May 2012

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp

 

Social Media Tips and Tricks

Almost as fast as I think I have a grip on Facebook and Twitter new forms of social media are evolving.

Google is becoming a big player, but Yahoo and almost every other provider are trying to keep pace in order to have a financial piece of this very lucrative pie.

Regardless of which venue you choose to use, here are some ideas to consider.

Keep your comments positive, upbeat and enthusiastic. A positive attitude is indicative of a person who is doing well. Even if times are tough, let them see you smiling and think you are doing well. You will be a people magnet and attract people to you. On the other side, if you post negative comments about people canceling or being late, your potential clients may fear you are talking about them and move away from you.

Pick the venue that will best help you reach your target clients. Ask them. If they don't Twitter, don't go there. Find out if they do social media and which one(s) they use regularly – and how regularly. If they are only on it once a month, then using this as a marketing tool is less productive.

How do you want to use the page? If you aren't sure, it is time for planning. You may need both a personal page and a professional page. Generally they will be linked but each will need to maintain its own message; personal comments shouldn't post on the professional one, but your professional page should post over to your personal one. Your professional page should also be linked to your website where you can have more information and lots of other benefits for your client including educational items.

For professional pages, update frequently. Once a month isn't enough. You need to update every few days. Maybe posting client tips/tricks, or a treatment of the month, all about a new service. Keep it exciting.

Offer a blog that allows for comments or questions. This needs to be carefully monitored. I have heard of situations where a client posted a negative and it became a very tough situation for the technician.

Consider your time. Social media can take a few minutes or many hours of your time. Generally the more time you invest the more effective it will be. But be aware of the point where it starts to interfere with the time and quality of service you are offering your clients and to your family.

Who can you get to help you? If your budget doesn't allow you to outsource some of the time consuming work that needs done, look to your clients. Generally the younger clients are very internet savvy and comfortable with social media. Often they don't have the money for services they would like to have done. Consider a trade with them, their time for your services. If they know you and like what you do this could be a really beneficial arrangement. They would also have a clear understanding of your unique business.

Cross-link. Your Facebook page should have a link to your website and any other social media where you can be found. The same would hold true for your website. Include links to all social media that you use.

Protect your clients. Only post images for which you have your client's permission to not only use, but to post publicly. There is a big difference between taking documentation photos that your insurance may require and putting those photos on the internet. For this, get a separate media usage release from the client so that there are no surprises.

Proof-read. Make sure all posts in social media have accurate spelling and proper grammar usage. It's simple to do now with the auto-correction that is built into most word type programs.

The key to successful use of social media includes clear, positive communications and lots of regular attention. It will be uniquely yours if you do all of the work. But many people successfully out-source it so they can focus on the things they feel they are better at – taking care of clients. If you do outsource the work, doesn't mean you can ignore the pages. You need to know what they are posting for you and make sure it is what you wanted to say.

Judith Culp, has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. She is the owner of NW Institute of Esthetics, Inc. and contributing editor for Miladys Standard Esthetics: Advanced and lead author of Esthetician's Guide to Client Safety & Wellness. For more information visit www.estheticsnw.com.