Do you have a marketing plan for promoting your beauty or hair business on social media in 2021?
Or are you just going to plough on in there, keeping your fingers crossed that all that effort, time and money will pay off?
If you’re looking to take your salon social media marketing up a level this year then you’ll love this guide. By the end of it, you’ll have your own blueprint for marketing your business on social over the next 12 months.
I walk you through the 7 steps of planning:
- Assess where you are now.
- Set your social media marketing goals.
- Target the right audience on social.
- Agree your brand’s marketing messages & voice.
- Set up a posting system.
- Decide on budget.
- Track and measure.
In this blog I show you how to create a Social Media Marketing Plan you can implement right now to market your salon business in 2021. But if you love a particular salon marketing topic and want even more ideas and help on it, I’ve popped links to more in-depth posts in each section – look out for the Learn & Grow icon.
Start your planning by looking back.
Tempting as it is to rush headlong into 2021, you’ll create a more effective Social Media Marketing Plan if you pause, and take stock.
Think back over 2020 – what worked, what belly flopped?
Take look at these 7 areas:
1. Which social media platforms are you active on?
How many salon social platforms are you currently active on? Are you spreading yourself too thinly, meaning your posting is patchy, content quality poor and engagement low?
For me, Facebook and Instagram are the two to focus on as a salon, clinic or freelancer, as these are where your target audience is most likely to be. When my students add these to their marketing mix they almost always see their results skyrocket.
2. Is your salon social looking tired?
Are your cover images, profiles and bio looking out of date and frankly a bit drab?
3. Which posts fly?
Scroll through, jot down the ones that stand out and almost certainly a pattern will emerge. Is it the content, the time of day, type of post or day of the week?
You may not think these popular posts are your most interesting ones, but it’s what your followers are telling you that matters.
4. Who is engaging with you on social?
Flick back over the year:
5. Your brand on social media
Does your social media reflect and enhance your hair or beauty brand:
6. How long do you really spend on social marketing?
How much time do you invest in marketing your business on social media each week?
Too much for the results achieved?
Be honest with yourself.
Or maybe you didn’t invest enough time, and didn’t achieve your business and marketing goals?
7. Check out your hair and beauty competitors
How does your salon social media marketing compare to your competitors down the road?
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential new client deciding who they are going to book into. What impression would they get from your social media, compared to your hottest competitors? Those first impressions are crucial when it comes to attracting new clients.
And talking of new clients:
How many new clients did your social media marketing actually bring in 2020?
Do you know? Can you measure it accurately, or are you working on hunches and gut feelings?
Right, now we’ve assessed how you’ve done to-date with marketing your business on social, you’re in the perfect place to write your Salon Social Media Marketing Plan for 2021.
Do you have a clear vision as to what you want to achieve for your business using social media marketing? You need know, and focus on, what you want to achieve – your marketing goals.
Here are some possible broad goals that social media marketing can realistically help you achieve:
Make your salon marketing goals S.M.A.R.T
But, as I say to my students, broad, woolly goals are not enough for any marketing plan. Whether you call them goals, objectives or targets they do need to be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic and Time-limited) if they are going to help you market and grow your business on social media.
The broad goal ‘attract new clients’ becomes:
‘Use a mix of Facebook organic posts and paid advert posts to get 120 new client first visit appointments (10 per month) between January–December inclusive in 2021.’
As you can see this is much more specific, sets time limits and says how success will be measured (120 first appointment bookings) so you know exactly what you must do to achieve the marketing goal.
I’d choose 3 or 4 social media marketing goals. Too many and you’ll start to lose focus. You can always add another goal later in the year if you find you’re on track with the 3 original ones.
Once you’ve decided on your social media marketing goals, your content (the posts) you produce and share need to continually support these goals and help you achieve them.
Have you thought about who you’re targeting on social media? It’s a planning step that often gets overlooked yet is vital to attracting the right new clients to your beauty or hair business.
The take-home message here is that ‘everyone is not your ideal client’.
You want your social media marketing to attract your ideal client (referred to by marketers as your target audience).
Most hair and beauty businesses have between 2-4 target audiences.
