As society evolves, the reliance we place on social media as part of our daily lives is also ever-growing.
Therefore, it’s a wonder why six in ten UK businesses are not using social media for marketing (Mirreh, 2021). When reflecting on the public’s means of communication, there is no comparison in our dependence on these channels.
Social media has become essential for entertainment, correspondence, and more recently, research and information. In fact, GWI has reported that in 2021, almost 30% of active social media users now use social media primarily for researching things to buy (Gorman). This development in online dependence, combined with COVID-19’s impact on the UK’s buying behaviour, has made us more likely to pick up our phone rather than a catalogue, or even car keys, to research services or purchase. It has therefore never been more important to embrace social media as an element of your salon’s marketing plan.
So, why is it that many small enterprises avoid social media? Much of the reluctance stems from an underlying feeling of self-doubt or a lack of confidence in their ability to use platforms.
“I don’t have time”
“Oh, I don’t know what to share”
“I don’t know how to use social media properly”
“My audience isn’t on social media.”
No matter the objection, this belief that social media is not suitable for small businesses needs addressing.
According to Avocado Social, 80% of social media users follow brands and businesses that they deem useful for inspiration (2019). This demonstrates that, when run successfully, social platforms offer an ideal means of communication with your audience. With this in mind, below are five tips that may inspire creativity and build confidence in harnessing social media for your salon:
1. Be authentic
As a salon owner, you have the luxury of focussing on your brand, the audience that this attracts, and creating niche content that will deepen your followers’ interest further. Your social media is a virtual extension of your salon, allowing you to provide insight into all aspects of your brand:
- New product launches
- Staff and customer experiences
- Business developments and achievements
- Information relevant to the tanning and beauty industry…
By injecting your brand’s personality into your social channels and creating a consistent external voice with undiluted, relevant content, your social media will help improve your short- to medium-term growth.
2. Keep active
Once you have attracted an audience, keeping that audience engaged is key to building awareness and increasing the likelihood of conversion. It costs 5 to 25 times more to attract a new customer than it does to maintain a relationship with a client; social media followers are no different. As an extension of your customer service, your social media should be a platform where customers can converse with you. Additionally, once a user begins engaging with content, the best way to retain their interest is by returning the favour: reply to comments and messages, share their views and make them feel valued. Repeat engagement can create a community-like feel online and help develop brand advocates.
What’s more, it also means their friends on social media are more likely to view your content via “Suggested Posts”- increasing brand awareness.
3. Switch up your content
It’s easy to just share photos with a small caption addressing an element of your business. However, this will not provide your followers with content they will engage with as enthusiastically long-term. Although imagery increases a post’s impressions, videos are increasingly becoming more popular for catching a user’s eye. By interchanging content you keep things fresh for your audience. Plus, experimenting with different forms of content will help you understand what works well, to reap the best engagement.
Here’s some content ideas that may help you keep things fresh:
- Imagery – yours, user generated content from clients and influencers or relatable memes!
- Videos & gifs that relate to your business
- External blog or youtube video links, such as our blog ‘The Difference between Bronzers”
- Polls to find out more about what your clients appreciate in your business
- Giveaways or competitions
4. Don’t spread yourself too thin
A good way of making socials less time-consuming is focussing on a small number of channels that your audience already uses. Although this may seem counterintuitive, as, to build brand awareness, your business needs to be viewed, there is a stark difference between being viewed, and being seen. According to LSE (2021), the best social media practice is to “pick two platforms and do them well, rather than trying to create content for 5+ different platforms and failing your audiences on all of them”. By targeting your clients where they already are will save you time. Plus, you will also see an uplift in engagement.
5. Schedule to prevent oversharing
Another way to save time, and ensure your feed’s content is balanced, is to schedule posts in advance. This allows you to share when your audience is most active; for peak engagement, preparing content, and preventing you from investing time daily into individual social posts. Multiple different applications can help you schedule your social media in advance, such as Buffer and Hootsuite. Carving out a couple of hours per month, can save you from a daily distraction, whilst also achieving increased engagement.
Although running your salon social media can initially seem like a daunting task, it offers a fantastic opportunity to communicate with your target audience. Stay true to your brand. Step into your clients’ shoes. Post about things that will interest your audience and encourage engagement. Above all else, don’t be scared to experiment!
Gorman, D (2021) How effective are ads on social media? – GWI. https://blog.gwi.com/trends/ads-on-social-media/
LSE (2021) Social Media Platforms and Demographics – The London School of Economics and Political Science. https://info.lse.ac.uk/staff/divisions/communications-division/digital-communications-team/assets/documents/guides/A-Guide-To-Social-Media-Platforms-and-Demographics.pdf
Mirreh M (2021) More than half of UK businesses don’t use social media to promote themselves, poll finds – Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/uk-businesses-social-media-poll-b1852747.html