Top 5 Questions about Facebook

Despite its fanbase of over 500 million, Facebook is still an enigma to many salon owners. But what are the concerns that are stopping them embracing the most effective and free marketing too currently available to business?

#1 - Is Facebook the best place to market my business?
That depends on two things: who are you targeting and whether you are committed to marketing on Facebook. You don’t want to spend a lot of time and resources promoting yourself on Facebook if most of your clients are hanging out elsewhere, like Twitter, or maybe they’re not online at all (whoever those people are).

Once you’ve figured out that pretty much everyone is on Facebook (most recent stats show 500 million people worldwide), you should ask yourself if you can dedicate a few hours each week coming up with ideas, writing updates, researching images and then evaluating performance. If you can’t consistently dedicate this time, put your efforts elsewhere or consider outsourcing as sporadic efforts are wasted on social media.

#2 - Do I need a page, profile or group?
On Facebook, your main efforts should be directed through a page. This is the type of representation sanctioned by Facebook for business use and has all of the bells and whistles that enable you to spread the word about your business and attract new contacts. You can find out more details about each on the linkup blog.

Using a profile for business is against Facebook’s terms of use and they can technically shut you down if you are caught, leaving you stranded with no way to reach all of your ‘friends’ on this profile.

A group is useful in some instances when you are targeting a specific group of clients or prospects – for example, a VIP club for your salon. However, this should be an extension of your efforts on your page, not a replacement.

#3 - How can I get more ‘likes’?
Getting ‘likes’ is an important part of your Facebook strategy; what’s the point of thinking up witty comments every day if no one hears them? There are lots of ways to get more ‘likes’ for your page and it starts with getting people to visit. You can generate traffic offline and online by creating buzz every chance you get, and there are endless creative marketing ideas to do so. Here are some to get you started:
• Put your username on everything
• Run promotions in-salon that drives traffic to your page
• Email your database
•Integrate you online booking with your Facebook page
•Put links on your website
•Directing online advertising traffic to your page.
•Use an iPad in the salon to let clients cruise the internet, and make your Facebook page the default opening page.
•Post clients’ pictures your page and encourage them to tag themselves.
•Post exciting information that will interest your clients

The second way to get more ‘likes’ is to create a landing page where you display a customized image to someone who has not liked your page. You’ll need a Facebook application to create a landing page - similar to how you add apps to your smartphone. This has been proven to increase likes by more than 200% over the prospective fan seeing your wall.

#4 - How do I know if what I’m saying is working?
Facebook has a free performance measurement system for pages, called Facebook Insights. Click the purple icon on your page and you’ll find all sorts of information that should tell you what’s working and what’s not.

#5 - How can I tell if my investment is paying off?
This is always the final question when it comes to any social media campaign. Facebook isn’t like a direct mail campaign where you can count the number of people who come in after you send out the mailing. Facebook is a long-term strategy aimed not only at attracting new clients, but at increasing client retention, improving visit frequency and nurturing lasting relationships that go beyond ‘loyalty’. No matter how you slice it up, that’s hard to measure.

That doesn’t mean impossible, however, so depending on what your objectives are and how your campaign is set up, you can still measure the impact of your efforts over time. For example, if you are trying to increase new bookings you can track how many people click from your Facebook or Twitter account, go to your website and from there book an appointment. This can all be set up in the background so you get a nice, pretty report.

--Valorie Reavis

Valorie Reavis is an online and social media marketing guru with Linkup Marketing focusing on search engine marketing, salon email marketing programs and social media marketing for salons and spas. If you have any queries for Valorie email her at [email protected].

[Image courtesy of Linkup Marketing]

Related:  Facebook Identity Crisis  |  Get Started with Email Marketing  |  Reaching Consumers Using Local Search Engines  |  Strategic Positioning of Keywords for Salons and Spas  |  Online Marketing Tips for Salons & Spas  |  Give Your Salon Website a Soul

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