Why do you need to know who they are?
Because once you understand who your target audiences are, you can tailor your social media content (your posts) to appeal specifically to these ideal clients.
You’re probably now thinking ‘But how do I know who is my target audience?’
Start by looking at your top most profitable clients and you’ll see certain patterns emerging relating to their:
Now. Take aim. Fire!
These are your target audience on social.
Because you know they are:
Clearly, you’d love to find oodles more new clients just like these.
So specifically target this type of person on your social media. Craft your posts to appeal to these ideal clients if you want to make more profit. Don’t try and appeal to everyone. It doesn’t work.
You have now identified your target audience for your Salon Social Media Marketing Plan.
The next step is to decide on the right brand image, voice and marketing messages to use on your social media to appeal to these potential new ideal clients. In other words, what do you want people to think and feel when they see your social posts?
Let’s start by looking at what not to do:
We’ve all been there. Faced with a hilarious cat video or a cute GIF my finger hovers over that Share button.
The temptation is to jump right in and start sharing.
And ask yourself, ‘Is this content in line with my salon or clinic brand image?’
Stay on message. If a post or content doesn’t align with being a beauty, hair or aesthetic business then forget about it. Don’t post it, or share it. Businesses that post randomly usually fail on social.
So what is your hair or beauty brand and tone of voice?
Remember: Your brand image is what you want clients and potential new clients to think whenever they see, hear, feel or experience your business. It’s that crucial first impression.
If you’re not sure what’s the right tone of voice for your brand try this quick exercise:
What’s your brand personality?
If your salon or clinic was a person what sort of personality would it have?
Fun, cool and quirky. Or perhaps professional, trusted experts? Or maybe you’re friendly and welcoming with a laid-back vibe?
Every hair or beauty business is different, and what is right for one business may be wrong for another. Think about the brand personality of a cool hair salon in Shoreditch in London with an under 30 target market, compared to a doctor-led aesthetic clinic in the Cotswolds whose target audience is 45+.
Still not sure?
Sometimes it’s easier to say what your brand image isn’t.
Or look to others. Most owners have a salon or clinic they aspire to – do these businesses have a similar personality to yours?
Or you could ask your team and get their buy-in.
You want to end up with a handful of words that capture the essence of your brand.
A quick recap on your Plan to-date.
You now know:
Armed with this information we can now move onto how you’re going to make it all happen.
No matter how brilliant your Social Media Marketing Plan looks on paper it needs you to implement it. But you’re busy running a beauty or hair business, so the next step is to plan out how you’re going to deal with the day-to-day running, organising and delegating of your 2021 Plan.
Day-to-day social media marketing breaks into two main areas:
Decide what systems and processes are needed to ensure these tasks gets done and achieve your goals in the most effective and efficient way.
1. Who will do it?
There are 2 distinct parts to this:
Creating the posts
Monitoring and replying
Who is going to keep a watchful eye on your social channels and respond when followers engage? You don’t want to miss a potential new client asking a question about your services or a client having a public whinge.
2. What will they post?
You’ve decided who will be creating the posts now plan out what they will post.
Just to be clear, this is your Plan so the approach at this stage is big picture, and I’m not suggesting for one minute that you start writing individual posts now. But I do want you to go into 2021 having a posting blueprint to follow each month.
I find a simple social marketing calendar (in Word or Excel) for the year is the easiest way to kick off my detailed planning. In fact, it’s essential to success.
Start with a monthly theme
When I’m creating a plan with my students and clients we kick off by agreeing a broad theme for each month. February could be Valentine’s, March Mother’s Day and November is always Christmas.
But your monthly theme doesn’t have to be event based. If January is looking a bit quiet then ‘filling columns and white space’ might be your theme. ‘Summer beauty and hair’ works well in June, or perhaps you’ve a new treatment/service launch theme?
For now, just choose a main theme for each month and write it on your calendar.
A quick marketing aside
This theme will flavour that month’s posts bearing in mind your target audience and marketing messages. You’re absolutely not writing the detailed posts at this stage, this is your 2021 Plan – your big picture outline. But I want to show you how the monthly theme works so you understand the importance of deciding on the 12 themes for your Salon Social Media Marketing Plan.
