Do you just cringe every time you hear somebody say the word algorithm?
I know, me too. Just 4 short years ago most hair stylists didn't even know that word existed and now it's become a topic of daily conversation.
Facebook is still the largest, fastest growing social media platform, yet only an estimated 6% of hair stylists are using the platform correctly to grow their business. The great news is that if you do take the time to just understand how to use the platform correctly, you can be dominating a platform that 94% of stylists aren't using correctly or aren't using at all. Talk about the upper hand!
I get an email or Facebook message daily at this point from a stylist asking
"what promotions should I run to build my clientele" or "what do recommend a new stylist does to build their business" or "I'm moving to a new city and starting over, how should I rebuild"
The answer to each of those questions and about a dozen others is "quit making excuses and finally learn how to use Facebook to grow your business".
I think it's time we dive deep in to what is working and what isn't working today in Facebook marketing for hair stylists....
What is the Facebook Algorithm?
The Algorithm in it's earliest form was put in place in 2009. For nearly a decade Facebook has very openly said that "protecting the user experience" was it's number one priority. With that in mind, the algorithm was born as a way to build a custom Newsfeed for each user based on what they love seeing the most.
Algorithm is essentially a term for a mathematical system used to evaluate over 100,000 factors to determine what you'll see each time you log on to Facebook. Facebook takes in to account Facebook Pages you like, top accounts you interact with, what ads you click on and even what stores you shop at online to determine what you see when you scroll the app.
How does the Algorithm work?
The Algorithm essentially rewards you for good behavior. You post something high quality that gets good engagement and Facebook rewards you by showing it to as many of your followers as possible.
On the flip side, if you post a photo that doesn't get good engagement within the first hour or so after it's posted, Facebook knows that it must not be something people are really that interested in so, since the priority is to give viewers the best possible experience, Facebook phases your post out of the Newsfeed.
What is "organic" traffic on Facebook?
When the algorithm determines that you've posted something worth sharing with your followers in the Newsfeed it will continue pushing that post out in front of as many of your followers as possible and we call that "organic" traffic.
For obvious reasons, organic traffic is what we all hope for. Ideally, we could just post great pictures of our work on Facebook, Facebook would push those photos in to the Newsfeed, new clients would see those photos and would be interested in coming in to see us.
Unfortunately, those days no longer exist and the Facebook game has totally changed.
Is it even possible to get out in front of more of my Facebook followers without paying for traffic?
We've all been tempted by the "Boost Post" button that screams our name every time we post to our Facebook Business Page (don't ever Boost a post by the way), so is that really the only way to get out in to the Newsfeed?
No way!! Organic traffic is still in existence, the problem is that most stylists aren't posting engaging, high-quality, posts. We already know that Facebook has openly said that they will only put high quality posts in to the Newsfeed so all you need to do is figure out what your clients actually CARE ABOUT seeing and start posting those things instead of what YOU THINK they want to see.
So what kind of posts are performing well for hair stylists as organic traffic in the Newsfeed today?
Great question! If you're filling your feed with amazing after photos and awesome quotes and left wondering why your Facebook page isn't performing well, I've got you covered.
There are 6 types of Facebook posts every stylist absolutely must be using on your page. To learn more click here and register for my TOTALLY FREE ONE-HOUR ONLINE MASTER CLASS: THE FACEBOOK RESET where I cover what to post, how to post and so much more.
What can I do to make my posts perform better in the Newsfeed?
Okay, so we all know now that the Algorithm rewards posts that perform well. So what the heck does "perform well" even mean and how do we make that happen?
The Algorithm is looking at 5 different factors when determining performance:
Clicks On A Link
That's it. If somebody clicks to open up your photo but doesn't like it or comment on it, that doesn't count. If somebody slows in their feed to look at your photo but doesn't like it or comment on it, that doesn't count.
Essentially, you need to post something good enough that somebody will stop scrolling and spend 30 seconds to take action on your post. That is asking a lot if you think about it.
