February 9, 2016
Your clients will make a decision about your salon in the first few seconds they step through the door. It’s important that your brand gels together as a whole. Your interior décor, furniture, signage, logos, marketing material and beauty uniforms should use the same core colours to strengthen your brand image.
For more help and information on what colours to use, see our blog post all about the impact of colour on your marketing here.
Your salon window is a key spot to display posters, price lists, your products and treatments, attracting the attention of passers-by. Most suppliers sell stands or cardboard cut outs to display your products and work. These can also be used around the counter, which is a prime spot for encouraging add on sales.
Some start-up salons attract local business by distributing flyers, brochures or business cards. Some choose to place them in coffee shops, cafes and health & fitness clubs or some physically hand them out in shopping centres or high streets (remember to check if you need a license from the local council before you hand out marketing material in public places).
You could choose to have a pop-up stand in the local shopping centre. You will usually be charged a daily or weekly rate, and could use it to offer nail treatments, facials, sell beauty products, and distribute flyers. The cost of the space is likely to be high, you should consider how many products you are likely to sell and how many new customers will be informed about your brand. If you rent the space for a day and don’t sell enough products and treatments to cover the cost of the stand, but you give out 1,000 business cards to potential customers that seem interested in your salon, would it be of value to your business?
Some business owners also chose to promote their business whilst travelling to and from work, by having their logo and business name emblazoned on their mode of transport, and let’s not forget that the same effect can be achieved by having branded clothing for all employees, such as adding embroidery to their outfits.
The most important, inexpensive, yet valuable form of marketing for any hair and beauty business is of course, word of mouth. You can invest time and money in advertising, but ultimately the best way to grow your client base is to provide excellent customer service and beauty treatments.
It’s challenging for any new salon to compete with someone that’s spent years building a good reputation, but they didn’t gain recognition overnight, and your salon can become established too.
Focus on making your salon remarkable, always go the extra mile for the customer and ensure that your staff are briefed to deliver the same standards of exceptional service as you would. If a customer is pleased with their treatment, you could ask them to leave a review or testimonial.
Remember, clients are far more inclined to talk about bad service they have received, and if you’re on social media you won’t be able to avoid this. Most businesses will have experienced a negative post on their Facebook wall or twitter feed at some point. Consider how you will respond if this ever happens. Don’t ignore the comments, try to turn a negative into a positive; other customers will notice how you respond, and often this is seen as a better marker of the company than their positive reviews.
Social media is great for raising brand awareness and increasing customer engagement. The hair and beauty industry lends itself well to sharing interesting photos and videos across social media platforms. Building a strong profile can strengthen your brand image and ensure customers don’t forget about you. You can use it to communicate special offers, service information and product launches.
Your time is precious, and if you have limited time dedicated to growing your social network, pick the platforms that will work best for you.
Facebook – to increase customer engagement, create a Facebook page for your salon. Share interesting photos, ask questions and interact with your fans. Don’t make every status a sales pitch. Facebook have recently changed the formulas they use to determine how many people see your posts. Users are more likely to see topics they are interested in, and less likely to see promotional posts. There will be an ‘insights’ tab on the dashboard, which will show you how many fans have seen, liked, commented and shared the post.
Compare the reach of posts that include keywords fans might be interested in. For instance, which of the below would you expect to have a better reach?
‘Half price treatments! 50% off all weekend!’
‘Need pampering? Hot stone massages and facials are half price this weekend!’
Also experiment with the type of posts. Does uploading a video of your salon have a wider reach than just writing about it? What about sharing links? And does uploading several photos to one status get more views than uploading just one?
Twitter– is great for finding potential customers that haven’t heard of you yet. Use hashtags relevant to your topic to get discovered. Twitter is about discussion, so ensure your tweets are interesting, informative or could start a debate. You can retweet news articles about hair and beauty. Be proactive, search for hashtags and trending topics related to your industry and use them in your tweets.
Twitter is also great for communicating with bloggers. If you’re trying to get your salon or website noticed by media professionals, follow them on twitter and pay attention to the topics they are talking about. Tweeting about similar subjects may get you noticed.
Twitter has recently announced they will be encouraging optimised tweets. This means that tweets with keywords, hashtags, images and links are more likely to appear at the top of the news feed.
Instagram – is perfect for sharing inspirational imagery and has over 300 million monthly users. Use it to share the latest hair and beauty trends and photos of your work. Upload pictures of your salon, the team and your best services or products. Make sure the photos are good quality, add a snappy caption and use hashtags just as you would on twitter.
Make sure your profile looks good and every single image reflects your brand. Search hashtags related to your business, and grow your Instagram following by commenting and liking photos posted by potential customers, but be sure to make your comments personal!
Pinterest – circulates quality content and inspiring imagery. Popular topics include interior décor, fashion, hair, beauty, weddings and food trends. The average life span (time it floats around cyber space) of a tweet may be minutes, a Facebook post may be a few hours, but engaging pins can circulate the network for 2 weeks.
Make sure your photos have a wow factor. Organise them into boards with specific themes. Pinners will be looking for something in particular, so don’t cram lots of different topics onto one board. Create boards by colour, style, technique or season. If you have some great Christmas nail art, place it on a different board to your Valentine’s Day creations.
If you want your pins to get found, write a concise description including keywords. Instead of saying ‘pink nails’, try ‘Pink stiletto nails with black paisley nail art.’ Don’t forget to reference your salon name, location and web address if you have one. If you have a blog, use it to provide additional information, using it as a landing page when someone clicks through from your Pinterest photo.
If Social Media is working well for you, it may be time to consider creating a company website.
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