Q: How do we get more parents and students to like our studio’s Facebook page? I’m considering running a drawing for a free recital costume. Are there better ways to build our Facebook fans and get the word out about studio news and events?

A: Running contests and using paid ads can be part of an overall strategy for gaining more Facebook “likes,” but it should not be your primary focus. We have found that when you consistently share information that is timely and engaging, you can reap the social interaction benefits that Facebook provides. Once you’ve directed your students and parents to first look at your studio’s Facebook page for news and events, then the opportunities to participate in contests will be welcomed and shared among your fans.

We asked social-media strategist Ashani Mfuko to share some additional tips: “Remember that your current fans’ interaction on your page shows up in their news feed that their friends see,” she says. “Find out what posts engage them the most, whether it is photos, videos, useful tips and advice or questions that start a discussion.”

At our studio we have found that regularly taking the time to look at the “See Insights” tab in the admin toolbar is helpful, because it shows us how many people we reached with our posts and which posts generated the most engagement.

When sharing studio news, Mfuko also advises not to be too promotional all the time: “Take your real-life personality and culture that you have at your dance studio,” she says, “and translate that to your Facebook page. That’s what current and potential students will relate to and what will lead them to like, comment and share your content—which equals more ‘likes’ on your page.”

Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.

 Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

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