Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 10. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 10

This entire episode is spent on online reputation since that is such a big part of running any business nowadays. There are many different aspects to consider, including responding to negative feedback, what not to do when it comes to posting on Facebook, how to reach more clients with different posts and have them really be engaged with your content, etc.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 10. I’m your host, Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m your co-host, Zoe Belisle-Springer.

Killian Vigna: So, Zoe, I suppose the theme of this week is online reputation, and the reason being is because we talk about, I suppose, how to manage your Facebook page a bit better, and also take care of the feedback that. I suppose the passive-aggressive feedback that you’re always going to get online.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah definitely, because even though you might get the best reviews face to face, sometimes it can be quite different online, and it can get easily out of control. So it is definitely something that we’re kind of pushing out more this month at least, and making sure people know about it at the start of the year so they can follow through all year long.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, because we always hear of the classic case of people trolling and stuff like that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Like people are a lot braver online – the keyboard warrior, I suppose. So it’s just kind of how to flush them out and, I suppose, not argue with them but work around them, and clean up your online presence.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, like find out the truth at the bottom, like what is it they are actually frustrated about, or what’s not working for them and why they went out online and typed that blatant review. It’s just once you figure out what exactly is bothering them that then you can probably figure out how to work around it, make them happy and make sure your online reputation doesn’t get destroyed just because of that.

Killian Vigna: Cool yeah, so I suppose before we go into how to deal with the very irregular complaints you’re gonna get, let’s just see how we can work towards keeping our most trusted Facebook fans, first off.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, because you know, Facebook is getting harder and harder to advertise. Like many times you’ll have to pay because it’s kind of Facebook’s mentality at the moment, but there are definitely things that you can do to make sure that your current followers don’t leave you. If you’re advertising just like you’re telling them “we’re so great, and this is our product, this and that, and this amazing sale, exclusive discounts,” and you’re always posting the same kind of ads and same kind of-

Killian Vigna: You’re pushing every time.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, you’re kind of like, “buy this now” kind of thing. And sometimes, it just gets redundant and some people will just leave you or unfollow your page. They can still like your page, but they won’t get any of the posts because that’s something you can do. You can just unfollow the posts. So, if they end up doing that then you’re gonna have a hard time bringing them back into your salon. It’s all about being creative on Facebook and switching things up, not only just doing like sales and sales and sales and sales, or not just posting, for instance, just reviews on one page, like you have to make it kind of like attractive I suppose.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You have to have a mix of perhaps photos, and then before and afters, and then maybe a contest here and there. Maybe just a quote of the day to inspire clients, or just mix it up kind of thing.

Killian Vigna: Yeah like essentially, if I’m going through your Salon Facebook page timeline, I don’t want to see the same thing repeated within the first five posts. So we’ll say, every five posts need to be different and then maybe repeat that?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, like you’ll see eventually, if you keep track of what works and what doesn’t works in your insights tab, then you can get an idea of like, “okay this what my audience reacts to and this is what they like,” so keep that in mind, but instead of just using that, mix it up with a little bit of other types of content. Try some other stuff out, and maybe something else will pop up that works really, really well, and then you can like, you have two ways to post to people who are really interested, so you can even just schedule that out like every week on the same kind of day or whatever.

Killian Vigna: One classic example I’d see coming up time and time again is the Phorest reviews. The Phorest reviews are brilliant, and the salon owners love them. Their clients love them. But some salon owners tend to think, oh my clients love seeing the reviews, so I’m just gonna post review after review after review after review. Sometimes it’s worth just toning it back a little, get five of those reviews and put them into one post; you can even make a nice little image where you have the timelines.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, with little tags. Yeah exactly.

