If you’re anything like me, it takes a lot of time, effort, and risk to find a new salon to trust with my hair. If you’re anything like my lovely colleague, Allen, you’d rather shave your own head than spend your time trying to find the perfect salon. I have such a hard time finding a good hairdresser that I often travel back to Philadelphia to get my hair cut (yes, 6.5 hours for a haircut. I’m insane.)
But if you’re running a salon, you want to stand out from the crowd to hook shoppers like me! Here are some marketing ideas to employ to grow your customer base and stay on top of your marketing game.
1. Offer Referral Discounts
Personally, I love this one. Once I find a hairdresser or manicurist that I love, I’m apt to recommend her/him to all my friends. Why not give your customers a little bonus for doing your advertising for free and sending new clients your way? I recommend an email or postcard with a nice note, “Thanks for referring us to your friend, Jane! We’re so pleased you thought of us, that we want you to know we’re thinking of you, too. Here is $15 off your next visit.”
2. Loyalty Programs or Punch Cards
Like referral discounts, it’s always nice to recognize great clients. My hairdresser has been cutting my hair long enough to remember when my sister got married, what business my brother started, and how my aunt’s broken leg is healing. Likewise, I love to hear about her two sweet babies, her husband’s Penn State obsession, and her crazy family stories. Show your clients that you not only hear their stories—you look forward to them! For every 10 visits, give a discount for the 11th. Or, if they’ve been coming to you long enough for the prices of services to rise, consider giving them the original price. Customer loyalty is hugely important to any business, but salons can easily capitalize on it.
If you aren’t on yelp, you probably aren’t going to draw in new business from millennials. It’s simple to claim your business, add photos, and respond to customer reviews. You can also offer discounts to customers to who check in at your location or package deals, i.e. manicure and pedicure for 10% off.
4. Geotargeted Ads
Whether you utilize Facebook or AdWords, geotargeted ads should be your best friend. You don’t want to be fielding appointment requests from a client in California when your salon is in New York! Need help setting it up? We have great guides on AdWords and Facebook targeting options.
5. Mobile Ads
Like geo targeting, mobile ads can be hugely beneficial—especially with AdWords new bidding features that allows users to bid differently on desktop and mobile.
6. Show off your Skilled Staff
I love sitting in the waiting area at a salon and looking at magazines for ideas. I also love being able to point to any picture and know my stylist can get it done! Instead of placing magazines on the table, try creating a binder of styles and cuts that your own staff has completed—maybe a collection of shots from your Instagram!
7. Use Hashtags to Pitch Your Salons for Events
I don’t know about you, but I hate wedding hashtags. They’re annoying, usually mildly obnoxious, but totally useful. It’s so nice to have all your wedding photos easily findable through a hashtag! The bonus for salons? You can use them to be proactive. With so many couples announcing their #engagements or planning bachelor/bachelorette parties on Instagram and Facebook, complete with a wedding hashtag, you can be proactive! Simply search for engagements, find the owner of the hashtag, and slide into their direct messages with a sales pitch.
8. Post Coupons Locally
When I was in high school, we received daily planners at the beginning of the year with a schedule for the year and various coupons from local businesses strategically placed throughout the planner. Every year, all the boys rented tuxes for prom from the same place, and all the girls got the hair and nails done at the same local salon (there were two locations, but still a huge crowd). It’s a great way to capitalize on a big money-making event—and get involved in your community!
9. Allow Online Reservations
This is huge! I usually look for new hair salons when I’m burning time during my commute, when it’s probably not appropriate to speak on the phone. And, speaking to real people to make an appointment is overrated. If an online reservation system is off the table, consider adding an email address to your contact info that people could correspond with to set up an appointment.
10. Collect Email Addresses
This is such a simple and powerful marketing tactic. Getting an email address is like getting keys to the kingdom—you can use them for appointment reminders, newsletter updates, referral bonuses, and remarketing lists on Facebook.
11. Capitalize on Instagram
One of my guilty pleasures is watching videos on Instagram. Usually they are of people making delicious food, but also beauty tutorials! I love seeing someone’s hair chopped short and dyed purple, or extensions put in, or nail accessories expertly glued on. Use your skills and record your clients; with permission, of course. Even better, have your clients share the videos on their personal pages to attract their friends to your salon!
12. …and Facebook
There is a handy-dandy “share” button on Instagram that allows you to share all your testimonials and videos on both platforms! If you have longer-form tips, try starting with Facebook since users are more open to spending more time on a single post. You should also try out carousel ads! A perfect way to showcase your work and appointments. Facebook advertising allows you to target your audience by interest—try targeting an audience with a birthday coming with an ad that reads, “Treat Yourself!” or someone who is engaged with an ad that reads, “Let Us Pamper You for Your Big Day!”
13. Offer Flash Sales on Twitter
One of my favorite salon marketing ideas is a flash sale! Twitter is the perfect place to advertise this. Send out a tweet, “$10 haircut for anyone willing to let our best new addition show off her skills!” and give it away to the first respondent.
14. Birthday Promotions
Who doesn’t love to be pampered on their birthday? By asking your clientele for their birth date or month, you can send out a birthday promotion—a discounted blowout or makeup session, maybe. Another take on this is to celebrate your salon’s birthday, with a week or month of a certain promotion.
15. Carry Business Cards
Salon Marketing 101: be your own greatest advertisement. Ever have a stranger compliment your hair or nails on the subway or while shopping? Not only is it flattering, it is the perfect opportunity to say, “Thank you! I did it myself, here is my business card if you’re interested in the same treatment!”
16. Produce Video Content
This may sound silly, but content can be anything from silly blog posts about nightmare makeovers and rushed events to tutorial videos. If your staff is staying up to date with new trends and constantly getting new certifications, use their knowledge to become an expert for your audience. Something as simple as “How to Properly Trim Your Bangs” will get your name out there—and you can welcome anyone who needs further assistance with that bang trim.
17. Host Parties
This might be the most fun salon marketing tip! Hosting pamper parties; for charity, for a birthday or bachelorette; can be a great opportunity to bond with your clients and get the word out about your salon.
Have any salon marketing tips that we missed? Let us know!