Our most recent and upcoming Better Business Digital Supplement are sponsored by Redken, Matrix, PureOlogy, L’Orèal Professional, Mizani, Baxter of California, SalonCentric, Essie and Decleor–this is must-see content that you don’t want to miss.
We talked to industry professionals who have excelled at using social media and asked them to share their best practices. Follow their lead if you want to excel online, too.
Matrix Artistic Director Daniel Roldan considers social media to be part of a larger plan to maximize his success in the salon. His advice for maximizing online engagement is to share photos, “like” and comment on other people’s pages, and post comments to your page regularly. He also suggests using appropriate hashtags. According to Roldan, when done correctly, creating your own hashtags can be a powerful thing, adding a viral effect to your work if it leads to the gold standard of “trending” among your circle of followers. He also finds that it’s much easier to maximize your social media impact by connecting with and engaging online with others who share your interests. For example, following the latest hair-related trends and conversations can help you to refine and perfect your skills behind the chair, while also building your online presence.
Making the Most of Each Platform
Yelp provides businesses with a selection of free tools to create a profile and to connect to the larger community of consumers searching for services.
➔ Follow these rules to make the most of your Yelp profile:
❶ Make sure you have compelling images to showcase to potential customers.
❷ Complete your profile, including street address, telephone number, hours, services offered and website address.
❸ Strive for consistently positive reviews over time.
❹ Respond professionally and in a timely manner to “not so awesome” reviews.
❺ Monitor your page as part of your larger marketing plan.
YouTube offers any number of educational videos or how-to’s about subjects ranging from how to do great hair to how to use Facebook as a small business to how to create an e-newsletter or website. Use these free resources when learning the ropes in online marketing.
➔ When to use or not use YouTube as a marketing tool
❶ If you’re a beauty educator, YouTube can help get your how-to's to a wider audience.
❷ If you’re a bridal salon, say, in Atlanta, sharing bridal hair tutorial videos on YouTube could drive business to your salon.
❸ If you have a small salon and are mainly interested in increasing foot traffic, YouTube may not be the platform to use. Facebook or Instagram may yield better results.
Stake out a position and enter conversations on Twitter to seek out relationships that are in line with your aesthetic or brand values. Twitter is more democratic than Facebook, which requires people to "like" your page or share your posts in order to reach a wide audience. Business owners can also pay a fee to promote their pages and increase exposure. According to Gary Vaynerchuk—New York Times best-selling author, including Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (Harper Collins, 2013)—Twitter is about news and information. So if you’re a beauty professional, you might want to tweet about the hair you see on the red carpet at awards shows like the Oscars or Golden Globes. Or, you might want to tweet when Katy Perry changes her haircolor again or a starlet known for her long locks suddenly shows up sporting a pixie. Still, it’s important to use appropriate hashtags like #oscars2014 or #katyperrysnewhaircolor to draw people to your Twitter feed.
Facebook is the social platform that is ideal for telling stories, but it’s becoming more challenging to get your story into the News Feed of those you most want to reach. So how exactly does Facebook determine which stories show up in your Feed? For a while, they used EdgeRank, an algorithm that gave users a more personalized News Feed. Today, EdgeRank has been replaced with a more complex algorithm. The bottom line: Facebook lets you find a community that shares your values or interests, while Twitter offers access to a broader group of people.
A photo- and video-sharing social app (owned by Facebook), Instagram is perhaps the fastest-growing community of interest to salon and spa pros. Reporting higher levels of engagement than Facebook, Instagram's 100 percent visual nature lends itself well to the kind of beauty-related content that pros and consumers alike covet—with visually appealing before and afters topping the list. The key to success: learning the basics of good photo composition and also linking photos to an engaging comment or caption.
Pinterest is another image-driven platform like Instagram, but it has a high female demographic, which makes it perfect for the beauty industry. Use Pinterest to showcase a collection of your work, but make sure that when someone clicks on an image that there is an active link that directs them to your website, your Facebook page or another social media platform.
Twitter is about news and information. So if you’re a beauty professional, you might want to tweet comments about the hair you see on the red carpet at awards shows like the Oscars or Golden Globes.
➻ DID YOU KNOW?
300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and the site has over one billion users.
