Let’s talk social media. In today’s socially connected society, you not only have the ability, but the need to manage your reputation both online and in real life. This applies to you if you’re an independent contractor, salon owner, stylist, platform artists – even a beauty school student.
Let’s face it. Your clients, employer, perhaps even the school you are applying to, will seek you out online before they meet you in person. In fact, albeit a simple task, the results of a simple Google search can be quite shocking. Try it! I’m sure you will find that the conversations are happening, whether or not you’re participating. (Or even paying attention!)
Search for your salon in other places, too. You may find that your clients are checking in at your salon on Facebook, snapping a quick Instagram photo of their new look or most importantly, sharing their experience with their social networks in the form of reviews and recommendations. All of these online interactions are a lasting reflection of your personal brand and your salon brand. (Side note: did you know that Tweets are stored in the Library of Congress? See, I told you they were lasting impressions!)
And it makes sense, right? Why, after years of perfecting your craft, would you leave something as valuable as you reputation up to chance? Social media allows us the opportunity to extend the salon conversation from a monthly visit to a daily conversation.
KEY POINTS TO PROPERLY BUILD AND LEVERAGE YOUR SOCIAL BRAND
-Social media is not a popularity contest. Followers don’t equal influence. It’s far better to have 100 highly engaged clients than to have thousands of fans who never interact with your social platforms. Remember to focus on delivering the type of content when, where and how your clients want it. Put yourselves in their shoes. Are they looking for exclusive deals or promotions on your social platforms? Do they look to your salon as being the trendsetter in areas of beauty and fashion? When you are giving them content they love, they will ‘share’ the love in return!
-Have a defined strategy; a purpose to be online. I often notice salons or brands participating on social media platforms just because everybody’s doing it (minus the strategy!). Although valid, I think it’s important to re-frame that discussion and look at social media as a way to drive business, create opportunities for your salon, and most importantly, connect with your clients in an authentic way.