t exist?

Remember when the only way to communicate with other people was through handwritten letters, telegrams, a landline or a pay phone?

Yes, of course, we all remember those days. Well guess what? Times have changed, and those days are over. People spend more time on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube everyday, than they do on e-mails and actual phone conversations. So be careful that you don’t look at social media as a passing trend or the latest fad. Social media has changed today’s world, and will continue to do so in the coming months and years. Don’t get left behind.

It is imperative that, as a dance studio owner, you stay current, and remain relevant and up-to-date with the trends and changes in the business world, just like you do in the dance world. The current changes in how people communicate, search, and gather information online affects your customers, so it affects you.

Make a decision today to create an online presence for your dance studio that is search friendly. Did you know that social media updates on sites like Facebook and Twitter come up near the top of online searches? You should be able to tell a story about your dance studio through an online search. Having a website isn’t enough. Showcase all that your dance studio has to offer, and make sure that your dance studio’s greatest assets (your current students and their parents) have an opportunity to let their voice be heard through online searches. Word of mouth advertising is the best advertising, and social media gives you an opportunity to share all of the great things about your dance studio with the world. Make online search your friend, and let your dance studio shine online.

I started this 90-Day Social Media Success Challenge for Dance Studios as a way to educate dance studio owners about the importance and significance of social media marketing for dance studios. This week’s blog posts in particular, are going to focus on and really drive home just how important a social media presence is for your dance studio and why. Once you fully understand and grasp this fact, we can then begin creating unique and effective ways to help you promote your dance studio successfully through the use of social media marketing.

For access to more specific tips, tools, and strategies for promoting your dance studio through social media, please join Kiner Dance Studio Success, the 1st online social media success resource center for dance studios. Official launch July 2010.

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