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It’s hard to overstate the important role social media plays in the success (and failure) of many businesses today.
If you’re a professional stylist, makeup artist, or beauty therapist who cares about growth marketing, it’s time you understood the utmost impact social media is going to have on your business in the days to come.
Sure, transformation can be a slow process but there’s only so long you can sit there and watch things happen.
The marketing landscape is rapidly changing and it makes all the more sense to revisit everything you have been doing online, including, of course, your social media activities.
“Is social media marketing even relevant in my situation?”
I don’t expect you’ll ask anything like this in 2020. But if you do, here’s what any sane marketer would tell you: Of course, it is!
You may argue back, “I’m a brick-and-mortar operation and my customers are mostly local.”
But that’s not a reason why you should take the social media affair lightly.
Do you know some of the highly searched for keywords on Google are the “near me” keywords?
“Best hair salons near me”, “best salon near me”, “stylist near me”, “beauty parlour near me” and so on.
These are keywords thousands of people are searching for at any given time in any given location. And these are also the keywords hundreds of advertisers are bidding on within Google Ads.
If people can use a search engine to find an offline service, is it difficult to reason out they may as well use social media to achieve the same goal?
It seems fairly obvious.
In fact, on social media, people spend rather more time and the possibility that they will interact with your brand is more realistic.
You can use social media as the foremost tool to create brand awareness, build a community of engaged users, and ensure that more and more people in the vicinity of your business know that you are there whenever they need your services.
In what follows, I explain how you can go about implementing a successful social media marketing strategy for your beauty salon in four easy-to-follow steps.
So let’s dive in!
Choose The Right Platforms
Not all social media platforms are the right platforms to market your business on, neither can you afford to focus on them all in one go.
So be extremely picky and focus on two or three of them to begin with.
It’s better to do well on just two platforms than doing awful on twenty of them.
[And it’s much better to keep your dollars safe in the pocket than to spend them on a wild goose chase!]
If you’re running a beauty shop, why not just begin with Facebook and Instagram?
I have nothing against Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and any other social media platform for that matter. They could be great first choices in the case of many other businesses.
But we are trying to keep things a bit simple, manageable, and in context here.
Facebook and Instagram clearly top the list in the case of beauty salons, with a massive user base and an opportunity to connect with audiences of all types — young and old, men and women, professionals and hobbyists, old hats and fashionistas, frugals and extravagants, you name it!
So my suggestion is about as simple as this:
Start strategizing for Facebook and Instagram. Double down on these two platforms until you have some more room and resources available to expand the scope of your social media marketing activities.
Build Your Social Media Assets
Most businesses treat social media marketing as an optional extra and dedicate no serious efforts to properly build their social media assets.
They are called assets for the simple reason that they can benefit your business over the long haul.
In many cases, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram act as miniature sites or as an extension of your own business.
If you can foresee the true potential these platforms unleash with respect to generating leads, creating brand awareness, and achieving business growth, the first of the many things you will want to do is clean up the profiles and make them look professional.
Imagine welcoming a prospective customer into your physical shop only to see them slope off moments later!
That’s precisely what users do when they find your online destination — your social media page in this case— unattractive and barren.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to spruce up your social media destination than it’s to organize your physical shop.
Moreover, the assets you’re preparing for one social platform can be used on another with slight adjustments and form modifications.
Nope, you don’t have to have unique “everything” for your social media pages. This is not an owned media, like your website, where things can go wrong if uncle Google found you disrespecting the holy rules of SEO.
You can use the same descriptions, graphics, logo, and other assets across various social media platforms as long as they are aligned with the front-end requirements of these platforms — like image dimensions, resolutions, and word count, etc.
Keep in mind though that all those sections, tapes, CTA buttons, text boxes, business hour options, multimedia items, etc. are there to help your business be more expressive in a neat and creative way.
So you don’t just want to put up a logo with a quick cover, add a few lines in the description, and call it a day.
Rather, you want to ensure your business page looks consistent and impressive, both from the standpoint of information and visual aesthetics.
