The salon industry and salon marketing has gone digital whether you like it or not. I’ve worked with many a salon “stuck” in the old school way of doing things: appointment book, newspaper ads, direct mail. There are still salons out there operating without a website.
Look, if you’re an old-school salon owner and business is bouncing, more power to you. There’s no substitute for good service and word of mouth.
But the winds of change are blowing, and as the clientele gets younger (or we salon owners get older) the WAY prospective clients find us is changing. Digital presence = legitimacy to many people, and if we’re to stay relevant and competitive we HAVE to get fluent in the digital world.
What does that mean? Clients are online. You want clients. You need to be online. Here’s where:
1 | Social Media
Both platforms are image-heavy – Instagram more-so. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to let your stylists’ work speak for itself. Before/After shots have become the norm, and by the way you’ll probably find that most clients (especially in the younger demographic) are THRILLED to have their new ‘do posted online. (Just remember to ask permission).
Facebook’s Photo Album feature allows for some interesting strategies. Think individual stylist Albums, or Men’s and Women’s Albums. How about an Album just for color jobs? One for nails? The possibilities are endless.
These channels are also great places to post promotions and salon or spa updates. When the North East got slammed by three massive snow storms in a row it was many a salon that posted closure updates to their Facebook pages to keep clients informed. The best part about marketing your salon through Facebook and Instagram? Both platforms are FREE.
2 | Paid Advertising
Hopefully you’re setting aside money for salon marketing. Consider allocating some of that to advertising online. Facebook has a robust advertising service that lets you target ads with pinpoint accuracy and many say it’s one of the cheapest forms of online advertising available. This is another great opportunity to get promotions out there in front of a lot of eyes and drive new clients through the door.
Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to advertise in a number of different ways and with a variety of goals in mind, from audience building to website traffic to post engagement and more.
We’re seeing more and more salons and spas tinker with Google Adwords, too, as part of their salon marketing strategy. Why? Google Adwords lets you get into the head of a prospective client. Let’s say your salon is in Cambridge. Imagine a prospective client is going online to find a place to get their hair cut. They’ll likely type in “hair salon Cambridge” or “hair cut Cambridge” or something along those lines into a Google search. Google Adwords lets you set up inexpensive campaigns to help get your ad at the top of those search results. This sends that prospective client to your website, where they (hopefully) will call to get information or book an appointment.
Where does the google ad send people?
That’s right, a website. If you don’t have one, get one. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But it should have some basic information like:
- Contact Information
It’s a great idea to include information about the salon owner(s) and employees, like head shots and bios. You can also have a page with a portfolio of work, although this takes time and effort to keep updated – besides,that’s what your Instagram and Facebook pages are for ;-).
Of course you can gussy up a website, and if you have the resources I highly suggest you do so. For the same reason I would encourage a salon owner to invest in beautifying the salon space itself. You want to make a good impression on a prospective client, and your website is a great opportunity to do so. A modern-looking website speaks volumes about your salon and the kind of service that person can expect.
The added benefit of a website is the ability to add an online booking feature. Salon and spa clients are increasingly comfortable with booking online, and in fact many prefer this method. It cuts out time-consuming phone calls or leaving messages and waiting for a call back. You can learn more about online booking here. If you’re really on top of things you can use your website to drive revenue by selling product and eGiftCards direct to customer.
Hopefully one or more of the above tips is enough to get you started on some new online salon marketing strategies. Good luck boosting your salon’s online presence!