Killian Vigna: So mix it up, be a bit creative.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Another thing you shouldn’t do on Facebook and, especially if you don’t want to lose your followers, is either posting all the time or never at all.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Like first of all, if you don’t post ever on your page, forget having a good organic reach, you’re gonna have to pay loads to Facebook to actually reach the clientele you’re trying to get into your salon. And if you’re posting all the time you’re probably gonna clog up someone’s feed, and that someone is probably gonna get annoyed and unfollow you straight away.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, they might deselect you, I suppose, from their thing, so you think they’re still following you, but they’ve hidden you from their timeline.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: But in fact, they’re not, yeah exactly. So they won’t see anything that you’re posting.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, that’s what we need to be wary of. Because, at the Salon Owners Summit last week, I was talking to a client and she was telling me “Oh, I have 1500 clients so”, because we were going through Facebook and stuff and she was telling me she had 1500 fans on Facebook, but like the classic case of you’re not always targeting those 1500. And that’s not down to your fault or down to the fan’s fault or anything, that’s Facebook cleaning up the news feed. So essentially it all comes down to money with them again isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly yeah, they-

Killian Vigna: They’ll show your post to about 20% of your actual fans and say hey, if you want to reach all your fans, pay us a little bit more.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. But you know like I said, there’s always like a middle ground. Try and use – like in one our blogs before we had like a little bit of a social media calendar planner. Even if you don’t have that particular thing right, you just use a regular calendar. You put up like “okay, Monday I’m gonna do this kind of post, and Tuesday this,” and just plan it out throughout the week, maybe on your Monday morning or something like that, and then you can schedule whatever you can schedule beforehand and then just kind of go bits by bits every day if you need to. Like, if you want to do a before and after, obviously you’re not gonna have that photo and that content beforehand. But that kind of thing you post on the day. But if you have, let’s say, an announcement to do and you have all your content, then you can schedule it out and it doesn’t seem like you’re just kind of popping in here and there all the time. You actually have a schedule so you’re not clogging up anyone’s feed. You know exactly when you’re gonna post. And because you’re scheduling things, you’re not posting like five times a day and then the next day nothing.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I can’t agree with that more.  Essentially, if you’ve got structure to your Facebook, then it doesn’t matter with those ad-hoc ones in between, because your clients know all right, on a Monday I’m going to expect this post, on a Wednesday I’m gonna expect this post, and you can even do the same with your competitions, or with your “like and shares”, your reviews, any images like that. If you’re gonna have them restricted to certain days, your clients are going to expect that, and they’re gonna be more engaged with them as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And a third thing that you should be aware of on Facebook is, when you share links and they actually don’t go anywhere. So if you let that … We had a little thing on Facebook recently where I posted just a graphic being like, “Have you checked your website links recently”, and loads of people replied being like, oh my god, that’s such a good idea. Like yeah sometimes, it’s the internet. You don’t think about it, but sometimes a link will stop working for some x-y -z reason, and then you’re like, well I’m gonna share this, and it actually doesn’t work. So you’re sending your clients to something that they’ll just get a blank page being like, well that content doesn’t exist anymore.

Killian Vigna: This point, I’m not gonna say what the next point is, but it works the same for the next point. Like in here we have a buddy system so, before any content goes live, always get a fresh pair of eyes to check it out. And with those links, if you’re going to insert a link into your Facebook post, especially if it’s your online booking link, it’s always worth sending over to someone, or even get someone else into salon to just send it to them, get them to check the link, make sure it works. Double check everything.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, because like, sometimes it’s not even that it won’t work. Sometimes it’s just like you copy/pasted a link, you think it’s still that same link that’s copy/pasted, but in fact it’s like a link that the copy/paste actually didn’t work well, and you’re posting something completely irrelevant if you’re trying to push your online booking link for instance, and you’re posting a link to I don’t know, maybe a Twitter page or something. That’s still like that same problem of the link that doesn’t go anywhere. Your clients are trying to get to book, you’re trying to get them to book, and you’re sending them to a random page, so the buddy system works perfectly for that.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, it’s just a fresh pair of eyes. That’s all it is.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And the fourth point is obviously, I think you mentioned it a little bit earlier on, but arguing with clients on Facebook. Do not do that. It is a recipe for disaster.