Let’s take Valentine’s as an example:
Use a mix of social post types
What about the rest of the month’s posts? Again, I’m not suggesting you write them now – we’re at the planning stage only – but you could plan to include certain post types every month and pop them on your social marketing calendar as a reminder.
One question I get asked a lot by my students is ‘Alice, what sort of things should I be posting, as coming up with fresh ideas all the time is hard?’
My answer is your social media marketing needs to be a mix of content that reflects your brand, appeals to your target audience gently sells your services and makes followers want to engage with you.
Here are some ideas for post types you could include every month of the year:
Oops… guilty of this common salon social marketing mistake?
It’s tempting when you run your own beauty or hair business to see social media as a free way to sell. And sell. And keep selling.
But people go on social media for entertainment, escapism, for fun. They don’t want to be bombarded with sales messages. Rather give your followers a glimpse into the real ‘you’ and your business culture.
Let potential new clients get to know you via your social media posts, start to build a relationship and then, once they trust you they may just be tempted to pick up the phone or book online.
You planned out who will do your social and what broadly they will post. The next step on your Salon Social Media Marketing Plan is to decide how much time and budget you’re going to allocate to social media in 2021.
First, let’s dispel a common myth.
Social media marketing is not free marketing.
It takes time, effort and budget to get results.
Budget & resources: Time and effort
As a business owner you’re already wearing multiple hats every day and social media marketing just adds to this juggling act.
If you’re thinking ‘but I don’t have time’ remember everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Or perhaps you’re worrying that you don’t have the right marketing or technical skills. It’s natural to have worries and excuses to procrastinate so don’t worry that’s why we’re creating this Social Media Marketing Plan together – so you can grow your business profitably.
For me working well in advance and ‘batching’ up marketing sessions saves loads of time plus I end up with higher quality posts and better results as the month is planned in advance rather than squeezed in ‘on the hoof’ when I suddenly remember I haven’t created a post for today.
To ensure you make time to promote your business make a weekly and monthly commitment on your Plan, now block these times out on your main calendar so you can’t be distracted or pulled in another direction. Marketing your business is essential if you want to grow and become more profitable and successful, so treat it with the respect and seriousness it deserves.
Budget & resources: Money
To be successful at attracting new clients and growing your beauty or hair business via social media you will have to invest money, as well as time and effort.
The social platforms are in it to make profit, and they want you to pay to play. Relying on organic (non-paid) posts in 2021 means typically only 3%-5% of your followers see that post you spent hours crafting.
And now we’re starting to see the decline in organic reach and engagement we experienced with Facebook, hitting Instagram too. Since mid 2019 Instagram posts have significantly lower organic reach – not a surprise since Facebook now own Instagram – but it means fewer people see your posts unless you pay.
Advertising on Facebook is worthwhile if you know what you’re doing as it lets you reach a highly targeted local audience. But it can also be an expensive waste of marketing budget if you’re a novice.
Advertising isn’t something you can just do in isolation. You need to warm up your audience constantly by running an engaging Business Page that your users love and interact with. They need to get to ‘Know, Like and Trust’ you and your business before you advertise to them.
Just hitting them cold with Facebook adverts will likely backfire on you and waste money. It’s pretty disheartening too.
Is it working? We started your Plan by assessing your social media marketing to-date. Continue this assessment throughout the coming 12 months and put 30 minutes aside each month on your Plan to assess what’s working and what bombed.
There’s no need to get bogged down with loads of statistics and figures. Each month check:
As well as these very specific social media measurements, track the impact on your business, particularly the number of new clients who came via social. If you’ve run a salon social advertising campaign then this is especially important as you want to see what the ROI (return on your investment) is.
If it’s not working, change it:
Brilliant. You’ve now completed all the steps and have a Salon Social Media Marketing Plan for 2021 for your business.
One last word. If your marketing activity isn’t getting the results and you’re not reaching your goals then don’t be afraid to change it. Any salon marketing plan needs to be flexible – don’t feel you’re committed to an activity and must ‘stick at it’.