The Power of Social Media

Social media has transformed the way the world communicates and engages with people, brands and organisations but can it revolutionise your hairdressing business and provide more than just a means talking to the world regardless of whether they are actually listening?

The short answer is yes, but simply having a presence on various social platforms won’t transform your reputation or triple your income overnight. Used over time in a strategic way however, and social media is a powerful means of connecting with customers, establishing positive relationships, building trust and promoting your business. But delivering tangible results requires dedication, strategic planning and hard work.

If you use or are thinking about using social media, here’s some essential advice to help your business benefit from the social revolution!

Have a social media plan. First you need to have a plan. Before you launch on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and churn out pictures and content, consider its potential as a business tool and how you are going to use it to deliver something of interest and value to your audience whilst benefitting the image and reputation of your business. The social landscape is littered with pages that have very few fans and sporadic, out-of-date content that is often self-indulgent and irrelevant to fans. What does your content say about you and your business and does it have a positive influence on the way it is perceived?

Developing a social media plan will organise important issues such as:

  • Which platforms are most suited platforms for your business?
  • Who is going to manage them? • How often are you going post content and what about?
  • How are you going to build a fan base that’s relevant to your business?
  • How are you going to manage incoming comments and questions?

Set your objectives

Ask yourself “Why are we doing social media?” to establish what you want to achieve by doing it and set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress in relation to your objectives. Is it to showcase your creative work, build a local or national reputation, promote services, or all of these? This will also give you a direction for content and how you use features within each platform.

Content planning and understanding your audience

The golden rule of social media is to be social so balance content in the ratio of 80% social and 20% brand/marketing. Poor content and bad management can result in it being bad for your image, so take time and use page analytics to understand the profile and interests of your audience to create interesting, engaging content. It’s surprising how many businesses use social platforms solely as a marketing device and bombard fans with sales messages, or post irrelevant content because it makes them feel better about themselves when it’s not making fans feel any better about your business.

Get the social mix right

It’s tempting to launch on every platform because everyone else is, but don’t! Use only the platforms that can deliver what you are setting out to achieve and make sure you work within each platform to develop it as an asset. For example, why launch a YouTube channel when you have one video and are unlikely to add to it in the foreseeable future? Remember that social platforms are all different and people choose to follow brands on platforms they prefer, so work according to the format and tools within each environment. Whilst some social management tools may make it easy to send out posts to multiple platforms, it is not the best way to be effective.

Get social marketing

There are a range of social applications that enable you to advertise and create promotions, vouchers and GroupOn style campaigns that can deliver a ROI, whether its new fans or sales. However use wisely as it’s better to focus on building relationships and trust as people are more likely to buy from you!

As the world’s fastest growing media, social networks have become part of the norm for billions of people, yet it’s still relatively new. Transferring your business into the social arena requires an entirely different thought process if it’s to protect your reputation and facilitate growth. Get it right and the opportunities for salons are fantastic, get it wrong and it can do more harm than good!