7 hand-picked salon marketing ideas to boost your salon business
In recent years, the salon industry has been booming with new salons opening up everywhere! As of 2021, there are more than 800,000 salons in the US.
While that is great news for the industry as a whole, the increased competition means that as a salon owner, you will have to up your marketing game to retain existing clients as well as attract new ones.
The salon marketing ideas that you implement will have to be innovative in order to give you an edge over your competition!
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 7 salon marketing tips that work and are sure to attract a flurry of new customers.
Before we begin: Know your target audience
Before getting into the salon marketing strategies, you should have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and what they like/dislike. All your major marketing decisions like which channel to use or what kind of pictures to post will depend on what makes your audience tick.
For example, if you own a hair salon and most of your clients find you through Google, you will have to make sure that your business has a Google listing and your website is SEO optimized. Or, if your nail salon audience is engaging more through social media, you might want to redirect your efforts in making your socials more attractive!
In order to understand your target audience, carry out thorough market research and analyze your existing client base. Take into consideration the preferences of your target age groups, gender, economic status, etc. to finalize your services, pricing, brand image, etc. Here are few tips to get you started:
- Analyze the insights from your business’s existing social media pages. What posts do people like and share most? What attracts maximum people to your page? What are they saying in the comments?
- Check out past appointment records to understand what are your customer’s buying habits and what services do they come for the most?
- Your scheduling software might even have an analytics page that would give you a ballpark figure of your total customers and their patterns of demand and buying trends.
- Also, study your competitors well. Spend some time on their websites and booking portals to identify features or services that are attracting people. Start by listing all your competitors. Then go through each one of them carrying out a SWOT analysis for them.
Find out what their business has that you don’t? What would lead a customer to choose them over you? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Now that the foundation has been set, let’s talk marketing ideas for salons!
7 salon marketing ideas to boost your salon business
Let us now delve into the answer to ‘how to market your salon’ that we promised so that you can devise an effective salon marketing strategy for your business!
1. Create and optimize your Google presence
Most people use Google to search for a local business. In fact, when people conduct searches through Google, 46% of them look for a local business.
And that’s why making sure that your business pops up in Google search results when people search for ‘salons near me’ is crucial. Google My Business is a tool that will help you do exactly that.
Do you know customers are 70% more likely to visit businesses with a Google My Business listing? Having your business listed on Google is a way to ensure that your leads can find you on Google Search results.
Once they come across your business, your listing shows them where and how to visit your salon on Google Maps, along with your web and physical address.
This makes it easier for the searcher to go to your website, get directions, contact information, open hours, and read reviews of former clients as well.
Google My Business is an incredibly valuable (and easy) tool to use that helps you:
- Control, index, and display pertinent business information
- Interact with potential customers and manage your online review reputation
- Curate customer photos, videos, and other user-generated content
- Gather insights regarding how your customers are arriving on your site
- The signals sent from Google My Business even play a role in local SEO strategy
When creating a Google My Business account keep the following points in mind:
- Ensure your information is accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date. You do not want to unknowingly mislead interested customers by wrong information displayed online. Your address, phone number, etc should be correct and updated, and you should be easy to reach.
- Ask for reviews and respond to them regularly. Stay connected with people so they find more incentives to come to your salon rather than to your competitors
- Speak directly to your customers through Google My Business Messages
- Add posts to share business updates
- Additionally, don’t forget to add a book button to your Google My Business profile to make it easy for potential clients to book an appointment with you.
To add a book button to your Google My Business profile, you will be required to get listed on Reserve with Google. Here’s how it looks:
Reserve with Google is a new search and book platform by Google that lets customers book appointments with your salon, directly from Google Search, Google Maps, or the Reserve with Google website.
In order to get listed on RwG and add a book button to your GMB profile, you should have an account with an official scheduling partner.
2. Revamp and optimize your website
Potential customers today visit business websites in search of critical information before making a decision. A website makes your salon business look more professional and authentic to potential customers.
Plus, visitors can also get practical details regarding your salon like services offered, price list, staff credentials, appointment booking link, etc. from your website.
So how can you start building your salon website?