# The Art of Hashtags
Ginnette Minarik, Redken brand sales educator and renter at Dollhouse Salon in San Jose, California, offers a few tips for creating compelling and appropriate hashtags on Instagram. Let’s say you post an application or color-correction photo—using a hashtag like #colorcorrection will help people anywhere in the world searching for that topic to find your page, says Minarik, who has used Instagram to help promote her book, A Cosmos Guide to the Industry. She’s posted images of the book cover as well as selfies of her holding the book with other industry celebs like Sam Villa (who endorsed it) and Guy Tang. Including their names in a hashtag helped to lead people searching for their names to her post, thereby increasing her online audience. She says it’s also important to use appropriate hashtags when sharing others’ posts. As a Redken brand educator, Minarik also uses Instagram to create an online buzz around Redken product launches. Her advice to beauty professionals: Be proud of your work by posting before and afters. “If they like it, referrals will happen,” says Minarik.
Create a YouTube Buzz
Liz Rose-Worman, a Redken artist and certified haircolorist, is the owner of Salon Ethos in Newport, Oregon. She recently launched a blow-dry bar at her salon, mainly using YouTube as a promotional tool. “Most of the people in our demographic didn’t know what a blow-dry bar was so we had to educate the community,” says Rose-Worman. With her team, she organized a photo shoot that showcased seven looks representing Fall 2014 Fashion Week trends. These looks are just some of the options clients can choose from on the menu. She also posted a video of the shoot on her YouTube page, which helped to create a buzz around the opening of the Blow Dry Bar. Worman also streamed the YouTube videos at the opening event, so she didn’t have to give a formal talk about the process. This freed her up to chat with potential clients. Her advice: “As a stylist behind the chair or a salon owner, the first thing to understand is that you can’t do it all,” she says. Choose one platform to master in the beginning, but make sure it’s the best platform for your purposes.
Rodney Cutler and Jeff Vicente of Cutler Salons in New York City gave us the low-down on using technology in the salon to reduce overhead costs and to inspire clients and stylists. Cutler installed an iPad as a key piece of point-of-sale functionality at his newest location in Brooklyn. “It’s a smaller salon and runs self-sufficiently without the need for a dedicated front desk staff,” says Cutler. The iPad is used as an appointment-booking tool that helps to cut down payroll costs while also giving staff members the means to service guests from start to finish. This kind of set-up allows for a more intimate, hands-on salon experience, and can reduce overhead costs for smaller salons. Another piece of technology that Cutler uses in his SoHo location is Crown TV, a subscription program that streams online channels and programs of your choosing. Cutler streams video that showcases his backstage work, fashion show presentations and informative how-to’s from Redken.
Be Tech Savvy
Vito Mazza of Vito Mazza Salon in Woodbridge, New Jersey hosts an interactive kiosk in his retail area. The kiosk resembles a giant iPad and was originally used to promote the Matrix Biolage reinvention. Clients used the kiosk to take a quiz about their beauty needs and were then matched to specific Biolage products. It was a great way to boost product sales, says Mazza, who also uses the kiosk to capture client data, stream social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and allow clients to purchase products. “The word ‘fun’ is important. Keep the buzz and excitement going for the client,” he says. One of his goals is to use this technology to bring business owners in his area together through cross-promotion. As long as their brand values align, Mazza believes this is a great way to build relationships within his community. The biggest payoff of this technology, however, has been increased sales. The salon increased product sales by 30 percent in one year with the Biolage promotion. One out of five people used it to find out the best styling products for them, says Mazza. Metroclick, the company that created the interactive kiosk, also offers statistics for in-salon promotions to help salon owners determine which ones were most successful. >
In 2010, L’Oréal Professionnel Artist Jay Wesley Olsen attended an education event led by Ted Gibson and Jason Backe where he learned a valuable lesson about the power of Twitter. He had opened a Twitter account shortly before the event, mainly exchanging snarky comments with a few friends. “I wake up the next morning in Florida and see that Ted Gibson is following me,” says Olsen. “I gasped.” As he walked down to the hotel lobby, Gibson waved him over. It turned out that Gibson gave Olson some very sage advice that changed the way he approached social media. Gibson asked Olsen if he knew what a powerful tool he had with Twitter. “This is your portfolio. Do you want people to see negative posts on there?” Olsen immediately closed his Twitter account and started fresh. His advice to any beauty professional: Be positive and present your best self. Anything less is not acceptable.