Killian Vigna: The temptation’s always there when you get it, but just keep calm. A nice chamomile cup of tea before you, if you do see anyone that’s about to rile you up, leave. Leave your computer, leave your phone, put it down.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Take a breath.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Walk away. Drink some camomile tea. Talk to someone. And then come back and…

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And then, you know, it’s just about like I said earlier on trying not necessarily to take it super personal, but trying to understand where that person is coming from. So perhaps, you know if they’ve posted something on your wall directly and everybody can see it, say: “I’ll message you privately and let’s talk about this, or I’ll ring you up.” Like if they’re a client of yours, and you know that you can contact them, maybe just give them a call and be like: “Alright, so I saw you were unhappy on Facebook, you left this comment or this review, or this and that, I’m trying to understand what’s going on here, can you explain it to me?” Most likely, they’ll be really happy to chat, and if they don’t, you’ve at least done the effort to reach out and try to fix it.

Killian Vigna: It all comes back to empathy again, because you have to bear in mind, especially if it’s not often that you get complaints online, you have to think to yourself well hang on, maybe it’s not just the experience they had in the salon. They could have had a bad day themselves. They could have been in a really busy or they could have been in a big rush, but not have told the stylist at the time, or the beautician at the time. And started getting agitated, and when they left that was it. So you have to empathise, all right, this seems out of the ordinary for the client so, what is going on? And a lot of the time they will just, they want that ear to kind of talk to I suppose.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, a lot of the times it’s just that. And linked to that, spelling checks on your Facebook, making sure your posts don’t have – I don’t know let’s say ten errors in one sentence – that’s one big thing, because unfortunately for loads of people on the internet, it seems to have become a thing now. People troll you just if you have bad grammar and common mistakes. It’s something easy enough to prevent, so it’s definitely worth checking.

Killian Vigna: Yeah we use a tool here, and I won’t write any content without, it’s Grammarly, essentially it is brilliant because essentially, it comes back to days of when SMS message came out, everyone started texting in real short language and stuff like that. It killed the English language. Then we started going back to full sentences and paragraphs and stuff again, and then Twitter came in with its 140 or 160 characters and shortened it again. And then we’re finally coming back the way into sentences and paragraphs, and people are just always too busy to again, the buddy system. If you don’t have Grammarly, or if you don’t have some editor checking tool, have someone else read over it. Just always double check your content before it goes out.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and I mean some errors will slip. It’s fine.

Killian Vigna: It’s human error.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. And you can always edit your post if someone notices it or you notice it later on. Just edit it, it’s fine. But the more you check it, and the more you prevent it, the better it is I suppose. Which brings us to basically our second blog about online reputation, and so, “How You Can Get 1200 Haters And Not Even Know About It” was the title of that one.

Killian Vigna: 1200 haters.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So, this was a blog written by Connor, our head of marketing here, and basically he was reading a research and saw that only 4% of people who have a complaint or a negative experience with a business will ever tell the business owner. So think about it, that’s 1 in 25 of your salon customers that will tell you if they’ve had a negative experience. But that one person when they go online and tell the entire world I’ve had this negative experience will most likely have 12 people following them and just being like, yeah I had that as well. And that can be really destructive for your online reputation overall.

Killian Vigna: You think about it, one tweet, that’s all it takes for you to essentially think, “Oh they’ve ruined my salon.” But they haven’t ruined your salon. There are loads of ways to get around it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Don’t panic about this.

Killian Vigna: Don’t panic at all yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s not like the end of the world or anything, so there are loads of ways that you can actually control and see what’s going on and being aware of all that’s going on online and what people are actually saying about you online. So there are a few tools like, well actually just asking for feedback, it’s-

Killian Vigna: Good old fashioned.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, just good old fashioned. Ask for feedback – and I’m not just saying in the salon face to face, but just on emails perhaps, or just like maybe a little post or on Facebook or, just even a follow-up message. How did you like this treatment, I know it was the first time you had it, is there anything that we can improve on, and people will be more likely to be truthful because they’re hiding behind a keyboard again.