Understand that Content is King
And by content, I don’t just mean text content. Content is everything — from images to videos, from webinars to podcasts, from Q&As to testimonials, from contests to demos, and from what comes into my mind to what you may be thinking of.
What type of content are you good at creating? That’s the first thing you need to mull over.
Maybe you’re a good talker and can turn any online streaming opportunity into immersive sessions. Maybe you know how to use the power of written words and craft engaging, snappy blurbs your users would love to read. Or maybe your customer handling ability is so awesome that you won’t have any trouble collecting amazing testimonials.
It really comes down to your key strength when setting that primary activity you may cash in on in the early phase of your social media campaign.
Less is more but less shouldn’t be confused with what’s called “too narrow”.
If you’re pinning your social media marketing activities down to a single type (that you happen to be good at), you’re missing out on a host of other possibilities. Which, if you think about it, is not called a focused strategy but a lazy one.
Here’s the right approach: after you have got some momentum around your core activity, it’s time to start scratching the surface of everything that relates to your audience.
Sure, it sucks if you haven’t even dipped your toe in the ocean of activities others have been capitalizing on for so long.
For a starter, it’s not easy to make that first request for a nice testimonial, induce a customer for a live hair-cut session, create a nice-looking info-graphic around your salon offers, or find shareable photos and supplement them with creative captions.
All of it demands pure efforts, but hey, what type of success comes without solid efforts?
If you struck it lucky and became a millionaire overnight, maybe. But if that’s a story most of us aren’t fortunate enough to subscribe to, let’s focus on what’s practical and what is in our control.
As always, there’s real work that precedes the social media goal you envision for your business. And in the next step, I’ll talk about just that.
Do What is Meaningful
I’m sure a lot of other great ideas will pop in your mind as you work through your social media content calendar. But here are a few good ones you may consider adding to the mix.
Reviews and Testimonials
Nothing sells like success stories. If you have been in business for a while now and have had the opportunity to work with some happy clients, don’t hesitate to ask them for testimonials.
If your relationship with a client is friendly, why not call them up directly and ask for a quick favour? In other situations, you may just want an email like the following to end up in their inboxes:
Hope you’re doing well!
We are halfway through the year and I wanted to say thank you for using our services in 2020. Working with you has been a real pleasure and I hope you’d share the same experience with us.
I’m reaching out to ask you for a quick favour this time. Would it be possible for you to write us a brief testimonial? Our audience would love to know what a valued client like yourself has to say about her experiences at our salon.
If you may, please click this link to share some of your thoughts and we’ll feature them on our website or social media pages.
I wish you the best of health and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon again!
PS: Everyone is affected by COVID-19 and it’s a good idea to relate things a bit and show that you care.
Blogs, Articles, Guides, and More
Any form of promo material you generate for your business can be shared on social media as well.
If you have a bunch of blog posts written and published on your site but you haven’t shared them with your social media audience yet, you’re not getting the basics right.
Marketing materials are meant to be shared and social media is where you achieve this goal rather quickly.
All you have to do is copy the source link, write a few words to go along, and click that post button.
It can’t be easier than that!
Building on this strategy further, you may also consider curating content from sources you don’t actually own.
Quick tip: Use Buzzsumo to find articles that are already gaining attention.
Although third-party sources may not carry as much value as your own content materials would, it doesn’t hurt to share good stuff wherever you find them on the web.
In any case, consider sharing blogs, articles, guides, or any other materials you think are relevant to your target audience.
Reviews and testimonials don’t always have to be in text form. Sometimes a picture would do a lot better.
For example, this before-and-after photo.
Or this one showing the work in progress.
Images are persuasive tools and people respond well to them.
But make sure you’re not using bad quality images to promote high-quality services. Use high-quality images to create the impression that your services will be high-quality too.
According to a recent HubSpot report, video is the primary form of media used in content marketing today.
If you look at today’s most popular platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, they are essentially built on visual content.