Building a website from scratch can be a daunting task and requires a lot of money if you hire a professional.
It is therefore important to make the most of your budget and rest assured, a good website does not necessarily require splurging.
- If you are just starting with your business or are still a small salon, you can customize your appointment booking page for free. This can effectively serve as your website as well as a booking portal which will also increase customer satisfaction with your virtual interface since everything will be in the same place!
- If you have a little more money to spare, you can experiment with easy-to-use website builders like Square Online or Wix and their DIY templates. Wix is one of the most commonly used website builders for salons. It is super easy to use while you can still create highly professional salon websites using predefined design templates. It’s also pretty affordable!
- And of course, if you have the disposable income to build a well-structured salon website, just hire a professional. A professional will take care of all the technical nitty-gritty for you and deliver a product you are satisfied with!
Once your basic salon website is up and running, don’t forget to give it an attractive makeover and optimize it well!
- Prioritize function over flashy effects: People don’t want flash animations on your website. They just want useful websites that are easy to navigate. They want to be able to easily find important information (like opening hours, phone number, address, appointment booking link, etc.) immediately when they land on your site.
- Test your salon’s website on mobile: The majority of website traffic today is coming from mobile phones. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices.
- Make it fast: If your website loads too slow, your visitors will leave without waiting. So you need to be careful with adding too many large images to your website. You also need to make sure that there are no broken links or unnecessary text on your website.
- Add your booking link to the home page: A “book now” CTA (call to action) will help convert all those highly engaged website visitors into booked appointments instantly. You can add it as a ‘Book Now’ button or just embed your entire booking page on your website.
- Add professional images & videos to create a show-stopping website that reflects you and your salon and optimize your site: Using good images on your salon’s new website is crucial. Your website should be pretty simple in design. Where you get the color and emotion into your website is via the images and videos you include.
- Make sure you include this information:
- Your service price list
- Credentials (e.g. certifications, awards, client reviews)
- Presentation of you and your staff
- The salon’s story, purpose, and values
3. Use social media to attract new clients
In the hair and beauty industry, social media can be used extensively to attract new customers and engage with them
Here are some great salon social media ideas to get you started:
- You can offer special discounts or complimentary services if people check-in and book their appointments via your social media channels (can be Facebook, Instagram, or any of your other social media pages). This will help you leverage these social networks to increase brand awareness for your salon.
- Install a selfie booth in a picturesque and aesthetic place of the salon (an Insta-worthy spot :P). People can click their pictures after getting their hair or makeup done and post on social media tagging your salon. These pictures will immediately attract the attention of potential customers on social media and you may get some service inquiries.
- Post live videos on Facebook. The advantage of leveraging live videos is that you receive feedback instantly. Your audience will enjoy watching these videos, and potential customers will be convinced to scroll down your timeline.
Here are some Facebook live video ideas:
- Give your viewers a tour of your salon
- Post product reviews
- Shoot staff interviews
- Produce informational videos to educate your clients like home hair care ideas or DIY beauty tricks, and make the experience lively and fun by posting some behind the scenes clips
- Organize engaging social media contests and giveaways: You can increase your engagement with people by organizing fun contests on Facebook and/or Instagram. The winners of these contests could get free or discounted haircuts or some other services. You can even hold giveaways for the top 10 contenders of these contests. The winners can post their pictures with the prizes they won tagging your salon on social media.
4. Release discount coupons and vouchers regularly
Why are discount coupons so important?
Rolling out discount schemes is also a great way to tackle the mid-afternoon lull or filling up your lean hours.
A lot of your professionals might be idling away during work hours due to a lull in customers which is neither good for your business nor the employees. In order to tackle this, you can offer your services at a discounted rate on particular days or hours during the day to optimize your salon business.
Carefully analyze your work output, busiest hours, and low-efficiency hours or days to design your discount vouchers.
What types of discounts can you offer?
Carry out a detailed analysis of your budget and finances to weigh the pros and cons of different discount options.
- You can offer a certain amount off on some of your services or club two or more services for the cost of one. This is a great way to get people to spend more than they probably would have otherwise.
