Starting a business, especially in the beauty industry, is no easy feat. Aside from the considerable investment needed in terms of time and money, you’ll have to deal with tough competition from other hair salons and day spas. You’ll have to hire salon professionals who are competent and reliable without going over your allocated budget for labor costs.
You’ll also have to create and execute a thorough marketing plan for your salon, and the good news is that there are a lot of online marketing strategies you can use. Taking your business online will help you attract more customers and ultimately make your business profitable and successful. Your online marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated; you just need to take advantage these business strategies that will help you become more visible, gain more customers, and encourage repeat business.
- Build a website for your salon.
Your salon’s website doesn’t have to be particularly complicated to be effective. The website just has to be easy to navigate and informative. Clean, minimalist website design is actually becoming more popular these days. You also have to make sure that your website contains up-to-date information your customers will want to know, such as your operating hours, contact information, and the services you offer. You can also include some professionally taken photos of your salon to attract more customers.
If you have a deeper budget, you can have some SEO done on your website. SEO or search engine optimization will help people find your salon’s website more easily, especially if they use search engines to look for salons in their area.
- List your salon’s website on online directories.
Once your website is up and running, you can have it listed on a wide range of online directories such as Google Places for Business, Yahoo Local, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, MerchantCircle, and Yellow Pages. More and more people are using the Internet to find what they need, whether it’s a vegan restaurant for lunch or a salon for a quick manicure and pedicure. Listing your website on these directories will help more people find your business.
Other directories will allow you or your customers to add more content to your listings, such as reviews or promo codes or general tips. You’ll attract more customers once people see through your online listing that your business is popular and has a loyal client base.
- Sign up for profiles or business pages on social media.
Practically everyone is on social media these days, and a social media page is one of the best ways to reach your target market. A regularly updated account on Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram can be a valuable business tool because it will help you engage with current customers and connect with potential clients. These profiles also give you the chance to show off what your business can provide customers.
For instance, you can upload before-and-after photos of your customers’ hair and nails to Facebook and Instagram and share the photos to attract more customers. You can also post sample hair and makeup photos of your available bridal services to gain business from brides-to-be.
You can use Twitter to update your followers on current promos and on new products and services. Testimonials, updated business hours, videos of how new services work – you can post all these to your social media profiles.
Make the most of your social media profiles by including your website’s URL on them, and make sure your salon’s websites are linked to its social media accounts as well. Go a little more high-tech and use a QR code on your salon’s flyers, business cards, or other posters in-store; customers can scan these QR codes to be automatically taken to your salon’s website.
- Send an email once in a while.
Email has been around for a while, but email marketing is a relatively new strategy for businesses. Don’t discount the effectiveness of email at helping you keep in touch with current and potential customers. After all, everyone has email and most people check their email messages at least once a day.
What’s important, though, is that emails from your salon don’t get lost in the multitude of emails your customers get each day. Make sure your email catches attention by using a strong subject line with the words ‘sale’, ‘discount’, or ‘limited offer’. Emails with subject lines such as these stand a much greater chance of being opened.
To take advantage of email marketing, make sure you collect emails from everyone who steps foot into your salon. If your email list is a little too large to handle manually, you can use email clients like MailChimp to manage your email lists and determine if your email campaigns are successful.
- Start a blog.
If you have some time on your hands, you can also start a blog and connect it to your salon’s website. Use this blog to provide valuable content to your customers, like articles on hair care and nail care tips, write-ups on new services you’re planning to offer, or even some unique testimonials you receive from customers. You can even do some short features on the salon professionals on your staff.
Setting up a blog is free thanks to websites such as Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. You can maximize exposure to your blog posts by sharing them to your social media profiles such as Facebook or Twitter and encouraging your followers to share them to their own friends.