Up until now, salon spa owners have struggled with the question of how to involve (or control) how their team acts on social networks. One of the most common questions when it comes to starting a social media campaign, and it’s not a bad question by any means because there is more than one way to skin a cat in this arena. To date, most people have been one of two approaches: cohesive, collaborative democracy or a more controlled regime whereby social efforts are controlled at the top. There is technically a third approach, but it involves curling into fetal position and doing nothing. Not a good idea so we won’t cover this one.
Both of these approaches have their merits, but the important thing that will certainly impact salon marketing in 2012 is that owners and managers of such campaigns are beginning to understand the power and importance of simply making a decision and taking action with a social media policy. Whatever that social media policy looks like, it’s a huge step towards a steady moving program and a general understanding amongst your team.
One approach that may make sense for your business is to allow each team member to network and promote on the business’ behalf. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a business profile on your selected networks, it means that you allow your team members to comment, retweet and share the information on their own profiles as their own brand. This works well in environments when the person is their own brand/company or they have a high profile.
This approach is excellent for viral campaigns as the initial sharing of the information helps to increase the overall number of people that will eventually see the information. For example, you post a promotion on your salon Facebook page and then a few of your team members share it on their wall. That exposes your promotion to the friends of your team members. They can then comment and like the update on the personal networks as well as get more information from your corporate Facebook page.
This type of policy requires more of a transparent and collaborative approach to marketing to also reduce the risk. Most people are afraid of the level of professionalism, tact and even grammatical abilities of some of their staff. The only way around this is education and awareness. As part of your social media policy, you need to make it black and white what is acceptable and not acceptable. You may add to this over time as you have a few ‘opps’ incidents, but the important thing to remember is that you should be monitoring all activity that is connected to your brand so you can help your team evolve into a social media marketing machine.
The other approach is to make social media activity ‘off-limits’ for team members that are not authorized to speak on behalf of the brand. You keep all of the information on your corporate Facebook page and do not allow any team members to interact with clients with their social pages. This will retain all connections with clients in the corporate control and virtually eliminates all issues with poorly constructed updates. We say virtually as it may be difficult to completely eliminate any updates from personal pages and you may not want to, but this approach keeps the activity within corporate control.
This approach makes it a lot more clear cut who the client interacts with online. For example, the client may be confused who they are supposed to follow when the stylist is very active and is passing a lot of the salon’s content onto their own page. You also run the risk of losing control of the client relationship. These are all risks, not certainties, remember. This approach will require more effort and resources from the company if you want this program to have the same effect as the collaborative approach.
So what do you do about this?
- A good place to start when coming up with your policy is finding out what your team is currently doing. Typically your team will already be active with social media and perhaps already doing their own networking and promoting. No point in killing a good thing if it’s something you can support from the business end and reap some rewards. Have a team meeting and get everything out on the table. Discuss their current activity, their interest level in getting involved and available time and skills. This serves as a starting point for your salon social media policy decision.
- Research some existing policies and see what your competition is doing. One policy template that we refer many clients to is the WOMMA social media policy template as it incorporates the ethical and responsible use of online media by a business. That’s always good…
- Whatever you decide as your policy, monitor your brand. Make sure you know who is sharing your content, where it’s being shared and what’s being said about your brand.