February 2010

Vicki Peters

The Nail Extension | by Vicki Peters

 

Effective Social Networking

I think back to all requests to be “friends” in Facebook I did not respond to because I thought it was just another teenage fad.

Then I figured out I needed my own page. I still resisted for a while and then did my own Facebook page; not that I ever looked at it again, but I knew it was there.

I still didn’t get it. Along with this tweet thing, ah just another thing I need to stay on top of, who has time? Finally I gave into that too now that Ellen has made it such a big deal.

I’m trying not to end up like some of my friends that are out of the loop, don’t get emails on their phones and refuse to get involved. Once I got involved I started to tweet daily and check my Facebook page often. I know I have to stay on top of what’s going on, and Facebook and Twitter are where it is happening.

You can follow national news, local news and sports as well as keeping up with your friends or promoting your business. Facebook and Twitter, among others are becoming an every day thing.

The increase of people using Twitter to get the word out about their companies, jumped more that 250 percent since the spring of 2009, according to a study done by Palo Alto Networks, a maker of firewall technology. The number of companies using Facebook for tasks grew by 192 percent. The report said everyone is using social networks as a promotional vehicle for their businesses.

Maisie Dunbar, one of the industry’s savviest and well known nail techs, and owner of her own salon, Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge in Silver Springs, Maryland uses Facebook to promote special events and services at her Spa with messages to her clients like this one:

SPA DAY FOR MEN ONLY
Come and enjoy a men ONLY night out Jan. 9, 2010 5 p.m. - 8p.m.

That’s right, we’re taking care of our men. Spa services include: 1/2 hour Massage for $35 (valued at $56), Foot Detox for $30 (valued at $65), Sugar Butter Manicure/Pedicure for $40 (valued at $90), and any Waxing Treatment for $15 (...valued at $20 and up). 10% off any retail product.

CALL & BOOK YOUR RESERVATION TODAY. 301.585.4770.

Dunbar also follows up with posting photos about the events on her Facebook page to make it even more interesting. Her posts and twits draw you right in and the next thing you know you’re on her Facebook page booking an appointment.

According to Maisie she uses social networking not only for business, but for hiring as well. She has seen a two percent increase in business, which may not be much, but considering the economy right now, that’s pretty remarkable. She uses Facebook more than Twitter, however she does post specials on both. She also networks with other professionals like her, and local businesses. She uses them as a tool to get the word out about what ever she is doing in the spa community, as well as for mentoring and announcing her class schedule.

One of the biggest holes in our marketing plan is that we don’t have enough resources or time to effectively market our business so this is one of the tools we can use. We can send press releases to the trades and local newspapers, write a time-consuming newsletter that our clients won’t read anyway or do something short and sweet like tweet them about an upcoming special service.

We already have their contact information and email address, so that makes it a smart choice. It’s a lot easier to use social networking then telling each customer about the special when they come in. They walk in already knowing about the special so that should make it an easy sell.

The nice thing about tweeting is it is short, fast and easy information. Just take the NSS salons. Most clients like the walk-in service, the fact they don’t have to get to know the manicurist and they can have non-committal appointments. Tweeting is the same: informational, short and with no commitment to respond.

Although Facebook is a little more of a commitment, it can provide you with a website if you don’t have one where you can easily post photos, salon specials or photos of your vacations, which we all know our clients want to hear all about.

And the best part of this fast pace social networking is it’s free!

Vicki Peters is a 28 year veteran master nail tech, competition champion, judge, international educator, author and manufacturer and serves on the Nail Manufacturer Council. For more information visit www.vickipeters.com or email her at Vicki@vickipeters.com.