Love it or hate it, we all use it. And there are good and bad ways to use social media on the job, says Julie Hyne*.
Using social media can be the best communication tool to help grow your business, expand your database, promote events and “get social” with your community, giving you permission to showcase your brand authentically.
Many salon owners allow receptionists or therapists to post, add content and comment on the social media pages for their business without a moment’s thought about the success or otherwise of this activity.
Social media needs to be incorporated carefully into your overall marketing strategy, and line up with your values and reason for being.
If your clients see a disconnect about what you are posting and what you claim to be all about, it will instantly alienate them from you and can cause irreparable damage to your business.
Done well, you’ll see engagement – lots of shares and likes – and, if you have a shopping cart attached, lots of sales too.
But what is the right etiquette when using social media? Is there a right way and wrong way to use it.
My advice would be to exercise the same etiquette you would to anyone you are communicating with on a face to face basis.
Because social media is instant and can be largely misinterpreted, I would even go so far to suggest that more care needs to be applied when using this valuable tool, whether it’s personal or professionally-driven.
Making social media simple and a fun place to be means: “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”
If you haven’t incorporated social media technique and practices into your salon policies and procedures, here is a list of considerations for you to work with, that you can adapt to your needs and staff you employ, after all, its your business that’s at stake.
Before posting, ask yourself the question: Who is this post for? Is it appropriate, relevant or aligned with the message you want your salon to project?
- Be nice. Remember, your written word is just as powerful as your verbal communication – maybe more, as it is there in black and white. Be positive at all times.
- Show respect to others, whatever race, religion, culture, opinion or social status.
- Remember social media is just that – social. Engage with others in a positive and meaningful, caring way. Don’t be judgmental.
- Use people’s names when directing posts to them. You can delete the surname of someone you are connected to. It looks much friendlier then.
- Be careful how many times you post. Watch your insights to see when the best times are to catch your target audience and post then. Any more and others might feel you are a “try hard”.
- If posting in groups, always read the rules and play by them. Otherwise, you might see your name removed.
- Think about what others really need to know about your day… if it’s something to celebrate that your audience will want to know about, then go for it. If it’s a complaint or has negative connotations attached, think again. Sure, everyone has a bad day, but not everyone wants to hear about it. It places a slant against you.
- Make sure that your personal posts are kept personal and don’t end up on your business page.
- Always post content that is of value to your audience.
- Be wary of trying to involve others in competitions and things that become daily distractions.
- Finally, make sure your posts are grammatically correct before you press Post.
Consider setting certain times aside for your staff to activate social media and give them clear instructions on how long they can be on it and the type of content they can post.
Personal social media posting should be kept out of the salon hours completely.
If you abide by the acceptable rules of engagement with social media it should end up being one of the most valuable and inexpensive forms of marketing you can ever use.
- Julie Hyne is the founder of Business4Beauty and Corporate Apparel Solutions.