5 Reasons why your followers love sharing online and the content they expect from your social media channels

5 reason WHY your followers share online and the content they expect from your social media channels

An effective social media marketing strategy can help boost your small business’ influence in your field, gain notoriety, attract new clients and increase the appreciation of your existing clients. Small business owners in the beauty, health & fitness and wellness industries wish for their business to have an impact on social media and they have a need for better results from their online efforts. A great strategy, based on high quality social media content, has the ability of transforming an unknown small business into a sought after brand. What hairstylists, barbers, fitness trainers, massage therapists, make up artists, nail and lash techs struggle the most with, is creating interesting social media content which their followers would engage with. 

The first step is to decide on your social media marketing strategy and set goals. You start by setting SMART social media marketing objectives for your small business. These objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Then, as you’ve studied your potential clients and know the audience you’re writing for, you have a better idea on what their interests are. Also, if you’re a hairstylist or a lash artist, you’ve also analyzed your competitors. Who are the biggest influencers in your field in the geographical area that your small business serves and beyond that area? Check out their social media channels, to be more aware of what their followers are exposed to and interact with. 

Why create high quality online content for your small business?

You want to create high quality content because “irrelevant content” is the second most important reason for followers and potential clients to stop following businesses on social media. The first most important reason is poor customer service. On the top, there’s also “too many promotional posts”. Therefore it’s important to be smart and strategic about your content. 

If 95% of your posts are “appointments available this week, book now!”, even if you consider it good informative info, it sounds like a promotional post with which you might burn your followers, and completely lose their interest. But don’t get us wrong. You can totally inform potential customers about your available times and encourage them to book appointments, but in a non-invasive way, using a mix of different types of visual, informative, fun, interesting content. 

What social media objectives does your small business have?

An objective for your social media content could be “raising awareness” about your small business.  As with any business objectives, the social media objectives should be measurable as well. So how do you measure the awareness raised as a result of your posts on Facebook, for example? There are many online marketing tools that measure these things up, but as a hairstylist or physical therapist you want to keep things simple. 

The way to measure your awareness on your social media channel is to look at the number of times people saw your content. You can know it exactly, as you look at the impressions and reach of your posts on your social media business page. Another important thing you’d like to measure would be “engagements”. This is the kind of data that social channels provide for you. It is measurable by looking at the number of reactions in the form of clicks, comments and shares.  

Do you know why people share online?

A high quality social media content gets spread out, as your followers interact with it and share it. What is important to understand when you think about what kind of content you should create, is the psychology of people, and why they share on social media. 

A few years ago NY Times published an in-depth study called the “The Psychology of Sharing: Why Do people share online”. The main thing they discovered is that sharing is all about relationships. Here are the reasons why people share online: to bring valuable and entertaining content to others. “I share to enrich the lives of those around me”, said one of the participants in the survey. The 2,500 medium and heavy online sharers participating in the study, were interviewed in person in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  

A second reason why people share online is to define ourselves to others. “I try to share only information that will reinforce the image I want to present: thoughtful, reasoned, kind, interested and passionate about certain things”. To grow and nourish relationships is another reason people share on social media. It’s a way of being connected with contacts that share their same interest, and with friends they would not otherwise stay in touch with. 

Self-fulfillment is another important reason. “I enjoy getting comments that I sent great information, and that my friends will forward it to their friends because it’s so helpful. It makes me feel valuable,” said a female participant in the survey. Pause and think about this for a moment, as there’s a lot to digest from it. If you’re a hairstylist, lash artist, nail tech, make up artist, or any other professional in the beauty industry, and your main audience are women, it’s important to pay close attention to your client’s feelings. That factor is important for the male audience as well, if you’re a barber, but definitely fundamental for the female population. 

In order to interact with it and share it, your content has to be something that makes your followers feel that they are more involved in the world. Can you share something really valuable, fun, interesting that makes your followers gain points with their social media contacts, as they share your posts? 

