Whether you’re just launching a brand new salon and need to get those first clients through the door, or whether you’ve been around for a while but want to attract new customers, keeping on top of your marketing and advertising is always a good idea. But it’s not always that easy, is it?
Whether it’s a lack of time, inspiration, or technical know-how, there are many things that get in the way of your marketing success. That’s why, today, we’ve rounded up Salon Gold’s top marketing experts, asked them to provide their top tips, insider insights and advice and put it all together in this, your complete guide to salon marketing.
In today’s always-online, digital society, your customers expect to be able to find you on social media, so it pays to establish a presence. However, that doesn’t mean rushing out and signing up to every social media platform going. In fact, doing so is likely to prove to be a waste of your precious time and resources, especially when it turns out that your target audience doesn’t even use half of those platforms.
Instead, pay attention to what’s working for other salons or similar businesses in your industry. Experiment with the tools you think might be most effective or, better yet, simply ask your clients which social media sites they use. Find out which ones the majority of your existing clients use, and go from there.
The major player in social media is, of course, Facebook. The platform has over two billion monthly active users and offers a wealth of tools to help local businesses get found by users, such as the popular Facebook Places. At the very least then, you should find it helpful to create a Facebook Page.
However, thanks to some changes in the way Facebook displays posts in user’s newsfeeds, there’s no guarantee that your Facebook posts are going to produce many results by themselves. It’s for this reason that more and more businesses are investing some of their marketing budgets in Facebook advertising.
If you’re thinking of going down that route, be sure to check out our top tips for using Facebook Ads first.
Other social media platforms
Besides Facebook, salon owners typically find that social media sites which focus on visual content produce the best results. As such, you might want to look at Instagram and Pinterest, both of which offer different ways to share photographs of your best work (or other visual content) with your audience.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Again, take some time to find out what works best for you and your audience.
Other tools you might want to consider include:
Before we move on, don’t forget to check out our complete guide to salon social media, offering more top tips and advice on how to make the most of these tools.
Did you know that YouTube is the second most visited website on the Internet, after only Google itself? Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video compared to just 10% of the message if they read it in a text?
What we’re getting at here is that video can be a really powerful tool for marketing your salon, but only if it’s done right.
In a world where people are bombarded with advertising throughout their day, creating a commercial for your salon and uploading it in the hopes that it will go viral is unlikely to do you any favours. Instead, think about content that genuinely helps your audience, such as tutorials, tips or advice. This helps establish you as an expert at what you do and shows off your skills to potential customers. At the end of your videos, you can always include a quick message encouraging people to book an appointment with you or otherwise get in touch.
After uploading your video to YouTube, don’t forget to share it on your social media profiles and even on your website to increase the number of views.
Creating a website
Since almost everybody has at least one social media account these days, it’s easy to dismiss owning your own website as an unnecessary waste of time and money. To do so, however, could mean missing out on plenty of new clients who use search engines like Google to find a salon near to them.
Having your own website gives you much more control over how your salon appears in search results, including the kind of search terms you’re going to appear under. More often than not, this can mean that your business ranks higher in search results than if you simply used a social media profile to market yourself.
And building a site doesn’t have to be difficult or expense either.
Yes, there’s always the option of paying a professional to do the hard work for you, but you could always do it yourself using drag-and-drop website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. If you know how to use a mouse, you already have all the skills you need to build your own site using one of these tools. Often, you’ll find them as easy to figure out as say, uploading a picture to Facebook or creating a Word document.
Wix in particular already has pre-made templates designed especially for salons, so all you have to do is edit a few basic details and you’ve got yourself a website.
Top tips for creating a website
- Ensure your website is responsive, which means it looks just as good and functions just as perfectly on mobiles and tablets as it does on laptops and desktop computers
- Take some time to learn some basic Search Engine Optimisation techniques, such as using a select few keywords sparingly throughout your website content in order to improve your website’s ranking in search results
- Wherever possible, spend a little money on getting your own domain name and using that with your website. You’ll find that you get much better results with mysalon.co.uk or mysalon.com than you will with a free domain name such as wix.com/mysalon
- Don’t forget to include contact details (possibly even a contact form) so that people can get in touch with you if they want to book an appointment or if they have other enquiries. If you have the money to spend, you could even invest in a platform that allows users to book an appointment directly through your website
Google My Business
Sticking with the Google theme, take a few minutes to register with Google My Business.
