Social Media Q&A

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“Social media is all about talking with people, not AT them.  Be respectful and bring them closer to you – talking AT them pushes them further away.  Also, know your brand (which you may have spent years building) and stay true to it.  People want connection, a bond and authenticity”.

This month’s topic is social media, so I reached out to an industry expert, Zany Hagy.  Zane is the co-owner of z11 communications, a marketing and public relations firm that has clients across many industries – including beauty – and a heavy focus on high-end products and services and he also sits on several nonprofit boards.  He shares thoughts on some of the key things that salons – especially those who are looking to get more active on social media – should be thinking about. 

 

S:  Zane, given how much things have changed in the past year, what are the key questions every stylist and salon should be asking about their social media presence?

 

Z:  While the world around us has changed, many of the basic business questions related to social media haven’t.  First, why are you doing it – what do you want to accomplish both short and long term?  It’s easy to chase the next white rabbit down another hole, but make sure to always ask yourself why you’re going down the path you’re going down.  Gaining attention is good but what’s the ultimate goal?  Second, what is your brand identity and is your social furthering your brand – does your imagery and communication style match what you want to portray and attract and retain the kind of client that you want?  Third, do the messages and images you are sharing reflect your reality?  Aspiring to be better is great, but people want authenticity, does your social media portrayal match what someone will find when they visit your salon or experience your services?   

 

S:  What are some basic guidelines for social media?

 

Z: Being consistent is key – be consistent to your brand, with your followers, to your friends and to yourself.  Be consistent in your posting schedule and in what you cover.  It’s good to have surprises, but only as long as you are also reliable and providing what they expect from you.  Make sure you are being’ social’ – social is in the phrase for a reason, if you aren’t going to form deeper relationships with your fans, you’re not being as effective as you could be.  Respond to the good and the bad out there to show you are listening and you care.  Also, tinker and have fun – don’t let it absorb you, try new things.  One of the things we are finding these days is that people are redefining what are “important” relationships – use your social media presence to showcase the importance of their relationship with you.  I always warn people not to run after every tool out there, but it’s also good to watch the trends and be ready for the next big thing.

 

Q:  Are there any things you should be careful about on social media?

 

Z: Social media is all about talking with people, not AT them.  Be respectful and bring them closer to you – talking AT them pushes them further away.  Also, know your brand (which you may have spent years building) and stay true to it.  People want connection, a bond and authenticity.  You can’t provide these if you try to be all things to all people – at least not successfully.  And don’t let social media define your life, it’s just a tool… and not your only tool.

 

Q:  There are lots of different social media platforms, do I need to use them all? 

 

Z: From TikTok to Instagram to Facebook, and everything in between, we have the ability to talk to the world and let them know exactly who we are.  It is, however, important to keep in mind that every platform is used differently and may attract different types of people and different types of engagement.  Find out which platforms your best clients are using and how they are using them, and focus your activity there.  First, make sure that you understand each platform and take advantage of best practices for each.  And use tools such as Linktree so you can make it easier for people to connect regarding booking, eCommerce and other social media links.

 

Q:  Any parting thoughts?

 

Z: My overall philosophy is simply to be a black sheep – make sure you stand out but also make sure that it’s in a way that is true to who you are.  Like everything in this world, time, perseverance and focus will win the day.  For some results come overnight – but that’s the exception, not the rule.  You will get better and it will get easier over time.  I’ve run more than 85 marathons and the first ones were the most challenging.  Stick with it, talk to lots of other people (especially people who are familiar with social media) and be yourself.  You likely ended up in the beauty industry because of your special talent for connecting with people – this is just one more way to use it.

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