There’s a lot of noise in social media these days. It’s harder than ever to stand out among literally millions of users. Compounding that, Facebook, the most popular social platform worldwide, is increasingly becoming pay-to-play. That means in order to get marketing content seen, businesses need to spend money on in-app advertisements. And, of course, you should assume your competitors are also on Facebook trying to capture the same audience you are. All the more reason to come up with interesting ways to cut through the noise and be heard.
In the image-centered, socially driven world of style and beauty, having a vibrant and distinguishable social presence is important. Finding the niche that will speak to your unique client base is an exercise in trial and error. There is no exact formula for how to hone your brand, deliver content that drives engagement and ultimately increase your sales. Anyone who offers a foolproof system is, well, fooling you.
But, over the years of working with highly successful salons we’ve seen some social ad campaigns that really work and others that fall flat. While we can’t tell you what will work best for you, here are some strategies you should consider in creating Facebook ads that perform well.
Boost the Best
You may be designing ads without even realizing it. Throughout your day-to-day business, you probably post photos or videos of happy clients, a baby’s first haircut, and new techniques. Your followers tell you the content they’re most interested in by engaging with the posts they like best. Engagement may take the form of likes, other reactions such as “love” and “wow” emojis, video plays, and the most coveted -- shares. When a post is receiving more attention than average, Facebook will often recommend boosting the post. That means paying a small amount to enable that post to be seen by a larger audience.
Boosting a post that is performing well organically extends the reach of content you already know is successful. This is low risk, high opportunity marketing. You’ve already tested and proven the post among your most valuable audience: people who already like and follow your business. Plus, you can control how much you spend on a boosted post. You could spend as little as $5 to experiment with outcomes. Boosting is a little bit different from building out complete ad campaigns in Facebook, but it’s a great place to start with social advertising.
Retarget Past Clients
Retargeting campaigns can be complicated business, but in simplest terms it means advertising to clients who have used your service or engaged with you in some way in the past. Retargeting done well moves warm leads closer to a sale and generates repeat business.
If you’re unfamiliar with building marketing campaigns, you could dip your toe in with an ad that offers a percentage off to customers who haven’t been to your beauty salon in the past 6 months. The way you find the appropriate audience for this advertisement is by targeting people who already like your page.
If you’re feeling comfortable and want to try a more complex retargeting campaign, you can use data collected by the Facebook pixel embedded on your website. If you’re not sure if you have this, ask your web developer for help. By using data collected by this pixel, you can create an ad targeted to people who have visited your website. You can even narrow in and target visitors who clicked on a specific page. By retargeting visitors who are already familiar with your salon, you are getting the most out of the marketing you’ve already done and building a loyal customer base.
Real People, Real Results
Consumer research has shown that millennials value authenticity and credibility over the manipulative, airbrushed advertising common in previous generations. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is the perfect example of how brands have responded to this shift in consumer values. Customers want to see believable images of real people who represent achievable results.
That’s great news for you! No need to hire an expensive model or contract a pro photographer to create ads that build engagement. Your most successful ad might be built from a photo you take of a happy customer on your cell phone. Just be sure to get permission before you post that pic on social media, and ask your client to share it!
Before and After
Along the same lines as advertisements using real people, there’s no overestimating the value of a surprising before and after photo or video. People love seeing the difference a professional cut, new hair color or razor-sharp eyebrow can make. Plus, before and after photos literally show the value of your work.
Not surprisingly, some salons use the before and after series as their only marketing strategy. It’s simply that powerful. Combined with any of the other advertising angles mentioned above, you’re sure to generate Facebook engagement and increase sales.
To get started on your first or next Facebook advertising campaign, from your Facebook business page look for the blue “Promote” button in the left column of the page. Click the button and you’ll be guided through a series of questions to help you build an ad that will get your beauty salon noticed.
Interested in learning more about how Facebook can become a powerful marketing tool to boost your salon business? Read this recent post on Facebook Essentials. And if you're looking for a way to save time and run your salon better, try a free trial of Insight today!