How do I integrate my online marketing?

How to use social media to best effect

Q: I run a small but growing chain of beauty salons and have been marketing online to attract new customer with reasonable success. I’d now like to ensure I’m getting the most of these channels by integrating them all in one strategy. How can I make sure my marketing and branding is consistent and integrated throughout Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc?
David Taylor, MD 2010media Ltd & Fusion author, answers:

Anyone who sets up their own company or is responsible for running a business must have a clear vision for their organisation and what it will be selling – no matter if they are a beauty salon, hypnotherapist, retail outlet or multinational.

Putting together a clear vision, a simple mission statement, and developing an understanding of exactly how you wish to be seen by your target audience form the building blocks of any comprehensive marketing strategy and will influence every aspect of your communications with customers, including social media.

And at the very foundation of any marketing strategy is the company website, with all the other forms of marketing – traditional, social media or online – feeding traffic to it. Therefore the website must be up to the job or all these marketing tools will prove to be less effective or even ineffective.

With the knowledge that the website is working to its optimum level, the salon owner can now start to think about how social media can leverage his or her brand. The key thing is to remember that social networking sites are just another form of marketing and all the traditional rules of marketing still apply – product, price, place and promotion.

Facebook could be an excellent way to engage with customers. I would suggest setting up a business page. This could act as a secondary website and be filled with news, latest offers, customer testimonials, videos, pictures and events. The trick is to get as many customers to LIKE the page so a fan base can be built up.

Two more excellent social networks to engage with customers would be Flickr and YouTube. Portfolios of different stylists within the chain could all be posted to Flickr, a photo-sharing website, while videos of clients and beauticians at work could go onto a dedicated YouTube channel for the salon.

Twitter could be used as a public relations tool to publicise the latest news from the salons as well as product information and special deals. Finally, all staff should have LinkedIn profiles with as much professional information about themselves as possible. At the same time, there should be a company presence on the site too. This will raise the profile of stylists/beauticians as well as the company brand.

Once set up, here are my 10 top tips:

   1.   The sites MUST be regularly updated

   2.   They should also be monitored for positive, or negative, comments

   3.   Get all staff involved in updating the profiles – everyone has a role to play in marketing these days

   4.   Work hard on building fans (Facebook) and followers (Twitter)

   5.   Monitor how many people visit the website from social media using Google Analytics

   6.   Put the social media symbols in the top right hand corner of the homepage of the website for maximum visibility

   7.   Also put them on business cards, email signatures and even traditional advertising

   8.   Choose keyword friendly names for the social media profiles to assist in search

   9.   Think about using Facebook pay-per-click to increase traffic to your page or website

   10.   Be proactive!



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