You look out into the sea of social media and see so many platforms to network on, it’s overwhelming. Which ones will fit for you and your business? How will they benefit your business? Do you really have the time for it? Can you get your team engaged to do it for you?
To many people, it looks like a way to waste time and a fear you could lose touch of your tangible reality. Could it be? Sure, if you let it. How do you decide which ones and how do you make them work for you?
I am going to focus on the four I have found work best for us and share with you why they do. Facebook is the first obvious one: www.facebook.com/studiowishsalon Just about everyone you know has a Facebook profile page. If you have made a personal page for your business, I strongly suggest you make a business page. Quick note: When you decide on the name and activate it after you have 150 fans, you can no longer change your name. Be sure it is spelled correctly and you have it set the easiest way for your fans to find you. There are connections you will have access to with your business page that you do not with your personal page. Your business page will show your hours of operation for the day, phone, address with a map, specials, and events you have at your business. If you have Demandforce, you can also add a link for appointment requests and business reviews. This is very very valuable and has brought us many new guests. Another feature is the ability to create an ad. Your ad will pop up on the right hand side of potential guest’s pages and can draw them to your website, Facebook page or wherever you want to link to. This does come with a price and you may want to research it first. It is pay per click or per number of views. Detailed to what you are willing to pay per day. Another benefit to the biz page is the ability to link your Twitter page. When you link them, you only have to post on one and it will post on both. Huge benefit and, in reality, you never need to go to your Twitter page after setting it up. Through “Woobox” you can also connect Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, photo contests, video contests, and polls. Start with one and go from there. They will each have a link back to that platform and to your business on that platform.
Pinterest, a huge pin-up board of just about any topic you can think of: www.pinterest.com/studiowishsalon On our Studio Wish Salon business page we have created pin-up boards for hair color, haircuts, bridal looks, make-up, etc. It is easy to use and easy to create. There is a tab you add to your browser called “pinit”. When you run across a photo you like, you click it and pin it to the board you have created. You may also post your personal work. I highly recommend when you do, you have the photos watermarked. It is nice to share, but you want to keep your business name attached to your work. I use a program called Photogene. Also, easy to use.
Instagram is probably the hottest platform out there right now and growing quickly with new followers: www.instagram.com/studiowishsalon On Instagram, you take pics and add special effects with lighting and borders to jazz them up. When you post, your followers will see it in their news feed and can add comments and click a little heart for “like”. You may see the craziness with hashtags lately. Adding hashtags is important on Instagram because it creates a category in a search. Example: I hashtag a photo with #sexyhair, in the search bar someone types in sexyhair, it will pull up every picture on Instagram with that hashtag. So tag your business… #studiowishsalon #studiowish #salontwinsburg #saloncleveland #clevelandhair you get the idea. Hashtag the hell out of it!! You want it popping up in any and every search to get your business recognized by potential new and existing guests.
Foursquare, my kids originally got me into this one and I did not realize its potential at first: www.foursquare.com/studiowishsalon Foursquare is a “check-in” platform that allows you to check-in at various places to visit. You can also create places of your own… Note: Be careful creating “My Home” because it does have a map and pinpoints exactly where you are. The most creative check-in I ever saw was when we were driving back from my mom’s at Thanksgiving. We were on 77N and my kids found a check-in for “Great place to dump a body”! Now I am sure it was created for a laugh and of course we all checked in. There is a game part of Foursquare that is fun and addicting. The more you check into a place, you become the “Mayor” and the mayor can be ousted by another peep that checks-in more than you. Exactly how my family got hooked on it. Trying to outdo the other by being the first to check in and the one to check in the most. Interestingly, even the guys at my husband’s business fight over mayorships! So how does this work for business? If you have not created your business on Foursquare, most likely someone else has at this point. Add the app to your phone and find out. You can get to your account on your desktop and create more details in Foursquare. Check-in specials for your guests. Example: “Your first time checking in? Receive $10 off your retail purchase today only.” They would show this to the front desk upon check out and get the check-in special. Many of the businesses I frequent have check-in specials and yes, we use them. All of these apps can be linked to another like a spiderweb. When you create and sign into them, it will ask you. Add them all, you want that web to be as big as possible to catch every person you can.
Now, how to get your team involved in helping manage all these platforms. Sounds easy, right? Aren’t they always on their phones? Yes, one of our challenges is getting the staff engaged with social media for the salon. They get it when it’s about “them” or their “friends” but can’t quite wrap their heads around why it’s important to their business within our business. We also found that many did not know how to do many of the “easy” functions on Facebook. I say easy… one may find it easy to do when you are a computer app social media junkie like myself. TEACH THEM! We took up a whole hour and a half meeting last month to teach. I actually had one that didn’t even know the term “url” or “browser”. Don’t assume because they are young that they get it.
Now they know, so how did I get them to engage? Have you ever sent them a group text and didn’t hear back from any of them? Frustrating sending out a text and not hearing back. It is hard to not take it personally even when it’s business. So think about this… Did you give them a reason to respond back? Evidently they need one… Here is an example of something I did this past weekend. On Facebook, we have an event coming up, a cut-a-thon to benefit Childhelp. An organization that focuses on stopping child abuse. I sent out a group text to my staff encouraging them to share and invite friends and family via our Facebook event page. It’s been like pulling teeth to get them to do this. Basically I bribed them with lunch on Wednesday. The deal was everyone needed to send out between 10-20 invites/shares and text message back to the group text that they had completed their task. In order for them all to get lunch, every single employee needed to participate. I could feel the eyes rolling. Halfway through Sunday I finally got one response back… then of course they feel the peer pressure. Each one that responded, I heavily praised to the whole group. By Tuesday night they had all responded except for one… The one who got a new phone, can’t remember her password for FB…. so what did she do?? She said she handed out cards and verbally invited about 20 people. So I counted it. THEN I took pictures of me picking up lunch, and distributing it to them in our break room… I created a pic collage in PicFrame, watermarked it with Photogene2, then added a foo foo finished look and posted it to Instagram with a ton of hashtags. The best part, because I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare all linked together, with one click it was posted to all.
Now that you have some great ideas and a little understanding of how to get moving with your social media, be careful to manage your time. Recently I took 2 webinars with Nina Kovner of PassionSquared. Many of the ideas I have shared above were generated by taking her advice and following through. The last thing she encouraged me to do was to create a time for social media marketing and to stick to it. It can consume you and is easy to get lost in the time you spend. Make a plan, start out with one, make it work for you and then add another. Get your team involved and watch them get excited when a guest posts on your Facebook biz page… “I just had my hair done today at Studio Wish Salon by Angie, I loved my visit and everyone has complimented me on my hair. Thank you Angie!” Show them! Watch their smiles light up the room seeing the results of social media marketing.
I also want to take a moment and thank my staff. I owe a BIG kudos to my Studio Wish Salon team for making me proud and jumping on board with our social media challenges and making it all work. Your the best!
Rowena Yeager Studio Wish Salon – http://www.studiowish.com/