Breakdance LaptopMany small businesses, like dance studios, who work in a hyper local market feel as though they don’t need to have their own website and create a footprint of their brand online. Your users are becoming more willing to look online via computers and smartphones for info before they actually call. They are looking for a quick connection to you and your brand and if you are not careful, there may be people who are already talking about you online without your knowledge. You need to make your studio discoverable everywhere your users might be looking. Some studios have their own website, but don’t know how to leverage it for their benefit. Here are the top 5 mistakes dance studios make with online marketing.

1. Social Media Continues to Grow – Be a Part of the Conversation

The first issue I tend to see the most would be that dance studios and companies don’t leverage their social media profiles as much as they really could. I’m talking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like. Your students and parents are on these sites most likely more than they would like to admit via their laptops and smart phones, so why not stay top of mind and keep them updated on the latest happenings. Be sure to follow your followers back! Just by following your customers or “Liking” their posts you are showing them you acknowledge and appreciate their business. This helps build a better business-client relationship in the long run. Don’t forget to add your social icons and links to your social profiles on your website!

2. Be Consistent in Your Messaging with a Touch of Personality

While we are on the topic of social media, be sure to have a clear voice on your social profiles. This becomes a bigger issue when you have multiple users updating your different social pages – be sure to agree on the tone and the verbiage you would like to present to your audience. Social media allows you to add personality to your brand, so add your personal touch and flair to your posts. Be informative, but inviting! Fill out every and any social profile detail you can so users can find you. These details could include your hours, address, and even your mission.

3. Determine Actionable Insights and Track Your Online Success with Analytics

The first question I typically ask clients is, “Do you have analytics setup?” More than likely the answer is, “no” or, “I am pretty sure I do, what do I use it for?”. For me, I’m a numbers nerd and hearing this is like nails on a chalkboard – Google Analytics code is the first thing I look for when dissecting a website. You can not properly market your site and your social profiles if you are not accurately tracking them. You would never know if your online marketing efforts are successful or not. Analytics are so powerful, and if you know what you are looking at, can help craft an extremely successful marketing campaign.

4.Search Engines Cater to Local Search Queries, Why Don’t You?

If you have Google Analytics setup, you may be noticing patterns in regards to where your users are coming from. I would suspect, the majority would be coming from your local city or metro area, but you may be surprised at your reach. You customers rely on Google to help them choose what dance studio to send their children to, regardless of skill level and age so be sure to optimize your local search efforts. Users typically will do a search that looks similar to this: ‘keyword+city’ or ‘keyword+zip code’ or ‘dance studio cleveland’ and ‘dance studio 44233’. Own your area! Make sure you claim your Google Places page and build it out to it it’s entirety (just like your social profiles), and submit your studio to local directories such as Bing Local, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages and more. Not only will these efforts help you get more traffic, but will also help you look more reputable and a step ahead of your competitors.

5. They’ve Arrived at Your Website, Now Get Them to Take Action

Once users hit your website, make sure they find the information they are looking for. Two issues you may have with your website could be that you lack information or you have information, but your users cannot find it. Make it easy for your users to contact you. Clearly display your phone number, email address or even a ‘Contact Us’ form for users to submit to. Just remember, if you are going to supply an email or ‘Contact Us’ form you have to ready to respond! Don’t forget good customer service. Also include your physical address and your hours of operation, and your social icons. The more your users can engage with you, the better chance they have of becoming a customer!

The above are simple things you can take action on today. Online marketing is about doing a lot of little things really well – there is no shortcut for success. Utilize free resources to get started or seek help from a professional to help you on your journey to grow your business.

About the Author

To The Pointe specializes in dance marketing for studios, companies and professional dancers. Alison Krejny is both an online marketer and dance instructor. Get in touch with Alison!

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