Massage Heights Case Study

For just over a year, we’ve worked with the Massage Heights franchise in Indianapolis to promote their services, manage social media and provide event planning support. Additionally, we’ve positioned owner and operator Cristina Goebel as an expert in her field by securing byline placements and TV segments to share the benefits of massage therapy, how to lead a successful team and more. 

Below outlines a case study for our work with Massage Heights Indianapolis:


When Cristina and Matt Goebel opened their first Massage Heights retreat at Ironworks Hotel Indy in fall 2017, the location was experiencing good foot traffic, thanks to its brand reputation and an influx of hotel guests seeking an afternoon or evening of relaxation. While Massage Heights Ironworks was building a reputation for providing a wide range of customized massages and facials, many of the retreat visitors were either hotel guests or simply one-time visitors, enjoying the discounted rate of their first massage. The Massage Heights team knew they had a high-end, yet affordable service to offer clientele, but struggled to get people coming back. 

Despite a high drop-off rate, the retreat located in Ironworks was performing well and a few months later, the husband-and-wife team opened a second retreat in Carmel, Indiana. Despite the amount of high-end clientele living in this area, this retreat proved to be much more of a challenge when it came to getting even first-time guests in the door. 

Massage Heights needed to increase foot traffic overall at both locations, with a focus on Carmel, and also increase the number of loyal, returning visitors, membership holders and more. 


Our solution was a three-pronged approach that involved strategic social media management, developing relationships with social influencers and localized media relations efforts: 

Social Media 
Developing and executing a social media strategy for Massage Heights’ Ironworks and Carmel retreats was our number one priority.  

Massage Heights had no issue getting first-time customers in the door at Ironworks, but struggled to get customers to sign up for the long-term membership program and despite name recognition, the Carmel retreat struggled with both general foot traffic and securing loyal members. We knew we needed to reach and educate people in the Central Indiana market on the benefits of continued massage therapy. There was no better place to drive this message home than on social media.

Before partnering with Dittoe PR, Massage Heights was mainly sharing sporadic company updates pushed from their corporate team and not much content specific to the Indy area. We knew that in order to organically attract new followers, our content needed to be local and authentic. We began by following real people with real connections to Indy. We also boosted organic content that was performing well and invited the engaging users to “like” our Facebook pages. 

But gaining followers was just part of the battle. We knew we had to develop content that kept new followers engaged. So, we began conducting weekly contests and giveaways, incentivizing people to follow and engage with us, and creating weekly therapist spotlights, allowing followers to learn more about Massage Heights employees and feel more connected to their massage therapists. 

Social Advertising 
To further build brand awareness for Massage Heights and ensure the local community is aware of the range of services offered, we create and manage 4-5 ads per month on each of the Massage Heights’ Facebook pages. 

By identifying our top performing content and leveraging social listening to find out what questions our followers are asking, we deploy a monthly marketing budget aimed at educating our target audience on the importance of continued massage therapy. We also maximize our monthly ad spend budget by seeking insight from the retreat teams on which services are getting the most attention at each location.  

To get more first-time visitors in the door, we also promote the monthly specials offered by Massage Heights, as well as ongoing contests to encourage more entries. From gift card sales to free services and discounts, these promotions make users in the Central Indiana market more aware of the value-add Massage Heights provides customers on a daily basis. 

But keeping Massage Heights at top-of-mind for consumers in a market that is so saturated with content, we deploy advertisements and boosted posts to people who already like our page, allowing us to communicate with them directly about the benefits of continued massage therapy. 

Social Media Growth

  • Instagram: Started at 454 followers. Currently at 2,012 followers (343% growth)
  • Facebook: Meridian and Main 197 page likes when they started; Currently at 406 page likes
  • Facebook: Ironworks: 524 page likes when they started; Currently 768 page likes

In total, Dittoe PR has: 

  • Shared 1,381 posts across all social accounts
  • Gained a total of 2,003 new followers
  • Earned a total of 1,335,930 impressions and 11,330 engagements 
  • Directed more than 4,740 clicks to the Massage Heights Indy landing pages

“Knowing our initial priority was to increase traffic at our Carmel location, Dittoe PR developed and executed a comprehensive social media plan that created real business results. As our goals and initiatives evolve over time, Dittoe PR is right there, developing new ideas and strategies to ensure we are always reaching and engaging our target audiences. They have truly become an extension of our team.
– Cristina Goebel, Franchise Owner, Massage Heights 

Social Influencers
We can talk about how incredible Massage Heights is all day on our own social media platforms, but getting third party credibility is crucial. So, to help us further connect and engage with Massage Heights’ target audiences in an authentic and real way, we identified and partnered with key local influencers. We manage approximately 10-15 influencer relationships at a time, and levels of engagement can vary from offering a single service to a six-month partnership. We focus on four different groups of influencers; moms, lifestyle, fitness and students, enabling us to tap into the different types of clientele Massage Heights typically works with. 

