Stand out from the crowd on social media

With around 2.5 billion users on social media, being active online is integral for your beauty business to get noticed. Not only is social media a free marketing tool for your salon, it's also the perfect place to shout about discounts that you are offering, show off events that you are hosting, let customers know if there are any last minute appointments available and share photos of your work.

Stay ahead of the trends

As the amount of competition across social media increases, it is becoming harder for businesses to catch the attention of current and potential clients. Therefore, it's essential to keep refreshed with what's trending. It's also crucial to update your social accounts on a regular basis, as this feeds into your website's SEO and can change your ranking on a Google search.

The latest social media trends for 2018 include live streaming, creating video content, using influencer marketing, paid for advertising and sharing user-generated posts, and all of these can be integrated into your salon's online presence.

Video content can be incorporated into your social media plan in a number of ways, from posting nail art tutorials to live streaming events in your salon and filming Q&As. Plus, you don't need to have a fancy camera to create this type of content either, as smartphone cameras can produce just as good footage.

If you want to achieve a higher engagement rate, then it's also worth considering influencer marketing. A social media influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. These influencers have access to a large audience, and can be used as a way of promoting your services to potential customers.

Whereas the bigger brands might use a celebrity to promote their products or services, using industry experts or ‘micro influencers' (someone who has a strong social media following, but without the celebrity status) might be the better option for your salon, as they will be more relevant to your branding.

Don't just get influencers to talk about your business – ask customers to join the conversation too, so that you can create user-generated content. This trend involves getting your clients to post about a treatment they received from you, which you can then share on your own social media platforms. 

Here are some suggestions from the experts...

Jo Davis, Social Media Manager and Siena Clarke, Account Executive at RKM Communications

“Instagram is the brand's shop window, and the route to clearly showing the aesthetic and story of the brand. Instagram is the main platform for showing pictures from events and influencer connections – the ‘stories' function is great for this.”

Alex Humphries, Marketing Manager at My Social Agency

“With Facebook advertising, it is possible to create posts and then target certain demographics, for example, a particular gender, their interests and the area they live in, which is vital in the world of small businesses. One aspect of Facebook to bear in mind is that unless you are using the advertising platform, it is likely that posts will only be seen and engaged with by people who have already ‘liked' your page, meaning that they may already be regular customers of your business.”

Alice Howard, PR Manager at CACI International

“Working with authentic influencers [can] increase awareness and branding for your business.”

Klaudia Minor, Social Media Executive at Semilac UK

“Tagging provides a great opportunity for even more exposure, as your clients will go away on holiday, take some amazing pictures and tag you in them. There is no better advert than customers showing off their nails on social media.”

“Use the social media platforms as an extension of your business website and to drive click throughs – this will lead to an increase in traffic, resulting in sales/booking conversations.”

Jennifer Linton & Joanna MacDonald, Co-Directors at Linton & Mac, Aberdeen

“Instagram has recently launched IGTV, which is a really exciting development. We like to think of it as our own TV channel, and it's perfect for reaching a wider audience.”

Sophie Lowe and Amelia Davies from Grafton International

“Using hashtags on images increases the social reach to a wider audience. Hashtags that are relevant to the images can create more engagement and help grow the social following – posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.”

Keep your content creative

Social media success isn't something that's going to come overnight, so you need to stick at it and make sure that you keep your content engaging and interesting. 

If you feel like having to post regularly is taking up too much out of your day, then there are lots of different scheduling tools that you can use to help manage your time more effectively. These include such sites as Hootsuite, Buffer or AgoraPulse, where for a monthly fee, you can draft and schedule posts. 

Posting multiple times a week can be daunting when you can't think of new things to talk about. Have you considered running competitions, or showcasing exclusive discounts to get your followers to interact with your page? Other content ideas include sharing relevant articles, facts and stories, getting your followers to cast a vote in a poll and using question stickers on Instagram Stories. If there are particular questions that you get asked regularly by your clients, then why not answer them on your social media platforms as well?