Facebook with online booking

Facebook: best practices for salons and spas

29 Oct 2015 by Paul Gray

The marketing landscape has changed. Businesses no longer enjoy exclusive control over how their brand is communicated to clients. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a sign of the times. What’s driving this change? It’s social media. This new ‘model’ let’s clients control what they see and who they hear from. Let’s make it you, who they’re listening to!

Every day that your salon isn’t using social media is another day that you’re missing out. Missing out on connecting with existing clients, creating loyalty, reaching a new set of potential clients and boosting your presence in their minds. Social media is all about engaging with your clients using a different, much larger medium – going beyond the salon chair. Social media is an extension of your brand and offering.

There’s all sorts of social media channels out there but let’s focus on the big one that’s most popular in our industry: Facebook. Your current and potential clients are all ‘here’ and you should be too. Before you go and jump into the Facebook deep end, we’ve put together some best practices that will get you on the path to social media success. Just remember to have fun – enjoy yourself and your clients will too!

1. First step: start with an objective

The key to a successful Facebook post is to start with an objective. What do you want this post to do? Drive Online Bookings? Get your clients to share? Approach it with a clear objective and it’ll be much more effective. We’ve found that the most valuable content on social media – the content that gets the most interactions and engagements – is either educational or entertaining. Not sure what your followers are keen on? Think about this:

Would you share this content?

2. First impressions count

We may not like the idea of judging a book by its cover but that’s exactly what happens on Facebook. Think of your Facebook page as an extension of your brand, the look, feel and your tone of voice – do your clients know it’s you? Get it right with these tips:

  • Use a clean, bold cover photo that is consistent with your salon branding. Check out picmonkey.com and use their Facebook cover photo templates to create the perfect photo.
  • Your About page is where you can highlight all the wonderful things about your salon. If you have a descriptive, keyword-rich description then you’re more likely to be found on Google. Don’t forget to add a link to your website in the about section.

3. The anatomy of a perfect Facebook post

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew that the post you just published had the best chance of maximising likes, shares and comments? Well… it turns out there are some key ingredients that you should include if you want to increase your posts chance of success. Here are a few:

  • People love photos! It’s been proven that having a photo will increase your engagement by +50%. Start using high-quality, engaging images on your Facebook posts.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Several studies have shown that the posts with between 40-70 characters get the best results.
  • Keep your posts newsworthy. Is there a particular celebrity style that’s trending? When you post trending topics, the Facebook algorithm will automatically factor this in and your post will be more likely to reach more people.

Having a photo will increase your engagement by +50%. “

4. Make your posts count

Keep your followers on their toes and mix up your content every so often. Pages that vary their post types see a 9% higher engagement overall.  You’ll have a good idea of what your clients enjoy, but if you’re stuck here are some ideas to try out:

  • Client before and after posts
  • The latest trends
  • Profile your salon’s stylists/therapists
  • Any awards or events you and your team have entered/won
  • Any promotions or specials you’re running
  • Tips to keep client’s hair/skin looking beautiful after their appointment
  • Watch what other businesses like yours are posting for ideas – particularly if they’re in another town. You don’t have to think of everything!

“Posts with between 40-70 characters get the best results.”

5. Boost’ and benefit

Your followers won’t see every post you make. You’ve got to pay for that privilege! Fortunately it’s a whole lot cheaper than taking an ad out in your local paper. Use Facebook’s ‘boosted’ posts. Boosting your posts means that they’ll reach a wider audience – either your current followers or a targeted audience you choose, e.g. Women aged 25-35 in Wellington. Sounds like a marketing opportunity to me!

Boost and benefit

6. Are your followers engaging? Find out with Insights

You don’t just have to rely on guesstimates to see how your audience is engaging with your content. Use Facebook Insights to:

  • Check out the performance of your posts, learn what resonates with your audience, and figure out how to optimise what you publish to your audience to grow your reach and engagement (engagement is all that good stuff: shares, likes and comments).
  • FB 101: use a business page! Just Google, “Facebook business page”.

Facebook insights

7. Keep it fresh

Only start a Facebook page if you know you can maintain it. A steady flow of content will make sure people don’t think your salon has fallen off the end of the earth! But what’s steady? A study found that the sweet spot for the number of times you should be posting is between 5-10 times per week.

“Vary your post type and get a 9% higher engagement overall.”

8. Use Facebook to drive online bookings “sales”

50% of online bookings happen outside of business hours! Giving your clients the ability to make bookings gives your clients the freedom to make an appointment at their leisure, regardless of your opening hours. Facebook’s new ‘Book Now’ button will let your clients link to your Online Booking page directly from your mobile or desktop Facebook page. Facebook hasn’t supported Mobile Apps in the past, so this is an exciting addition which we’re sure your clients will love!

“50% of online bookings happen outside of business hours!”

9. Manage your page on the go

Download the Facebook Page Manager App on your phone and you can use it to update and respond to your followers while you’re on the go. You can also track your progress and page growth all from your phone.

Facebook App

10. Advertising on Facebook

Want to take your marketing efforts to the next level? Download our free Facebook advertising eBook to learn how to inexpensively gain new clients using Facebook advertising. Download it now: www.kitomba.com/facebook

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