Why do people go to a spa or salon? To get pampered, to boost self-confidence, to ultimately feel better about themselves. A haircut or beauty service is so much more than a product to be sold— it’s a personal treatment that’s part of someone’s lifestyle. Marketing your spa or salon should revolve around your client’s daily life and keep them coming back. The following tools, tips and tricks will help boost your salon or spa’s digital marketing strategy this year to reach clients long after they leave your store.
Tip: Create your ideal client.
When beginning to think about a marketing strategy for your salon or spa, it’s crucial to understand who you are catering to. All aspects of marketing should revolve around the lifestyle of your ideal client. Maintain a sharp focus on what people really want—seduce them, understand their soul. A useful trick to help you do this is to create an ideal primary and secondary client. Give them names, jobs, families, and think about their day-to-day lives. For example, if you own a hair salon in Ravenna, Seattle, your primary client could be Sheryl. She’s 40 years old, has two kids, drives a BMW, works part-time at a boutique, uses an iPhone, and loves shopping on Etsy. Your secondary client could be Olivia, a 20 year old student at the University of Washington who’s tech savvy and trendy. All marketing efforts should target these two clients—what time of day are they online? What social media sites do they use? What kinds of deals would get them in your door?
Tool: Pinterest, your online look book.
Pinterest is a visual collection board that works perfectly for a spa or salon’s online look book. Think of it as a way to create an “ideal sexy” for your primary and secondary clients. Collect boards and pins that reflect this ideal lifestyle, giving your customers inspiration to come use your services.
A woman’s hairstyle is not only tied to fashion or special occasions, but her daily routine of getting ready for work in the morning or driving the kids to school. Think about your ideal clients and what they would be attracted to on Pinterest—is she a young professional? Stay at home mom? Trendy fashionista? Football fan? These spas/salons are great examples of Pinterest profiles that reflect a lifestyle and create inspiration:
- Gene Juarez has a Seahawks board for football-inspired beauty ideas.
- Habitude Salon incorporates nature, art, and community boards that touch upon its ideal client’s lifestyle beyond salon services.
- Julep keeps a well-rounded collection of boards with everything from beauty tips to party ideas to seasonal fashion that would be of interest to its clientele.
- Gary Manuel Salons pins bold and trendy looks for its fashion-forward demographic.
Tip: Have photo/video guidelines.
Use the best photos collected on Pinterest to create a shot guide for your salon or spa. Think about the staging, lighting, models, and overall vibe. Your photos and videos should have a consistent look and feel to give customers a glance into the experience they’d have there. Look beyond craigslist to find models—offer customers a free service in return for modeling, or gather some friends to strike a pose! Take some shots out of the shop to reflect the daily life of your ideal client.
Tool: A beautiful website.
Your website should clearly communicate the services you offer while capturing your salon or spa’s unique style. When people land on your website the things they’ll be looking for are:
- Do they have the service I need?
- What are the prices and availability?
- What is their reputation? Good reviews?
- How do I book an appointment?
- Are they a match for me?
What to avoid on your website:
- Images of services that you do not offer or an environment that you do not have.
- Not having easy-to-find contact information and a call to action in the header.
- Not having online scheduling.
WordPress is the best platform for any small businesses. There are thousands of themes available for less than $100, that can be applied like a body kit to your website, and are easily customizable. Here is a list of the top selling themes specifically designed for spas and salons in 2015.
Tip: In-house marketing is what keeps them coming back.
Your employees are your greatest marketers. Their personal style, topics of conversation, friendliness and professionalism are all important. Clients’ satisfaction with their stylist is what will make them come back. The experience at your salon or spa is crucial for customer retention and word-of-mouth referrals.
Tool: Build your brand on Instagram.
A strong Instagram presence is free publicity for your brand. Create a profile that is regularly updated with photos of your people, process and products—a mix of what you sell and why you’re unique (similar to Pinterest!). It’s important to have an Instagram location and profile to maintain a relationship with your clients long after their visit. Those post-haircut selfies will give you more visibility and interaction with your clients’ network of followers.
- Essensuals London uses consistent angles and filters in their Instagram shots of client cuts, creating a feed that’s clean and cohesive.
- Bang posts Pinterest-worthy pictures of bold, colorful hair that match their clientele’s funky fresh styles.
Tip: Be an industry resource.
Don’t limit yourself to selling services only—your brand has so much more potential than that. Utilize a blog on your website, email marketing, and social media to be a resource within your industry. Post relevant news, give shout outs to other salons or spas in your area, do co-promotions, and stay up to date with what your competition is doing. Educating your clients will make your brand more reputable in its industry, building trust between you and your customers.
- Wax Sabbath Spa blogs about seasonal skin tips, common customer questions about waxing and sugaring, and industry-related topics.
- Stan Parente Salons uses Facebook to engage with clients through specials, promotions, and giveaways in return for client interaction on their profile.
- Caroline’s Lash Boutique provides seasonal makeup ideas and eyelash tips on their blog in addition to eyelash extension-specific posts.
Tool: Loyalty software – personalization
Let’s face it, people want convenience. One of the best ways for a spa or salon to do this for their clients it to utilized one of dozens of spa booking software systems. Virtually all of them allow for:
- Online booking
- Point of sale/ credit card processing
- Client profile/ preference tools
- Staff resource
Many great features that are ideal to setup are things like birthday discounts and specials, seasonal updates and a lot more. No matter what you need to be in the 21st century.
Tip: Give a gift bag.
Give your clients something tangible to take home after their appointment. Whether it’s a product, sample, or coupon for next time, a doggy bag will bring a piece of your salon home with them and entice them to return. Regular customers will have something to look forward to at the end of their visit and new clients will be pleasantly surprised.
Utilize these digital marketing tools and tips to boost your spa and salon’s business this year!
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