Facebook is no longer your salon’s friend

In January 2018, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, announced major changes which are now affecting your salon or clinic on Facebook.

If part of your marketing budget currently goes to paying an employee or external company to create and post on your Facebook page, this is now a waste of your money and it’s time to stop.

Why? Because, according to Facebook, “posts you see in your News Feed are meant to keep you connected to the people, places and things that you care about, starting with your friends and family”.

Facebook has always been a ‘social network’, it has never been a ‘sales network’.

The announcement above is not a new direction from Facebook, they have always had this focus, they are just doing something about it now.

The most important part of Facebook’s statement above is “starting with your friends and family”.

According to Facebook, the average Facebook user has about 338 friends.

This means Facebook will now give priority to the photos, videos and content from the on-average 338 of a user’s friends and family ahead of your business’s unpaid posts.

Why has Facebook done this?

Facebook has been moving this way for many years. If we went back three years, maybe 40 percent of the posts you put on your business page appeared on the News Feed of the people who ‘liked’ your Facebook page. In 2017, this fell to less than two percent meaning almost all of the people who liked your page did not see your content.

How will this affect your salon/clinic?

To understand how powerful this announcement is for businesses, we need to look at how people use Facebook.

When you log into Facebook on your mobile or computer, you will see your News Feed.

The News Feed is where a user sees everything that is on Facebook.

People typically don’t visit business pages or groups – if they like your business page, it will be because they saw it in their News Feed.

The exception to this rule are those consumers who are close to making a purchase decision.

At this stage, consumers are looking for reviews and they are looking for an expected result, or proof that you can do what you say you can do.

Google Reviews is an obvious first port-of-call, but Facebook also captures reviews on business pages.

Consumers will most likely visit your Facebook page to see reviews and look at photos like your before-and-after photos to get an idea on how they could look, or the result they could expect.

So what’s the good news?

The good news is that Facebook and Instagram can be a viable and consistent source of paying customers for your business.

Our agency data shows, that paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram generates on average 30-40 percent of the contacts for a clinic.

Here are a few steps to take:

  • Stop posting on your Facebook page for the sake of it. The ‘Happy Monday’ posts are a waste of time. Post relevant treatment information and photos instead.
  • Focus on educating consumers.
  • Make sure you have the Facebook Pixel on your website and you are using it
  • Learn how to get the most out of paid advertising, or pay an agency that can deliver you leads.

How to target your ideal customer on Facebook

Through the Facebook Ads Manager or ads platform, you can advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

In the past two years, Facebook has done a lot of work on allowing businesses to target their ‘ideal customer’.

Facebook collects thousands of data points on every user, the websites they visit, purchases they make and the content they like, etc.

Let’s look at an example to see how specific you could get in your advertising: Your clinic offers laser hair removal services in Sydney. You can target all females between the age of 25 and 45, within 10km of your clinic who are interested in ‘hair removal’ + ‘waxing’ + ‘IPL’ + ‘plucking’ + ‘epilator’ + ‘brazilian waxing’ and more. This is called interest targeting and it is a very effective way to reach an audience that does not know you, but is interested in the services you offer.

Due to Facebook’s recent changes, paid advertising is essential to reach potential customers.

If your clinic is not currently attracting paying customers consistently from the major digital channels like Facebook, Instagram and Google, it is time to add this to your marketing strategy.

To start, you will either need to learn how to target potential customers or pay a company or consultant to do this for you.

Jonathan Carroll is the marketing director at Engage Online Marketing.

 

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