Social Media 101 for Salons and Spas
Social media has turned the salon and spa industry upside down. It has drastically changed the way that salons advertise and communicate with their clients and prospects.
About 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media platform, spending nearly 2.5 hours per day on social networks and messaging, and more than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research and engage with new brands and products.
But social media can be daunting for merchants who may not know where to begin. This 7-part series aims to dispel the social media secrets that may be keeping your merchants from realizing the full potential it may have for their salon.
In this post, we give an overview of some social media basics every salon and spa owner should know.
Deciding Which Social Platforms to Use
Not all social media platforms are created equal. With more than 1.8 billion monthly active users globally, 214 million alone in the United States, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide. Instagram, also owned by Facebook, reached 1 billion monthly active users globally as of June 2018, with nearly 78 million residing in the U.S. So it’s a safe bet that the majority of your merchants’ clients are active on one or both of these platforms.
Be where your audience is.
Facebook, in addition to its massive audience, is incredibly powerful and versatile. And it’s a marketer’s paradise, offering advertising and targeting tools to assist businesses in learning more about their users’ habits and preferences. Even more helpful is that Facebook advertising is budget-friendly, starting at just $5, so businesses from every size can make sure they’re in the game.
Human beings respond better to visual content. On top of that, visual content increases message association, brand awareness, and engagement. Having a visual-based social media network such as Instagram to show off the work salon professionals are doing should be a no-brainer for salons and spas.
There are other platforms to explore as well – Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn are all examples. But the more platforms merchants choose to utilize, the higher the likelihood that they will spread themselves too thin and display a less than impressive presence on all platforms instead of excelling at one or two.
How Often to Post
Social media moves at lightning speed. The status update your merchant posted on Facebook five minutes ago is already old news. The point of social media is for merchants to stay at the forefront of their customers’ thoughts. The best way they can ensure that their brand is in front of their audience all day is to post multiple times a day. A good rule of thumb is to post a minimum of three times per day (morning, afternoon, and evening) per account.
Posting three or more times per day can seem daunting, especially to digital marketing newbies and to salon owners who already have mountains of work to keep up with just to manage their business. In this instance, planning is crucial. Merchants can create a social media posting schedule sometimes weeks in advance, and social media scheduling tools are a great way to stay ahead of the game.
When to Post
This is going to depend largely on your merchant’s specific audience. Luckily, social media platforms are making it easier than ever for merchants to discover when their audiences are interacting with their posts. Facebook and Instagram especially offer insights so merchants can see when followers are interacting most often with their posts.
Tip: Post content when it counts. Posting when followers will see your merchant’s content is just as important as posting where they will see it.
If your merchant is just starting out and doesn’t have any data to draw on, consider when potential clients are most likely checking their social media (i.e. when they wake up in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the evening after dinner).
What to Post
Remember, not all social media platforms are the same, therefore, while posting the same content to every channel may be easier or less time-consuming, it is not increasing the value your merchant offers to their followers and potential customers. Merchants should resist the urge to mass post to every platform at once and take the time to carefully plan and curate a social media strategy that seamlessly integrates all applicable platforms into one succinct brand story.
Merchants should also keep in mind, when creating this social media strategy, to plan posts that are relevant to the platform they are utilizing. Each platform is unique, and merchants should play to each platform’s strengths. For example, Facebook is ideal for longer-form content like blog post links, tutorial videos, and announcements, while Instagram is a showcase of beautiful images of salon professionals’ work, as well as a less formal medium where brands can be a little more playful.
Give clients and prospects a reason to follow your merchants on all social media platforms, not just one.
How to Engage
Engagement is the coveted secret every small business, big retailer, and mommy blogger wants to know. The secret to engagement, though, isn’t really a secret at all. Merchants should ask themselves these three important questions:
- Is the content they’re offering providing value to their clients?
- Is that content relevant to their clients’ needs?
- Are they establishing themselves as experts in their field and building trust with their clients?
It’s all about them.
The secret to winning the engagement game is not to try so hard to win at the engagement game. Providing genuine content that is valuable to clients and interacting with them online (consistently) is all it really takes.
Engagement isn’t a quick-fix overnight sensation. Building brand awareness and interest takes time when coming from a place of authenticity.
Bonus Tip: Include a call-to-action (CTA) in every post. Calls-to-action can include engaging with content, booking an appointment, or calling the salon, but spell it out and be clear about what action they should take.
Fundamentals Part 1 Finale
After reading this post, merchants should have a better grasp of the basic principles they will need to begin to navigate the complex world of social media – what platforms make the most sense for their brand, how often and when to post, what types of content they should be sharing, and how to actively engage their audience to bolster ongoing support. This series is intended to help merchants become more social media savvy in simple, easy to implement ways. Stay tuned for the next post in our series, where we’ll dish on hacks that will make maintaining social media channels feel like a breeze.