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As advertising and marketing have increasingly become an online game, social media has become the most accessible tool for self-promotion as a small business owner. However, running social media platforms can be a challenge - especially if you're just getting started.

We’ve put together some resources that can boost your creativity, maximize your content, cut down on your posting time, and improve your efficacy on social media. The idea is to bite off what you can chew and move forward with a solid social media strategy. Choose one or two new apps, tools, or content strategies to incorporate per month, stick to a regular (once per day) posting schedule, and watch your audience organically grow. 

The best part? As a Solapreneur, you have the freedom to fully express yourself and showcase your work in a way that is true to you, your clientele, and your vision. You know your clients (and target clients-to-be) best, so think of how you can serve them up the content they will love. 

(@colored.in.chaos)

First ask yourself, where do my clients (and potential clients) hang out online? What is their demographic and what does that say about their social media habits? For example, older clients may prefer Facebook while millennials more often frequent Instagram, generation Z rocks TikTok and hair gurus tend to love Pinterest and Youtube videos. 

You will need to do the research - take a poll by asking clients directly, or determine the demographics of your most frequent clients and try to cater to them. You can run a poll on an Instagram and Facebook story, or send out an email surveying your clientele. One thing is for certain - once you have an idea of who you are speaking to, you’ll have a more strategic perspective for delivering content that they want. 

Perhaps you already know who you are speaking to and what content you would like to deliver. This should open doors to creating content faster and serving it up more efficiently than ever before. Who doesn’t want to spend less time for better results on social media? Yes, please! 

In the world of social media for beauty professionals, the essential social media apps include: 

And for the brave and persistent (due to the fleeting nature of these platforms) ...

Though Twitter, Snapchat and Tik Tok are relevant and popular platforms and awesome ways to connect with an audience on a casual note, it is not the best way to promote your products, services, or education. 

For a salon professional, displaying visual content and connecting with customers is best on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest because they are content-rich and customer-focused. If you are a wiz at creating beauty tutorials, product reviews, and/or any other video content relevant to your salon, those make excellent and engaging content that can be best discovered on your very own YouTube channel. 

(@gloryhairco)

Next, you’ll want to upgrade your content, hone that aesthetic, and create a system that will make it easier for you to post more consistently. Our apps and tricks of the trade will help you find that social media sweet spot so that you can excel on any social media platforms that you choose: 

1. Instagram/Facebook Stories: If Instagram and Facebook have been feeling stuck for you, try using the stories to spruce things up a bit. These short-term posting functions can seriously boost your visibility and relevance on these platforms. Let your clients in on your day-to-day with real-time updates on the news at the salon. 

(@thehungryhairdresser)

New promotions? New salon updates? New products just in? Let them know! Stories, even though they only last 24 hours, get a lot of love and encourage engagement, and it never hurts to over-communicate with your audiences. To really make the most of stories, tag clients, beauty influencers, peers and friends to get them to repost on their stories. Repost stories that you're tagged in as well so that you are reciprocating the love. 

2. Instagram Live/IGTV: Similar to stories, Instagram Live and IGTV are boosted by the Instagram algorithm as hot, new, relevant content. We all want to stay relevant, right?! Now is the best time to get into video blogging, or “vlogging,” as a way to show the face behind the beautiful salon looks - a great way for your audience to meet the artist behind the chair. A warm face and personality can reel in new customers because they may feel a connection that you simply cannot get through static portrait photos - even when taken in the oh-so-lovely portrait mode. 

Instagram will alert your followers when you go “Live” or post to IGTV, so these video posts tend to get more exposure than your average Instagram Story. In addition, you can seamlessly post IGTV or Instagram Live videos to both your Instagram and Facebook stories, so these videos can live on for another 24 hours for anybody who missed it. Be brave and try out some Live video recordings. They get easier with time and can turn a total stranger into a lifelong client. 

3. Create content with Canva: Canva is a free (with upgraded paid options) web-based graphic design program offering a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface for creating social media graphics, posters, flyers, email content, and more. If you get acquainted with Canva, this program should help you feel empowered and in control of your own aesthetic, instead of having to rely on third-party designers. We love Canva because it is so easy to use that it makes design an absolute joy. You may surprise yourself in your ability to create digital works of art that promote your salon if you put a little time and love into it. 

Check out the social media templates on Canva.com to get ideas for graphics that will amplify your social media presence. From promotions to beauty education to showcasing your work, Canva provides templates that will get the message across seamlessly. First-timers and design professionals alike love the simplicity, efficiency, and effectiveness of this program that has revolutionized the world of user-friendly graphic design.

4. Get more followers + likes with Hashtag Expert: Hashtag Expert is an app for generating the perfect hashtags to generate more engagement with your posts. By using relevant hashtags, you are placing your content in a position to be seen by people for whom those hashtags prove relevant. Do you ever draw a blank when trying to put a few hashtags on a killer post? With Hashtag Expert, you can end the guessing game. You will feed their program a hashtag that describes what is in your post, and Hashtag Expert instantaneously crawls a massive database of millions of hashtags to generate you a personalized group of hashtags using intelligent algorithms. The easy copy/paste function makes it straightforward to collect the hashtags for posting. 

We recommend signing up for a free trial and gathering groupings of hashtags into a spreadsheet that are relevant to your content. Try posting with different hashtags and see which groupings get the most traction. If you are seeing major pick up in activity, then consider using the paid version. Sometimes a relevant hashtag can work wonders for your visibility and potential for content to go viral. 

5. Post seamlessly with Later: Do you ever feel like keeping up with Instagram is harder than keeping up with the proverbial Jones’s? Sometimes it isn’t the content creation that gets us stuck, but the actual real-time posting that can put a damper on the social media activity. After all, as a busy salon professional, you may not exactly have time to be posting real-time all day long or even any time of daylight at all! The platform Later truly revolutionizes the posting process by taking the “real-time” commitment out of the equation. With Later, you can save time by scheduling your Facebook and Instagram posts ahead of time. In addition, you can prep your posts thoroughly with their web-based software, making it easier to craft posts that are true to your branding, messaging, hashtag affiliations, and overall aesthetic. 

One of the best features of this program is the preview mode, where you can actually plan out the overall aesthetic of your posts. With the free version of Later, you can post up to 30 pre-scheduled Instagram posts per month, which is a great start to get you posting every day. 

We recommend checking in with your analytics to see what your busiest times of day are for engagement based on each day of the week. You can program that particular peak time for each day so that your posts will auto-post at those times as you add them to your calendar. 

Later truly takes the everyday struggle out of posting regularly on social media. Just imagine a full month of posts where you don’t have to scramble to post a thing! Just make sure to follow up and engage with your followers through likes, comments, and message responses.

(@gloryhairco)

With recent times bringing salon operations to a slow, now is the perfect time for a social media revamp. Showcase your work during this time like never before to make the most of your time at home. Get your content ready, build your following, boost your engagement and promote your art because it is time to level up online! 

At Sola, we are ever inspired by the constant creativity and artistic genius that we see from our #SolaFam. Tag us @solasalons or #solasalons so that we can stay in touch and repost your content. Our goal is to keep you in the limelight, so keep us in the loop so that we can support your creativity, passion, and social media efforts as much as possible. 

 
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