Forget ‘Likes’, Build Connections

‘Likes’ aren’t everything.

I know you’ve probably heard this before, but has it really sunk in yet?

Even in the world of Social Media Marketing, where it really does feel as though ‘likes’ do mean quiiiite a lot... I promise you, they aren’t as important as you think. You know why?

Instead of aiming to get as many ‘likes’ as possible on our Social Posts, we should really be aiming to create connections.

It feels like somewhere along the way, we have forgotten the word ‘Social’ in Social Media. ‘Social’ means interacting with others, forming connections, relationships and even friendships. You know... like, being social.

We’ve become so obsessed with ‘likes’ that Instagram has actually recently considered taking away the option for others to see how many ‘likes’ a photo has gotten, in the hopes that the focus will be less on ‘likes’.

It’s just like when people say- “would you rather have 20 average friends... or 5 really good friends?”

The answer is 5 good friends, right?

Well, the same applies to Social Media.

So how can we aim to build connections instead of ‘likes’? I have put together a few tips for you.


Tip #1- Use Video

I’m sure if you’ve ever stalked The Salon Owners Collective and The Salon Marketing Collective Facebook pages, then you would’ve seen at least a few videos of me. That’s because the best way to form connections with people online is through video.

With any business, people want to see people. They want to be able to put faces to names, get to know, like and trust you and get a glimpse inside this business who they’re considering spending their money with. Instead of a wall of ‘backs of heads’- they want to see you and your clients who might be just like them.

And the best way to truly let them inside your business, and let them get to know the personalities of you and your stylists, is by video.

People want to be entertained- and after all, a picture paints a thousand words! So instead of sitting there, typing your Product Pick of the Month for Facebook, or writing about your amazing stylist ‘Amy’ in an Instagram post... take a video! She could chat about her favourite product right now, and show your audience what it can do on their hair. Take your video on Instagram Stories and chat to stylists around the Salon, asking them what they’re doing. Even go live!

I recently chatted with Kim Barrett for the Salon Owner’s Collective Podcast. Kim’s business Your Social Voice sets out to help business owners do what they do best, and take the pressure away when it comes to marketing.  We chatted about the importance and effectiveness of video content, and Kim made an analogy that I loved.

He said that you should think of your newsfeed as the town square, and your Salon as one of the storefronts . So how are you going to bring attention to your storefront? The answer: with video. It’s the best way to interact with people and draw them into your business. Make the most of what modern advertising has to offer!

You don’t need to have a professional film crew, just a phone with a camera and a little attention to detail.


Tip #2- Remember why you’re doing this

The second most key factor to creating connections online is remembering why you’re doing this.

Think before you push send! Why are you posting that? Don’t just do it for the sake of ticking a ‘done box’... you need to have a purpose.

And remember the difference between ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’.

Marketing is making your business visible... you can’t sell a secret! Getting your name out there, and telling people who you are, what you do and why you do it. It’s in marketing that you should be aiming to form connections.

I like to call it the ‘know’, ‘like’, and ‘trust’ factors. Essentially, people have to trust you to want to do business with you. And before they can trust you, they have to like you. And, you guessed it.... before they can like you, they have to know you, who you are and what you do… and most importantly.. Know what YOU can do for THEM.

This three-step process is the ultimate aim of Social Media Marketing.


Advertising, on the other hand, has a more direct and straight-forward outcome. Advertising is all about direct responses, and encouraging people to take action (usually buying your offer)  based on what they see..

Making this distinction between marketing and advertising is important because identifying which one you are doing, and why, is important.

Marketing is the best way to warm up cold (people who don’t know you yet) potential Clients  online. Cold Clients  are those who don’t know your brand, they don’t have any reason to want to invest in your brand. They haven’t had a glimpse inside and they could easily ignore your storefront in the town square if you don’t grab their attention. So you need to warm them up! Tell them who you are, what you do, let them get to know you. No need to be too ‘in your face’ and try to blast them with sales... you need to warm them up first with engaging content.

Advertising, on the other hand, is the best way to convert hot potential customers online into real life paying customers. Once you have warmed them up and begun to form that relationship with them, that’s when you can begin really advertising to them to take action and ‘book with you’.

So, I repeat, think before you push post! Don’t just ‘market’ or ‘advertise’ for the sake of it... know why you’re doing this and remember that intention in every Social Post that you do.



Tip #3- Who are you talking to?

When you’re thinking of your potential customers as cold, warm or hot, you must keep in mind what type of person you actually want to attract into your business.

Who are these people? Who are you marketing to? Who do you want to form these relationships with?

Every business should have an ideal client.

If you have an ideal client, you should know everything about her/him. What’s their name, how old are they, what job do they do, what do they do in their spare time, who are their friends... and perhaps most importantly: what problems do they face?

Lots of brands don’t spend enough time thinking about the problems their audience faces. But when it comes down to it, being a ‘pain killer’ is much more effective than being a ‘vitamin’.

What I mean by this, people want their existing problems fixed way more than they want their potential problems prevented.

So, you should always have in mind a targeted ideal client, and you should always be trying to solve their problems. Get in their heads… like, in front of the mirror at home. What are they thinking, going through.. And what would you want to see if you were them?

This is the person you are wanting to build a relationship with... so you should probably get to know them... well!

And once you know who that person is, incorporate that into who you’re making your brand out to be. What can you offer them that’s different to everything else that might solve their problems, too? What space are you carving out in the market? Why are you the best for what they need? Why should they choose YOU over someone else?
Remember you can’t be everything to everyone.

Meet them at their level, and start building the relationship from there.


If you haven’t realised yet... Social Media has pretty much taken over the world! So it’s time you started taking it seriously. Social media deserves way more time and thought than just squished in between clients and cancellations.

If you don’t have time, make time! Or find someone that does have the time. More and more Salons are hiring in house Social Media coordinators, as the importance of Social Media marketing becomes more and more obvious. This is something I would really recommend, and as long as you find the right person that ‘gets’  your brand, you’ll never look back!


And if you need more help with your Social Media Marketing, I know my team at SalonBot would love to hear from you. Just click here to find out more about what we do.

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About the author, Larissa

Business Coach & Marketing Strategist: After 20 years of salon business I worked in online marketing & technology development, Business Development Manager at Timely Salon Software and co-founded HAIRshare app for Stylist.

I love helping stylists & salons with marketing strategies, the latest technology and working smarter, not harder in salon business.

Salon Owners Collective is an online community with the mission of inspiring and empowering Salon Owners from around the globe to grow beyond owner operator. Turn your ideas into a reality, build successful businesses and live with clarity and purpose.