It doesn’t matter how good your treatments are, without effective salon marketing ideas your business will quickly lose its edge.
Traditionally, salons thrive through word of mouth recommendations and close customer relationships. But with social media a business breeding ground and email marketing just one way to reach your target audience, savvy owners are expanding their marketing ideas for salons with significant effect.
In today’s oversaturated beauty and hair salon landscape, ingenious salon marketing ideas are an integral component of any successful business. A marketing specialist will execute innovative ideas with ease, but thankfully, business owners can get results with simple but effective salon marketing ideas.
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- What is Salon Marketing?
- When To Start Your Salon Advertising
- Get Your Salon Marketing Strategy Right
- How To Develop Your Salon Marketing Plan
- 5 Salon Marketing Apps For Growth
- Why Is Google My Business So Important
- Always Have Salon Business Cards
- Salon Promotions That Work
- Salon Email Marketing Ideas
- Don’t Forget Social Social Media
- When To Choose A Salon Marketing Agency
- 15 Salon Marketing Ideas
What is Salon Marketing?
Salon marketing refers to the activities to promote a salon, its services & stylists or technicians to generate new clients and increase spend of existing clients. Marketing can include advertising, digital marketing, social media, promotions and client referral campaigns.
When To Start Your Salon Advertising
For a new salon, a solid and well-thought-out marketing strategy will increase interest and give your salon standing amongst the community.
To catch and retain the attention of new clients, make sure you’re marketing your business on social media platforms before you open.
You could also test salon marketing ideas that encourage people in for their first visit...and then get them to book in for their second. This forward-thinking will help you get an idea of what staff you need and what services and treatments you could offer. This will stop you from wasting money on resources that you don’t need.
Get Your Salon Marketing Strategy Right
A well-thought-out marketing idea or two is a great idea, but without defined goals to reach, you’ll never know whether your efforts are creating an impact. Make sure you keep a close eye on goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This will help you learn what consumers want from your business — and what salon marketing ideas really work.
If you have a great salon marketing idea, work out what you want to achieve from it. Is it new clients? More Facebook followers? Increased search results on Google? Whatever it is you want from your marketing idea, define success and measure your efforts against that.
A good salon marketing idea doesn’t solely focus on getting new clients. A new visitor to your salon is great, but it won’t count for much if they never return. A good marketing idea will entice a new client back to your salon, and switch them from a first-time visitor into a loyal advocate.
The more loyal your clients are, the more revenue your business will make. Keep the interest levels high with existing clients by upselling them services when they visit. You could also create a loyalty program that rewards them. These loyal clients will then help you get new clients through good word of mouth reviews.
How To Develop Your Salon Marketing Plan
A meticulous and well-considered marketing plan is key when it comes to hair salons and beauty establishments. If you haven’t got the finances to hire a marketing specialist, it’s a good idea you enlist the help of online planning tools.
A good salon marketing idea is one that’s been planned in advance. December is the busiest time for hair salons and beauty establishments. Stay on top of your marketing and start planning for the year ahead in November.
Something like online scheduling tools such as Trello or ClickUp will help you build a tailored salon marketing plan template.
If it’s your Facebook, Instagram, and general social media platforms you're focussing on, online tools such as Hootsuite or Sendible offer a great way to schedule your posts ahead of time.
5 Salon Marketing Apps For Growth
Whether you’re running a busy salon or you’re planning to launch a successful salon business, becoming aware of the free online tools could save you time and money. From executing a unique salon marketing idea to designing a professional business card — to strategizing your Facebook ads that encourage people back to your website, these five tools will help:
- Zolmi Salon Booking App - Zolmi is a salon POS, booking, and scheduling application.
- Canva - Canva is used for designing and publishing documents.
- Trello - Trello organizes projects into boards.
- Mailchimp - Mailchimp facilitates communication between a business and its customers.
- Outgrow - Outgrow facilitates the increase of leads and extraction of their analytics.
Why Is Google My Business So Important
Did you know that Google My Business is the number one marketing tool for a salon owner to use? One of the best hair salon marketing ideas is to simply pay attention to Google My Business. It’s a one-stop platform that allows you to easily manage reviews and update your business information.
Offering discounts and hair salon specials? Update that on Google and your salon will show up as a search result.
Exhibiting every review of your salon, staying aware of the platform means you can respond quickly and start building a relationship with existing and potential clients. More popular than Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, or Trip Advisor, your reviews on Google will noticeably impact your salon’s reputation.