- First-time customers can be pampered with complementary services as well rather than a direct “15% or 20% off” discount.
- Seasonal or festive discounts are also great ways to attract a flood of customers before special occasions. Black Friday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day are a few occasions that brim with activity and you can leverage this by advertising your salon the right way.
5. Use gift vouchers
Let clients gift your services to their loved ones on special occasions and festivals by selling gift vouchers at your salon. This will help you get new customers with help from your existing ones.
With the growing trend of experiential gifting, gift cards are all the rage these days in the beauty and grooming industry. They work as great salon promotion tools.
From a business standpoint, gift cards are of great financial value since they are paid for upfront and hence account for guaranteed revenue. They usually come with an expiry date and the receiver has to utilize the vouchers to pay his expenses before that date.
It has also been observed that people often end up spending more than the value of the gift certificates during their visit – making them a very effective and profitable marketing tool.
Here are a couple of ideas for you to design and distribute your gift certificates:
- Target holidays for your voucher distribution: Festive times are great to implement your salon promotion ideas, especially gift certificates. They can be rolled out ahead of holidays and festivals when the gifting season is in. This is a great way to attract new customers without offering discounts since the certificate is usually bought at full price.
Using relevant coupon codes such as “Santa” for Christmas, or “USA” for the 4th of July, can help you celebrate with customers.
- You can display your attractively designed gift coupons during the festival seasons at your reception desk to catch the eye of maximum customers. You can even put them out there during your salon events to attract more buyers.
- Also, make sure to add the option of including a gift card on your online booking portal itself so that customers can easily add it to their cart while booking an online appointment.
6. Run smart referral programs
Referral programs are a great way to leverage happy customers into generating leads. It is a type of word-of-mouth marketing in which a customer is encouraged to refer your salon to their friends and family, and avail rewards in return.
Here is how you can design a referral program for your salon:
- Let your existing customers take their time to get to know you and trust your services. Then you can approach them to pitch your referral program. People trust the opinion of their family and friends, so if you can get your clients to refer you to their inner circle, it is more likely their friends will book an appointment with you.
- You can offer incentives for customers to introduce your services to their inner circle. For example, if you own a beauty salon, your referrers can achieve reward points and avail them the next time they visit you. Reward points can apply to services like waxing, haircut, nail treatment, etc. at discounted rates or coupons for massage products.
- Online reviews can play a pivotal role in a referral program, because nowadays, being seen as a trusted business requires quality reviews. Online reviews are read by nearly everyone who uses the internet. It is this virtual referral of your services that can help you get more clients.
Referral programs can help boost your revenue by significantly reducing expenditure on bringing in new customers.
And at the end of the day, if you get referred by at least one customer, that means you’ve gained their trust, and that’s indeed a great job!
7. Market your salon as sanitized and protocol abiding to fit in a post-Covid world
How to market your salon in a way that highlights your abidance of COVID protocols and sanitization efforts?
Here are a few measures to undertake in order to keep your salon’s marketing pandemic-proof:
- Promote pre-booking and online scheduling: Encourage your customers to book their appointments in advance. You can use a salon appointment system to make this job easier for you as well as your customers.
- Accept touchless payments: ‘Touch’ is the most controversial word, thanks to Covid. Online and touchless payment options via reliable gateways like Square, Stripe, PayPal, etc. are the best way to go.
- Display your social distancing, cleaning, and disinfection measures: Build your customers’ trust in your prevention measures by displaying your protocols in your salon, on your website, and on social media.
- Embrace virtual consultations: Reduce the physical footfall in your salon and enforce social distance better by providing virtual consultations via popular and secure video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
A salon booking software like Appointy can help you implement this marketing idea better. Many of them today allow online prepayments and facilitate online consultations apart from online scheduling. They can also double up as salon marketing tools!
Getting new clients for your salon may seem challenging at first, but at the end of the day, all it takes is patience and some smart work to implement these ideas.
We hope these salon marketing ideas help you grow your business and bring in new customers through the door. So good luck and happy marketing!
Oh, and don’t forget to let us know if you have any creative ideas that you want us to add to the list in the comments below!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!