Posted September 10, 2018
How to protect your salon from the impacts of your team’s social media
In the new digital age, we know more than ever that your clients are checking out your salon on social media, and often it goes further than that. We have received a number of calls from concerned salon owners about managing their team’s digital presence, what can be shared and what shouldn’t be shared that could be visible to your clients. Your staff may be friends with some of your clients online or follow their profiles, and if this is not managed carefully it can result in a poor reflection of the salon through their actions.
In a salon environment, your team are your biggest asset and your greatest liability simultaneously. They are the most tangible representation of your business, and clients typically have a relationship with their stylist rather than with the salon, although the two do go hand in hand. Pictures of your team drunk online or social media posts ranting about different issues can create a rift in that relationship and reflects poorly on the salon who employed someone with those behaviours or opinions. At HABA we have heard of instances where unfavourable social media posts have resulted in a client choosing to go to a different salon or switching stylists because it created a lack of faith in the staff member to do their job.
The first thing salon owners have to get right is their Policy and Procedures Manual. This document is the base from which all staff actions in your salon occur – and it outlines the how any issues will be handled in the instance that they have violated elements of the policy. When creating this Policy and Procedures Manual it’s important that you include a robust social media policy, covering what is and is not acceptable for your staff online.
HABA recommend a few of the following actions to ensure that your salon is not negatively impacted by your staff on social media –
- Recommend your team to put their profiles on private and not befriend clients. This is good practice to ensure clients stay loyal to the salon (rather than the stylist) and to ensure that your staff can share what they want online without it reflecting your salon
- If your staff want to share pictures of work online, we recommend they create a professional profile – for instance, their name_your salon name – that will differentiate which account is open for clients to view. This can be a great compromise for salon owners when incorporated with the next point.
- In the instance that someone in your team is posting to social media on behalf of your salon (like your salon manager or senior stylist), invest in their education about how to do this best. Most of the Trade Shows throughout the year for the hair and beauty industry offer an education session for salon owners on using social media, so go along with your staff to these sessions.
- Images of work completed by your team in salon or spa should always be credited to the business online with a tag to ensure that it is clear that the work has been done within your business. By having your team take any photos of their work in front of a branded pull up, you ensure that the work being produced out of your salon is correctly credited to your salon.
- Remind your team that any social media posts that are abusive, harassing, threatening or defaming will not be tolerated.
Having an updated salon policy and procedure manual with a robust social media policy that always flexibility with employee’s posting material but need to be mindful that disciplinary action may result from any social media post that is abusive, harassing, threatening or defaming postings will not be tolerated, and may result in disciplinary action being taken.
In the instance that despite your recommendations and warnings around the use of social media, your staff continue to share things that impact your salon, you have to take steps. If they are in direct violation of the Policy and Procedures Manual, you have grounds to begin to employ disciplinary action and a performance management procedure with your team member. You can read more about the complete process here.
Performance management is a sticky conversation in any workplace, but particularly so for salon owners and particularly around issues of social media. The only way to make it easier is to lay down the ground rules clearly and stick to them. As the salon owner, you must be vigilant in keeping on top of your staff in this area – after all, it’s your business that they are affecting.
For more detailed information on the steps for Fair Performance Management within the Hair and Beauty Industry in Australia, you can download the fact sheet from HABA here. And as always, if you have any questions regarding your staff, legalities or fair work practices, as a HABA member you can call our hotline on 02 9221 9911 at any time and speak to one of our resident experts for advice.
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