By Tip Campbell
Producing social media content and social media marketing is like fishing. Use good bait, find the right spot and the fish will be hooked.
With social media, everything you need to show the world who and what your brand stands for is right at your fingertips. You create the content. You drive the image/branding that you want your company to represent. You get to decide what the world sees, where your company is concerned. Social media is an institution in society where you have control over what goes out into the world about your business.
Social media gives you the chance to create any image you want for your business. You get to create a brand from the ground up. Social media is your way of telling the world what your brand means in quality, images, aesthetics, etc. It is your chance to shine. It is instantaneous. The results can be measured. And, unlike advertising that often involves contracts, you can always stop a video, post or messaging campaign when you are ready.
You just have to put your brand out there on the right social media platform with something that catches the attention of the consumer and social media can help your business.
Social Media Platforms
Let’s examine the most popular platforms available.
Twitter is for word messages and photos. It is like sending someone a text. You can use this platform to type a message that can be read and digested quickly. It is usually best for shorter messages and for photos. You might “live–tweet” a contest or competition that one of your groomers is in to keep followers abreast of how they are doing and what all is involved in the preparation and competition.
Instagram is visual messaging. It uses photos to tell stories. Here, the focus is on the photo or graphic, not written messaging. You might showcase your grooms on this platform or show photos of your salon or mobile.
YouTube allows you to do video demonstrations or presentations. It is for video uploads. You could use this platform to also give tours and answer questions, or educate clients through this platform.
Facebook is the most versatile of the platforms. It can function as a combination of the three above. Using Facebook, you can show your brand and tell your story through photos, videos and written posts. You can use Facebook live to give tours of your facility or have “coffee chats” about topics in the industry that clients might need to understand or be aware of.
According to the MeyerFoundation.org, 60% of Facebook users are 35 and older. So, you are likely to reach more of your target pet owner groups using Facebook than other platforms.
Regardless of the platform you choose, the most important step is to dive in and begin.
If you are just getting started in the world of social media marketing, pick a time, a topic and just START. If you worry too much about achieving perfection, you might never get going. Here is a list of my favorite prompts:
- Write down a list of three things you want your existing clientele to know about your business.
- Pick one at–home skill that you wish you could teach owners. Demonstrate that skill on social media.
- What new product have you started using in the salon? What are the benefits?
- Talk about the educational seminars, conferences and conformational dog shows you’ve attended, and discuss industry books you’ve read to show your clients and potential clients just how knowledgeable you are.
- How did you get started? What was that “a–ha” moment (if you had one) that made you realize that grooming was the right fit for you? Talk about that and share that inspiration with your clients.
Like all endeavors, there are ways to improve your social media skills. Learning the ropes can help tremendously.
Dos and Don’ts
–Do be positive. Always focus on educating the clients. Want them to brush more? SHOW them how to brush properly on social media. Get permission to use a matted dog and let them see how important brushing really is.
–Do talk about your salon and all the good things you have going on. Attending a trade show? Post the continuing education seminars that you’ll be attending. Post a photo from the convention with a speaker or showing you learning about a technique or product. Most vendors and speakers will be more than happy to take a photo with you or help you get a photo to post online!
–Do ask open–ended questions. In order to get more page/handle activity on Facebook and Twitter, try to stay away from asking yes or no questions. Ask questions like, “Where is your favorite place to walk your dog in Nashville?” or “What’s your dog’s favorite treat?”
–Do be aware of your surroundings when you post audio, video or go live. Background noise and voices can drown out any message you are trying to send. If you have a mess in the background, people will focus on the mess. Aim for a clean, quiet area with others aware that social media filming or posting is happening.
–Do show off your work! You have the chance to show off your talent and build an online portfolio. Use it! Pet moms and dads will most likely post well–done photos of their pet to their wall, increasing your chance of getting eyes on your posts.
–Don’t complain or use social media to blast your customers or try to call customers out for matted dogs, bad attitudes or any of the million things groomers encounter every day. An important part of public relations is keeping the negativity off of business pages. Focus on the positive!
–Don’t forget to ask permission to feature the clients on social media or have a release form in the paperwork.
–Don’t try to be TOO funny or cute. Your sense of humor might not be someone else’s cup of tea. While people want your personality in your posts, remember that personalities vary. So, a good middle ground is what you should aim for.
–Don’t put too much personal information in your posts. It’s ok to do features about your groomers in a “Get to know your groomer” style post. But don’t talk about your personal issues in your posts. Keep it professional.
–Don’t forget to mention your brand in every post. Whether you mention your brand verbally or through a graphic, make sure that your brand is on every bit of content that goes out. If something goes viral for the RIGHT reasons, you want people to know from where it came.
–Don’t be scared! Be confident in yourself, your training and your skillset.
No matter if you’re an old hat at handling social media or if you are just starting to learn the ropes, remember, using social media is like going fishing; use good bait (social media content), check frequently to see if you’ve gotten any bites or if anyone needs follow–up messaging or posts, and follow through with your social content to reel in the customers! ✂️