Video-only social media platform TikTok could be influential in attracting a younger clientele to your salon.
According to an article published by Professional Beauty UK, one billion people globally use the TikTok app each month, not too far off Instagram's 1.4bn.
“TikTok is the biggest innovation in marketing that I’ve seen in the past decade – a platform exclusively for video content that encourages authenticity and supports smaller creators,” says Ben Lifton, founder of salon marketing consultancy Content Kweens.
He goes on to say that the app has the most intelligent algorithm. “This means that each consumer’s ‘for you page’ (FYP) is scarily accurate, and the content you love creating can be found by people like you. This page also constantly shows new content from accounts people don’t follow, so you have more opportunity to show up in the feed of prospective clients – far more chance than you do on Instagram.”
Contrary to the perception that TikTok is mainly used by teenagers, in the third quarter of 2020, 24% of the app’s UK users were aged 15–25 (generation Z), while 9% were 26–35 (millennials) and another 9% in the 36–45 age group, according to stats collated by business data platform Statista.
If you want to get started but have no idea where to begin, Sophie Willmore, digital marketing executive at Sienna X, suggests keeping things simple. "Posting motion content of your treatments gives those hesitating to book an insight into what they can actually expect, while making existing clients aware of what else you offer – this may just encourage them to book in."
To get things off the ground, she suggests offering half price treatments to clients who give their permission to be filmed for the purpose of featuring on your socials. "You can even offer free treatments to clients who may be spending an extended amount of time with you to film the content, inviting them in after your paying clients for the day are done."
Willmore adds that it’s important to show the face behind the brand, as people want the authenticity of seeing a real person. "Your business can benefit hugely from leveraging the opportunity to display people and personalities via TikTok and Reels," she says. "Educational tips and tricks from you will be invaluable to your clients. If being on camera doesn’t come naturally, try not speaking first and providing on-screen text to support the visuals instead."
TikTok differs from other platforms in the social media realm because ‘fun’ is such an important element in what should be created, but your messaging also needs to be consistent and authentic.
“You need to create content that’s aligned with your brand. There is nothing that generation Z hate more than try-hard millennials and baby boomers,” explains social media consultant and digital content creator Akesha Reid. “I think a lot of people assume that TikTok equals dance challenges and lip syncing, and while there is a lot of this, that doesn’t have to be your trajectory.
“#LearnonTikTok is a campaign by the app [which celebrates the best of TikTok learning] that’s had huge traction because so many creators have seen their hacks go viral. So, is there a hack that your clients could be doing at home in between salon treatments? Or a common hair care misconception that you want to myth bust? These are the kinds of videos that are saved and shared, which encourages more views.”