Why Local Salons Should Not Dismiss Social Media – Sonia Talks Business

typing-SoniaBrownIf you own or manage a salon are you the best kept secret on the high street?

You’re hair salon is ticking over financially. The books are relatively full and the walk-ins are irritated but sitting comfortably reading out of date magazines while they wait for an empty chair. But is there more that you could be doing to take your business to the next level without bursting the marketing budget?

Whilst many salon owners depend on word of mouth referrals and local promotions have you thought about the benefits of introducing a dedicated social media strategy to attract new clients; increase productivity and take your brand to the next level?

Yeah right, I hear you say as you raise your eyebrows and contemplate skipping to the next bog, but hold your horses and think about this.

You already know your target market inside out. What they like, what they don’t. You know the trends in the market and you definitely know there is room to grow your client base, market share and more importantly your profits. So why not continue reading my three cost effective ways to kick start your salon savvy, social media campaign.

Spread the Word

Create a fan page on Facebook and open a Twitter account which will update viewers of the latest styles that your staff are creating on the shop floor. Keep these accounts PROFESSIONAL! Start uploading the finished looks and create an online photo album. This is a great way to showcase your work and the technical prowess of your stylists. Get customers to sign up to your page and also get them to recommend your page – start building a tribe.

We are living in a celebrity obsessed world so demonstrate how you can provide show stopping looks on a budget! Get celebrity endorsements where possible and makes sure you upload the latest looks for the season.

Do a roundup of hair and fashion shows and more importantly start entering hair, nail and beauty competitions and let your customers follow your journey. There are lots of ways that you can keep the page interesting. You can promote special offers, competitions, provide advice, upload videos, create joint ventures and promotions – just be imaginative with your content and involve your staff to get ideas!

If I have not lost you yet, bring your perfectly eye brow back down. This is all achievable. All you need to do is get a junior member of staff to be responsible for the page updates. Link your tweets to your official website and Facebook page, because it’s important to keep everything synced. A word of caution, do keep strict controls on content to avoid the potential of reputational damage.

The important thing about having a Facebook and Twitter account is that it allows you to have a more global shop front that reaches a wider audience and is much more interactive than your official website will ever be. Research claims Facebook has 1.15 billion active users and Twitter has 500 million users. So this is no small shop windows.

Be Your Own Soap Opera

The general public is obsessed with cookery programmes, home makeovers and celebrity lifestyles so why not create your own YouTube channel and start promoting your own mini “how to” shows. YouTube is a great way to flex your salon’s creative flair to a wider audience and production is inexpensive and videos are quick to upload and share.

Why depend on traditional television to get your own show, when YouTube has one billion users and four billion views per day. What are you waiting for get filming! Many a social media phenomenon has been created on YouTube; so do not under estimate the public’s obsession for gaining online information.

This is a great opportunity to develop a contra with a local film maker.

Keep Customers Loyal

Loyalty schemes are not only for supermarkets and global stores. This is a great way to get customers to stay with you, spend more money with you and incentivise them to stay loyal to your salon.

Introducing a loyalty card scheme does not need to break the bank in terms of setting up and running. Think creatively. Get your customers to refer a friend and if they spend a specified amount you get a 10% discount on your next appointment; treatments or appointments; or buy six treatments and get the seventh free! The potential is endless. Know the buying motivators for your different customers based on age, lifestyle and your niche and just do it!

Remember, loyalty schemes work best when you get your staff and customers involved in the process. Ask customers what would be a great way to boost the perceived value of a loyalty card scheme. Ask staff what they want to do more of in terms of promotions. The great thing about loyalty schemes is that they give your salon additional promotion for a relatively small investment and don’t forget to create different levels of loyalty cards – general and VIP!

In the game of business it’s cheaper to retain customers than lose them.

About the author

Sonia Brown MBE is our Business Blogger. Sonia Brown MBE is a business communicator; coach; trainer; writer, uber connector and diversity maverick. She is a branding strategist and contributes to a number of radio shows, magazines and newspapers on women, diversity and enterprise issues. Find out more: Sonia Brown, @soniatalks

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