Digital Marketing Series: Salon, Spa, Barbers & Beauty Professionals 繁體中

If you are operating a business within the health and beauty category, then you know your consumer or client is digitally savvy. It is more important than ever for salons, spas, estheticians, makeup artists, barbers, and other beauty professionals to be invested in digital marketing. The investment will take time, energy, and money, however, it does not have to break the bank.

From a responsive website design to email marketing and loyalty programs, as well as a big social media marketing plan, beauty professionals must be where their audience is. There are many tools and resources available to assist you in improving your online presence.  Getting attention in this scroll world becomes the challenge let’s look at some statistics.

Here are the key findings of the IAB Summer Skincare Digital Report:

  • 61% of skincare consumers research products online and make online purchases 50% much more frequently than the general population.
  • This group is also more likely to surf the Internet (94%) and use social media (75%) than the average adult.
  • Consumers of skincare products and services are 29% more influenced by Internet ads than the average consumer when making beauty purchases.
  • One in four skin care buyers researches beauty products on a mobile device. One in five has purchased beauty products on a mobile device.
  • Skin care buyers’ purchase decisions are “greatly influenced” by the Internet (50%) and mobile (32%) coupons, and daily deal websites (71%).

You can read the full IAB Summer Skincare Digital Report here.

While the center point and hub of all of your digital marketing efforts is your website and blog, it is imperative to focus on the importance of your social media reach, relevance, and engagement.Salons are by nature social environments (the neighborhood beauty parlor is the Facebook newsfeed of yesteryear).Salons have an inherently visual story to tell.

Post pictures of your work to your salon’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter pages. Engage with fans and provide exclusive deals to those who follow you on social media avenues. And don’t forget to actually engage with people online, don’t just announce things – interact. Social sites are predominantly a female audience with 64% Twitter, 58% Facebook, 82% Pinterest, 68% Instagram women. Great news for beauty service professionals: 92% of women share experiences, reviews, and deals with others online!

Social media is just one of the many tools you have to market your business, and its value comes in its real-time nature. No other marketing tool gives you the ability to truly engage back-and-forth with your clients when they are away from the salon.  Here are some best practices across 2 platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook

  • Use a custom profile image, a clear image of you, your location, your logo, something that resembles your brand and core values.
  • Create a custom cover photo or a collage of your work. Make sure it’s sized to fit Facebook’s cover photo dimensions so it isn’t blurry.
  • Complete the “About” section as possible. The more information, the better —include all of the services you provide — from cut & color, to mani/pedi, to bridal packages, or makeup lessons  — and phone/email. Including your personal bio also helps make clients feel confident in who you are and why they should choose you. Be sure to also link to your other social channels and your website!
  • Post once per day, make sure you do it on the same day and time. Consistency is critical to develop engagement. You may have to play around with the day/time that works best for your followers, but eventually you’ll find a time that garners the most engagement. Stick with it. You don’t always have to share images of your own work; share helpful beauty-related articles or others’ work that you admire and ask questions. This helps build community and keeps your page seen on others’ newsfeeds. On your busiest days, you may want to leverage a posting tool to schedule your posts.
  • Take about 15 minutes per day to comment, reply, message, and engage on other relevant pages
  • Go Live!  Take a daily or weekly time where you can go live on Facebook to create the ultimate engagement.  Run contest, share news, survey your clients, or just post a happy client offering a video testimonial.
  • Facebook Ads. This method can be effective if you target very specific clientele. Facebook lets you set up specific demographics, and it will be worth your investment. Don’t be afraid to pay $50-$150 per month on sponsored/boosted posts/pages, even $3 will take you a lot farther than $0.

Besides Facebook, it is important to create a strong visual brand on Instagram.  With beauty being such a visual market, Instagram is an ideal social channel to promote your brand.

Instagram

  • Open an account under your business name, so this is not just your personal page. However, you can use your personal page to share, comment, and further expose your branded business page.
  • Write your locations, services, specialties, core message, and also include your email, website, and Facebook page in your profile section.
  • Photos are best in natural sunlight. If you want to really focus on image-driven content, you may want to use editing tools to control the brightness and contrast. Be mindful of filters, and don’t feel you have to use them.
  • The most successful accounts post daily. Feature new looks or products you’re using.
  • Tag your photos! Tag brands, models, staff, and use hashtags in a separate comment. You don’t want to spam the photo description, but go ahead and go wild in the first comment with hashtags!
  • Follow related accounts in the beauty industry: MUAs, stylists, beauty schools, brands,  industry professionals like photographers, but don’t forget to follow your clients and tag them (with permission).
  • Search hashtags to find accounts that are trending and relate to your brand.
  • Invest 15-20 minutes per day to comment, like, share on other accounts, as well as your own.. The longer you spend engaging, the more engagement you’ll receive! Create a document or note with all of the relevant, trending hashtags, and copy & paste them into your posts.
  • Instagram Stories and videos will create more engagement and allow you the ability to boost your presence without over-posting on your feed.

Website

Do not think that because you have a rich, social media presence that it means a website is not important or relevant to your consumer. Social media is great to engage with people that like, follow, and engage with you on these channels. However, what about the people that are searching for your products and or services that do not know you? How will they find you? People are still searching for local services through search engines like Google. if you are not here, nor have a strong website, it’s as though you don’t exist to the audience that is unaware. there for a website is still a necessary component to your online marketing strategy.  Your website becomes important for search, but also to display key products and services, you’re unique proposition, to display your core values and Mission, as well as to have an online e-commerce and scheduling opportunity. Here’s what makes a strong website and the beauty industry.

