Love it or hate it, social media is an important part of marketing yourself and your salon. Done well, it is an affordable and highly effective way to boost awareness of your business. The best part is anyone can become a good social media manager. But, it is a lot more than just giving away free products and may take a little more strategizing than you think.
Many salons and hairstylists create social media pages, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter, Pinterest and Yelp, only to throw up their hands and declare, “This isn’t working!” There are also plenty of great examples of winning social media pages.
Before you decide which social media channels will work best for your business and personality, you should be sure you can answer yes to the following statements:
- I can commit 30 minutes to an hour of my day to managing my social network and presence.
- I am comfortable with publicly promoting myself in the name of growing my business.
- I can create and stick to a consistent social media marketing plan that stays on brand.
Often, busy hair salon owners and stylists begin social campaigns with enthusiasm only to realize they don’t have the time to manage several pages long term and it’s not a good fit for their personality. Here we will take a deep dive into tips and tricks for Facebook and provide some recommendations for how to make this platform work for your salon business.
Despite ups and downs in Facebook’s popularity, it is still the largest social media platform in the world with over 200 million users in the U.S. alone. If your salon is popular among baby boomer and Gen-X women, say women 40+, Facebook is definitely the place you should be.
If your target audience is slightly younger—women 20 to 40, you may want to consider a two-pronged social media plan that includes Facebook as well as Instagram. We’ll discuss making the most of your Instagram account in-depth in a future post.
For now, here’s what you should know to make the most of your Facebook page:
Use a Business Page.
If you don't already have one, build a business page and manage it from your personal profile page. Even if you’re a sole proprietor and you are the face of your business, your personal Facebook page is not enough. A business page will go much further in helping you reach potential customers. Doing so will allow you more flexibility to capture positive reviews, promote offers, and build precise advertising campaigns.
To effectively build out your business page, be sure you don’t overlook important details like personalizing your username. This is the name that appears after the @ symbol when tagging. This is also the name that appears after the forward-slash in your Facebook URL (facebook.com/username.) The blue button that appears at the bottom right corner of the cover image is another often overlooked detail. Make sure this button links to your website or some other relevant content to keep your audience engaged.
Treat your page like a website.
Building out a successful Facebook business page will take a little more time on the front end, but it will be worth it. Make sure to list important information like location, hours of operation and a menu of services with prices.
While it is important to share your website with your Facebook followers, many users will never go beyond your social page and expect to be able to find everything they’re looking for there. Consumers often prefer to reference a business’ Facebook page over the website because they know exactly where to find information like hours and driving directions.
Let images and videos tell your story.
Facebook has become more visual in recent years, and video is now the strongest tool in your promotional arsenal. To get the most reach from your content, upload videos directly to the platform. By doing this instead of cross-posting videos uploaded to other platforms like YouTube, your content will auto-play on your followers’ screens, catching attention and increasing engagement.
Spend a little money.
In the past year or so Facebook has moved toward a pay-to-play philosophy. Sure, you can still build a page for free and generate plenty of organic traffic solely by providing good service and engaging your online community. Having said that, in order to get your most important posts seen by a larger audience, it may be worth it to boost them for anywhere from $10 to $30. Don’t get too bogged down in spending a lot on a boost; a little monetary nudge will make a difference in your traction.
You can follow two general plans of action when it comes to boosting posts. If, for example, you are offering an amazing limited-time promotion, it will be beneficial to boost the promotion immediately. That way more people will see the offer quickly and take action on your time-sensitive event.
In other cases, you may want to boost a post that is already doing well organically. Maybe you posted before and after photos of a surprising hair color change or cut. This sort of post often builds engagement on its own. The proud customer will share the photos, and then her mom will. Then, all of the “love” and “wow” reactions will begin rolling in. By boosting a post that is already enjoying lots of organic traction you can take a popular post and make it viral within a couple of days. Now, that’s making Facebook work for you!
We could get lost down the proverbial rabbit hole of Facebook marketing, but don’t want to overwhelm you. By now, you probably have a good idea of whether Facebook is the right platform for your business. You’ll learn the best ways to engage with your unique audience once you get started.
In the meantime, here’s a blog about some Back to School promotions that are just in time and might help you come up with your first fantastic post worth boosting!