From the blog How to Build Your Barber Shop Clientele Using Social Media

The most successful barbers today know how to build barber clientele using social media. Gone are the days where you could hang a striped pole outside your shop and expect people to walk in. Today, marketing for barber shops is important for ensuring a consistent flow of customers, especially for shops in high-rent neighborhoods. Combine a strong social strategy with a plan to improve profit margins and you’re on the way to success.

Along with your scissors and clippers, social media is among the most valuable tools a barber has today. How do you get started though? Here are some vital tips from our social media team:

Set Up Profiles

The first step when establishing your brand on social media is setting up profiles for each platform.

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Most barbers don’t have the time to maintain profiles on every platform out there. Different platforms attract a different audience, which makes selecting the right ones important.

For people in the beauty industry, Instagram and igstories are far and away the most valuable resources for generating interest, through in-the-moment, punchy content that doesn’t require a lot of time to plan out and generate. It’s highly visual, which helps barbers show off the quality of their work — with a little extra room to show off personality and vibe. When people look for a new barber, that last part is very important. When deciding how to brand yourself on Instagram, know your market.

Facebook is another important platform for barbers and stylists. Not only does it frequently come up near top results for Google searches, it’s a place where you can syndicate your instagram images and produce short native videos on-platform — and pair that with vital information such as address, business hours, etc.

The Elephant in the Room

Of course, every small business owner is well acquainted with Yelp. Most have a love/hate relationship with the platform — for many more, that scale is well tipped toward hate.

Whatever your opinion on Yelp, it’s a necessary component in your online barbershop marketing plan. It’s a social media platform in its own right, and should be used as such. Claim your profile page and keep it up to date with your hours, prices, and offerings. Upload photos of your best work to show off what you are all about. If you receive complaints from customers, address them directly in the comments. Be courteous and help solve their pain points as best you can.

Build A Presence

The next step is to start posting images of your work. Best practices suggest posting at least once daily if possible, but no more than two or three times on Facebook or Instagram. Posting too frequently can turn off your audience by dominating their feed. Some research suggests that posting too often then getting little response can actually get your content de-prioritized by Facebook’s algorithm.

Choose Hashtags

One tactic for building an audience involves using hashtags. There are a whole lot of hashtags related to barber culture today, and choosing one with a lot of traffic when posting images will boost your reach.

Hashtags aren’t just valuable as a way to get your content out into the world — they can also help you find places where interested people in your industry hang out online. Follow hashtags and join in conversations about the work other people are doing to build a sense of community (and maybe scoop up some of their followers in the process). These kind of connections are great for brainstorming marketing ideas, checking out cool stuff others are doing, and working out collaborations.

Interact With Others

Social media is supposed to be social — use it that way!

Engagement is the most important metric on social media today. Most platforms, notably Facebook, use the frequency and quality of interactions to determine where content lands on a viewer’s timeline feed. Posters that actively engage with their audience create an environment where conversation — and occasionally debate — is welcomed.

Interaction is a two way street, though. Reach out to other prominent barbers and stylists, as well as local businesses, to complement the work they are doing. Follow up on pertinent hashtags to say hi to people from across the country and around the world. Get your content out there and build a follower base. Ask your clients to follow you in person, too. Social media is all about community building — reach out and be friendly.

Go Live. Use Video

Video is everywhere on social media today. Nearly every platform today uses some video feature — including Yelp. Research shows that video, especially live-streamed or “stories” style video, gets higher engagement than text and photos combined.

If you’re using Instagram and Facebook, you should be using video. Thanks to smartphone technology, you no longer need a camera crew and editing software to showcase your work — it can be done in a matter of minutes, anytime and anywhere.

Instagram Stories are a popular marketing tool. Barbers have two options for creating stories:

  • Organic posts — which go out to your followers and don’t cost anything. They are active for 24 hours, then disappear into an archive which only you can access. If you like a video, you can pin it to your profile page.
  • Paid posts — which are advertisements in the more traditional sense. They are short videos with graphics that play between videos on a targeted person’s Stories feed. Paid posts on Instagram can have a “swipe up” option that links directly to your website.

Another option for barbers on Facebook is going live. Live-streaming from Facebook instantly connects you with your followers, who are given a notification that you’re live. They can then interact with you via a chat feature and give you feedback with likes, hearts, etc. Going live is prioritized on Facebook’s algorithm, which presents a no-cost opportunity for barbers with a little charisma.

Just finish a great cut? Show it off by going live and, if they’re okay with it, maybe asking your customer a few questions about their experience. Give your audience a tour of your shop and introduce your team.

Offer Something

Once you have a strong audience built up, offer them something! Even a small discount offered to first time clients can get fresh faces through the door. Promote a referral program where discounts are given when you come with a friend. Be creative!

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