Are you relying on social media platforms to manage all of your online messaging and to attract customers? If so, we have some bad news for you: it's not enough. Here's why your ‘social media only’ strategy is bad for business.
Like many small businesses, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are usually the first stop shop for salon owners looking to build a profile online. With millions of millennials scouring these platforms daily, it's the perfect place to usher in reams of new customers, right?
Well, it's sadly not as clear cut as that. If you're using social media and social media only to manage your online business, your whole marketing plan is in the hand of third parties who, let's face it, have zero obligation to you and zero interest in making your salon a success.
Don't get us wrong: social media is a necessity and it is a great way to capture an audience, but without your own website to drive all that traffic to, you're only doing half the job your salon needs online.
For example, you may have built a great following on Facebook, and at the moment, can reach customers for free with lots of great content that you've populated your page with. The sad news is that Facebook can (and will) change any of its currently free services at any time to paid services. And all those followers and great content? They belong to Facebook, not you - so you can't take them with you should you decide to move to a different platform to promote your business.
Speaking of that great Facebook page, do you know what exactly it is your customers love about it, or why they come back? If you have your own website, you can track things such as dwell times on any particular page (so you know whether all that content is actually being read or not) and you will have access to all manner of information about the user that's on your page:
- where they are in the world
- how they found your page in the first place
- which of your pages online get the most traffic
The level of analytics you get from your website is far above and beyond what your social media accounts can give you - don't forget, they will only show you the details they want you to see. And they will also be showing your potential customer what they want them to see. Like a paid for ad by a rival salon, right above where you appear in their stream. Not ideal.
Having your own website ultimately gives you control of what your user sees when they are consuming your content. You choose the quality and substance of the advertising, organic content and everything else that they see as they navigate your pages. Not only that, you get to keep all your favourite functions that your customers love and add new ones over time, while your social media platforms add and take away platforms at their own discretion and often with no notice.
Getting noticed on a social platform is hard work. Your profile and messaging is templated the same way as every other salon trying to get noticed.
One way to stand out from the crowd is by producing great, interesting and relevant content, but even at that, your social media network is not set up to support that. Unlike your own website, where you can categorise your content and drive people directly from a search engine to the article they are looking for (and ultimately the service they need), a social media platform just displays your content in chronological order and doesn't care if you want to bunch all your bridal-oriented pieces in one place. It simply doesn't lend itself to helping you help your customer find the information they need.
There are heaps more advantages to having your own website - eventually, you can add more sources of revenue to your business via advertising, e-commerce and online bookings - but even without these added bonuses, your own website is going to work ten times as hard for your business than your social media accounts do.
Many small business owners are put off by the idea because they fear that setting up a website is going to be costly, time-consuming and requires a level of technical skill that they don't have.
Of course, you can spend thousands on getting a website made, or you can sign up to BEUTiFi - a new service that costs as little as €25 per month and gets you a beautiful, fully-functioning salon website of your own with ongoing technical and marketing support. It's time to take your business to the next level.
To find out more, get in touch with our team.