Success Story: How to Use Facebook to Improve Your Business
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Breaking your leg in a skiing accident is not most people’s idea of a blessing but for Salon Partner Pauline Davidson of Partners Hair and Beauty in Broughty Ferry, it proved to be exactly that!
Following a nasty accident on the slopes in 2010, Pauline found herself on the sidelines for several months while recovering from her injury. Not being one to sit around doing nothing but unable to take an active role in the day-to-day running of the salon, she began to think of ways to use the time to investigate new business strategies. A friend from London told her that Facebook had launched Business Pages for companies, and that was the start of what has turned out to be an extremely profitable journey into Facebook marketing.
Now, we have all heard the expression ‘working on the business rather than working in the business’ to explain the benefits of perspective and distance to ensure that you are following the right strategy rather than just keeping busy! Pauline’s accident gave her this ‘enforced’ opportunity to try different business techniques including social media and this has certainly paid dividends for the salon, but the good news is that you don’t need to break your leg in order to be successful on Facebook.
In the interview that follows you will be able to read what worked for Partners and get some key take-aways that you can apply to your own situation.
Q. It is a real pleasure to catch up with you Pauline and to be able to share your successes using Facebook. First of all, can you set the scene for us by telling us a bit more about your business?
A. Thanks Alan! Partners Hair and Beauty is located in Broughty Ferry and, as the name suggests we offer both hair and beauty services including waxing, Shellac nails, manicures, pedicures and massage treatments.
We have been in business for 15 years and were voted Scottish Hair & Beauty Salon of the year at the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards in 2012 and Best Small Business three years in a row by thebestof Angus and Dundee. We employ 12 full-time staff at the salon and focus heavily on their development, with many of our stylists and therapists also winning industry awards for their work.
Q. What social media channels do you use?
A. The channel that we are most active on is definitely Facebook but we also have a Twitter account that is connected to our Facebook Page and a Pinterest account, which is great for showcasing different hairstyles. I also use LinkedIn.
Q. What successes have you had with your Facebook marketing and how do you know that it is working for you?
A. Facebook definitely works for us! We regularly get between 65 – 75 phone calls per month from our Facebook Page and if we have any cancellations we post these on our Page and the phone rings!
As for being certain about where the business is coming from, we use special trackable phone numbers on our different marketing channels so we can trace the source of each enquiry. We have a different phone number on our Facebook Page than on our website etc. so we know precisely how many phone calls came from our social media activity. We use a company called City Numbers for this service and I would definitely recommend them.
Q. How often do you update your Facebook Page?
A. We try to post something at least once a day but it can sometimes be two or even three times a day as long as there is something relevant to post about, e.g. a cancellation or special deal.
We also make sure that we are posting at key times of day for our customers, e.g. 9am, 12 noon and 5pm works well for us as these are the times when our clients will typically be on Facebook.
Q. What topics do you talk about in your posts?
A. We talk about a whole range of topics, not just about what’s happening in the salon. We do of course post about promotions or late deals we are running, cancellations etc. but these more commercial messages are carefully balanced so we stay relevant on a daily basis. The other topics we post about are staff life-moments and news such as a member of the team having a new baby or getting married, fashion news and humorous or motivational images.
We also ask plenty of questions and post a lot of photos on the page, as we have found that is the best way to get engagement from our community. We like to share local posts from other businesses too, again because this is relevant to our readers, but it also helps to build positive relationships with other local businesses.
Q. Other than your regular posts on Facebook, how else do you market the business on your Facebook Page?
A. We run regular competitions on our page, which are always very popular and are a great way to increase our Likes as well as getting new customers into the salon to experience our business. The key thing to remember here is to use an app! So many businesses are running competitions wrongly by posting them in the newsfeeds but this is actually against Facebook’s terms and conditions and these businesses are risking being shut down by not complying with this rule. We use ShortStack to create our competition apps.
Q. How do you increase your fans on Facebook?
A. Well other than running regular competitions we also ask our staff to share our posts on their own Facebook Profiles, and we have recently been experimenting with Facebook ads as a way to get more targeted likes.
The main thing to remember though is that you also need to have an attractive page and that you are posting regularly and getting lots of comments. That way when someone new visits your page they are more likely to become a fan of the page.
Q. I understand that you also use Facebook to become more efficient in your business! Can you tell me a bit more about that?
A. Yes, other than for marketing and engaging with our community we also use a private Facebook Group to improve our internal communication. Our staff work a variety of hours and it can be a challenge to make sure that everyone in the business is kept up to date with what’s going on and updated on important information. With the Facebook Group all our staff can be kept in the loop much more easily.
Q. What other advice would you give to people who wanted to improve their Facebook marketing?
A. Make sure they are posting regularly so they are top-of-mind with their fans. I would also suggest using professional graphics, as image is very important and you want your page to look professional at all times. I would also recommend following your competitors as well as local businesses.
Following your competitors allows you to gather vital marketing intelligence, and establishing a relationship with local businesses helps you build a network of potential referral partners.
Q. Thank you very much for your time Pauline and I look forward to hearing about your future successes.
1. Think of ways you can track what business comes through social media
2. If you are in B2C, then late deals, special offers etc. can work for you
3. Post about staff news and life-moments
4. Post regularly and at key times of the day
5. Ask staff to share your posts
6. Use professional graphics
7. Regularly post images
8. Use an app to run competitions
9. Ask a lot of questions
10. Use a Facebook Group for internal communications
Originally Published on the Chat Marketing website – 14/08/13
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