If you’ve ever searched for a business near you before, you’ll notice that along with regular search results, you’ll often find listings of local businesses near the top of the page, often with an accompanying map so that you can see how close these businesses are to you. These are all My Business listings, and typically produce better results for those listed than normal search results, so it’s worth signing up to.
After registering, you’ll be given a page where you can fill in key details such as your website, location, phone number and opening hours. You can even upload photographs to show off your salon and the work that you do. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you can also receive and display reviews from your clients which can really help others make the decision to get in touch with you.
From there, you’ll be asked to verify your business. This is as easy as receiving a card in the post from Google that has a code on it. You enter the code into your My Business account, and away you go. After that, whenever visitors search for salons in your area, they’ll see your listing, complete with photographs, opening hours, contact details and customer reviews.
SMS text messaging
With so many digital tools at our disposal these days, it’s easy to overlook SMS as an effective form of marketing. The fact remains, however, that text messaging does still work.
According to research, 98% of text messages are opened compared to just 20% of emails. Meanwhile, 45% of text messages actually get a response (compared to only 6% of emails). So, providing you keep things short and sweet, and providing you actually have your client’s permission to use their phone number for marketing, this can prove to be a really useful tool.
For example, you could use SMS messaging to:
- Promote your latest special offers and discounts
- Let customers know when you’re changing your opening hours (such as late-nights in the run up to Christmas)
- Share tips and advice
- Promote a new line of products you’re selling in your salon
Don’t forget, too, that texting can also be a valuable tool for sending appointment reminders and confirming bookings.
For more on how to make the most of text messaging, be sure to read our complete guide to SMS marketing for your salon business.
Even after the introduction of GDPR, many people still find that their inboxes are flooded with marketing messages from all manner of weird and wonderful businesses. Naturally, that makes it increasingly difficult to ensure your emails stand out from the crowd and actually get opened.
It’s for this reason that email marketing can be off-putting for many salon owners. Used well, however, and it can prove incredibly successful in getting people out of their inboxes and into your salon.
You could use it to promote special discounts that are exclusively available to those on your mailing list. You could send out a regular newsletter with tips, tutorials and advice which show off your skills and help build loyalty among your customers. Or you could use it to introduce new services, products or seasonal offers.
Be mindful, however, that simply spamming your customers every couple of days with a new email is more likely to turn them off them than anything else.
Instead, follow these top tips for better email marketing.
- Use strong, exciting subjects that entice people to open
- Use a personal, friendly tone. People are more likely to keep reading an email if it sounds like it comes from a friend rather than a faceless business
- On a similar note, you might want to consider sending emails from your actual name rather than just from the name of your business. After all, “Kerry Jones” from The Salon sounds much more personal and approachable than just “The Salon,” doesn’t it?
- Keep it short and engaging – people are busy, so the quicker you can get your message across, the better.
For more in-depth information about salon email marketing, check out our complete guide to salon email marketing.
Up to now, we’ve focused solely on more high-tech ways to market your salon business, but that doesn’t mean that good old fashioned flyers, leaflets and posters can’t be effective. The quality of your printed materials is going to speak volumes about the quality of your salon, so this is one area of marketing where it really doesn’t pay to be cheap.
Instead, consider spending a bit of money to get high-quality materials designed and printed, and most importantly, get them out there. It wouldn’t be the first time that a busy salon owner had thousands of really attractive flyers designed but then simply left them at the sales counter inside the salon because they were too busy to distribute them.
Trust us, keeping your flyers inside the salon isn’t going to do you half as much good as getting them out there. Put them through letterboxes, ask to put them into neighbouring stores (whilst offering to return the favour, of course!), or anywhere else you can think of.
To really make the most of your print marketing, you could consider running a special offer such as offering client’s 20% off their next appointment if they produce your flyer. Doing this also proves useful in determining just how successful your marketing has been – the more people you get handing you your flyer, the better your campaign.
Although you should include your web address and/or main social media profile, as well as your address and contact details, try not to clutter your print with too much text. Instead, use strong, high-quality images that grab people’s attention and keep your text simple and to the point.