Social media is constantly evolving, the platforms that matter are shifting and so is the content that works best. It’s little wonder there’s so much conflicting advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
Yet despite all the changes there are certain basic principles that have not changed since social media became mainstream. These are the things every salon should consider – and frequently review when it comes to social.
1) Think about what you want your salon to achieve with social media
I’ve spoken to a few salon owners who have told me ‘I know I need to use social media, but I’m not really sure why’. Yes it’s here to stay and yes, your competitors are probably using it, but if you are doing social without a reason:
- a) you probably aren’t doing it very well
- b) you aren’t going to be able to monitor whether it is working for you nor adjust what you are doing to make it work better.
It’s up to you to decide your reason(s), but, from experience, they probably fall into these categories:
- You want more people to know about you locally
- You want to maintain your relationship with clients between visits.
- You want to build a reputation and a profile in the industry
Once you know what you want to achieve you can form a strategy to meet your objective(s).
2) Decide who is the right person (or people) to manage social media for your salon
Thankfully, the philosophy of ‘get a young member of your team who is into social media to manage your channels‘ has largely gone now. The right person (or people) in your organisation is someone who:
- Is passionate about the business
- Can write well in good English
- Has an eye for an image (bonus points if they’re good with video too)
- Isn’t afraid to experiment, but is wise enough to know where to draw the line.
In many cases that may be you, but this could be a time to put your trust in other members of the team. A front of house manager, receptionist or salon manager could be better equipped to upload regular content that reflects your salon. Alternatively, you may want multiple people to manage the sites – in which case it’s worth creating some social media guidelines for your salon or salon group.
3) Choose the right platforms and tailor your content to it
There are two schools of thought on this one – you either put content on every platform possible so that you hit all of your potential audience’s favourite platforms or you choose the platforms that best work for you. Unless you have a lot of time, resource and budget, I suggest the latter.
Photos and videos work really well on social, which is great news for hair salons as they have such visual content. Make sure that all the images you use are the optimum size for the social media platforms you choose.
4) Define the best tone of voice for your salon
Do you want to come across as authoritative and professional; chatty and matey; a little aloof and guarded; or someone who has an opinion on everything? Choose a tone of voice that best reflects your brand and maintain it throughout your social media messaging.
5) Identify influencers
This will vary depending on your objectives, but local mums’ groups, industry bodies and regional activist all have a large reach. Reaching out to them means looking at what they are doing and the messages they post, then comment, reply to or share that content. Alternatively you can tailor your own posts to strike a chord with them.
6) Produce great social content (not just marketing messages)
Whether you post client before and after shots (start to get in the habit of grabbing a quick photo of everyone you see), insights into the latest trends, comments on celebrity styles or share local news, make sure that you have a frequent, well-rounded content strategy. It’s fine to throw in the odd promotion or offer, but make sure that isn’t all you post.
It’s great to plan in advance – and you can do that with tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck – but reacting to events and trending hashtags can be way more effective if used wisely. For example if a celebrity hairstyle is trending why not use the hashtag to offer a promotion for anyone booking in for that cut/colour.
7) Always answer questions and comments
If someone messages you or asks a question about your salon on social media platform then make sure you answer them or the world will be able to see that you don’t respond. Social media users expect instant gratification so aim to make your responses timely (this may mean that you need more than one person to monitor your social media). This is even more important where negative feedback is concerned – treat it as an opportunity to show everyone just what a helpful, professional outfit you are.
8) Monitor rival salons’ social media activity
Watch and learn. If a promotion, idea or type of content works well for them on social media think about how it could be tweaked to work even better for your salon. You can also learn from posts that they get wrong.
9) Monitor the results
Many people think about this as a numbers game – are you getting more followers/ fans? And if that is important to you, you can use this as a measure of success. I’d argue that it is much better to have less followers who are actually engage with your brand and are – or may in the future – be customers.
How you monitor the results depends on what your objectives are, but ways to monitor your success could include:
a) how many new clients tell you they heard about you via social media
b) how many clients take advantage of social media-only promotions
c) Interactions with high profile industry professionals or hairdressing publications.
If something is working, think about how you can repurpose it to use it again. If something isn’t working then scrap it and go back to the drawing board.
10) Incorporate social media into all of your marketing
Clearly display your social media details on everything you do: from your shop front to your appointment card to your website to your app and any advertising that you do.
As part of this, you should also ask clients for their social media information. Ask them to follow you and before they leave you can even make a casual comment along the lines of ‘if you were pleased with the service today, we’d love it if you mentioned it on Twitter’.