Get in front of your audience without paying for ads

By Tom Ferris | 28 August 2017 | Blog, Business, Expert Advice, Feature

Tom Ferris, owner of Blackwell Ferris Marketing, reveals how to reach your social media audience at a limited cost.

I’ve been asked by a few of my friends why I seem to have so much beauty and nail content on my personal Facebook and Instagram pages. Being around friends who typically are into feeds around football, MMA, and other sports and pub related content, it stands out like a sore thumb. Well, I do it because I want to submerge myself within the industry rather than just throw out sporadic marketing blurb at followers without first understanding their needs. I have always been someone who gets the most out of social media by getting stuck in ‘the deep end’ to truly understand my audience – and you should, too.

‘Content is king’ is now an old, tired phrase that actually doesn’t mean anything: it lacks depth and meaning to those who have never stepped into content creation before. On face value its saying you’re ruling your area of expertise by simply creating content. The problem is ‘content’ could be quite literally ANYTHING photographic, artistic, written or recorded.

There’s a lot more to it than just doing anything for the sake of a video on your Insta’ or Facebook profile. However, the biggest stumbling block is that the majority have caught up with images on their Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds and it’s been the driving force behind Instagram’s increasing success – because images stood out among written status updates (years ago!) and captured the interest of ‘scrolling’ eyes.

Fast forward to 2017 and now video is heading towards peak popularity. Just look at your feeds: how often does a video or a ‘boomerang’ appear over a static image? Scary isn’t it? So the next step is then LIVE video… and what happens when that’s all that people share?

The secret is actually hidden behind all of this.

A fundamental pillar in my effort to ‘submerge’ in a community is to go to the locations where my audience feel that they can be open and discuss the details, successes and issues arising in their industry. The details of this are never fully shared on a Facebook page – it’s too ‘open’. Social media’s appeal and success lies in the ability to connect with people and with brands. So why wouldn’t you make the most of connecting with an audience?

Facebook Groups welcome this much more than simple messaging or commenting.

What’s so special about groups?

A group works differently to your Page on Facebook as it allows direct contact with the whole group and isn’t bottle-necked like your page is (to force you to pay for ads) and it hosts a wholly different stream of two-way communication as well as the ability to share information – including the ability to create polls, as well as upload, share, and manage files.

To make the most of this I suggest you take these five steps and before you know it you’ll be having many more two way conversations with your customers:

  1. Start a group making sure that you ‘link it’ to your Facebook page to ensure consistency and ease of passing on the following from your page to your group in parallel. Go to ‘Settings > edit page > tabs > add a tab > groups then add your group to it. Don’t forget to share on your page too!
  1. Make sure the name and header image are similar to your page name and logo (but add into the title its purpose). I’d suggest you name it and use it for Q&A/ treatment questions/nail care/ tips and tricks etc. so it reflects the added value that the group is going to offer over and above your page.
  1. Upload some documents – including your treatment menu, aftercare advice and directions to the salon or spa. These little, and for some obvious, documents will add that extra layer to your customer care and they will easily refer friends to the group after recommending you.
  1. Ask questions to help improve your services: get opinions, chat, get to now clients, monitor who asks a lot of questions, and who likes and follows conversations that perhaps you wouldn’t expect to. Then when they come into the salon talk more about the things they have liked –it may be a great chance to upsell or get a retail sale that you never thought you had the chance to before.
  1. I suggest that you keep the group closed but not hidden: an option when creating the group and also an option you can change later. However, I urge you to consider how you want the group to work before putting this one into place. By making it a closed group it’s easy to find but your competitors don’t steal all of your little tips and expert advice. It also allows you to approve or reject anyone who asks to join the group. If you feel it should be open then by all means make the group open.

Remember that at all times your conversations are viewed by your customers and prospects, so take time at least once a week to chat and be helpful. If you’re a larger Salon with many staff it could be a great opportunity for your senior staff to take on more responsibility and manage the conversations. Just be sure to set out clear guidelines so that you all talk in the same way and adhere to the same rules. It’s easy to get caught in a heated discussion and things get out of hand.

As with anything else on social media, start it when the time is right and really make the most of all of the tools. It’s a great way to get back in front of all your followers without having to pay for ads!

If you would like to join my group to talk more about how you get the most of your page and group then search ‘Blackwell Ferris Salon Freebies & Advice’ on Facebook.

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