These days, anyone and everyone can pose as an expert, and they do. Do we want a 13-year-old blogger telling women how to use products because we, the actual experts, haven’t gotten around to posting content? I have news for you, that’s what is happening now, and if you don’t take the time to utilize social networking to promote your business, that 13 year old will pull your business right out from under your feet.
Personalities/brands like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are also taking a piece of the pie – they recommend products and people buy them – and they are NOT experts in the beauty field, they pay people to do their hair and makeup! They pay us! It’s happening in other industries too – a book recommendation from Oprah a is more powerful than one from the New York Times – she’s not a trained expert, either is the 13 year old girl, but they know how to market themselves as experts and it’s time that the REAL experts make some noise.
Start with Facebook – create a salon page separate from your personal page because professional pages offer valuable analytics about who visited your page and how often. Professional pages also don’t max out at 5,000 friends – something I found out the hard way. Having to accumulate those 5,000 again takes time, so do it right the first time.
YouTube is the other way to offer tips and advices to the public. I advise salons to create their own channel, because on YouTube, the more videos you have, the easier you are to find. To increase traffic to your channel, include QR Codes on your retail products and advise clients to scan them with their smart phones to access expert info on how to use the products.
Foursquare is another way to let people know who you are – it makes a game out of life. People can check in for badges and get special rewards and tips for being loyal.
At the very least, utilize Twitter to share quick tips and ideas and let people know what’s going on in the salon and on the road.
Just because we’re hairdressers doesn’t mean we have to shy away from computers like we did in the 80’s. Have fun and take control of your social network. Hey, if a 13 year old can do it, so can we!