May is Salon Month here on the Signpost Local Marketing Blog! This means that in addition to our usual posts with tips on connecting with customers, marketing strategy, and growing your business, we’ll be sharing insights specifically for local salon professionals. If that includes you, it’s time to polish up on these proven promotion techniques. If not, don’t worry, we’ll still be sharing our usual resources that can help you effectively market your local business. And keep your eyes peeled, your industry might be the one we feature next month!
Want your industry to be featured? Let us know!
You’ve got enough on your mind when running your salon without having to worry about keeping your chairs filled. Putting together a comprehensive marketing plan can seem like a massive commitment, never mind the time it takes to execute on that strategy and stay on track. However, in order to drive new and repeat business through the door, it’s essential to be consistent with your efforts. Get started today with these tips to improve your salon’s presence and encourage more bookings.
Optimizing your online presence starts with your website
Make sure that your website is updated with a complete list of your services and reflects current pricing. Your address and phone number should be clearly listed on all pages, and formatted in the same way, which helps your salon be found in local searches. Add forms that allow people to sign up for your SMS and email lists. You can use this to keep them informed of events, new services, and promotions to keep your salon on their mind.
Include buttons or links to review sites, so that potential customers can easily find your profile or listing and see your great ratings, and existing customers can continue to leave your salon rave reviews. And while you’re at it, be sure to request quotes from clients to include on each page, or ask permission to use excerpts from reviewers. Adding testimonials to your website can increase conversions by 34%.
Add social sharing buttons to enable quick posting on their favorite social pages, and make it easy for customers to refer friends. While you’re at it, why not create a gallery of your work to show off your talent (and don’t forget to keep it updated!). Or, some website tools allow you to link your Instagram account to display your most recent posts.
Either way, to compliment this gallery start a blog which further showcases your expertise. Teach your audience how to create the latest styles at home, as well as tips and tricks for hair or nail maintenance. This will create a bond and trust with your audience, who will prioritize your business over your competitors next time they’re due for a new ‘do, or asked for a recommendation.
Allow clients to book appointments online
If you’ve shied away from adopting an online bookings system, it’s time to reconsider. By limiting scheduling to the phone only, you’re severely cutting down the window of time that appointments can be made. Since many appointments aren’t made far in advance, many of these after-hour calls or inquiries are moving on to the next salon on the list. Can your business afford to miss out on the 35% of clients want to schedule appointments during non-business hours?
Some fear that replacing appointments booked over the phone will rob them of an important opportunity to connect with customers and continue to foster and build relationships. Think of it as adding an opportunity to retain those who avoid making phone calls, or don’t have the time to step away from their desks to make a personal call, but can easily book from their computers or smartphones. As with all marketing tactics, it’s vital to be where your customers are, and since 25% of millennials (those under 35 ) will only book appointments online, that means online appointment scheduling.
It will also save your staff time fielding calls from clients that don’t want to be making them to begin with! This will allow them to spend more time speaking with clients who do. They can chat more with repeat customers, and continue to foster those relationships that keep them coming back. New customers booking online can leave notes about what they’re looking for or potential issues ahead of time, so that the stylist can be briefed beforehand.
It’s difficult to measure, but one site estimates that offering online booking should boost appointments by 5% to 25%. If you’re unsure of where to begin, check out this list of scheduling software providers, and start booking more customers.
Utilize all forms of communication with customers
Just as it’s important to allow customers to book in the manner they want, it’s also beneficial to communicate with them in their preferred manner. Allow customers to subscribe to your email and SMS lists, so that you can send confirmation and reminder messages. When you let them choose how to receive your messages, they’re more likely to read it, and make it to their appointment. This is especially true with SMS messages, which are typically read soon after they’re received and are the best way to cut down on missed appointments. According this report, missed medical appointments were cut down by 50% due to this technique.
This reminder provides them with an easy reference to your location, hours, and contact info, for new customers who are en route to your salon. If they opt-in to these lists, you can also send them promotions and engage them in email and SMS marketing campaigns to keep them coming back. Signpost does this by automatically targeting the right customers at the right time in order to drive feedback, reviews, referrals and repeat business.