Facebook is now well and truly integrated in our personal lives. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country in the world after China and India, with more than 600 million active users. It’s how we stay in contact with old and new friends, share news, invites, photos, videos, jokes and scandal. And more recently, it’s become the way many of us stay ‘in the know’ with our favourite brands and products. But the real beauty of Facebook is the voice it gives to small, local businesses, such as salons and spas. Never before have we had such a direct way to ‘talk’ with our clients and community on a daily basis.
What to do
If your salon or spa is already on the Facebook business page bandwagon (different from a personal page) then good work! If you’re considering joining it (and you should), you might find these suggestions helpful for both getting started and making the most of your Facebook page.
1. Begin building connections with who you know
Start with your friends, family, business supporters and staff. Ask them to show their support by liking your Facebook page. Once you’ve got a few likes, start promoting your page to clients via email, direct mail, through your website and in conversation when clients come into your salon.
2. Find the right rhythm
Nobody knows your clients like you do so decide how often they’ll want to hear from you and think about what content will be important to them. At Kitomba we try to mix functional Kitomba news with business advice and fun.
3. Be authentic
Keep your posts conversational and personal. Don’t be afraid to share your successes and your struggles. Your community will appreciate getting to know you and your team even better.
4. Make time for your page
Set aside 10-15 minutes each day to monitor your page and post updates. A page that hasn’t been updated in weeks or months is not a good look for your business and brand.
5. Vary your content
Keep your page interesting by mixing it up with photos, news updates, videos and links to relevant, funny or engaging content.
6. Encourage participation
Ask questions and reward responses. If someone posts something you love, repost it and respond personally to them. Also allow your fans to post directly on your wall with questions, feedback and compliments.
7. Share exclusive news and content
Your Facebook community will love sneak-peeks about new products and news. Have you won an award or been recognised professionally in some way? Do you have a new stylist on-board? Have you got a sale or special deal running? Let your Facebook community know first.
8. Partner with other local businesses
Expand your fan base through co-promotions with business near you. You’ll get visibility on their Facebook page and by incorporating incentives, you’ll encourage viral sharing.
9. Tag people and organisations you’re connected with
Expand the reach of your posts by mentioning people and organisations in your posts. If you add the @ symbol, begin typing their name then choose from the dropdown menu you’ll ‘tag’ them in your post and it will automatically post to their wall.
10. Use the free Insights tool
Get insights about who visits your page and what they do on it so you can develop a plan to grow your community and increase interactions.
I was originally going to call this article ’10 tips for…’, which would have been much snappier, however I thought it was important to include this 11th tip.
11. Respond to negative feedback honestly
Using social media of any sort means creating a dialogue with your clients and community. If you receive negative comments on your page, make sure you listen and respond openly and honestly. Think of it as an opportunity to publicly turn a bad customer experience into a great one.
The possibilities are endless for Facebook. It’s continually evolving in its look, functionality and use and going forward many people believe that Facebook will completely replace the need for small business websites. Nothing is certain but the Facebook phenomenon shows no signs of slowing. And as salons continue to move onto Facebook, apps such as online booking, daily deals even retail will be done via Facebook… watch this space!