The social media bandwagon continues to gain momentum. Numbers don’t lie:
- A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 8 out of 10 small- to medium-sized businesses use social media to drive growth.
- Facebook announced last fall that more than 25 million SMBs now have Company Pages on its platform.
- 70% of small businesses in the U.S. have an active Twitter profile.
It’s clear that spa and salon owners have a huge opportunity to help their businesses succeed with social. But having active social accounts and having a social media strategy are two entirely different things. And creating a strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs who already have a full-time job, most of which doesn’t happen in front of a computer.
Before you invest time and effort into your social presence, here are a few important things to consider.
Define Your Audience
Julia Bramble, social media strategist with BrambleBuzz, advises: “What small business owners must focus on is their target market. The key message is to think about who your customers are, think about everything you know about them, where they live, what their lifestyles are, what their interests are, and that'll give you big clues as to the social networks they're likely to be using." Once you’ve identified the channels your target clients are using, you can then develop a content and engagement strategy based on your audiences’ interests.
Create Complete Profiles
Social media networks are more than just a way to keep up with news from friends and brands. They’ve been evolving into discovery engines for consumers looking to connect with local businesses. In order to help people find your spa or salon on social, you should make sure your social profiles are as complete as possible. In addition to your basic business info (name, address, phone number, website, hours), you should also consider including a mission statement, information about your services and products, and profiles for your stylists and technicians.
Enhance Your Social Offerings
With add-ons like Facebook Apps, businesses are able to trick out their profiles with some great additional functionality. A few must-haves for spa and salons include:
- Bookings: Make your customers’ experience as seamless as possible by giving them the ability to book an appointment straight from your profile page anywhere and any time that’s convenient for them.
- Email signups: Continue to grow relationships with existing clients by providing an easy way for them to subscribe to your newsletters, special offers, and other emails.
- eCommerce: If you sell products or gift cards online, your business will benefit from helping customers find and purchase the items they’re looking for—without having to leave the social network they found you on.
- Promotions: Running a contest or giveaway can be a great way to encourage shares and new follows. For example, Nair has a current promotion entitled Where Have Your Legs Taken You? Users submit photos of themselves in interesting places, and the audience votes for the winner. As part of the contest, Nair collects Likes from non-followers who want to participate—and creates the opportunity to keep the conversation going with them in the future.
Engage Your Followers
While social search, bookings, and promotions can help you connect with new customers, keeping your current clients and followers engaged on social media is just as important. In addition to creating and curating great content for each platform, you should also be investing time in conversation with your followers, answering customer service requests, and asking for feedback on ways you can improve your current offerings and what kinds of new services or products they might be interested in.
Industry Leaders Weigh in on Social
At the recent IECSC and IBS shows in Las Vegas, a few leading industry professionals shared how social media has made a positive impact on their beauty businesses. Watch the video below to hear their take on why social is such a powerful tool for driving new business and connecting with customers.
About the Author
Lisa Starr brings over 30 years of industry-specific experience as a consultant, educator and writer to Booker through GOtalk. Lisa also works for Wynne Business, a leading spa consulting and education company. Among other things, Lisa’s expertise lies in business operations and finances, sales and marketing, inventory management, human resource development, and business process improvement. She is a well-known speaker within the trade show circuit and is a frequent contributor to industryFollow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Lisa Starr