Are you making the most of social media to help your business make a splash? In today’s online world there are plenty of opportunities to publicise your salon or barbershop, raise your profile and keep in two-way contact with your clients. So don’t ignore your social media accounts – keep them updated and relevant as part of your regular marketing activities.
This blog post covers:
- Where to start
- Salon/barbershop apps
- GDPR and data protection
- Social media policy for staff
- Dealing with online complaints
Take time out to develop a strong social media presence. Don’t spread yourself too thinly – be selective and ensure you post regular updates. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are good starting points. YouTube is also fantastic for showcasing your business.
Social media is a great way to keep your followers updated on special offers, the range of services you offer, last-minute appointments and general news from the team. You can also share top tips and show you’re ahead of the curve by sharing news about what’s hot and what’s not. Keep it fun and informal and don’t miss opportunities to interact with your followers.
Here are a few key pointers to ensure Twitter works for you:
• Make sure your Twitter ‘@name’ immediately identifies your business and that you include a profile photo that visually represents your business or brand.
• Use your bio to help you stand out from the crowd – you can include location, opening hours and a link to your website.
• Make sure your website has a ‘follow us on Twitter’ icon. You can also include a live feed of your Twitter account.
• Your header image is your ‘billboard’ – you can use pictures of events, products, your team at work, and special promotions. Refresh your header every so often.
• Tweet on a regular basis (there are no strict rules about how often). Offer information that’s relevant and valuable to your target audience.
• Keep your Tweets short so they’re easy to read and retweet. Include links to more information.
• Avoid always tweeting about your salon or barbershop; mix it up by offering top tips, links to ‘how-to’ guides and latest trends.
• Always use good quality images (up to four is possible) or video clips with your tweets – these always increase engagement and will help to get you noticed.
• Use hashtags to draw attention to content, but don’t overdo it.
• Respond to mentions and retweets, retweet interesting content posted by others, and engage with your followers.
• Ask questions and run polls to encourage interaction.
You’ll need a Facebook page for your business. You can keep your page ‘private’ while you’re creating it then publish it when you’re ready.
Your page name should usually be the name of your business – and the same name you use for all your social media accounts.
Tell people about your business in the ‘About’ section and add a profile photo and ‘cover’ photo – this is the image that will go across the top of your page.
You can also add a ‘call to action’ button at the top of your page. Use this to direct people to your website or encourage them to ring your salon or barbershop.
Now you’re ready to go:
• Start adding posts to your page using good quality images and video clips.
• Make your accompanying text short, informative and easy to read. Always keep your target audience in mind. Will this interest and inspire them?
• Don’t forget: you can stream live video on Facebook – which is great for competitions, special events, demonstrations, or anything else that’s going on in your salon or barbershop. Live video can then be saved on your Facebook feed.
• You can:
- Introduce staff members (via images and video clips).
- Explain the services you offer.
- Publicise special offers, last-minute appointments, and specialist services and treatments.
- Offer seasonal hints and tips.
- Highlight new trends, for example, the latest hair colours or new beauty treatments.
- Publicise events you are planning.
• Turn on Facebook Messenger so you can communicate with your customers on a one-to-one basis. This also makes it easy for people to ask questions and provide feedback.
• Don’t forget to turn on reviews for your page (you’ll find this in ‘settings’). Your clients can then choose a star rating for your salon or barbershop and write a review. Encourage your clients to leave positive reviews on your Facebook page.
• Start to build followers by inviting your customers and others who are genuinely interested in your business to follow your page. Encourage them to support you by interacting with your posts and sharing the content.
• Maintain an active presence on your Facebook page – always reply to comments and thank those who leave compliments.
Instagram is a hugely popular photo and video-sharing service used by millions of businesses, celebrities and individuals worldwide.
It’s perfect for hair and beauty salons and barbershops because hair and beauty is such a ‘visual’ business.
You’ll need to download the Instagram app onto a mobile device to get started. Then sign up for an account, or simply sign in using your Facebook account. It’s best to set up a business account (it’s free to do) as this will give your followers a direct link to your salon or barbershop website and contact details.
A business account will also give you important insights into each of your posts, for example, how many people look at them, if they then visit your website, and which types of post perform best and appeal to most people.
Make sure your Instagram username is the same as the one you use for all your social media accounts. It’s a good idea to use the same profile pic too. This will make it easier for people to find you. You’ll also need to add a short bio and link to your website.
