I am so happy to be writing about two of my favourite sectors – Hair and Beauty. Some people know or may not know that I am a fully qualified hairdresser and trained in some beauty treatments. I love these industries and everything about them, but as I am now a PR and marketing professional, I also feel that sometimes, some salons hold themselves back with their online presence. Could this be because I am fussy……maybe.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many salons out there that do social media really well, but, some fail to understand the use of the tools they use and are potentially losing out on engagement and building a strong brand presence online.
Yes, we all know that you do hair, beauty etc, but what is important to remember is……. doesn’t every salon. What some business fail to realise is the importance of social media branding.
For me salon owners and/ or managers need to be able to answer the following questions before they start the fun journey of social media marketing:
What is your brand's identity
What makes your brand stand out
What is it about your salon that makes your customers keep coming back
Why do you love the salon you own/ work in
What makes your team happy to come to work everyday
What makes your clients speak highly of you and recommend you to friends
Social media for these industries can be such a powerful tool if used and applied correctly.
I have given some real basic and helpful tips that I feel can be applied to any salon to help build a presence.
Tip #1 – Content*
*I am just going to point out here, this is a MASSIVE thing for me, I go on about it a lot. This is something that is not always focused on enough – FYI.*
If you use or are going to use Facebook for you salon, make sure that you post relevant content to your audience. I hear you all cry, ‘yes we post loads of pictures of hair/ treatments as well as our services and our customers love it’ I am sure they do. But, let’s just take a step back here. If you were a customer would you like to follow a page that only talks about itself? Just full of hair images day in day out? Or even just promote the latest offer 5x a week? I doubt it.
What I suggest to do is to understand your target audience who LIKE your page and make sure that you are reaching them. When looking at content, you need to see if it is engaging and that it is in line to your brand. Be nosy, look at other businesses that do it well, take ideas and see if you can apply it to your brand and audience. Effective content are things like, short helpful updates on hair/ beauty tips, mini videos (vine) based in-house with real clients and of course showcasing all of your stylist/ beauticians work.
Take a step back and analyse your Facebook page and content…..
(*note: if you have over 2000 followers on Facebook and your content is hardly getting likes, comments, shares or engagement doesn’t that ring alarm bells?)
Tip #2 – Pictures
Pictures, pictures, pictures. Yes, as a society we love pictures, whether its a cheeky selfie or a holiday snap we love them.
Random fun fact: did you know that 120% of people interact more with picture post, more than text-only post.
The use of pictures on Facebook is a great way for interaction. They should be clear and well taken (ideally not on a mobile), invest in a decent in salon camera, oh hell, if you wana push the boat out get a professional in. Your images should capture the tone of your salon brand and something that your customers can relate to. Remember, pictures equal engagement. They help to encourage customers to share post and of course can help bring in new referrals. Even adding your own customer pictures to an album can help.
Tip #3: A key communication tool
Facebook is a great way to share your services, create comps/giveaways, create brand loyalty and of course brand awareness. It is important to write/ share something that will get a client response. Customers don’t always like to be promoted or sold too, think about creating a conversation, something that they can take part in and discuss with you and other customers.
Treat your Facebook like a mini blog/ website. I can image puzzled faces and maybe a ‘Why’ question.
Remember, when your customers decides to Follow or LIKE your page, they want to find everything they need in one space – Don’t make it hard for them. When liking your page, customers like to feel that they are getting something in return. Offer incentives, discounts or FREE gift every once in a while. They have LIKED you, so make sure you value each and every one.
And lastly the question I get asked the most, ‘Do Facebook paid adverts work?’, followed by ‘Will it benefit the business’ etc etc.
Now, I do, do paid ads for some of my clients and yes they have seen an increase in traffic to their website, increased levels of engagement/shares and comments and most importantly sales. But, I don’t think that this is for every business and I believe it is trial and error. Also, there is no point in doing a paid advert if your content isn’t right…. that will just equal wasted money, time and no ROI! No one wants that do they.
When I create Facebook ads, I always think about the content that is going to be paid and the audience I am trying to target. I have to make sure that it is relevant to their customers who already LIKE the page. The reason for this and why I think it’s important, is this:
‘Never ignore the people who already LIKE your page (this is key)’.
If you are going to pay for an ad, take full advantage of the ability to target who you want the ad to reach. Facebook make it easy to do that and can be very beneficial.
