(www.twitter.com) was the fastest growing social media site when it started in 2006. Twitter asks users to answer “What are you doing right now?” in 140 characters or less. It is, in essence, a status update or a micro blog. There are over 555 million users on Twitter. This community consume & share information at break-neck speed, so if you blink you can miss something. Thankfully, Twitter enables us to see:
* who we follow
* who is following us
* who has shared our tweet (retweeting or RT)
* our direct messages, which are private message not seen in the Tweet Stream
Like other social media sites, Twitter users are encouraged to connect and interact to build relationship and communications. ‘Twibes’, a wordplay on Tribes, are people with common interests. Connecting with members in your Twibe of interest ensures you get the most from your interactions and make better quality connections.
It is important to make your ‘Tweets’, your posts on Twitter, interesting and relevant. Can I also say here that it is ‘Tweeting’ and NOT ‘Twittering” – just had to be clarified!
Although Twitter is mainly text based you can upload photos directly with your post and write a comment, which will automatically update your Twitter status (too easy!). If you have more than one photo per topic then it is best to upload on your site, Facebook or blog and then Tweet about that via a link.
We use hashtags, #, in Twitter to keep a track on a conversation. There is so much information and rapidly updated information that without the hashtags, information and conversations will be too hard to follow. Hashtags are a great research tool too, use them to search the most current information, eg. Search #hair, #fashion, #beauty, #fashionweek etc and you will see the latest information. Please note: there are no spaces in a hashtag eg: #goldenglobes.
Twitter Salon application:
* Use this as a news update site as much as a connection site
* Connect with experts and industry leaders here
* Talk to clients who connect with you here
* Update Stock just in or on its way (create excitement)
* Communicate in salon promotions
* Create ‘Spot Special’ excitement – clear stock that is not moving at what is normally a quiet time
* Share interesting stories you have read online
* Share interesting magazine articles
* Keep emphasising the thing that makes your salon different
* Connect with complimentary businesses to promote your business
* Connect with suppliers, clients and other local businesses
* Connect with relevant Twibes / common interest groups
(short for Weblog) are the closest thing to a website of all the social media. This is the best of all social media tools in my opinion; it is on your business’s website, you control the look and content, you can create your very own interactive ‘magazine’ for your salon. Again, the content can be your own, shared from other site, pictures and events in the salon, tips and trends etc.
Like the other social media mentioned here, you can set a Blog up for free. There are 2 options for creating your blog;
- most good web platforms come with a blog section on the website (the best option)
- free web based options, with theme options, such as;
* WordPress (my favourite) www.wordpress.com
* Blogger (Google’s option) www.blogger.com
* Tumblr (super easy to use & a great creative community) www.tumblr.com
Regardless of formats, the blog allows the user to choose the content and update it at will (within a choice set templates). Blogs are usually more text and supported by images, audio or video. They can be a simple page with things of interest; a business site where clients and owner interact and share information or a series of articles/stories with pictures, videos and links to other sites or blogs.
Blogs are prolific at the moment. Visitors are invited to ‘follow’ or subscribe to’ the Blog. They are updated every time there is a new update on the blog, or ‘post’ in blog-speak. There is the facility for visitors to leave comments and interact with the author of the blog as well as each other.
The blog is the anchor on the website to the other social media pages and a great way to bring people back to the site to view updates and news. By properly setting up the autoposting from the blog, the world will see you and your salon!
Blog Salon application:
* ensure the look and feel of the salon is reflected in your blog (colours, style, design)
* create your ultimate magazine that is a combination of: magazine, newspaper and TV channel
* invite communication across a broad scope of people, including suppliers, clients & creative staff
* link to other content on the website & social media pages
* include the social media feeds
* provide salon contact details
* post regularly, expanding on the things mentioned on Twitter and Facebook:
such as: new stock in salon, sale information, product information, funny short stories, nice customer interactions, website updates, loyalty program information etc
* upload pictures of your product lines and discuss them, providing information that will help with the buying decision
* invite clients to comment on posts
* ask questions and engage your clients
* provide information that will serve as post sale service (how to look after the item – additional uses etc)
* feature staff members (they will then link with their social media…..)
* add a calendar of in-salon events to your page so clients know what is coming then review it and upload photos after the fact
* remember to promote your Blog in the salon on your information and on your website and other media
* link to associated blogs, as well as to media, clients and suppliers
I thought I would show you a real life example to help tie all of the information above together.
Culture Magazine’s Facebook page:
Social Media takes a bit of understanding and getting used to. There are many dismissive comments made about it in the traditional media and amongst Gen X and older. However, to ignore it, or worse to dismiss it, will mean that you will miss opportunities for your business that your competitors will take advantage of.
While I am writing this I am very aware that only 34% of Australian retail businesses have a website, despite over 75% of Australians having at least one computer at home. This is partly due to the lack of understanding of the benefit the business will gain as well as the cost of a traditional site. Social Media allows you to gently enter the online world in an engaging way and expand it in line with your Marketing Strategy.
The Social Media Strategy must work in with the Marketing Strategy. Your online presence must be backed up by the offline reality and vice-versa. Don’t forget your clients now have a voice that is louder and stretches further than ever before. To benefit from an increased profile and closer communication with your clients; ensure that their experience with your business is positive.
These are the tip of the iceberg in terms of sites, but you need to start somewhere! The above 3 platforms are a good foundation for all of the new and wonderful kids on the block; Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube, etc. Pick a couple and get good at them. Integrate them into your daily activity online and offline. Then you can add a new one and integrate that, and on it goes!
Social Media is an amplifier, of all great things of the business and definitely all the negative aspects. Above all update your website and make sure your bricks and mortar business is of the highest standard.
Please visit me on Twitter, Facebook and Blog, follow and have a look around, send me any questions, leave comments or suggestions – always welcome!