Before you judge your staff for the use of their personal phone on the salon floor, especially in front of guests, I want you to hear why I think this could be one of the strongest social media marketing tools you have. We live in a culture where almost everyone has mobile access to the internet and is able to create new and original content and then share it almost instantly to hundreds, if not thousands of viewers locally and worldwide.
And as the online marketing gurus preach: Content is king for positioning your business as the expert.
Not only that, chances are the majority of your staff are in their 20’s and 30’s and have hundreds of their own avid followers and online connections. As of July 2014, half of all FB users have more than 200 friends in their network, 34% of teens and millennials (14-43) use Instagram and have an average of 843 followers, and the average number of Twitter followers each person has is 208. Pair that up with your salon's own social media tribe…that’s a lot of potential reach for your content, from your very own brand ambassadors.
For now, let’s put aside any fears about phone misuse. There are definite parameters to allowing staff to participate in your Salon Social Media Program. You must create clearly defined rules of engagement to be followed so that it's not a willy-nilly-personal-social-media-texting-calling-free-for-all. Using personal cell phones on the salon floor for social media purposes should be a considered with deep respect by you and your staff.
This week I would like to focus on one social media platform that is gaining strides in marketing for small business. Instagram. It isn't just about sharing your dogs adorable sleeping positions or your latest food porn, it is a powerful marketing tool for your salon business.
Instagram is all about visual storytelling. And I can’t think of a more perfect social media match for the salon and spa industry than this! Not only is Instagram relatively uncomplicated to use but it has 200 million active users and your staff are probably already using this app.
So why is Instagram a superb fit? As cosmetologist, our professional mandate is helping our guests look beautiful and feel divine. Although it is possible to portray feeling divine, it's even easier to take an image that looks appealing and turn it into a visual story.
Before and after images are particularly effective ways of using Instagram in the salon. Simply snap the images (you could even pair it up with an picture of the product you used to create the look in a collage app), give a description of what it is about, use a few strategic hashtags to spread your reach... then post. This brow shape before and after on Instagram was perfectly done by Niki Robison of Niki Robison Brow & Skin Studio and included fun hashtags such as #browobsessed #browsarethenewblack #browporn and #browguru.
What are some other ideas on how to use Instagram in your salon or spa? Show off your treatments, your team, your product lines, your facility and your delighted guests! Another super fun way to use Instagram is their new 3-15 second video option.
So get online, take a peek at what others in your niche are doing on Instagram for ideas of how you can use this social media tool to create a well thought out strategy and use your staff and their own social networks to help fill your schedule and boost your revenues.
If putting together your own Salon Social Media Program freaks you out... this may be the perfect opportunity to work with me to design your policies and a highly customize salon marketing strategy. Let me know how I can help.
Would you like a few other quick tips to gain followers and reach? Head on over to myLinkedIn posts here to check them out!