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Social Studies: 3 Ways to Win at Salon Social Media Marketing

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“Social media has completely disrupted our industry,” Gerard Scarpaci, founder of Hairbrained, recently told attendees of the SalonBiz PowerUp conference at Serious Business in January.

“It has changed the normal flow of things and flipped the way we become successful—and the quicker you are able to adapt, the quicker you are able to benefit from it.”

But Scarpaci warns that the riskiest move to make is not doing anything at all.

“Attention is a precious resource,” he says. “Don’t waste it.”

And whether you’re able to post one video a month or several videos daily, Scarpaci says you can never fill the gaping hole of creative content on social media.

“Do what you can,” he advises. “We could post a video every hour of every day and it still wouldn’t be enough. So just create whatever you can and post whenever you can.”

And instead of getting angry or disgruntled when unskilled stylists blow up on social media, Scarpaci says owners and senior stylists must grab their salon social media accounts by the horns and take control.

“We must address social media and start thinking about it daily,” he says.

Read on for his three steps to salon social media marketing savviness.

1. Create

“Creativity in social media is accessible—anyone can do it,” Scarpaci says.

He recommends learning how to create Facebook Live videos when appropriate—during a hair cut or demonstrating a new product, for example.

“If you have a Facebook account, a mobile phone and a little charisma, you can reach huge amounts of people.”

“And you don’t need fancy equipment. A simple light coming from behind the camera and a clean wall behind the client is enough.”

And once the video is finished, Facebook allows you to boost it with parameters. You can boost it to an audience in your area, or even a 50-mile radius of your salon, if you want. You can also put in keywords to capture the audience you want. For example: “hair color,” “Aveda” or even “Nordstrom,” if you’re trying to capture the same audience as another brand.

Then you can invest a minimal amount and captivate your market.

“We used to pay thousands for postcards and mailing list,” Scarpaci says. “And they didn’t give a very good return on investment. Now, I can I put down $100 and reach people in my vicinity who are INTERESTED.”

Boosting Facebook posts and videos is accessible and powerful. You can even screenshot a current promotion to boost to your audience, a strategy that works well on Instagram, too.

But, Scarpaci cautions the majority of the content posted should be non-promotional to keep your audience engaged.

“Nobody ever gets mad about promo posts, but if you do too many, it will turn them off,” he says. “In a block of 20 posts, only one should be promotional.”

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Don’t have the design skills to create an awesome salon promotion piece? You don’t need them. Scarpaci says he creates promos in less than five minutes with apps like Word Swag and Ripl.

“If we’ve just done 20 posts and we’re trying to promote something, we just use an app to design it on the fly, then post it,” he says.

If you’re not sure where you should be posting—Facebook or Instagram—Scarpaci recommends putting most of your money into Facebook with a few exploratory posts on Instagram.

“You can promote your link in Instagram (which should be in your bio header), but it isn’t giving you the broader reach that Facebook is,” Scarpaci says.

2. Curate

Once you’ve created content, don’t stop there. Scarpaci says to be successful in today’s marketplace you need to generate 51% of giving in the relationship.

“You should be giving more than your clients,” he says. “It’s that giving that builds deeper relationships.”

And building relationships starts with your community—mainly the people in your salon: hairdressers, assistants, clients.

Scarpaci says, “The majority of your posts should be curating things that matter to the people you want to reach.”

Not sure what to post or where to begin? You can never go wrong with a makeover.

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“Makeovers are very accessible and happening in the salon all the time,” Scarpaci says. “If your stylists are posting on their own feed and not the salon’s, take their posts and put them on your salon’s feed. In my thousands of posts, I’ve never had anyone complain that I shared their work.”

When you do showcase your stylists’ work, show gratitude and make it a success for them.

As for your marketing budget, Scarpaci advises investing in boosting on Facebook. “You can boost everything you post if you want,” he says. “But make sure you pick the right target/demographic.”

3. Engage

Finding the right partners outside the salon is important in social media marketing as well.

“Are your partners restaurants? Bakeries? Local charities?” Scarpaci asks. “And can you monetize those partnerships?”

If you aren’t engaging with these partners, creating and curating is worthless—engagement is at least 80 percent of your strategy.

“Go on other businesses’ pages and comment with your business,” Scarpaci says.

It can be as simple as, “That’s a gorgeous cake! I’ll bet it tastes delicious, too!”

Then your salon’s logo is popping up on your local bakery’s page. “Media brands should be engaging with each other,” Scarpaci says.

“The number-one strategy you should be employing is commenting on other brands in your community.”

Clients are still key as well. “Get their e-mail addresses and social media handles,” he says. “Start following them and make comments that have nothing to do with hair—just something positive. Maybe you congratulate a client on her daughter’s graduation or like a photo. How many of those people do you think will follow your salon back?”

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And if you’re worried customers will find it invasive, they won’t.

“Gratitude is not invasive,” Scarpaci says. “Don’t comment if it’s not genuine. If your mission is to make a better place for guests, it will be genuine.”

If you’re still feeling intimidated by the many facets of Facebook, take a look at Facebook Blueprint.

“It’s basically Facebook college,” Scarpaci says. “Just hunker down and learn it.”

Follow Hairbrained on Facebook @hairbrained.me and on Instagram at hairbrained_official.

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