By AHP Staff
We know the world has evolved and today, every professional needs an online presence, including hairdressers and barbers. Having a digital presence is a great way to attract prospective clients and to connect with your loyal following. It allows you to showcase your skills and creative talents, highlight innovative cuts and color, and promote your brand.
How can you build a strong online presence for your business? The key is quality and consistency. Businesses with a good online presence work to create a quality brand and regularly engage with clients through comments and social media. Here are some questions you might have about going digital.
Q. How often should I post on my social media accounts?
A. This is a maintenance task, sort of like getting dressed in the morning. We all have different tastes in choosing our outfit for the day and wearing styles that are appealing to our friends/ideal clients/audience. Find your posting style and keep it true to you. The content you post should be genuine and valuable in some way for your followers—something that they want to share or that makes them smile. Or something that makes them want to act, like book an appointment with you.
Q. How often do I need to check my social media notifications, direct messages, and email?
A. Think of it this way. How often do we walk by a mirror every day and check our hair or makeup? Checking social media comments on your posts doesn’t have to take more than a second, but it can enhance your image. When someone comments on your posts, you can’t just ignore it. Address the issue and take a second to hit a ‘like’ button or send an emoji. If you receive direct messages through social media messenger services, respond if you have time, or write a brief response saying you’re with a client (or whatever your situation is at the moment) and will get back to the person soon. If you save that response in the notes section of your phone, you can save time responding to other messages that aren’t time sensitive.
Q. Should I follow my competitors on social media?
A. Some competitors may not give you a choice by blocking or refusing your request. However, following your competitors when possible can generate inspiration and ideas of your own—as long as you are not stealing. It also gives you an opportunity to monitor the market and ensure you are staying competitive in the industry while differentiating yourself and your business.
Q. Do I really need a website? How often do I need to mess with it?
A. Any salon, barber shop, or independent hairstylist needs a quality website to attract new customers. In the virtual world, social media is like going outside to spread the word about your salon, while your website is like your virtual salon/home base that people will be driven to visit. Fortunately, these days it’s easy to build a well-designed website using popular website builder tools.
If you are a member of Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), you have access to a free website with templates that are created for the hair industry. With easy-to-follow steps, you can have a website with unlimited pages and a lot of flexibility to upload videos and photos of your work. There are other options available, too, such as Wix and Squarespace.
Your website isn’t a “set it and forget it” thing. Your website is an amazing way to advertise. Potential clients are looking online to find a salon or a new stylist, and keeping it up to date is a must.
Keep your website relevant. Make sure the listed contact info, pricing, hours of operation, services and products offered, and pictures of the salon are up to date whenever something changes. Promote new services you’re offering, or a new line of retail products. Updating your website regularly also helps with its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. The longer you wait to update, the more of a chore it becomes.
We know how to maintain our brand in the real world because we live it every day. Luckily, the cyber world is not a foreign language and should easily mimic your real-world brand. With a little work, your digital brand will soon become second nature—like getting dressed in the morning.