We asked techs who have been in the business five years or more how technology and social media have changed their daily salon lives.
Social media has transformed my business by being able to connect with my customers daily and almost immediately. From a marketing perspective it has significantly saved our company thousands of pounds as we previously paid for advertising, which in hindsight was ineffective. Social media engages you with your customer. For example, our clients book appointments with us via Facebook so it offers convenience. Customers retweet our posts on Twitter so they are creating awareness. And customers can view our work on Pinterest. Our blog page receives over 700 views per month with each customer learning about our salon and team before they have even walked in the salon door.
Cosmetology, Dundee, Scotland
It’s what keeps my business going. They say word of mouth is the best way to get your name out there (to me, Facebook is word of mouth). When someone likes your business they will post it on Facebook and tell everyone. Social media is by far one of the best ways to advertise for me. It brings in the most business and I get to spend more time with clients rather than spend my time on advertising.
Nails By Shorty, Prince Albert,
t’s free advertising. I can show people what I am doing on a daily basis with my hand-painted nail art. It also helps clients know the openings for the week and keeps them informed of specials and scheduling changes due to the holidays.
Nails by Leanne, Peotone, Ill.
have been doing nails for 20 years. In 2009 I had to relocate from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where I had lived for 10 years, owning a successful salon. I came back to the U.S. to find that I was very out of the loop, still doing pink-and-whites. I had to learn a lot of new techniques and nail styles, which was both frustrating but also fun. My daughter suggested I start a Facebook page and told me to come up with a clever name. Since my last name is Edge I called my page Nails With Edge. I took a risk by booth renting and promoting myself through social media. I was able to build a clientele much faster than I would have in the traditional way. People still call me randomly after searching online. I was also voted as one of the top three nail techs in my city in 2013. I am currently in the process of opening my own salon again — all of which would not have happened without social media.
Atelier Beauty Bar, Reno, Nev.
This year marks my 37th in the beauty industry. Social media has given us the opportunity to reach the masses and have the tools that were only available for the largest, wealthiest companies. It has also given us the opportunity to run our businesses in real time. Social media updates allow us to post available openings to ensure a higher percentage of our time booked. Gone are the days when a cancellation or two could devastate our day. Those embracing this new technology have a greater chance of survival and those ignoring it are at risk.
Beauty and Wellness, Cleveland
Being able to reach out to a mass amount of people at one time on Facebook or Twitter has definitely increased my referrals. With the push of a few keys, I can send out incentives for bookings, fill last minute openings, offer new products, etc. Clients encourage their friends to “like” our page or view their pictures online. Our clients especially love when their nails get posted on my “wall of fame” on Facebook. Prior to social media, we had to pound the pavement, send out flyers, spend lots of money on phonebook ads, all for very little return on our investment. While social media takes up a lot of my spare time, it’s been the best thing for my bottom line.
Tee’s Nail NV, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
I’ve been in business for more than 13 years now and being able to show my work via social media has been vital for me to continue my home-based salon. Considering Yellow Pages are now obsolete, Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest have all helped considerably. It gives me more of a personal connection to my clients and followers. I can tag them and they can share pictures of designs they like that I can put my own twist on. Clients love seeing their nails posted and followers love seeing the different designs.
Glossy, Burnaby, B.C., Canada
Instagram is my very own portable portfolio where I send my prospective clients so they know what is in store for them. It is also a great place to find inspiration through hashtagging.
Scratch Pad, Dawson Creek, B.C, Canada
After 28 years in the nail biz, I am an old dog learning new tricks! I love to post pictures of my work on Facebook for others to see. I also adore Pinterest and encourage my clients to look for nail art ideas and nails they would like me to do. I also ask clients to follow me so they can see art that I would like to do. Social media is an easy way to reach a lot of people at once.
Salon Kendall, Conroe, Texas
I have been a nail tech since 1998 and in my current salon for almost eight years. In the last couple of years I have used social media for my business. It has helped my clientele grow and it has helped me grow as a tech. I have been able to ask questions to techs all over the world. I’ve learned new techniques for application and nail art. Besides, there is so much amazing inspiration out there now.
Nails By Brooke, Burley, Idaho
Tools of the Techno Trade
The good news: You no longer need a computer to run a successful nail business. However, technology is constantly changing and improving. Make sure you are staying in the know about the products you are purchasing so you don’t feel the need to buy every new thing as it comes out.
> Invest in a smartphone. A phone is all you really need since it can take photos, post to social media, and communicate with people via e-mail, Skype, text, and talk. Plus, the cameras on the newest smart phones can take hi-res pictures that are fit for submitting to a magazine.
> Tablets can be beneficial buys since they have larger screens. Use them to view digital-only publications like Nail Art Gallery Magazine or social networks such as Pinterest so that you can see nail details close up. Let clients peruse nail art on tablets while they wait so they have a design picked out by the time they sit down in your chair.
> A DSLR or point-and-shoot camera can enhance your business. A simple point-and-shoot is great for getting shots to submit to a magazine if you don’t have a smartphone or for uploading pictures to post online. But if you want to maintain your website, blog regularly, or are seeking an agent/editorial work and don’t want to hire a photographer, a DSLR camera would be a necessary splurge. Having a camera doesn’t automatically equal perfect photos though. Software such as Photoshop or Lightroom are additional aids that can make your pictures even better. Learn more at www.nailsmag.com/photography.
> Card readers from Square or PayPal make paying easy for clients. Purchase an accessory from one of these pay programs and attach it to your phone or tablet for convenient check-out.
The Social Essentials
Since social media is a free tool, we recommend having the following for your nail business:
> Instagram. Use this app to post pictures of nail products, salon decor, and nail art. Use hashtags and make sure to also tag clients and companies.
> Facebook. Post at least three times a day. Choose to post openings, pictures of artwork, or salon events. Encourage clients to “like” your page and check in.
> Pinterest. Store all of your nail inspiration and decor ideas in one place by organizing your pin boards to suit your needs.
> Twitter. Get nail news in real time by following the brands and industry experts you trust. You can link your Instagram and Pinterest accounts to Twitter to keep your feed populated.
> Nail Art Gallery. It’s like Flickr for nail art. Upload your photos and tutorials and follow your favorite artists. An app is on its way, but for now you can sign up for free at nailartgallery.nailsmag.com or just go to the site and browse the various galleries.