Killian Vigna: Exactly, and with that one again ask for feedback, do not be afraid, no matter how harsh the comment felt. They were a client of yours at the end of the day. Send them a message, go hey, how can we make this better? Don’t get into the argument, don’t get defensive, just go, I’m really sorry about your experience on the day, could you give me a little more information as to how we could have improved it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. And then to go more in depth about this and to try to find what people are saying about you online, there’s a really cool tool that’s called Google Alert.

Killian Vigna: What was that? Google?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Google Alerts. It’s still Monday morning. So basically this tool, you type in, for instance, your salon name in this tool, you ask Google to send you a daily email when they notice that someone has mentioned you online. So they’ll just grab any kind of comment that mentions your salon’s name, and it’ll send you an email so you can easily track what’s going on online. It could be positive, it could be negative, but at least you know. Like it’s coming straight to your inbox, and you have a clearer idea of what’s going on, and then you can easily reach out to the people who are having a negative experience. And if it’s a positive experience and it’s a really really nice review, why not just post it on your social media you know? Like it’s perfect.

Killian Vigna: So, get into contact with the guys that give you bad feedback, and the guys that get you a really good feedback, get into contact with them too, and if you have a website, you can even ask them to put that as a testimonial on your website.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly yeah.

Killian Vigna: So you’re fighting the bad ones with the good ones.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And so if you’re interested in this quite nice tool, Google Alerts, there’s a link to set it up on the blog. So we’ll link that up in Podbean, but …

Killian Vigna: Yeah, for anyone that has a Google account, it’s pretty straightforward. Essentially, Google “Google Alerts” and type in what you want to follow.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And you’ll find it, yeah exactly. And the other thing about how to find what people are saying about you online is searching for your own salon on Google Maps and Yelp because they have reviews and you’ll see it straight away. You’ll type in your salon name in say Google Maps or in Yelp, and you’ll have reviews picking up already. So that’s one way of looking for the information, I suppose. And in the Phorest system, if you do have a Phorest system, you can send out review requests by SMS and email. So I don’t know if you want to talk about how that works, but it’s quite simple actually.

Killian Vigna: With the SMS and emails.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah just a follow-up yeah.

Killian Vigna: They’re already there, it comes under the SMS and email automation, where essentially when a client comes in, has their treatment, once they’ve left, you can just essentially, it’s the tap of a button sort of job, and it just sends an automated SMS out to the client and goes, hey, how’d you get on with your treatment, do you want to review it? And with those, you can even change the content of the SMSs or the emails. So if you go into your automation or if you get into contact with a member of our Grow team, we’ll even set it up for you. But yeah, it’s just an automatic message going straight out, and all it involves from you is a press of a button.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, and then they can even have the option to take a selfie, ask if their treatment-

Killian Vigna: The camera pops up after they submit their review yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so that’s kind of a nice touch yeah.

Killian Vigna: And a lot of people love that one.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’ve actually done it for myself going to a treatment so yeah, it’s a fun little thing, you know. And sometimes, we’re talking about negative complaints and stuff like this, but sometimes there’s not, it’s not about a negative complaint. Sometimes you’ll have things that are kind of good complaints, the people who leave you a comment-

Killian Vigna: It’s almost like a back hand nearly.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, kind of. Yeah, it’s kind of hard to explain but like, for instance, great salon but very pricey. And as Connor was explaining in the blog, he actually used that example, and he was saying like, to me that just reads this is a top end salon that knows who it’s targeting. So it’s not necessarily negative, it’s just they’re kind of using their own words to express how they felt about your salon, but it’s nothing like if you’re doing it right you’re doing it right, and if you know exactly who you’re targeting and your prices are right, then don’t worry about it, you know?

