Not all social media channels have the same purpose—or the same best uses.
Among suite renters, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social channels but you should always focus on where your target clients are. Then, show them what they want to see and tell them what they want to know.
Many suite renters use Facebook business pages as their websites, unless their salon app also gives them a mini website. When Tim “Bo” Mack, whose So Addictive Hair Studio is within Salons by JC in Corpus Christi, TX, left his previous salon, Facebook was his lifeline.
“I owe the majority of my studio’s success to it,” says Mack. “A little over a year ago, my sister posted an image of my new business card online and within the hour I received over 400 hits from clients who were trying to find out where I’d gone.”
Today, Mack, who is also a Pravana Artistic Educator, posts his new looks often and says taking care with every image counts—clean up the area before you snap a photo, and check your camera angle.
“At our Salons by JC location, we created a photo room to aid in capturing the best images for our postings,” says Mack. “My transformation photos are always popular.”
Most renters also connect Facebook to Instagram, which makes sharing makeovers even easier.Says Alysha Cornetta, whose Amore Hair Design suite is in Gallery Salons, Foxborough, MA, “I don’t use Facebook as my primary posting place but I make sure all my Instagram posts also appear on Facebook because it has a different demographic. I also find the Facebook insights harder to read.”
Other best uses include soliciting reviews, holding contests and giveaways, and posting last-minute openings or style tips. Always include a visual.
The biggest question renters have about Facebook: What are the best times to post? Research shows that the highest traffic and engagement occur mid-week between 1 and 3 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, engagement is 18% higher than other days.
MUST: Separate your personal and business pages.
Naturally visual, Instagram is a salon pros’ favorite. Best for photos and videos, it also requires relevant hashtags, which increase like-to-follower ratios. The reason Cornetta found Instagram insights easier to read is because Instagram Business Profiles now show the most popular times and days that your followers are on Instagram, along with their demographics and more.
Says Cornetta, “Instagram is my main focus for promoting my business. I post at least twice a day. I vary my posts but if you focus on balayage, blondes or bridal, then that’s the majority of what you should be posting.”
The point: Your photos and videos had better underscore your brand when viewed as a unit.
When it comes to hashtags, don’t overdo it. Tag companies, clients and your location. Adds Cornetta, “I don’t always use my salon location. I tag other businesses, so that when people are checking into the gym, they see my hair photo.”
Mack posts all the action when he travels to educate, including the “huge smiles” at the end of his presentations: “It allows my guests to feel like they are included in my world.”
Both Mack and Cornetta say that “liking and sharing” are also key to Instagram success. Stresses Cornetta, “I follow my clients, so I can comment on their posts and stay current in their lives. It doesn’t take much time to comment about their kids, dog or recent vacation.”
Adds Mack, “I connect with stylists all over the country and show them love, and for that alone, they comment on and share my posts. The more people talking and posting about your business, the more potential new business is heading your way.”
MUST: Create Instagram-exclusive contests. For example, “Person most in need of a makeover” wins one. Or, have clients upload their photo and use #yoursalonname for a free product or discount.
Pinterest is about ideas and inspiration. Although Cornetta uses it, she says she’s less active on it than she is on other channels. “I usually pin photos from my website or Instagram account, so when people click on them, it brings them back to my website,” she says, noting that every Pinterest photo connects to a URL, which can be your website or other pages.
Mack uses Pinterest, which has pages for long hair, short hair, hair color, layered cuts and more, to replace in-salon magazines. Explains Mack, “I purchased an iPad and Smart TV. By ‘mirroring’ my iPad to the Smart TV, I am able to do amazing consultations in a unique, interactive way that guests go gaga for. My Pinterest page is opened on the screen, so I can search for and show images of looks that can be used as inspiration for changes. This very effective for my brides.”
MUST: Use top “Pinterest-category” descriptions and keep captions under 200 characters.
Twitter is best used with a photo, a short summary sentence and a link. It can be a great source of information about you, so share any articles you are in on Twitter. According to SimplyMeasured, tweets that include photos and links receive 150% more engagement.
Twitter is all about visuals and links, keywords and hashtags, but it’s also a place for breaking news. If you are having a sale or are closing for a snow day, always include Twitter in your outreach. For more interaction, retweet your followers and get them to retweet your link to frizz-fighting tips by offering an incentive.
MUST: Tie looks and hashtags to Twitter trends. For instance, during Coachella, use #Coachella because it’s where trends emerge, plus your IG or salon name and location.
There are so many social channels to play in that if you don’t master them one at a time, you’ll end up on your smartphone all day. Now that Mack has several down, he’s creating a YouTube channel to connect with his guests even more. Who wouldn’t love to watch a styling-tip video from his or her own hairdresser?