To drive interest in memberships and express the importance of continued massage therapy, we work with several influencers on a long-term basis, allowing them to share their own personal journeys with massage therapy and the benefits they were experiencing with a long-term membership. Several influencer partners were also invited to demonstrate newly offered services, including Dynamic Cupping Therapy, to build excitement and interest among their followers. 

Influencers also conducted giveaways through their Instagram and Facebook pages.

In addition to working with individual influencers, we also secured partnerships with local groups and organizations. We plan and coordinate an average of 2 on-site events each month with groups such as local bloggers, Yelp and theCityMoms. By getting these influential groups in the door, we were able to educate them on the benefits of massage therapy and the various services Massage Heights offers. These types of events take the mystery out of massages and helps creates a personal relationship between influencers and massage therapists. Event attendees who book a massage while in-retreat are also offered free “elevations” (such as adding Hot Stone Therapy to their massage) to thank them, in addition to receiving membership pricing discounts on services and products. These partnerships have resulted in countless new memberships for Massage Heights and creates a buzz on social media about the company and its services. 

To date, we have managed 23 influencer partnerships for Massage Heights, resulting in 33 influencer posts, 11,210 likes and 1,154 comments.

Media Relations 
While the majority of our efforts were focused on social media and social influencers, we also worked to secure traditional media coverage for Massage Heights that we knew would be most impactful. A lot of our media relations strategy was focused on leveraging holidays and seasons. For example, we secured local TV segment opportunities surrounding holiday shopping and stress, New Year’s resolutions and seasonal allergies, as well as digital coverage in the form of local holiday gift guides and more.

We also helped set Cristina apart from other local business owners in the industry by securing thought-leadership opportunities in reputable local publications, such as Inside Indiana Business and Be Well Indy, discussing topics like the benefits of continued massage therapy and building a strong company culture. 

In one year, we have secured more than 26 pieces of media coverage resulting in over 5 million media impressions and more than $162,000 in publicity value. 

As both Massage Heights locations get busier, our goals and priorities have shifted. We now work to help the organization attract and recruit great employees. This includes posting new job openings on LinkedIn and Facebook, creating a massage therapist spotlight segment once a week on Facebook and Instagram, and constantly developing and promoting new content highlighting company culture and the benefits Massage Heights offers its employees. 

One year ago, Massage Heights came to us to help them build brand awareness and increase foot traffic. Today, they’re consistently booking appointments 3-4 weeks in advance now at both locations and have doubled the number of full-time therapists they employ to meet the increase in demand. 

Massage Heights continues to grow and is currently looking to hire new therapists to keep with demand. In fall 2019, Massage Heights will open its third location in Central Indiana – in Fishers – and Dittoe PR will provide social media, influencer and media relations support for the new location. 

How to Use Twitter to Achieve Overall PR Goals, Part 1

This is Part 1 in a three-part series.

Twitter is a mixed bag. Some days it’s a political minefield, other days you spend half an hour trying to figure out why “30-50 feral hogs” is trending. Googling “Why Twitter is” will result in autofill options of “Why Twitter is good,” “Why Twitter is bad,” and “Why Twitter is important.” Everyone you ask will have an opinion along this spectrum, and I’m no exception. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, and after a decade+ of its platform updates and my own life changes, I’m still a loyal contributor to the social media site, both for personal and professional use.

Whether you’re a Twitter devotee or you can’t remember how many characters are allowed in a tweet, having a presence on Twitter is worth it for all PR pros. Here’s how to develop your Twitter for your personal PR goals:

Make connections.
No matter how you use Twitter, the platform sees its roughly 321 million active users per month gravitate to certain areas of interest. Whether that’s memes, breaking news, or TV show finales, there’s place for everyone on Twitter. That’s equally true of PR and journalism.

Almost every reporter or editor I’ve worked with over the past few years has a Twitter account. While email addresses or LinkedIn profiles can be hard to find, a journalist’s Twitter profile is almost always linked in their author bio. If you’re looking for insights on what a journalist’s interests or beats are, always check out their Twitter – they’re not usually shy of sharing their work!

This is even more valuable when it comes to local journalists. I follow several IndyStar reporters I’ve worked with before and whose stories I like and have had interesting and informative conversations with them right there on Twitter. Even if I’m not pitching them for anything, I love seeing what local journalists are talking about, what’s important to the community, and what’s making headlines.

Brag about yourself.
#HumbleBrag is a hashtag for a reason. Don’t be afraid to show off the awesome work you’re doing – and the awesome coverage you’re receiving – for your clients or company overall. If you spent several weeks coordinating an interview for a client, share the link and spread the word!

If you have a Twitter account you use for both personal and professional reasons, you may want to add some context to sharing client coverage. If you usually tweet about superhero movies, a tweet about healthcare facilities management may feel out of place. A quote retweet tagging your client and your company, though, provides plenty of details as to why you’re talking about this subject.