  • Top Pages: About, Our Services, Gallery, Scheduling, and Contact.
  • Adding a page for any press coverage, news, media, etc. is a great bonus to feature.
  • Galleries should be segmented, so your audience can filter out what they truly want to see.  Here are some ideas: Bridal, Before/After, Senior Portraits, Cut/Color, Fashion Shots, Family & Children (get written permission before posting any photos of under 18 year old clients)
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, your website must be mobile/tablet responsive! The majority of your clients will be searching for services and products on their phones, so make it user-friendly.
  • Update your website once a month with new photos, features or tweaks to your bio,which will keep your site fresh, relevant, and SEO friendly.
  • Online Video has become more popular, as well. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, than a video is worth a million.  From a quick featured video on your home page, to tutorials embedded from a YouTube Channel, video content has become an important digital marketing component.  
  • Have you considered online scheduling and reservations? Today’s consumer is more focused on convenience than ever. Make it easy for them to book appointments online. Access to a calendar and/or availability is extremely useful
  • Lastly, use your website to drive more revenue.  Offer products for sale through an ecommerce enabled shopping cart.  If you don’t want to manage an online inventory, then sell gift certificates or gift cards online.  There are also affiliate sites, where your customers and clients can purchase products via a 3rd party vendor through your website, and you can earn a percentage of that sale for the referral. Take advantage of the sales channel digital marketing offers.
  • Join our email newsletter! Staying in touch with your clients other than social media is important too. Long form content is making a come back, and email marketing must be part of your marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

  • Stay top of mind with existing clients with email
  • 20% of your clients know all the services you offer. Email is a great way to showcase all the services your salon offers. It also offers upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
  • Send thank you e-mails. Set up your salon software to send out a thank you e-mail at the end of the day or the end of the week, or even immediately following a client’s visit to the salon.
  • Event based e-mails. Is it someone’s birthday? Maybe an anniversary? Use your salon software to send a specialized ‘happy’ e-mail.
  • Send appointment confirmations. Sending a confirmation to your client as a reminder can avoid several missed appointments.
  • Last minute appointments. Is your schedule not completely full for some AM spots? Fill in the gaps by sending out e-mails for discounted appointments.
  • Timed reminders. Is your client due back in to book their next color treatment after 5 weeks? Send them a reminder. What about clients who haven’t been in to your salons in 3 months? Send them a ‘we miss you’ incentive.
  • SMS messaging. Have your salon software send clients a text message with your daily or weekly promotion. This is underrated and can be really effective. Just collect the client’s phone number and send a special offer.
  • Create a loyalty program. Give clients points for trying out a new service or referring another guest. The points can be converted to cash. It’ll keep the clients coming back!
  • Send out a survey. Do you want an easy way to get some feedback? Send out all your guests for the day or the week a survey request to see how your salon is doing.
  • Gift certificate promotions. Send your clients a reminder about your latest gift card incentive…something as simple as; buy a $100 gift card for a friend or family member, get a $20 gift card for yourself!
  • 71% of skin care customers have reportedly used them, daily deal websites, like Groupon or Living Social, are a great investment. While these sites may ask you to discount your services more than you’re comfortable with, if you deliver superior customer service, you’ll likely get return customers.
    (Read more from https://www.millenniumsi.com/blog/65-salon-marketing-ideas/)
  • ShopLocal–is an online loyalty reward program that gives online shoppers an opportunity to find services in their local area and earn a cashback incentive for using the business’s services.  The business simply pays a small percentage to ShopLocal after the transaction. No set-up fee and the “pay for performance” model enables businesses to work within their profit margin and budget their marketing dollars efficiently.

Search

People don’t search to search, they search to FIND!  When consumers are searching, they are researching products and services.  However, when they are searching a local service, they are a motivated buyer, which means there is a higher chance for customer/client acquisition.  In order to be a top choice for your prospective client, you must show up in search.  Whether you appear in the organic listing, paid advertisements, or the listings, it is vitally important to have a strong search strategy in place. Search engine optimization is the process of having your website rank higher, organically, in search engines like Google. When people type in “nail salon, Boston, MA” you want to show up! It’s not good enough that you appear in results when searching for your business name.  It is important to rank for key services you provide in the geography you service.

Paid advertising on search engines like Google is called Search Engine Marketing and is a great way to get good positioning on search engine results. When someone searches for “day spa” in your area, you can pay Google to list you and pay for them to click on your ad. Qualified leads driven to your website based on the audience searching for a product or service you can provide!

You can also appear in the listings section of search engines or on review sites across the Internet.  Why is this important? At least 70% of potential clients search for online reviews before trying out a new salon! But one of the concerns then becomes, what if I have negative reviews? What can I do? First, determine what the real concern is or was.  Don’t react immediately, however, determine some responses that disarm the review, and offer a considerate reply.  In some cases, a negative review that has been handled positively by a business owner will win over more clients than an actual positive review. However, you can also boost positive reviews and your online reputation by asking your satisfied clients to post a review on your site, on google, or any of the other listing or review sites they’d like.  Improving your online reputation is also important in your overall marketing strategy.  After all, word of mouth advertising is the #1 form of marketing you depend on!

Horizontal shot of empty chairs in retro styled barbershop. Hair salon interior.

 Conclusion

It would be false to say that 100% of your success will depend on your digital marketing and social media strategies.  And while they are important, nothing is better than delivering a great product or service with quality customer engagement.  Being genuinely interested in your clients, building a strong relationship will be the most important thing you can do as a beauty professional! You want your clients feeling better about themselves in your presence.  Let them relax, enjoy their service, and provide them the best environment to be their best self.  

If you are looking to attract, engage, and communicate effectively and efficiently using a strong digital marketing strategy to build up and interact with your clientele, so that you can provide that quality service, increase revenue, decrease expenses, and streamline business practices, we invite you to a free consultation to determine your needs and propose solutions best-suited for you.  Email us to learn more about how we may be able to help your beauty business!

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