Killian Vigna: But that again, that just comes back to you have to know your clients, fully understand your clients. I mean like if a client there comes in and goes “oh it’s a great, salon but it’s very pricey,” you’re not going to meet everyone’s expectations. It’s about understanding your clients and working towards them. And like, because of that then you will have a few outside clients that are always going to either be good or bad, you just work around them. You can’t tailor your needs to everyone.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly.

Killian Vigna: It’s impossible.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, and in any business, in any industry, it’s unfortunate, but you can’t be everyone’s kind of perfect business you know?

Killian Vigna: But like even with us, online booking and marketing with Phorest, we could work for any industry, but we wouldn’t understand that industry as well if we didn’t focus. So we focus in with salons which means we understand the salon industry a lot more. Which means we can tailor our product for salons more. And you do the very same thing for your clients.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. So that’s pretty much it about the blogs, but we do have some webinars coming up.

Killian Vigna: We do, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so we’re launching actually this week on Wednesday, launching the online reputation webinar which is basically why we’re talking a lot about this today. This webinar is conducted by Chris Brennan, you’ve probably heard or seen him doing the Facebook webinar and the client retention webinar as well.

Killian Vigna: And there’s the video ad floating around the Facebook at the moment of Chris.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly. And so the online reputation webinar is gonna be about like, how to take control of how clients will treat, react, and rate your business online, so that you’re making sure that your salon continuously receives like five star reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and he’ll go through like exactly what is online reputation as well, why is it that crucial for your business, how can you ensure that you’re getting the best of it, and how you can automate the online work as well so you can actually focus on other things while still taking care of it, you know?

Killian Vigna: And a great hack he’s gonna go through in that webinar is, if you do get a bad review, how you can counteract and essentially remove that one. Without deleting it, but how to kind of counteract it then with good reviews. That’s a really good hack that he’s gonna go through with you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, so that’s on Wednesday this week. We have an event on Facebook if you want to log in there and sign up for the webinar, you have the link to sign up on there.  It’s gonna be a one hour master class kind of this standard that we have, and it’s at 3:00 p.m. Irish time or U.K., and 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time for the U.S.

Killian Vigna: That’s kind of your New York area.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah.

Killian Vigna: And guys, we can’t emphasize enough, there’s already 197 signed up for it. Get on board that one because that is going to be a great webinar, and it’s the first one as well that we’re doing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah it’s the launch. And following up in the next few weeks as well, we have another webinar that we’re launching, and that one’s about salon retail. So how to kind of create a retail culture in your salon, not just being focused on “I have to sell more”, and just making sure that you’re creating, you’re extending your client’s experience in the salon with a retail product that you’re offering them. You’re understanding your client’s needs, and you’re providing them with an extended experience going back home kind of thing.

Killian Vigna: Exactly yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So it makes it easier for your staff to sell the retail product, but it’s also not feeling any kind of pushiness from the client you know. The client’s just feeling like you’re actually helping them and you’re not just trying to push your product on them. That one’s gonna be on February 6th, so it’s still a few weeks away, but we decided to announce it here. We’ve also posted an event on Facebook there so you can sign up for it as well, but don’t worry you’ll hear about it more in the coming weeks. That’s gonna be a good one as well.

Killian Vigna: Yep. So I suppose just to recap today then, our theme today was online reputation. We’ve gone through the five sure-fire ways to keep your fans engaged, and keep them following you on Facebook, and then we went through how to deal with your 1200 haters, which isn’t always that bad. It’s counteracting the bad with the good.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, don’t panic. Don’t think you have the world as hating you. That’s not true.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. You see a bad complaint; you get your camomile tea, talk to your friends, you sit down an hour later and then you decide what you want to do.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah.

Killian Vigna: So I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer.

Killian Vigna: And thanks for tuning in today.

Thanks for reading!


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