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Using Social Media for Self-Promotion
Self-promotion through social media — like MySpace, Facebook, and Linkedin — is a natural fit for the beauty business, which depends heavily on word of mouth. It’s a way to strengthen bonds with existing clients and connect to a new audience. (Your increased web presence also boosts your search engine placement.)
Unlike traditional advertising, social media is a give and take process. Users expect to get to know a company or individual before taking recommendations from them. The idea is to become a trusted member of the community — so much so that others start to talk about you and refer people to you.
Salon owner Erin Snyder Dixon offers these rules of the road to cultivate business through social networking:
• Take time to read the guidelines on each site. Some allow businesses to have accounts while others require accounts to be for real people.
• Create your account and use it gently to get accustomed to the “feel” of the site.
• Don’t send spam. When someone befriends/follows/links to you it is not an invitation to receive your advertising message.
• It’s OK to include the occasional link to your blog but avoid sending out company links in every other transmission.
• Get to know people. Offer guidance where appropriate.
• Be prepared to participate in the “community” of the site.
• Be careful of the personal information you transmit. It is easy to feel like you are well acquainted with people whom you truly know little about.
• Never agree to meet people face to face. Consider attending a conference or other public event to get to know other community members.
• Avoid using negative information. Keep it positive to attract clients.
• Most sites a have a sort of hierarchy. Figure out who the movers and shakers are and watch what they do.
• Realize that it takes time to build a social network. Don’t get too friendly too fast or people will pull away — just like real life.
>A Few More Tips …
• Participate on several social media sites, but don’t have time for regular updates? There is a service at www.ping.fm that allows a user to send updates to multiple sites at once.
• Be sure to use a powerful antivirus/spyware program. Some popular ones are Trend Micro and Norton, but there are many out there.
• Set a kitchen timer. It’s easy to be caught up in the conversation and lose track of time. Decide how much time you can “budget” for social media and stick to it.
• Think before you post. Don’t post when mad, under the influence, in a bad mood, or unsure what you want to say or how to say it.
>Social Networking Sites
On the next page: The Yellow Pages (Print and Online)