Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

The other day I got an e-mail from a reader asking me for advice on social media. She has a website and a Facebook page, but doesn’t do much more than that. She was feeling pressure from her employees and some clients to do more online. As a busy salon owner (who also works behind the table servicing clients), she was frustrated that she couldn’t find the time to research all of the options, let alone dedicate herself to daily posts across multiple platforms.

It made me wonder how many other people are feeling these frustrations. (I, too, have been feeling them recently as NAILS embarks on yet another platform: Google+.) So I’m going to break down the big ones to give you an idea of which social media sites you should consider for your salon business.

My advice: Find out from your clients what sites they are active on before adding these sites to your lineup. Set up your accounts across the platforms where the majority of your clients already are. Test them out and see which ones resonate the most with your clients, then put your efforts there. And nobody said you have to do it all. Find someone else on your team who is social media-savvy and give them the task. Or split it up between several staff members.

1. Website. It’s 2013. Every single salon should have a website. Period.

2. Facebook. With more than 1.06 billion monthly active users, it’s basically a no-brainer to have a salon page, or if you’re not an owner, a page where you can connect with your clients. You can offer daily deals to fill last-minute spots, show off your work, and engage with your customers (and future customers). Post at least daily, maybe more often, and make sure to interact with your clients who post on your page.

3. Twitter. You have less room to get your message across (only 140 characters), but the use of hashtags allows your message to be segmented into very specific searches. More than 500 million users are signed up on Twitter.

4. Pinterest. This photo-friendly site fits so nicely with our highly visual industry. And it doesn’t hurt that a majority of its 48.7 million users are women. Use Pinterest to showcase your own work, as well as compile “boards” of work you admire or want to try. Your clients can (and probably will) show you styles they want to try that they saw on Pinterest. Why not have your designs up there as well?

5. Instagram. While the photo-filtering site was slower to pick up speed, it now boasts 100 million users (thanks to its purchase last year by Facebook) and an astounding 4 billion photos. Like Twitter, it’s a hashtag-heavy site that relies on tagging to put it into more mainstream searches.

6. Nail Art Gallery. If you’re a nail artist, this is a great place for you to upload your photos so they are all located in one place. With over 200 million page views a month, Nail Art Gallery is a place to share your art with like-minded nail art aficionados. You can also create a profile page (at no cost) where you include more information about your salon and services.

7. Yelp. Chances are you probably are on Yelp already even if you didn’t realize it. There are more than 30 million reviews on the business directory review site. The important thing is to monitor it to make sure clients are leaving positive feedback. If they aren’t, take a good look at their criticisms so you can either fix the problem or respond in your defense. (Just don’t get in a Yelp battle. It doesn’t look professional.)

I realize that still probably sounds incredibly overwhelming (you aren’t alone…it’s also overwhelming to me). I’ve pulled together a great batch of stories to help explain each of these social platforms more in depth. You can find it at www.nailsmag.com/socialmedia.

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