I coach a handful of super Insta-famous stylists and educators who, despite their Instagram fame, credit Facebook for still today being their number one referral source for in-salon clients. They love their tens of thousands of Instagram followers that totally fill up their classes, but when it comes to booking day-to-day clients, the stylists are still turning to Facebook.
Think about it….do you have more clients or more fellow stylists following you on Instagram?
Most of you will realize that the bulk of your Instagram followers are other hair stylists which isn’t a bad thing nor does it mean you can’t get Instagram referrals, it just puts in to perspective who is really hanging out there.
I know, I know we all thought Facebook was dead and Instagram was going to be our saving grace, but fast forward and Instagram's algorithms are just as strong as the Facebook post filtering without offering us so many of the awesome Facebook benefits.
If you’re on the fence about focusing marketing efforts on Facebook or if you feel like you’ve been burned by the platform in the past, here are 8 quick facts every stylist should know about building business on Facebook:
FACEBOOK IS STILL THE LARGEST AND FASTEST GROWING SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM.
Facebook is still the largest and fastest growing social media platform. With nearly 2 billion active users, Facebook continues to grow by 18% year over year meaning over 36 million new users will be joining in 2017 alone. Compare that to Instagram’s 700 million active users and it’s clear which platform dominates.
THE MAJORITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA USERS ARE SPENDING THEIR TIME ON FACEBOOK.
88% of 18–29 year olds use Facebook.
84% of 30–49 year olds use Facebook.
72% of 50–64 year old use Facebook.
62% of 65+ year old use Facebook.
When we look at Instagram we find....
59% of 18–29 year olds use Instagram.
33% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram.
18% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram.
8% of people 65+ use Instagram.
Whoa!!! Crazy, right. Crazy, but true. As hair stylists we are Insta-obsessed because it's such a great platform to build our portfolios with, but the vast majority of the rest of the world is on Facebook.
FACEBOOK PAGES JUST GOT A HUGE FACELIFT AND THE CAPABILITIES ARE AMAZING
If you've already dabbled in Facebook business building, let me guess how that went. You built a Facebook page and got so excited. You invited your clients to follow you, made a couple of posts, didn't see much action, "took a break" and now you just make an occasional post and share it from your page to your profile instead because you always get more likes and comments when you do it that way.
How'd I do? Did I get most of that right?
That's all totally wrong and you're missing out on the MAJOR new opportunities available with Facebook Pages and the platform in general.
FACEBOOK IS ALL ABOUT QUALITY OVER QUANTITY SO YOU DON'T NEED TO HAVE 1,000 FOLLOWERS TO SEE BIG RESULTS
As with all social media, we are working for profitability not popularity. I think most stylists become frustrated with Facebook because it isn't as easy to get you first 300 Facebook Page followers as it is to get your first 300 Instagram followers (which also isn't that easy!) but that really doesn't matter.
I just coached 26 amazing stylists through my Facebook Mastery program which is re-opening in about two weeks and while some of those stylists did gain a couple hundred new followers through the process, some didn't and STILL saw more clients in their chair and more money in their pockets.
It's not about how many followers you have, it's about what actions those followers take and if you're using the platform properly you'll see success.
BOOSTING POSTS IS A WASTE OF MONEY
Hate to say it, but it’s the truth. There is a running joke in the social media community that when you select “boost post” it is a direct link to Mark Zuckerberg’s bank account. Obviously, that’s not true, but it sums up why you shouldn’t be tempted to hit that little boost button that is calling your name.
Now, I know some of you are saying
“Hey, I’ve boosted before and I got some good results”
I bet you got results, but in my opinion, they just weren’t optimal. When you boost it basically sends Facebook on a wild-goose-chase to find you Facebook users most likely to like and comment on your post.
Likes and comments make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but they do nothing at all to build our business.
You may boost and a client or two may take action if you’ve boosted the right post, but if you run an ad instead using an AMAZING post, you can spend less money and see a much stronger result.
USING THE FEATURE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO DEFAULT POSTS YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS TO FACEBOOK IS ONE OF THE WORST THINGS YOU CAN DO
Let me ask you this....if it were that easy, why would the two platforms both exist? They wouldn't! Facebook and Instagram are meant to be used completely differently and by defaulting your Instagram posts to Facebook you aren't respecting the platform.
Facebook is all about the personal connection while Instagram is meant to be your online portfolio. You've got to use Facebook in the way that users like to experience the content if you want to see real results.
The other thing is that Facebook doesn't push auto-posted content in to the feed as often as they push organic postings so you're less likely to be pushed out by the algorithm when you use default post tools like the Instagram auto-post option.
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFICIENT, COST EFFECTIVE TOOLS YOU CAN USE TO GROW YOUR CLIENTELE
For real, Facebook ads are an extremely powerful tool that I very rarely see stylists using correctly, if at all. For many stylists Facebook advertising just feels too complicated so they don't even give it a shot. For other stylists, they do give it a shot but their offer is all wrong.
Facebook ads success is a blend of creating an amazing offer using the perfect ad image promoted to an audience that isn't too big or too small while using all the right verbiage to convey the message correctly that makes a new potential client willing to take the leap of faith and give you a shot.
Want to know another little secret? If you run a great ad but your Facebook Page looks terrible or you aren't using the page correctly, your efforts will all be for nothing and you won't see the results you're looking for.
THE FACEBOOK ALGORITHM ISN'T SUCH A BAD THING
In 2011 Facebook introduced an algorithm that uses over 100,000 factors to determine what shows up in your newsfeed and what you never get a chance to see. This algorithm is also what made many stylists jump off Facebook and in to the open arms of Instagram hoping to escape this complex rating system and be guaranteed eyes on their post.
Fast forward to 2016 and now Instagram using the exact same algorithm Facebook uses. Now you'll only make it to your followers Instagram or Facebook feeds if your posts are share worthy.
I personally love the algorithms. Back before these rating systems existed, anybody could post any mediocre piece of content and we all had to look at it because they were guaranteed to make the feed no matter what. Now as we browse our social media feeds we're presented with a custom curated Instagram and Facebook feed based on what we like to see most. It's a much better user experience and I enjoy browsing both platforms now more than ever.
Want to beat the Facebook algorithm?!? Easy, all you have to do is post the right content that creates user engagement meaning likes, comments, tags and shares. That's truly the secret to success. Once you start posting the appropriate content for your Facebook page you'll see your engagement and Facebook referrals increase quite quickly.
And by the way, if you boost posts to get those likes and comments, Facebook takes that in to account and it does nothing to help with your organic, unpaid reach. You can't cheat the system, you really do have to use the platform the right way to reap the rewards.