Should I Boost my posts to make it out in to the newsfeed?
You know that little blue "Boost" button that lives in the bottom right corner of every Facebook post? Have you ever been tempted to push that button in hopes that more people will see your photo? Of course you have! We all have so I totally get it.
The bad news is that you really shouldn't be pushing it because it won't do much to grow your business.
Here's how the boost works...you hit "Boost" and Facebook says "okay great, I will force this in to the Newsfeeds of people that we know are pretty liberal with their likes and comments". You know the people i'm talking about; your mom, your sister, that girl who just double clicks on every photo regardless of if it's good enough or not. That is the kind of traffic Facebook chases with a Boost and that probably isn't what you had in mind.
Likes and comments are nice, but if they are coming from the wrong people, those Likes and comments won't do anything to fill your chair. Remember, profitable over popular. We want the RIGHT people to engage so that our efforts actually pay off.
Should I run Facebook Ads?
Yes absolutely! Facebook ads are one of the most cost effective, efficient, simplest ways you can grow your business.
The problem is that most stylists are using Facebook ads all wrong and aren't running offers that will actually work to grow their business. I see stylists all the time putting up an ad with a discount offer to come in and try services in the salon for the first time....nope. That's not going to work.
I just lead 26 amazing stylists through a training program where I showed them step-by-step how to grow their business using Facebook ads and, oh my gosh, the results have been AMAZING. Click here to read their stories and learn more.
Should I share my Facebook Page posts to my personal Facebook Profile? When I do that, the posts seem to do so much better.
NO!! Don't ever do that. You're training your followers not to pay any attention to your business page because if they just hang out on your profile you'll show them the content there anyway. That is the fastest way to completely destroy your Facebook Algorithm.
I know why you do it. When you share a Facebook Page post to your Profile you feel so much better about yourself because you get twice as much engagement which seems like it should help you. The problem is that it isn't actually helping you at all because, think about it, who follows your Facebook profile? Mom, sister, BFF, my random cousin who lives out of state, friend from Cosmo school, the list goes on and on.
Yes, of course they are WAY more likely to engage with your photo, but it's just because they love you as a person and has nothing to do with the post. That kind of engagement does nothing at all to grow your business so while it makes you feel like things are going better, it's false hope and won't actually become real business.
How do I utilize video marketing on Facebook since I do have a professional set up or tons of time?
There are 4 different amazing video marketing options when it comes to Facebook and only one of them really takes much prep, setup and time.
One of the best things about social media video is that it should be relatable. It doesn't always need to be super high quality with great production value. As a hairstylist, potential new clients will fall in love with you mostly for your personality so the more you can showcase who you are with video, the better.
Facebook has very openly said that it will be favoring all video content in the feed meaning if you post a video instead of a photo you will be rewarded with more organic traffic. Facebook knows that users consume more video content on the platform than anything else so it wants to be pushing out video content constantly.
That being said, a crappy video can fully kill your algorithm too, but once you learn what videos are working on the platform and start practicing with them, it becomes fun and almost easier than creating image posts.
My page right now is....well....dead. I am not getting the engagement I want and the algorithm isn't working in my favor. What can I do to turn it around.
That's the great news. You CAN turn it around. You can always learn to use the platform correctly and be rewarded for good behavior at anytime.
If you're ready to finally master Facebook and level up your marketing efforts, I'll see you in my new Facebook Marketing class.....
In this one-hour online class we'll break down:
1. How to optimize your page to take full advantage of everything that Facebook has to offer for stylists and salon owners
2. The types of posts that are getting likes, comments and shares on the platform today
3. How to turn your Facebook followers into real life clients
4. Why contests can make or break your page
5. How to harness the power of video, even if Facebook live scares the sh*t out of you
6. Why most stylists are using Facebook ads all wrong and how to get into the newsfeed for maximum impact without breaking the bank
7. Know the difference between content that will attract new guests and the content your existing clients need to be seeing
See you there love!