In the salon business, there is a competitor right at the corner, and the other corner, and probably across the street. Salons are everywhere and they are out to steal your customers. You have to treat your customers right and improve your services every single day in order to keep your client base intact. You also need to win over new customers if you are to grow your business and its revenue. But then, the clients you intend to win over are already customers at a competitor salon, and the competitor is guarding them fiercely. This is war!
To win this war, you must come up with unique marketing techniques that will not only win over clients from your direct competitors but also attract people who, as at this point, do not know that your salon exists. You have to take the war to the competitors’ doorsteps and outdo them in each and every marketing technique they’ve employed. Sounds like a huge challenge, right? No worries! We have listed in this article 7 top beauty salon marketing techniques that will help you attract more clients and gradually build your salon business.
- Offer family-friendly packages
Most people (not all) who self-quarantined together during the pandemic are inseparable these days. Families have come to appreciate the value of doing things together as a unit; enjoying each other’s company. That’s why you probably have noticed an upsurge in the number of couples who jog together in the neighborhood, go shopping together, and even visit the salon together. You will appeal better to these people if you offer them group/family discounts. The discount can be in the form of, for instance, a free haircut for every 3rd or 4th family or group member.
Send word to your loyal customers through email and SMS telling them about how they can claim the family/group discount. Announce it on Facebook and all over social media as well. It would also be great if you could tweak your interior décor and change your music playlist to make your salon more family-oriented. And then for your online traffic, ensure that your online booking system supports group bookings.
Because of social distancing requirements, you can design the family package in such a way that family members pay at once but get separate appointment bookings. Or you could set one day in a week for family-only appointments. Families with kids, senior citizens, and people in other vulnerable categories will feel safer in your salon if there is nobody else but them and your stylists.
- Tune up your social media marketing
You definitely know that most of your target clients are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media sites. But do you know exactly which site they are on, at what time they are most active, and the content they like the most? Many salon owners assume that all that is needed for social media marketing success is pictures, videos, and then a little more pictures and videos. While they aren’t totally wrong, it takes more than good content to appeal to clients on social media.
For starters, conduct a survey to know what, where, when, and how to post on social media. Your salon management software will help you set up these surveys and encourage clients to take them. The 4 fundamental questions to ask clients are: Which are your top 2 social media platforms? At what time do you mostly watch videos on social media? Between weekends and weekdays, when are you more active on social media? Between videos, text, images, and lives, which form of content do you associate with the most? These answers will help you come up with more effective social media marketing strategies.
About your social media post, always ensure that it is both helpful and entertaining in order to work up a crowd around your social media content. Among other things:
- Give beauty tips, post daily specials, and share interesting “behind the scenes” pictures and videos.
- Leverage the call to action (CTA) buttons on Facebook to guide entertained social media users to your booking page.
- Encourage user-generated content (UGC) by installing a selfie booth where happy clients take Instagram-worthy pictures for their WhatsApp statuses, display pictures, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Encourage UGC by rewarding clients who tag your salon on social media. You can even give them a free add-on service to encourage them to include in their photo captions a link to your booking page.
- Encourage customer reviews on Yelp, Google Plus, social media, and other review platforms. You can do that by identifying the most active reviewers in your clientele and then giving them random favors. Keep such people close. Be their friend. Make them feel special. They will be more than willing to write glowing reviews when you eventually ask them to.
- Organize engaging and fun social media contests and giveaways where participants get discounted services and each winner gets one free service.
- COVID-Proof your salon
Through social media, present your salon as a sanitized and protocol-abiding establishment. You can share live videos, images, and blog posts with an emphasis on the need for social distancing and PPEs in the salon. That’s assuming you already have all the necessary post-COVID protocols in place.
If you haven’t done it yet, ensure that all your workers wear disposable gloves and face shields or masks. Also, ensure that clients see you disinfecting your equipment and furniture after every appointment. Place hand sanitizers strategically around the salon and encourage clients to sanitize. It also helps to have clear directions on where clients can sit/stand, what they should do to keep themselves and your staff safe, and what happens when a client defies one of your set guidelines.
Another way to pandemic-proof your salon is to promote pre-booking and online scheduling. Invest in a salon software that allows clients to book their appointments in advance in order to minimize crowding at the front desk. And because such software enables multiple forms of cashless digital payments (credit cards, Square, Stripe, PayPal, etc.), investing in one also means fewer points of contact in the salon.
Thirdly, embrace virtual (AKA zoom) consultations in order to minimize your salon’s physical footfall. And you know what; because they are more convenient to clients, video consultations are among the surest ways of getting your services to the clients’ doorstep.
- Leverage geo-targeted advertising
It is not of much help to engage with social media users who live in faraway towns or states. That’s why you need geo-targeting. Geo-targeted ads are more visible to potential clients in your location. You can even go a step further and invest in radius-targeting, which improves your online visibility within a few, specified miles of your salon.
- Meet clients at their communities
Step out for charity events, cleaning events, fundraisers, and other community-based involvements. Partner with regional and local non-profits to help out local communities. Offer regular classes or workshops where you, for example, teach parents (especially dads) how to satisfy their kids’ beauty needs at home. All these will help you meet clients in a non-business environment. It will help you establish your salon as a community salon- a neighborhood business that you manage and make money from, but whose real owners are the people.
- Old school still works
- Here are a few old school marketing techniques that will get you lots of new clients:
- Business cards. Give your stylists business cards to help them win clients for themselves.
- Timely gift cards, e.g. birthday gift cards. These encourage existing clients to refer special people in their lives to your salon.
- Email newsletters. Send beauty tips to clients without being too promotional.
- Mail brochures and other printed materials to clients. Some people out there still love to read. You can then link these materials to your booking page through printed QR codes.
- Promote your salon in local lifestyle magazines, TV, radio, podcasts, and newspapers.
- Leverage word-of-mouth marketing by offering coupons to walk-in clients whenever they bring along a new client.
- Leverage influence marketing
Reach out to a few local influencers and offer them sweet deals in exchange for shout-outs. Think of local youth leaders, religious leaders, local TikTok stars, local musicians, and fashionistas in your area. These are people with an audience of a few thousand admirers both online and offline. If you can convince them to give your salon a shout-out during meetings, at church, or on social media, your business will definitely catch the eyes of a few new clients. Some of the incentives you can offer include free services, discounts, and for established social media stars, you may need a small social influencing budget.
Note: Always ensure that the influencers you work with are well-respected within your target clientele.
Marketing your salon is not a one-off event. It is an ongoing process. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you always learn new tricks of attracting customers. What is important is to keep improving your creativity, changing approaches, and working hard. Above all, always offer exceptional services in order to retain every new customer you attract.