So naturally, your strategy should include videos — and more of them if you are able to manage.
With video content, your options can be many.
You may produce roundup videos around light themes like “6 makeup tips anyone can follow” or “5 Minute Hairstyles for School”
Or explainer videos, walking your viewers through a certain process.
You may also arrange Q&A videos, answering audience questions on-camera.
PS: Don’t have Sofia answer their questions though. 🙂
Or announcement videos to cover some newsworthy events that would relate to your audience.
In short, try to focus on what you’re good at and roll a few videos to see what kind of visuals resonate with your audience better. You will gradually work your way up to that refined material you always wanted to make.
Infographics are a mix of texts and graphics. Ideally great where big data analysis and visual presentation are required.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t many opportunities to use infographics in your specific context. Your premium offers, promo deals, product features, demos, and testimonials are just a few opportunities to build your infographics around.
Promo Deals, Contests, and Giveaways
According to the Pleasure Principle, people tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Well, if that’s the case and they are knowingly missing out on those amazing discounts, guess what they are getting?
But most of them won’t take it.
Contests in the marketing context work around the same principle. They give people the opportunity to have by accident what they can’t (or may not) have by design.
And so they find them enjoyable.
Also, contests are cheap and would hardly break the bank compared with most other forms of promotions.
Be careful though, running contests and giveaways don’t come without strict rules on Facebook and Instagram.
And if you want some specific and up-to-date info around these rules, here is a great post from Lockhart Meyer — a beauty marketing company: How to run a salon Facebook giveaway contest.
Location Hashtags and Tags
While you’re immersed in all these great ideas, don’t forget the end goal.
Which is to get more footfall in your beauty salon.
Location tags and location hashtags help a lot, in that they let your audience know which direction to go when they want to buy services from you.
Ideally, you would like to use both location tags and hashtags on Facebook. This will ensure more and more people on the web notice your Salon’s physical location without much effort.
The same can be achieved on Instagram. Make sure to include location hashtags and taping “Add Location” from the post screen.
User Generated Content (UGC)
As you start getting some traction on social media (or elsewhere online), you’ll notice that users are doing marketing on your behalf.
You may get a lot of free content — aka UGC — in the form of text, videos, images, reviews, and more. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure to reshare or repurpose the content that’s coming from your audience.
Marketing experts have long known the value of word-of-mouth in building influential brands. User-generated content works pretty much the same way, only the medium is online.
People don’t want to be sold to, neither do they easily trust advertisers.
And one of the effective ways to have them experience what doesn’t feel like advertising is to give them more of what is coming from the people they trust. In this case, the audience themselves.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
All of the tactics I talked about are great, but you don’t need to confine yourself around a handful of options.
One of the quicker and smarter ways to gather fresh ideas is to close in on your competitors.
Doing so will give you a better perspective of where exactly you’re lagging behind or what it is they are doing differently that seems to be working for them.
Pick a few direct competitors and then some others for general inspiration.
Not all the brands you may get inspired by in your industry have to be your direct competitors. Some of them could be industry leaders, some may fall in the middle, still some may not even belong in the same industry.
If you can find what’s good about their social media strategy and then tread in their heels, by all means do so!
As you go on planning, strategizing, creating, and managing your social media marketing campaigns, you’re sure going to need a few handy tools. These are some of my favorites.
- Canva: Create Infographics, images, etc.
- HootSuit and Buffer: Easily manage all your social media activities. Basic plans are free, giving you the ability to manage 3 social accounts, 30 scheduled posts (10 in the case of Buffer), and 1 user.
- Paxel: Get access to free stock photos and videos
- Freepik: Find Free Vectors, Stock Photos, PSD and Icons
- Adobe Spark Video: Create short eye-catching videos
- Audacity: Record audio for podcasts
- VidLab: Create and edit videos on the go.
- THETA+: Create/edit VR images and videos suitable to post on social media.
- Zoom: Host high-quality webinars or events with the ability to broadcast them on YouTube or Facebook Live.