Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the day with a group of hairdressers who attendee a training session held in Newcastle.

the session had the banner ‘Don’t Sell’  and the hashtag #futureproof linked to it.

Don’t Sell… well if you are a reader of this blog you will know what that’s all about and will be aware that there is a book being written, albeit slowly, but written nonetheless.

BTW: I’m up to chapter 5, social media, pretty apt considering that’s the subject matter fo this blog.

#futureproof

because we discussed how salons need to to meet the changes happening on our high streets full on, and safeguard their businesses.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media was an inevitable element of the session as it is always on peoples minds and we all, well most of us use it daily.

If you browse around this site, especially the homepage of emilthecaretaker you can find lots of useful hints and tips about how to maximise the effectiveness of your social platforms.

Social Media has made us all feel like we are marketeers, photographers, artists, creative in all aspects of business. This is not true, we are specialists in certain elements but we need to be very cautious when we use social platforms as a method of advertising, which is what most businesses now do. Small companies tend to be too erratic and not sharp enough with their posts and big organisations are too sleek. Try to pitch yourself somewhere in the middle… be PRO and NOT SO PRO together, post razor sharp images and some that are a little rough around the edges, that’s what social posts are meant to be like.

Here’s the best route you can take to generate greater engagement from your followers.

If you have a website, think of it as the umbrella under which all your social posts sit.

FACT: if someone searches for your business, most [search] engines always show your website address first and foremost. Your website should be updated at least once a week, either with some imagery or (better option) a blog post.

Blog posts are a great way for you to share your most formal posts. They should be about 500 words long, have links to relevant topics inserted in them and have a flourish of imagery inserted too. For example if you click on the words here CLICK THIS you will be taken directly to mrhaircare’s facebook page, that’s a clever way of getting people to visit your social platforms and is a simple way of spreading your message further. Your blog can be about anything and everything that you want to share relating to your business and your interests.

Facebook is a great platform for you to share business posts with your existing and potential new clients. Whilst there has been some bad press of late it’s still the world’s most successful social platform. Use images and minimal text when posting.

Instagram is perfect for posting great imagery associated with your business and should be populated with differing pics regularly. Try not to post too many things that look the same.

Instagram and facebook stories are also becoming more important for your posts but make sure you format the images correctly and don’t go overboard with filters and add ons.

Twitter is going through some challenges at present but is still a great platform for talking to other businesses from, and for promoting offers in your region. Try not to link your twitter feed to another platform as invariably when the linked post gets shared it will be text only and stats show that images are far more popular as tweets.

Snapchat filters are fun but shouldn’t be overdone nor should they be used for any other purpose than to create ‘silly posts’ for your business. I am ‘addicted’ to the daftness of snapchat but only post to show the nonsensical side of social media. (see blogpost cover pic)

Try and stick to a structured plan that covers off the 5 key routes to create engagement:

1: You and your team: Everyone likes to see the people in your organisation.

2: Your clients: Selfies (with GDPR approval) are a great way for your customers to share your posts.

3: Services: Visuals showing what you do.

4: Products: What you have that can be bought.

5: Environment: Different areas of your business and the street and town you operate in.

A blend is perfect and if you can get a photo featuring points 1 – 2 and 3 or 4 featured in No.5…. FABULOUS.

PS: if you have a pet, I guarantee it will get the most likes …. full stop!

APPS

There are literally millions of apps, some are free, most have a cost attached to them but it’s a worthwhile investment for some as they allow you to overlay animations, text, filters etc across images. Here’s a list of my personal faves:

Boomerang: A must have app for simple animated clips. When you use it make sure that the person you are filming moves slowly otherwise it looks messy.

Layout for instagram: Allows a creative mix of images in one pic.

Image Quote: Text overlay.

Werble; Fun graphics that can be placed over your own imagery.

GifShare: One of my fave apps, find an animated clip that links to your business and overlay text on it. NOTE: If you use symbols or hyphens the app doesn’t recognise them so make sure you just use letters and numbers.

Lumyer: Buy is as a one off for £20 and get fab animated overlays forever.

Photogrid; Creates a large instagram pic, using 9 squares to show one image.

Typorama: A fabulous text overlaying app and also great for creating images that are formatted to fit on all different platforms.