Now you’re ready to get started:
• Include a link to your Instagram account on your website.
• Check out successful Instagram accounts for inspiration.
• Post regularly and always use high quality images and video clips. As with Facebook, you can post a live video stream (create ‘highlights’ to keep a permanent record).
• Don’t forget to include a caption with your post to offer some background and context.
• You can create ‘stories’ with short video clips or images that are available to view for 24 hours. You could showcase what’s happening in your salon, introduce staff members, run polls, publicise offers and appointments, and share the fun! Create ‘highlights’ to make a permanent post from your story.
• Make sure your content will catch the imagination of your target audience. Make it about them, not about your business. What do they want to see? What do they aspire to? How can you help them get the latest look?
• Try to maintain a distinctive and consistent visual brand, for example, always use the same filters with your images (Instagram offers a number of different options). Aim to make your Instagram posts instantly recognisable as yours.
View an infographic guide about Instagram stories on the Entrepreneur Europe website.
Don’t miss a great opportunity to showcase your business on YouTube. It’s popular, free, and easy to upload your videos. Find out more about how to get started and showcase your business on the ‘big screen’.
A salon or barbershop app is another great way to connect with your clients. As well as acting as a mini-website for your business, it can also link directly to your booking system. Apps should be fun too, for example, offering the opportunity for clients to take selfies, try out styles and colours and upload the results to social media - complete with your branding.
You'll probably have to pay for expert help to develop your app. Have a definite budget in mind and be clear about what you want your app to do. Do your research and find a developer you feel confident working with.
Make sure your salon or barbershop complies with the new data protection laws when using social media. For example, don’t automatically assume that you can post ‘before and after’ pictures of your clients; you must get their specific permission to do this. View our blog post about GDPR for more information.
Download our detailed Members-only guide to GDPR.
Download our GDPR toolkit which includes templates to help you comply with GDPR.
Not yet a Member? Join us now for less than 75p a day to access this user-friendly in-depth guide and make sure you are complying with GDPR.
You need to protect your reputation and branding, so it’s best to be clear about how you want your employees to use your social media accounts as well as their own.
Create a social media policy to include:
• Who is authorised to post on your business’s social media channels.
• The types of content and messages that are suitable for your business’s social media channels, and what’s not.
• What employees can and cannot say about your business on their personal social media accounts and networking sites. For example, negative comments about your business or a work colleague, or sharing confidential information is not acceptable.
• A clear message that using any social media channel or networking site to bully a work colleague will not be tolerated.
• A clear statement that employees are not allowed to use your social media images and videos on social media sites associated with other businesses, for example, when an employee moves to a different salon or barbershop.
• The consequences of not complying with your social media policy – for example disciplinary action.
Employees can be unsure about what is acceptable and what isn’t – especially when using their own social media accounts outside of work. If one of your employees breaks the rules set out in your social media policy, trying speaking to them privately first and explain why you would like them to delete any posts that don’t comply with your social media policy.
If this doesn’t work, you will need to follow your usual disciplinary procedures.
Unfortunately, you will almost inevitably be on the wrong end of a negative online review at some time. Whether you feel it’s fair or unfair, here’s the best way to deal with it:
• Don’t become involved in an online discussion/argument.
• Contact the client offline and ask them to get in touch so you can put things right.
• Stay calm and listen to what they have to say.
• Say you’re sorry (this does not mean you are accepting liability).
• Invite them back into the salon for a free appointment so you can put things right.
• Offer some VIP treatment as part of the service.
• Give them a gift voucher at the end of the appointment.
• If you feel it’s appropriate, you can ask your client to take their negative review down, or add a more positive one.
As a general rule, ask your clients to post positive online reviews, as these will help to counterbalance any negative reviews you receive.
Social media calendar
Want to find out key dates in the calendar and when you can make the most of posting on social media? If so, NHF/NBF Members can download our social media calendar for free here.
• Make the most of social media
• Post on a regular basis
• Make sure each of your social media accounts has consistent branding and style.
• Use high quality images and video clips.
• Make sure your posts are interesting, relevant and inspiring to your followers.
• Be responsive and interactive – always reply to comments and mentions.
• Have a clear social media policy for your salon or barbershop employees.
• Take online complaints offline if possible and aim to make a negative a positive.
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