Outside of organic word of mouth, tanning businesses we speak with now consistently report that social media is their most useful way to reach potential clients. As Facebook and Instagram have become more prominent and tanning business owners have seen how effective and adaptable they are for advertising, we’re even seeing most salons acknowledge that they’re largely abandoning the traditional forms of marketing they used to rely on so much. The cost of print, radio or other forms just doesn’t add up, when they can reach audiences so affordably and effectively on social media and clearly see the results via the analytics the platforms provides.
But, while posting on Facebook and Instagram is free, and paid advertising on the platforms is affordable enough for pretty much any business to fit in its budget, that doesn’t mean everybody is equally positioned to succeed. Just like some businesses have sizable media placement budgets and others have virtually none, some salons are large enough to pay for dedicated marketing personnel and resources. Others have owners that understand social media and can handle it pretty well on their own with the help of millennial employees that grew up in the social media generation. Then, there are others we speak with who are admittedly clueless about the whole thing.
When the Smart Tan staff peruses the Facebook Pages of salons around the country, confirming new openings and closings, we’ve also noticed a broader trend. While many salons do a great job utilizing social media, lots of others have allowed their Pages to fall completely into obscurity. They’ve gone months, or even years without posting, and when they do, it’s only vital information like surprise closings or hours adjustments. Imagine a potential client coming across your Facebook Page and seeing that your last post was three months ago. Do you think they’d be likely to give your business a try? It’s understandable how a small business with no dedicated marketing employee could allow this to happen, but it’s also disheartening to see, because we understand the opportunity they’re missing.
Then, there are others who have sustained their pages, but, quite frankly, they could clearly use some help. While some salon owners will admit that they don’t have an inkling of how to even plan their social media strategy, others simply don’t have the resources to execute it in a way that looks highly professional – like something you’d see from major national brands in other industries. They might not know where to get the right images that they’re licensed to use or how to edit them for their specific purposes. If you’re posting content that doesn’t look high quality, you really need to consider how that’s impacting the way consumers view your business. It’s kind of like putting homemade sign with your name and logo outside your salon.
Whether it’s with training, marketing or other resources, part of Smart Tan’s mission has always been to level the playing for all tanning businesses, from the largest to the smallest. Today, we recognize that most salons need some help, to varying degrees, with social media marketing. First, you need to understand what you need to do, then you need to be able to execute it, and we want to help you with both. In this article, we’ll share the beginnings of a Social Media Marketing Calendar that you can put to work right away and also use as a blueprint for your own future plans.