Think LinkedIn

Guest contributor Nikola Cline, founder and president of brand strategy and marketing agency Brandettes, shares LinkedIn practices to help build business.

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Focusing on a killer Instagram feed, actively pinning on Pinterest and engaging with local groups on Facebook are, without a doubt, part of an effective social strategy for your salon. But if LinkedIn hasn’t yet made your priority list, it might be worth your attention. One of the lowest-cost, high-impact ways to network, LinkedIn is an excellent way to connect directly with your target customer. Here are my top strategies for making LinkedIn work for your salon.

Define your customer.

Without a doubt, the most important step in creating marketing activations that work is knowing who you want to target. Define your target audience by writing a quick list describing their hobbies, lifestyle, approximate income and geographic location. If gender is important, you can note that, too. You want to understand, particularly as a local business, where your audience lives, works and plays in order to target the right areas and network within your community.

Optimize your personal profile page.

LinkedIn provides individuals and businesses with free profile pages, and both are useful to your salon’s social presence. A personal page highlights your individual experience and provides an opportunity to visually showcase your work, education and awards. This page links to your salon’s company page, so consistency in tone, image and overall style is not only important, but essential in promoting a strong brand image. The same goes for your salon team’s profiles—encourage the team to embrace a LinkedIn update along with you. Be sure to use professional, high-resolution photos with a clean background.

Build your salon’s company page.

Now for your salon’s company page: This showcases logistical information for your salon, like location, description and services. It also offers you the opportunity to post content on behalf of the business. Use your salon’s logo as the main image for recognition, plus a banner highlighting your salon’s interior, your team’s best work or a campaign you’re running. The more visually impactful, the better. Make it pop! When creating your salon’s profile, be sure to incorporate key words and phrases that potential guests might use to search for your product or service, like “Los Angeles salon” or “Salon in San Diego.” Include them in the About tab overview, clearly representing your salon and the unique experience you provide. For an easy SEO win, don’t forget to link to your page from your salon’s website.

Foster relationships.

One of the LinkedIn strategies most people miss is the opportunity to build relationships with other businesses with similar audiences and complementary products or services. Use your salon’s LinkedIn and your personal account to reach out, connect and align with like-minded local businesses to network, build referral programs and share resources.

Showcase your work.

While most of us have been focused on making our IG feeds visually interesting, LinkedIn has quietly added an increasing number of opportunities to make a photographic impact on its platform. Photos and short videos are right at home on LinkedIn and can be added to personal and company pages. Keep in mind custom image collages (three or four images in one post) perform very well, and videos should be kept to one or two minutes. Boost impressions by adding subtitles for those watching videos with the sound off.

Grow your email list.

Take the opportunity to grow your salon’s email list through your LinkedIn contacts. Craft a thoughtful and personal invitation, along with a link to your salon’s email sign-up form and invite your connections to engage. Once they’re connected, you’ll have the opportunity to share salon updates, programs and relevant events on a regular basis.

Become a thought leader.

As an expert in your field, consider sharing relevant content on your salon’s LinkedIn page, and share often. I recommend sharing a mix of 80 percent original content and 20 percent reposted (yet relevant) content from other sources outside the salon; this could include a blend of creative inspiration, seasonal fashion trends, local events and your most striking work. The more frequently you share content your followers engage with, the higher your page will appear in search results.

Highlight your team.

Recognition always feels fantastic. Link your salon team’s profiles to the salon business page and make sure to highlight them in your posted content. Go beyond bios and share stories about a memorable guest experience or how they went above and beyond as a team member. Everyone loves to feel seen and heard. Using social media to share your salon’s positive culture is much more engaging than simply highlighting services.

Stay engaged.

Just like in real life, LinkedIn thrives when you stay in touch and engage. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming—start with 10-15 minutes a week. Visit the LinkedIn newsfeed on your homepage to see and engage with the latest posts by your network. You can sort the feed by Top (most popular) and Recent posts to find the content most relevant to your salon.

Get involved.

Follow thought leaders, influencers, organizations and publications in the professional beauty industry (like Beauty Launchpad) to stay on top of leading trends and market opportunities. Also, follow your competitors to gain insight into what they are offering, whom they are serving, what they are sharing and what is important to them. You may glean which niches of your market are overserved or underserved, showing you opportunities for growth. Lastly, search for and follow hashtags most commonly used by individuals, companies and organizations in your industry on LinkedIn. This way, your news stream will be populated only with topics most relevant to your business.

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