Six Skills for Great Social Media
What can social media do for your business?
Building an online presence can help you get established or take your business to the next level.
Social media is an affordable and effective way to:
- Make it easy for new clients to find you
- Strengthen connections with current clients
- Develop and popularise your “brand”
- Get direct feedback from clients about what they want
- Educate your clients so they value (and happily pay for) your services
What is social media?
Social media includes all the online ‘places’ where people create, share and exchange information, ideas, business and personal messages, videos, photos, and anything else they want others to see and discuss.
Social media includes:
- Blogs and more
Why social media matters to your business...
The vast majority of people who can afford your services are active online. And most of them are using social media. So, it just won’t wash to say “social media doesn’t matter to my business.”
Now you’re in trouble, right? You need social media to promote your business, but you can barely post to your personal Facebook page.
Getting started doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, you can set up a free Twitter account or Facebook Page for your business in minutes.
Prepare to be amazed … by YOU
You are already using the very skills you need to master social media every day without even trying. It’s in your nature. Here are six killer skills you already possess that will make you a winner on social media.
Skill 1: You know how to talk to people (you do it all day long).
In social media, you talk WITH your clients. It’s not a one-sided sales technique. Social media is a conversation. You’re already a genius at making conversation. You’ve had a lot of practice.
To transfer your gift of the gab online, the keywords are short and sweet. You have only seconds to make an impression, and if they don’t sense an immediate connection, off they go.
So, keep it short. Shorter posts have higher share rates. And keep it sweet - use your common sense and avoid doing anything online you wouldn’t do in person, like:
- Spout off about your political or religious beliefs
- Share movie and TV spoilers
- Put your security at risk by giving out private details
- Buy “likes” or “dislikes”
Skill 2: You know how to build trust.
You’ve probably noticed: people are pretty touchy about their hair. Emotions can run high. Hairdressing is an act of intimacy. Your clients keep coming back because you have earned their trust.
Now you can build trust online too. The keywords for building trust are to keep it real and original.
Keep it real - Clients who don’t even know you can get a feel for who you are through your online presence. Before they even meet you, they can decide if they’ll trust you with their hair.
And your current clients can get to know you even better.
People want to talk to real people online, not faceless companies. Let people in. Share your world with them. Not in a creepy, too-much-information way. Just share the parts that are relevant to your identity as a hairdresser.
Post original content - Don’t just repost other people’s photos and stories, but when you do, give proper credit to your source.
Post photos of clients and their latest haircut (with their permission, of course). Before and after photos are always a hit.
And, of course, post essential haircare tips and introduce the latest trends, focusing on the needs and interests of your particular clientele.
Skill 3: You know how to engage your clients.
What do you talk about when you’re chatting with your clients?
Chances are you engage them in ways that make them feel good and add to their lives. You probably answer beauty related questions and troubleshoot haircare problems. You’re the go-to hair expert for many clients, updating them on the latest style and product trends.
People go online looking for information and entertainment. The keywords for engaging clients online are inform and entertain.
Inform - You may not realise it, but you’ve got tons of hair and beauty related information to share. Even if you’re just starting out, your clients look to you for your advice and expertise, so build your reputation as a style guru by sharing your insider knowledge.
Post tips on how to maintain curl and colour or what the latest trending styles are. Share an up-do tutorial, product reviews or before and after photos. Think about things that can help your clients and make their hair happier.
Entertain - Keep it light and fun. Post funny hair and beauty related stories, quotes, videos and photos. Life is challenging enough without getting all serious about hair. Be a source of delight and inspiration for your clients and they’ll love you for it.
Ask questions - You ask questions when you’re behind the chair. It’s a great way to get to know your clients and people love to talk about themselves. As a bonus, questions receive 100% more comments than normal posts, although they do receive fewer likes.
Skill 4: You understand the power of a great image.
Image is important - a no-brainer for anyone in the beauty industry.
You know how to make yourself look fabulous and create a fresh and appealing work station. Your salon probably has striking photos or art on the walls and fashion magazines to inspire clients while they’re waiting.
The keywords in dealing with image on social media are strength and timing.
Strength - When you invest your valuable time in posting content online, you want the biggest bang for your buck, right?
Here’s the deal:
- Text is good
- Video is better
- Images are the best
And for the biggest bang of all: Put text on an image and it will attract more views than anything else.
For everything you want to post, ask yourself: does this help build the professional image I want to create? If it doesn’t, don’t post it.
Timing - Keep your online presence current.
You wouldn’t hang a CLOSED sign on the door of your salon during working hours, would you?
Let the online world know you’re open for business by posting fresh content regularly. The only thing that’s almost as bad as not using social media is never updating it.
Skill 5: You know who your customers are and what they like.
By talking with your clients, you get to know them. By knowing them, you can serve them better. Serving them better grows your business.
Social media helps you take this essential skill to the next level. The keywords are, make it personal.
When you’re posting on social media, speak to the reality of your clients’ lives. How do they spend their days, what do they read, where do they struggle, what kind of work do they do, what are their passions?
Do you work with a lot of busy working moms? Post tips that will help them streamline their beauty routine.
Skill 6: You know how to share the love.
Have you ever recommended a service or business to a client — like, say, a make-up artist, clothing boutique or restaurant? Or maybe you’ve advised a client to see a doctor about a stubborn skin condition or hooked them up with the perfect wedding planner?
Of course you have.
See? You already know how to share the love.
By connecting clients with awesome resources, you can add huge value to their lives. And when you add value to clients’ lives, you increase the value of your services.
You also help other businesses grow. And when those businesses feel your love, they may well get warm, fuzzy feelings about you and send new clients your way.
The keywords for sharing the love online are find and connect.
Find your people online. People who share your specific passions. Maybe you’re into balayage, ombré, braiding, clipper work or razor skills. Or maybe you love fine wines or steampunk fashion.
Hook up with your peeps through social media, and share that information with your hairdressing clients.
Remember what we said about social media being a conversation? You become part of that conversation by posting your own content. But you can take it a step further.
Practice the Golden Rule by doing for your clients what you’d like them to do for you:
- “Like” their pages
- Sign up for their newsletters and other free offerings
- “Follow” their Twitter accounts
- Leave comments on their blog posts
Invite your clients to:
- “Like” your Facebook page
- Sign up for your newsletter
- “Follow” your business for news and special deals
Find what feels natural to you. Maybe you love Facebook and hate Twitter, or vice versa. If you stick with what you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to share often and well.