According to a recent consumer report, 63% of clients say they’ll check Google for negative reviews before their next visit. That’s why it’s important you check the channel frequently. If you do receive a negative review, get in touch with the author and let them know that you’ve heard their complaint. You can then try to soothe the situation with a gift card or goodwill gesture to address the issue and get the review rectified.
Always Have Salon Business Cards
One of the oldest tricks in the book, handing out business cards is one of the most cost-effective salon marketing ideas. You can hand cards out to new clients, ask them to share with friends, and easily distribute them in the local area.
A recognizable and clearly designed business card will help you get the word of your business out and ingratiate you with the local community. Ask local shop owners if you can do a card swap — so you display their cards at your reception and vice versa.
Salon Promotions That Work
While the occasional discount offer might work, if you’re a new salon owner, you want to convert people quickly into loyal clients — and a discounted service won’t do that. Salon clients can be savvy to promotions; they’ll take advantage of the discount and then never book in again.
If anything, your target audience could be turned off by constant discounts. Often degrading your service and devaluing your salon, you need salon promotions that drive revenue.
If you are going to offer a discounted rate, make sure you have a clear KPI behind it. Is it going to drive profit and not just revenue? Do you need to promote a new treatment to clients? Once you’ve defined your goal, you can move forward with a promotion based salon marketing idea.
1. Refer a Friend
Referral discounts are a great way to encourage a loyal salon community. Your loyal clients are your best advertisers, so make sure you offer them something in return if they introduce someone to your business from their network. You could offer a gift card, a percentage discount or a small free treatment.
2. Nurses Appreciation
If your salon is situated near a hospital, you could offer a discount to all of those who care for people in the community.
3. Happy Hour
Tracking your schedule with salon software will give you insight into your quietest times. During slow times, you could offer a Happy Hour discount, to boost bookings and keep the salon busy.
4. Birthday Appointment
A great promo to run is a birthday discount. Something that loyal clients will love, a discounted haircut or treatment on their special day will make them feel great. Make sure you collect your client’s email address and date of birth to make this happen easily.
5. New Semester / New Term
To introduce your salon to students in the local area, offer a percentage-off promotion to catch their eye. This is a great idea if you have a large college or university nearby.
While it’s tempting to draw in new salon clients with a discount code, you might lose favor with loyal clients if they don’t get the same deal.
Always share news about your promotion on Facebook (you could also run Google ads or Facebook ads to get the word out further) and Instagram and make sure you let them know the terms and conditions.
Salon Email Marketing
Email marketing is still an important channel for owners and managers to engage with. Use it to communicate updates to your offering. You could write a monthly newsletter detailing all the new developments happening in your salon. You might feature new treatments or new employees that have joined. You could even promote a gift card people can purchase and popular retail products via email.
Make sure your staff collects an email address from every client that visits your salon. If they struggle to do this, you could offer them an incentive for a certain amount of email addresses collected. An online booking system will make capturing data efficient and easy. When capturing your clients’ data make sure you’re compliant with your local data protection laws.
Don’t Forget Salon Social Media
Social posts are the best way to stay connected with your clients when they’re not in your salon. You can inspire them with pictures, keep them up-to-date and tell them about new treatments on offers.
Instagram posts and Stories have the most impact on the success of a salon — they’re just so visually pleasing! You can easily talk to and stay connected with clients and give them something fun and inspiring to look at.
Instagram is also a great way to check what your competitors are doing. You can see which suppliers are getting the most likes and you can even look outside of your industry for inspiration. People often post short reviews of the service in the comments, so be sure to check those out too.
If your target audience is slightly older, you might spend more time on your Facebook page. Facebook has some great messaging features and it’s still one of the most popular social sites. Though it can be hard to grow your following there without Facebook ads, keep the page up-to-date to ensure your followers feel in the loop.
TikTok is a fun place, but it can be hard to target your local community, so it might not be as effective as some of the more established social sites.
When To Choose A Salon Marketing Agency
If your salon is doing well, it could be time to hire a salon marketing agency. You could always bring this in-house, but an agency might have more expertise. Plus, you won’t have to manage the process as closely.
If you are ready to hire an agency make sure you do your research. Ask them to show you their plan for the next three months and explain how they plan to use your budget. Also agree on how often they report back with the results of their efforts.
A good agency will be able to offer you success stories and references from existing or past clients. Nail down KPIs with them and ensure you can quickly access ROI info.
15 Salon Marketing Ideas
If you want to build up your loyal client database, it’s important you deploy some effective salon marketing ideas. Here’s a list of 15 for your to explore and consider.
1. Google My Business
As we’ve covered, if there’s one thing you should do for the growth of your salon it’s keeping an eye on your Google My Business page.