Tip #1 – Content
Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites to use. The great thing about it, is that you can really define your salons brand, tone of voice and personality all through images. What I feel is most important, defining what you are going to use this channel for. Yes, you want to showcase you salon, your stylist or beauticians work etc. But, wouldn’t that be the same as Facebook? In my opinion, think and plan the content to help define you in the instaworld!
Instagram is fun (remember that). So, yes feel free to showcase your hair, just don’t over do it… why? Because frankly it gets boring!
Maybe try things like this:
Add in fun (but related) quotes to your brand/ sector
Images -I can’t stress this enough. Clean, clear and strong professional or well taken images on Instagram gain a lot more likes/ engagement. If you can, try to avoid mobile cameras (where possible).
Hashtags – you can over hashtag, but use your location to reach the area you are looking to gain followers, create your own hashtag (be able to promote/ track the success) and ask staff and customers to use when ever posting
Stay on trend – hashtags are always trending on instagam. My advice use them, engage with them and make sure it’s relevant to the picture and what you are trying to say
Had a review of blog post written, share, share and share
Most importantly, be fun with it it doesn’t have to be serious….I mean it is Instagram
Tip #2 – Customers
If you have customers following you, it is great to share (#regram/ #repost) their images (download the repost for instagram app). Its word of mouth, but without talking. Let the images speak for themselves.
Tip #1 – Profile
Ahhhhh, all I ask for is consistent branding – seriously that is all!!
I have come across many profiles that don’t match the salons branding or other social media sites. It also has mixed messaging, no tone of voice and one thing that I can’t stand:
only being updated via FACEBOOK/ INSTAGRAM!! For me that is a BIG NO NO!!
Make sure that your profile matches all the other social media sites and of course the website (CONSISTENT BRANDING – It is so important).
Tip #2 – Content
Yep, you are seeing a pattern here….. but, seriously I can’t stress this enough.
Twitter is a great way to promote your services and get across news and info in real time. Got a last minute cancellation, want to fill up your appointments, quick promotion for someone to come in…..I mean the things you can post/tweet are endless.
Again, make sure you know why you have this social media site and what are you trying use it for.
Now, before some of you jump down my throat in regards to updating Twitter via Instagram or Facebook, I just want to stress that there is nothing wrong with sharing updates from Facebook and Instagram (yes, I do this), but, I always do a separate post with the similar content. Why would your customers follow a Twitter account if all they have to do is click through to Facebook or Instagram all the time. If that is the case, focus on the other channels and maybe not invest in Twitter.
But, Twitter is great at being able to provide last minute offers or deals, as well as getting involved in the trending conversations or hashtags. If your customers are influenced by celebrities, look for news, articles, events etc to retweet and get involved in. Find and post articles that you feel are relevant and if it is something that you don’t want to share on your other social media channels just share on there.
Does your salon have a blog? Twitter is a great way to share a blog post and even connect with bloggers, local or not. Twitter is something that moves and updates consistently, make sure that you make the time to update and get involved.
This is something that is really important. Having social media is great for your business, but you need to make sure that you still treat it as if you are dealing with your customers face to face. You could get complaints, questions or even bookings through any of these channels, make sure that you reply and answer any questions in a timely manner, with a clear and professional response. If you are a salon manager and don’t have time to monitor these sites, make sure that office staff or receptionist can do this.
If your social media sites are not going to be monitored 24/7 then make it clear on all the channels when they will be manned. This helps to sets an exception to your customers on when they are likely to get a reply. If you have good positive customer feedback share, share, share over all your social sites, this helps to make your customers feel valued.
Mostly importantly, your social media channels are an extension of your business. If you have a great reputation and are known for your service don’t let it slip with poorly managed sites.
With a little bit of time and planning social media can allow your salon to not only retain customers but, could potentially help gain new ones. Customers love to feel valued and appreciated and social media can help drive that. In such a competitive industry, it is important that you create brand loyalty and interactive relationships with all your customers (followers).
Please take the time to understand what social media channels are going to be best for you and your business.
(please don’t just sign up to every one, that you think you should be on or copy what other people are doing).
Once you have decided what will be best, create your profiles and follow….
one rule…………. Content, content, content!!
If you have time, actually no…make time to plan your content. This will help to define who you are, tone of voice and what you are trying to say across all channels. Once you know what channels you are going to use, define the message. No one can relate to a brand where the messaging isn’t clear.
I hope that you have found this post useful and helpful.
Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions, need advice or if you are feeling a little bit lost on what social media will be best for your business. Just drop me an email at: email@example.com