Creating a Social Media Policy

Q: My studio has recently gone through a split—one of our teachers left and opened her own studio in the area. I found out she contacted many of our current students through Facebook, and it was enough to encourage some families to leave. I’ve since hired a new teacher to replace those classes, but the fallout still stings. How can I rebuild my business and encourage new families to register? 

 

A: Start rebuilding by establishing a social media policy with your faculty. With regard to Facebook, we’ve found that a good business practice is to direct all communication through the studio’s official page, not through personal profiles. While you cannot control or monitor everything, you can state expectations clearly in a written contract with your teachers.

 

At our studio, we include this social media policy in our “Roles and Responsibilities” document, which covers all areas of expected faculty and staff professionalism: “An individual’s social media is for personal use and not to discuss studio business, experiences or relationships. If you wish to post any studio news or announcements on Facebook, contact the directors.” The “Roles and Responsibilities” accompanies all employment contracts and is signed and stored in each faculty member’s file.

 

Ultimately, your Facebook page is an effective marketing tool, and one of the best ways to communicate your studio’s events, promotions and activities. You can inspire loyalty with your existing customers, plus gain new students by offering incentives such as a tuition credit for new student referrals. Make it easy for current students to bring a friend by holding seasonal visitors’ weeks and open houses. Include tours of your space, class demonstrations and general information seminars, and make it easy to register in person or online. By extending sibling, family or multiple-class tuition discounts, you can encourage a whole family to participate.

 

Remember: Give yourself reasonable time to bring enrollment back from the loss, and know that new families will be attracted to your studio when you maintain your professionalism. Focus on providing quality dance programs and offer great customer service.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Diary
Claire, McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

Keep reading... Show less
Music
Mary Mallaney/USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, courtesy Osato

In most classes, dancers are encouraged to count the music, and dance with it—emphasizing accents and letting the rhythm of a song guide them.

But Marissa Osato likes to give her students an unexpected challenge: to resist hitting the beats.

In her contemporary class at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles (which is now closed, until they find a new space), she would often play heavy trap music. She'd encourage her students to find the contrast by moving in slow, fluid, circular patterns, daring them to explore the unobvious interpretation of the steady rhythms.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.