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Social media for salons and spas – Part 1
August 10, 2012 | By Bruce Hourigan | No Comments
Part 1: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked by salon owners across the country what my stance is on social media and how to best manage team members and their activity when it comes to online social media sites. The topic doesn’t usually come up until a team member decides to leave and then communicates to their friends and followers where they are going and where to find them. Or even worse, when a former employee decides to post derogatory comments about their former boss or place of employment. These are very valid concerns for anyone running a business. While we never want to hear anything negative about our business, unfortunately, at some point it’s going to happen. And guess what — It’s legal. (Think Yelp!)
Somebody once told me that when it comes to social media, it will become a problem when you make it a problem. That hit me square between the eyes. How many times do we find ourselves doing stuff like that? We create friction in our own companies and we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
Here’s the deal folks. In my own personal opinion, the best approach to social media as a business owner is to simply embrace it. Go for it! Encourage your team members and networks to engage with the online community through social media. You have more to gain by creating a culture of social media participation than to try and shut it off. While that may be counterintuitive to many, (especially to those control-freak entrepreneurs) at the end of the day you’re fighting an uphill battle if you don’t. Here are some reasons why:
- Your employees and your customers are already online. And legally, you can’t prevent them from participating in social media.
- Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. It’s time to embrace it and make it work for you and your company.
- Like the old saying goes, “Fight fire with fire.” As a business owner, you can participate too, encouraging a culture of connectedness with your customers and your team. If you want to build brand loyalty, then your company must represent itself in the online community.
- The National Labor Relations Board has stressed that all employees have certain rights under federal law that social media policies can’t compromise. (For a complete report on employer social media practices, go here.)
Next time in Part 2: Best practices for social media
Your turn: What problems or challenges have you recently encountered with social media? How did you decide to handle it?