A Twitter Guide for Salon Industry Professionals and Businesses – Part 2
Part 2 of a 2 part series
Followers & Following
In Part 1, Twitter ─ your ‘Aha’ Moment we looked at how to Twitter with a salon industry focus. This part 2 is about who to follow and how to find the people you want to follow on Twitter.
Who Do You Follow?
Who you follow (and who you want to follow you) depends on why you are on Twitter in the first place. Let’s begin by making sure we all understand the definitions of ‘following’ and ‘followers’.
What is Following?
Following someone on Twitter means getting their updates in your personal timeline. If you follow someone, you’ll get their updates on your homepage when you log in. You can see who gets your updates by looking on your followers page. You can make changes to who you follow on your following page.
What are Followers?
Followers are people who elect to receive other peoples’ Twitter updates. When you post an update to your Twitter account, your followers will get it on their home page and/or phone. You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you, and unless an account is private, you can follow and un-follow whoever you want without them following back. Mutual followers can send each other private messages (DMs), and you can choose to get notified by email when someone new follows you or sends you a private message. Your follower/following stats are listed on your profile page.
Know Your Reasons for Twittering?
There are only three reasons I can think of to twitter:
- Make other salon professionals and beauty industry businesses aware of you/your business.
- Speak directly to consumers/client prospects for personal or company branding.
- Develop new client/customer outreach channel (service, promotion).
- Learn new things.
- Have fun?
- Learn more about social media.
Get Lots of Followers.
- Not a lot of good reasons here. Gathering thousands of followers is not that hard. There are lots of people out there that care about that. To do that will overwhelm you with tweets and you’ll be one of those people with the most marketing & social media ‘mavens’, IT people, and media/journalism/PR experts’ on the block. That is the largest population of active Twitter users on the planet. The social media mavens are dying for you to follow them. My advice? Don’t follow every Tom, Dick or Harry. Remember your goals. Volume doesn’t count, especially when you are targeting specific audiences. For me it’s about quality.
Deciding your priorities determines your strategy for following. You might even choose to have more than one Twitter identity. (More on that later).
Building Salon Industry Followers
I’m assuming you want to find other salon industry people and businesses on Twitter and connect with them as you do on Facebook or LinkedIn. Twitter is a great place to ‘fish around’ to meet other salon industry people and businesses you haven’t met yet. You do that by being interesting & personal, with the goal of bringing people closer to you and giving you and your business a personality … your personality. Your goal is to be who you are. Hopefully, that is someone people enjoy hearing from :-).
I say ‘ fish around’ because Twitter is where you can pique people’s curiousity (get a nibble) and be interesting enough for people to want to learn more about you (i.e. ‘landing’ them on to your website or other place of your choosing).
Twitter is not a great place for traditional marketing thinking. It’s not about ads and selling and promoting your products and services in the usual ways. People turn you off like a TV commercial. They either stop following or stop reading your tweets. You turn them on by being interesting & helpful, by engaging in conversation, and communicating on topics of interest to your followers. It’s a very different form of outreach for most business and people to get used to.
Rule of thumb: Spend 90-95% of your Twitter dialog on topics of interest to your followers. You can use the other 5-10% for creative self-promotion.
Where do you find the followers you want?
- You hunt for them one at a time.
- You ‘search’ for them on Twitter.
- Yes, it is time-consuming.
- Yes, it is worth it.
Finding People or Businesses on Twitter.
Geographically, salon and spa pros are all over the world so you probably want to cast a wide net. Here is a process you can use:
- Search for someone (or a business) in the biz on Twitter. If you already know someone you like and respect, start with them and jump ahead to step #3.
- Here are a few suggestions for searching:
- Click on the photos/avatars of their follows and followers one at a time and learn about them.
- Read their tweets and bio information.
- If there’s a link to their website, check it out.
- If you decide they look like someone you are interested in, click to follow them.
- They will be notified (by email) you are following them and probably will ‘check you out’ just as you just did to decide if they want to follow you back.
Get Followers Using Traditional Marketing Tools
This part is much easier for traditionalists. Let everyone in the industry around you, including your customers, know you are on Twitter and ask them to follow you:
- Put “Follow me on Twitter” reminders on all your marketing material (website, emails, ads, flyers, signage, biz cards, etc). Motivate them to do so. Here are some good Twitter graphics.
- Email your contact list(s) a link to follow you on Twitter. (Here’s the email service we use).
- Include your Twitter URL in your email signature.
- You know the rest.
Tweet for Your Salon Industry Business
The nature of your salon industry business determines your Twitter follow strategy. Three options here:
- You are a salon (spa) owner or independent contractor looking to grow your client roster.
- You are a distributor looking to reach your customer’s clients to help pull your manufacturer’s products through and support your salon industry customers.
- You are a salon industry manufacturer looking to brand your company and bring your products to the attention of the consumer.
The Primary Search Difference? Geography.
- Salon owners and independents seeking to grow their client base are going to be interested in finding followers within a defined geographic area. The tools to locate ‘Tweeple’ (See the Twitter dictionary) geographically are listed above under ‘Hunting on Twitter’.
- Distributors will be interested in a geographic area that matches their territory. That will include their industry customers (salon professionals). They may also be interested in reaching consumers in their territory. Here is where the two identities I mentioned might come in. You can have a Twitter identity (e.g. AcmeBeautyPro) that serves the needs of your customers (for branding, customer service, and value awareness) and another (AcmeBeauty) for outreach to your customer’s customers to help promote your product lines to consumers (your salon customers will like that).
- Manufacturers want to reach everyone at every level of the distribution chain. Their customers (distributors and beauty stores); Their customer’s customers (salon owners and independent contractors); Their customer’s customer’s customer (consumers); All with branding, promotional support for pull-through, and customer service Twitter activity.
No matter which category you fall into, the tools mentioned above in “Hunting on Twitter” will serve you in locating people on Twitter. In many of the links in this post you will find myriad other Twitter tools to search with as well.
For all of you, you now have the magic formula (90/10) for being a good Twitizen.
Twitter For Recreation
Beyond its business applications, Twitter is simply a lot of fun. It’s a great way to learn, get the hottest news, find interesting places to go on the web, discover things you would never think of yourself, meet new friends, and much more. There’s no shortage of writings on the internet on the topic of Twitter so have fun playing, learning and growing.
Two Bits of Last Minute Advice
Don’t over follow – Only select 10-30 (at most) people at a time to follow. Let a day go by while you watch many of them follow you back. Continue to tweet things of interest to your prospective followers.
Don’t follow every Tom, Dick or Harry. Remember your goals. Volume doesn’t count. Quality matters. You simply won’t believe how many people will want you to follow them once you start tweeting.
Excellent Twitter Resources
That’s it for Part 2
- Part 1 – Getting Started on Twitter
- Part 2 – Followers & Following
- Part 3 – Twitter Tools Make Life with Twitter Easier (future post)
What Good Advice Do You Have for a Twitter Newbie? Leave a Comment.
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