Busy hair salon owners, busy small businesses, have very little time for social media.
But increasingly Facebook is a must. Why?
It provides a free, visible place to actively engage clients.
Engagement increases loyalty.
Loyalty increases revenue.
So what are the essential things to know?
In future we’ll get more in depth. But today it’s all about (ahem) cutting to the chase!
Follow our five-step guide for salons and you’ll immediately be on the right track.
1. Page vs Personal
A large number of salons, even some Salon Advantage followers, run their business through a personal profile. It’s against Facebook rules, but more importantly, it means many features are not available. These include:
- Custom tabs (sub pages) including online booking
- Post promotions
- Offers and polls
- …Plus lots more
These are all essential tools as you’ll see.
If you’re running a salon and you’re serious about social media set up a Page asap. Follow this link. You need a personal profile before you can create a business Page.
Then tell all your ‘friends’ to follow your salon Page when it’s set up and before long you’ll be enjoying the benefits.
2. What do I post?
Engagement simply means talking to your followers.
The most valuable engagement however is when they talk to you. Benefits include:
- Their friends (your future clients) listen in
- Your salon’s profile is raised
- Your salon’s brand values are highlighted
So, if you’re friendly, attentive and generous on your Facebook profile, potential clients know your salon will be the same, which increases the chances of a visit. Use our tried and tested five-step mini guide…
a) Valuable to clients
Facebook is not an environment for the hard sell. You need to blend seamlessly into people’s news feeds, rather than jar against wholesome updates from friends with spammy guff. Obvious really. Your clients will be interested in pics of unusual or trendy styles recreated by your team, video clip advice on protecting hair in the sun, blog tips to help hold styles in between visits… the kind of thing which adds to their experience of the salon.
b) Posts can be short
Content doesn’t need to take hours to think up and make. Occasional short or themed messages work well. How about ‘Tips Tuesday – your weekly haircare guide’ with a little free pointer every week – maybe 20 words.
c) Pictures are best
Try to include a picture with every post. It is a fact that pictures win engagement. Low fi (unprofessional) pictures are fine – these slot neatly into people’s feeds. Pro or highly commercial images stand out like a sore thumb in this environment. Our clients Body Shop try to use pictures of their instore staff and mobile phone snaps to be more in tune with their follower feeds.
d) Fun but relevant
Don’t post fun or funny things which don’t relate to your business. If you have a great picture of the team in fancy dress for charity, post it! If a friend sends you a great joke which has nothing to do with hair salons, don’t.
e) Interaction wins followers
Inspire participation. Perhaps the salon has been gifted a cuddly new toy by a kind client. Let’s run a naming competition on the Facebook page… just for fun. The more comments your get the more engagement and exposure. Are there two hot new celeb styles competing to be the summer favourite? Run a poll to find out which your customers prefer. It’s easy to set up, free to run and a bit of light, friendly, relevant fun for your clients and their friends.
Remember, people (your customers) will share things which make them look good to their friends. If your salon can provide them with ways of doing this, you will benefit.
See the infographic below for our visual guide to creating great posts.
3. How often do I post?
Don’t worry. Your Facebook followers are not waiting for your next post. They have lives.
Our advice is, if you’ve something good to say, post. If not, use the time to work on something good to say for next time. Quality over quantity, every time.
4. Planning makes perfect.
You can help yourself by a little preparation. Meet once a week with colleagues and brainstorm ideas. Look at other salon, fashion and trend pages for inspiration. Perhaps even allocate a couple of members of staff to be on research duty when they’ve got an empty chair. Then schedule each item. Just like a magazine team would do.
If you’re really organised you can use Facebook’s schedule tools to line posts up to publish in the future. Time them to appear in the evening when Facebook is busiest, or to coincide with an event like London Fashion Week or Salon International.
5. Pay peanuts, get monster promotion
Remember the days when an advert in local press cost hundreds? Maybe it still does.
Our advice? Never. Do it. Again.
Facebook connects you, through your followers, to thousands of potential customers local to your salon.
There are several methods, including:
- Promoted posts (see above)
If a post is getting lots of likes and engagement, consider promoting it. Once you’ve added a payment card to your Facebook account (and have 100+ followers) the option to ‘boost post’ will appear. Spending small sums of money (as little as £4) pushes your message to more of your followers and all of their friends. This could be tens of thousands of people.
Boost the number of people following your salon with a Page like campaign. On average each new like costs 30p, but well targeted and worded adverts can earn Page likes for as little as 10p. This means your salon could have thousands of followers (all of whom you can reach freely from then on) for the cost of that newspaper advert.
Facebook lets your followers and their friends snap up and redeem special offers via its dedicated tool in the status update bar. Options include redeeming instore only, so this can be easily used to push promotions – perhaps ones you’re already running using Salon Advantage’s excellent Smart Marketing text and email tools.
And finally here’s a quick guide to common pitfalls.
- Don’t use native Facebook functionality (pictures, posts etc) to run competitions. Facebook will delete your account without warning. All that hard work, lost in a second. There are good tools to help you make your own competition tabs on Facebook like iFrapp.
- Don’t post the same thing over and over again. Even if they are positive client reviews. Client reviews should come from clients, not from you, to have value to the reader.
- Always be super friendly, no matter how critical the client’s comment. It is a highly public forum. Bad reviews and feedback happen. But if you respond swiftly and with humility and kindness you’ll soon turn a negative into a positive.
- Asking people to ‘like’ or ‘share’ is sometimes warranted, perhaps for example if you’re using Facebook to advertise a job. But generally it’s poor etiquette to demand interaction. It should be your job to inspire it with interesting content.
- Don’t be too serious. Lively, quirky, fun and self deprecating work best. Think ‘will this make people think my salon is a welcoming place to visit’ before each post goes live.
— Adam (Lindon East)