Get inspired.
Somewhere in the 500 million tweets sent every day, you’re bound to find something inspiring. Most news channels have Twitter presences, and just about every author, comedian and actor does, too. What are news channels in your client’s HQ city tweeting about? What news is capturing the attention of a large audience? What client keywords are seeing a lot of activity as hashtags?

PR pros have many tools at their disposal to build press lists and measure media coverage impact, but few tools are as effective as good ol’ research. Twitter lets you get in-the-moment insights into what’s important to different audiences and thought leaders just by being present and following a few key individuals or organizations. Keep an eye on clients’ competitors, journalists you’ve worked with before, and the general news across the city, state and country. You never know where your next newsjacking or byline opportunity might come from.

Is Twitter for everyone? Maybe not. However, it should be a place all PR pros can go to make connections, tout their work, and get inspired for new story angles. As long as news breaks on Twitter, PR pros should be there to keep up.

Interested in how Twitter can play a role in your public relations strategy? Contact Lauryn Gray to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.

Tips For Tackling Social Issues Using a Brand Purpose

According to a recent study, 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site. That’s a hefty portion of the population, making social media a powerful tool for marketing, sales, and advertising. It also makes it a powerful tool to advocate for social causes or bring attention to social issues. This can be tricky territory for a company profile, as brands often don’t want to offend or scare off consumers that may have different viewpoints. And this is a real risk. We’ve seen it often enough with calls to boycott Starbucks or boycott Nike that smaller companies may not be willing to exact that risk. However, with risk there is reward and today we’re going to dive into how exactly to approach integrating social issues into your social media marketing efforts.

Consumer Value Marketing
One point that we’ll keep coming back to today is the idea that the strongest connection you can make with an audience is over a shared value. When thinking about this in terms of your consumer, using social issues can be a way to build brand equity. By listening to your consumer, you can find out what causes they care about. This can be done through social listening, i.e., asking questions on your social media channels, hosting Q&As, creating focus groups, etc.

Once you know what your consumers are concerned about, ask yourself how you can emotionally connect with them. How can you align your brand with values that matter to your customer base? Once you’ve determined where to focus your attention, your consumers will follow along since they’re the ones that guided you on how to get there. By reaching your consumers where they already are, you’re making it one step easier for them to engage with your message and build a foundation of trust.

Company Value Marketing
The second method to issue-related marketing is one that is bolder and more aggressive. As previously mentioned, the strongest connection a company (or anyone) can make with their audience is over a shared value. Instead of asking your consumers for their input on what they value, companies can also decide for themselves what their values are and trust fans to meet them there.

The first step in this process is often to ask, “what do we, as a company, believe” and then go from there. This often looks like revisiting a mission statement or a company value list to see where internal beliefs reflect external issues. If your company is dedicated to accepting and embracing diversity in the workplace, then your company should speak out on issues related to diversity. But rather than arbitrarily speaking out, create campaigns and awareness around what types of changes you would like to see. Research bills or laws that are in development. Partner with organizations that also care about the same issues. By giving your audience action items they can take, it not only creates a bond over a shared value but also cultivates the chance for change.

Mitigating the Risk
In either of these approaches, brands run the risk of alienating consumers. It’s the name of the game and will often make higher-ups nervous. However, there are a couple ways that you can prep internally before speaking out to make sure that the roll out of these campaigns are successful and smooth.

  • No Response is a response.
    • Look, we all know what a troll looks like on social media. If community managers spent their days responding to every single person just looking to stir the pot, we’d never get any other work done. If you know that your platform is solid and the call to action is legitimate, there’s not always a need to respond. Letting your values speak for themselves allows you to continue to take the high road as opposed to responding to every unhappy Tweet.
  • Let your fans defend for you. 
    • In most cases, it’s not even necessary for you to defend yourself. If you are creating awareness around an issue that incites controversy, allow your audience that does stand with your core value to do the work for you. They’ll often times show up in better ways than you can.
  • If this, then this.
    • Plan ahead with your team. Create IFTTT statements from all those that might be needed (CEO, CFO, VP, etc.) ahead of time so that if a media outlet requests a comment you already have it ready to go. Set up internal communication plans for every possible situation. If there’s an overall positive reaction, go with Plan A. If there’s an overall negative reaction, go with Plan B. By thinking through all the possible outcomes before you launch, your team can rest easy knowing they’re ready to handle anything.

At the end of the day, getting involved with social issues on social media will not please everyone. However, a recent study shows that millennials are more receptive to cause marketing than previous generations and are more likely to buy items associated with a cause. They also expect companies to support the social issues and causes they care about and will reward them for doing so. And with millennials now eclipsing the size of the baby boomer generation and becoming the largest in America, they are not a demographic to ignore.

If you’re interested in assistance with social media strategy or management, contact Lauryn Gray to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.