Did you know that there are over 1 million searches per month in the USA for people looking for salons? That’s a lot of treatment and haircut potential! Aim to get your business in the top three results to quickly experience more client interest.
2. Create Great Social Media Content
Salon owners that don’t post to social are missing a big marketing trick. If you want to post more but struggle with unprofessional pictures and images, use a free platform like Canva.com. It will help you feel inspired and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to use!
Canva offers predefined layouts that you can easily adjust for social media and it won’t take up too much time.
3. Create a Facebook Page
While Facebook can seem dated and, at times, a bit boring, having a designated Facebook Page is essential for your business. To make a Facebook page simply:
- a) Visit your personal Facebook profile
- b) Click on ‘Create Page’ on the left-hand side of your feed
- c) Choose ‘Local Business or Place’ when choosing what type of profile.
You should only choose ‘Brand or Product’ if you’re running a chain of salons, but even then you still want each salon to have its own local page.
4. Create an Instagram Page
At the end of 2020, it was reported that there were nearly 112 million monthly active Instagram users in the United States alone — so it makes sense for your salon to have a presence there!
Try to be consistent with your posting schedule (people love routine) and only use relevant hashtags. Some of our favorite hashtags are:
Remember you want local likes and engagement — it’s not worth focussing on getting likes and followers from people across the globe.
5. Post on Social Media at the Right Time
When you post can make a big difference to the engagement you see. Research shows that more people are likely to see your post if you upload it in the early evening on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
To help you track the success of each post, you could use an online scheduling tool called Buffer. Use it to schedule your posts for maximum impact.
6. Use Google Adwords for Your Salon
As effective as Google Adwords are, they can be quite costly if you get them wrong. We recommend you only buy Google Adwords on mobile (make sure your website looks good on mobile too).
Focussing on mobile you’ll be able to choose who you show your Google Ad to — you might choose to advertise to people within a 5-mile reach of your salon. This will work well if you use a keyword such as ‘hair salon near me’.
7. Improve Your Salon’s Website
Usability and search optimization of a website is key if you want to drive new customers to your salon.
Make it easy for clients to find the information they need by putting the following on the first web page:
It’s also crucial that your website is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, Google will push it further down the search results in favor of mobile-friendly websites.
Get more inspirations from our post on Salon Websites.
8. Liaise With Local Businesses
Get to know the small businesses in your area — especially the bars, cafés, coffee shops, and restaurants. Offer discounts to the waiting staff, bar staff, and baristas and they’ll quickly share good reviews about your business.
9. Send an SMS Past Clients
If a client hasn’t visited your salon in a while, it doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. Use salon software to keep their contact details stored, then send them an SMS detailing a limited offer. You could tempt them back with a discount they have to use within 90 days.
10. Celebrate Their Birthday
Next time it’s your client’s birthday, send them a card to celebrate! This small but thoughtful gesture will remind them that you’re still around and it offers a personal touch.
Of course, to do this you need to make sure you’re asking for the date of birth after they’ve had their first treatment!
11. Create a Loyalty Scheme
As a salon owner, it’s important you focus on winning, converting, and retaining loyal clients. Rather than devaluing your treatment menu with constant promotional discounts, use punch cards and loyalty stamps that clients can redeem against retail products.
12. Train Your Staff for Better Service
Your team is one of the most important parts of your salon. It doesn’t matter how much marketing you do, if your staff aren’t treating your client to a 5-star experience, they simply won’t rebook. Train your staff to offer empathy, a good customer experience, and etiquette at all times.
13. Create How-to Videos
It’s clear that people love watching short videos online. From Stories to TikTok to YouTube, they’re constantly growing in popularity. Film short clips on your phone and upload them to social media alongside the relevant hashtags. This is great if you want to show-off a popular up-do hairstyle or even a makeup look.
14. Set up a Selfie Station in Your Salon
If a client feels beautiful and pampered after their haircut or treatment, they might want to show off their new look online with a selfie. Make it even easier for them to do this by setting up a branded selfie station in your salon. Get them to tag you in the pic and boom — cost-effective marketing at its best.
15. Hair Before and After Shots
The perfect way to show off your skills, before and after shots will attract likes and positive reviews on social media. Ask you, loyal clients, if they mind you taking a photo before and after their new hairstyle and use a template from Canva to show the difference off perfectly.
There's no point constantly sending out emails and posting to social channels if you’re not measuring the impact your marketing efforts are making. If you choose to add any of the above ideas into your marketing mix, stay aware of your goals and keep things cost-effective.
Marketing is essential for a successful salon business, so work out what ideas will work best and then execute them with efficiency.
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