Raise your hand if you have a Facebook page? A Google+ page? A Twitter account? A YouTube channel? A Flickr account? How about a Tumblr account? Dare we ask about MySpace?
It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? Social media marketing has become an expectation for small business, but an activity that most struggle to keep up with. So, of course you should expect that social media makes the list of salon marketing trend for 2012. According to Mashable.com, 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media and the fastest growing segment is 25 to 34 year olds and there is growth in all other categories. Soooooo, we can be sure that social media isn’t slowing down in 2012.
In fact, there’s a concept called double-screening that has received a lot of press lately. It refers to the number of screens you are currently engaged with. For example, I’m currently typing this to you while my cell phone has notified me of a Facebook update and I’m trying to ignore an obnoxiously loud TV advertisement. You know what I’m talking about… In fact, most live TV programs are banking on this phenomena by using real-time comments and feedback gathered on social networks. Can you think of a few TV programs that would love some of that action?
This year you’ll see social commerce start to finally come around. Sure, in the past there have been some attempts at shopping carts and applications for sales, but technical releases in 2011 have opened this area of development to wide open spaces. For salons and spas, this means you should be looking for ways to book in your future revenue through scheduling functions and getting butts in those seats.
You’ve probably already seen the websites that allow you to log in using your Facebook account, but what you may not know is that this technology also customizes the user experience on these websites. This was revolutionary when this came about, but now it seems that websites are returning the favor with users activity on websites influencing their social media experience. For example, your social network profiles used to customize what you’ve seen on Yahoo! news, but now what you’re reading on Yahoo! news is showing up on your social profile and then being grouped in your friends’ newsfeeds so they can see what you and all of their friends are interacting with online. See the viral potential here? No longer is your social profiles and your websites mutually exclusive, they are interdependent if you’re taking advantage of it all.
While you may be still wondering whether you’re seeing ROI on your social media efforts, you should be wondering whether you’ve given it a fair effort. You see, you can’t just toss a few updates on your Facebook page and expect to book out your calendar. It’s a commitment that requires thought, effort and purpose.
So what do you do about this?
- Learn how to monitor trends and then use them to your advantage. This means monitoring social media and networking, which takes time, but taking advantage of viral opportunities can boost your grass roots campaigns.
- With online mediums converging, it’s going to be more important than ever to learn your keywords and ensure you are tagging your content correctly. Don’t know how to use a hashtag? Brush up on your etiquette and start using it in your own personal posts.
- Use Facebook development technology (called OpenGraph) when and where you can. Yes, we get it that it’s complicated, but talk to your web developer about the possibilities and how you can use it on your website. Remember that Facebook is about content, so there may be limited options if your websites not up to snuff for 2012.
- There’s loads of ways you can get involved in social media, but they may not all be for you nor should you try to be involved in all networks. You ever heard of the saying ‘Jack of all trades; master of none’? Focus on quality, not quantity for your social media efforts and build a strong following on one or maybe a few networks rather than wasting your efforts on many and getting minimal results.