Once just a fun way to keep in contact with old friends and family, social media has slowly but surely (okay, actually pretty quickly, in fairness) turned into a massive platform for everyone from individuals to huge companies to let the world know what they’re up to.
More importantly for you, it’s absolutely ideal for the salon industry - the perfect way to get your name out there for millions of potential clients to see and build up those bridges with your regulars.
Whether you’re new to social media, or just want to improve a bit, don’t worry - we know it might seem a bit daunting. We’ve got you. Here are some basic steps to start raising your online profile.
Choosing your platform
Step one? Pick a place to be. Both Facebook and Instagram are the front-runners here, with ludicrously huge numbers of users always hungry for new things to see. Plus, it’s really easy to set up a Business page on both - basically a special profile built especially for people to manage their work social media. These come with a load of handy tools too, including the ability to be booked online, straight through your online profile (more on that later!).
Make sure you fill out all the information you’re prompted to. The more visible you are, the more you look like the reliable, trustworthy source you are. That goes for imagery too. It’s well worth investing a bit of time making sure that you’ve got some solid photos of your salon. This doesn’t have to be done professionally if you’re not ready to commit to all that just yet - just make sure you clean up and light your space properly and a half-decent phone camera will get you some good shots. Pro-tip: you could even use your photos you use for your Treatwell profile.
Getting the ball rolling
Now that you’ve got your profile set up, it’s time to get started for real. Just like the real world, building a community takes a little time and effort. A good place to start is by posting updates to your followers. Steady communication is the name of the game here. Using a brand new product for styling? Let people know. Glowing review from another happy customer? Share those stars with the world. In love with a new trend? Tell your clients about it.
Engaging with people means conversation, and that’s absolutely key to making social media work for you. Make sure you’re not just begging for likes and shares - ask what they think. What would they like to see? Do they like certain styles as much as you? Thoughts on new trends? There’s no need to think too hard about it - the topics you’re chatting about when your client is in the chair in front of you are the same ones that will work online.
Here are some basic ideas for posts you can make quickly & easily:
- Shout out special offers, new products or new treatments
- Show off you and your team in action (or even just having fun on your downtime)
- Give your opinion on a recent trend in your beauty space - you’re the expert
- Show off a particularly tough treatment that’s come out amazing
- Just had a particularly lovely experience with a client? Group photo to show off the good vibes!
Plus, if you want to really streamline the whole experience, you can install the Treatwell booking widget straight onto your Facebook or Instagram pages with Instant Experiences (it’s quick and simple) so people can book you online at the drop of a hat, straight from your social media profiles - completely for free. Sorted.
Making the most of it
So far, so good. But just being overly promotional isn’t really a great long-term strategy - the last thing you want is your customers to get sick of you and go elsewhere. Time to start mixing in other types of posts.
Think of educational posts you can produce to make sure your followers feel like they’re getting real value out of spending time with you online. For example: creating simple step-by-step guides to the latest trends or fashions is easy for you to do and a hit with social media users.
Or you could share a favourite client’s story - did you overcome something together or learn something valuable from them? Putting a human face on your salon both inspires your existing audience and helps draw in new people. Video is a particularly useful tool for this, once you’re feeling confident enough - the more alive your feed feels, the better.
Once you’ve got a solid stream of ideas going up and you feel ready, you can also start experimenting with more advanced stuff. Using management tools like Hootsuite (free) or Sprout Social (less free, but there’s a trial) is a great way to manage all your channels in one place, helps you schedule your posts easily and gives you a chance to look at analytics of how you’re performing, if you want that. Learning to use sponsored posts - putting some money behind your content so it finds its way to more people - can boost your reach to even more people.
Remember, there’s loads of potential customers out there, just waiting for their new favourite salon to follow - why not you?