Getting the word out about causes and brands they care about is another reason people share on social media. They just want more people to support the causes they are interested in. For example, if you have a pet grooming business, your great love for animals is obvious and appreciated. You share nice posts on your social channels with the cutest pictures of little bundles of fur being groomed and pampered. And you also give valuable tips to pet owners. Your love for animals is contagious, and you already have the right audience for sharing it with, because your followers love animals too. 

You love being involved in your local community and let’s say you also support an animal shelter. It’s winter time and you know they are rescuing more animals, that would be freezing out there otherwise. You also hear that the organization is struggling to feed all the rescued animals. So they welcome donations in order to take care of the hungry and freezing newcomers. You chip in a donation from your business, but you want more people to hear about the need and get involved. 

In order to achieve that, you might share some of their posts on your social media channels, as a way to raise awareness about the organization you support. Sometimes you might share one of their posts with a new found freezing hungry puppy,  which urgently needs a home. That has an emotional trigger for your audience. And emotional triggers are great! Whether they generate positive or negative emotions, your content should generate some sort of a reaction in your followers. In the situation just described, seeing the picture and hearing the story of the dog, might raise emotions as sadness and compassion for the puppy, as well anger for the previous owners who let their dog outside in the cold and misery. 

Make sure though that you share enough happy cuteness in general. The emotions you’ll probably want to generate are happiness and joy, as they look at happy little animals. You also want to give them useful advice about pet grooming, and answer their questions about their beloved pets, or even commenting how happy you are for using Appointfix scheduling app

How to make your social media content both interesting, as well as interactive

For barbers, make-up artists, hair stylists, nail techs, lash artists, and any other small business in the beauty industry,  the content shared on your social media channels should be highly visual and attractive. Same goes for the sports and fitness field. Post pictures of your work. Some of the most popular tend to be the “before and after ” pictures of your clients hair, nails, lashes, etc. These photos show your talent, professionalism and expertise. 

Write content that your audience would like to give their opinion on

Either online or offline, people love to talk. When they follow your small business’s  Facebook page and see something interesting, they’ll give their opinion on it. They need to be encouraged to do so though. 

You can think about posts in which you ask questions. For example: “The new year 2020 is here. What hair changes are you thinking of making this year? Is there a new cut or new color you’re falling in love with? Share your thoughts with us.” Think about questions and topics your hair clientele would be interested to comment on, in order to create more engagement. 

Solve your followers problems, post helpful tips

A common thought for small business owners is to think that your audience is following you just to enjoy your work. While it is true that your work is appreciated, your online audience is on your social media channel to get solutions and ideas for their problems. Knowing this and thinking about what your followers want, will help you post something helpful and shareable. 

As a barber you share great posts of your work, giving your clients ideas about the last haircuts and beard trims. Think about what problems your clients and potential clients might have, things they share with you when they are on your chair. Maybe you can come up with a series of posts regarding best haircuts for clients dealing with baldness and loss of hair, for example. 

As a hairstylist, while you share wonderful pictures of your work, you can mix your posts with all kinds of hair tips and trends. You can educate your followers about the latest hair trends,  new colors, hair products, etc. 

“Use a T-shirt instead of a towel to dry your hair”

In an article about 15 top hair tips from top Hollywood stylists, they advise you to use a T-shirt instead of a towel to dry your hair. This is just an example to get you thinking about topics you can ask for your audience’s feedback on. You can share something about Hollywood’s hairstylists suggestion to “dry your hair with a T-shirt idea” and include your own opinion on it. A post like this also gives you the opportunity to ask questions which will raise comments from your audience. 

You’ve probably heard the saying “no one has climbed the ladder of success with both hands in their pockets”. We think that at least one hand has to be on the phone, or both on the laptop (or tablet) typing great things and sharing some nice and interesting content on social media. 🙂 Go for it! 

Emilia is Marketing Director at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at emilia.pustan@appointfix.com.