Today’s salon owners and managers realize that social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer a wealth of marketing opportunities, but they often struggle in understanding how to use them to their best advantage.
In a podcast interview with SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble, Linkup Marketing’s Valorie Reavis introduces the professional beauty industry to a new social media management tool designed to help owners answer that dilemma—The Shout Lounge.
CLICK HERE to listen to the entire podcast, or continue reading to see an excerpt of the interview:
SALON TODAY: Many salon and spa owners recognize the power of social media programs, but it seems like it’s a struggle for them to use them successfully, why do you think that is?
Reavis: One major theme that has come out of several years of working with salon professionals--it’s the time. Unfortunately, most people who are working behind chair and managing a business don’t have lots of time to dedicate to making social media successful. They don’t have the time it takes to sit down and brainstorm, then go and research all the photos, blog links and videos they need to post on their pages. It comes down to not being able to dedicate the time they need to make it successful and see the return on that investment.
SALON TODAY: For a salon’s social media program to be successful, what is the appropriate amount of content a salon should be posting per day or per week?
Reavis: “It’s a really good question, and the answer shocks many people who already have a functioning Facebook or Twitter page. But there have been several studies that have been done—and they happen quite frequently because Facebook and Twitter are evolving—but really the expected standard for a business to see a return on the investment in their strategy is between two to three posts on Facebook each day and two of those posts should be original, meaning that the salon needs to go on and post their own photo or their own blog link, rather than going perhaps to their manufacturer’s Facebook page and then sharing it on their salon page. With Twitter, it gets a little more scary, because we go up in volume—and the expected standard on Twitter is 3-5 posts per day—with the three number being the number of original tweets from the salon per day and the five number including re-tweets, replies and interaction.
SALON TODAY: The kind of content is also important, right? We still see many salons that mostly use social media for promotional purposes, and if that’s all they do, what kind of impact does that have on the people who follow them?
Reavis: Facebook and Twitter are social networks – they’re not a Groupon, they’re a coupon site. People go there to interact, learn new things, discover new ideas. They don’t want to be sold to. If they wanted to be sold to, they would go to the salon’s website and check out the specials. They know where to find that information. But it tends to be a salon's knee-jerk reaction to dump all the promotions on their social sites and hope that brings up their awareness, but if salons are doing that, they’ll discover that people simply aren’t paying attention. They don’t want to see that content or interact with it. People will begin ignoring them, then pretty soon your salon’s Facebook page simply won’t be found in the newsfeed anymore. You’ll just get ignored. Unless it’s a compelling offer...which should have a place in your strategy—it just shouldn’t make up the bulk of it.
SALON TODAY: Give us an overview of this new tool, The Shout Lounge, and how it’s going to help owners manage their social media content.
Reavis: The Shout Lounge was released about a year ago, and it’s an online social media management tool where owners can go to our website and link all of their social media networks into one hub where they can manage them in one place. They have a calendar where they can schedule all their social media posts across the week, and they will go out automatically. Any responses can be sent to the user via email so they can see them on their iPhone or Android, so they can see quickly if they need to respond or let the conversation flow. It has a full reporting area as well, so they can see what’s working and what’s not—allowing them to revise their social media strategy as necessary.
The most exciting area of The Shout Lounge though is the new functionality that we are releasing now. It’s a place where salons can subscribe to content that’s already written and researched for their page. So for example, the salon could subscribe to all the product companies they carry in their salon, or maybe a few beauty bloggers or maybe a few different lifestyle magazines that carry content that resonates with that salon’s brand. They will see a list of all this content in The Shout Lounge. Then with one click and they can put it into their calendar to post. It really cuts down on the amount of time salons need to spend researching content because it’s already pre-written and it has unique images and unique links that can be added to their Facebook and their Twitter. To date, salons who have been using it are reporting it’s cutting down on the time they spend researching content by 50 percent.
To learn more about The Shout Lounge, visit TheShoutLounge.com and sign up for a 30-day trial or sign up for a package starting at $19 per month. In addition, anyone interested in submitting content they think would be relevant may also visit the site for more information.