There may just be one too many ways to do digital marketing for hair salons and spa's. What digital advertising platforms should salon's focus on? What's the best way to grow your Salon business online? There may not be hard and fast answer to the salon internet marketing question, but these strategies will show you how to do salon marketing online.
Catch The TL:DR Version in the Video Below.
Top Organic and Paid Media Strategies For Hair Salon Marketing
Run monthly time-limited promotions
Do at least viral style giveaway every month
Run Facebook Messenger bots
WhatsApp Business Account
Email list growth
Instagram Business Account.
Post content to TikTok
Do tutorials on YouTube
Set Up Google My Business Profile and ask customers to review and post consistently
Post how to’s and advice on Pinterest
LinkedIn- Use LinkedIn to showcase events and customers of a corporate nature or even matric balls etc. Remember many of the professionals are parents
Get active on meetup.com Host free or paid(small fee) workshop where you show attendees very valuable techniques they can do at home. Cross post with Facebook events as it will show up on Facebook local and expand the organic reach.
Tag Major product brands you use to create amazing results.
Do viral style quizzes about different hair types and the products or care that it needs
Reddit: The internet of how-tos. Find geographically local subreddits and contribute meaningfully
Quora: Answer Questions related to your industry to establish your expert authority.
Find relevant directories to list on- this goes hand in hand with GMB listing
Make your content go viral on ViralContentBuzz.com
Get free Press Releases with HARO
Blog – Gather a compilation of the most common questions customers ask. Especially while their hair is being done. Write blog posts of 500 or more words based on real user feedback.
Find local influencers- do their hair at no charge in exchange for promotion on Instagram and TikTok
Issue online coupons to collect free samples in store.
Use calendar content heavily. Nearly every month of the year has a specific event or ‘day’. Christmas, Mandela Day, Women’s Day, Youth Day. Make sure to always make a big deal of these days and try to run your promotions around this.
Google Search Ads
Organic Tactics for Free Traffic for your Salon
1. Run Monthly, Time-Limited Promotions
As a business owner, it's important to understand that your customers, as consumers, have been conditioned to responding to events. A monthly event, communicated efficiently in a time-limited fashion can bring in a constant flow of new customers through your doors. Think about the promotions that caught your attention. Then, days later, when the promotion ended, the item just remained at the same price point. I'm not encouraging you to do this. The point is that promotions blind consumers to value and puts them in buy mode. FOMO is real, and if your promotion is time-limited, you're sure to get a few extra heads through the door and bound to book a few more seats in your hair salon.
2. Viral Style Giveaways.
This is somewhat different from a promotion, but includes elements of a promotion. This however has the sole purpose of creating exposure and collecting email addresses.
This is one of the ways you can run a viral giveaway:
– Choose a mid to high-value product or service with high-profit margins or lowest cost to the business. This could be a service or a hair product hamper.
– Create a post using free software like Canva with hundreds of free templates. This will make the task of creating a beautiful eye-catching promotion much easier.
– Use referral software like Vyper or Viral-Loops . This software is super-easy to use and is perfect to make your content go viral, very quickly. It tracks Facebook Page likes, post shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even YouTube subscribers. But most importantly, it helps you grow your email list, fast.
One of these campaigns every month will keep your social media presence as well as your email list constantly growing and help you identify a large number of prospects that are interested in the product or service that your salon offers.
3. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger has an estimated 1.3 Billion active users(statista.com). The Messenger platform has become very dynamic and can host videos, run competitions, run automated messages and even book appointments. This counts for Instagram as well but we’ll get into that a little bit later. Messenger has an unbelievably high open rate and can be as high as 97% with averages of around 78%. Use Messenger subscription services to stay top of mind and make them aware of any promotions you have running. To run basic to advanced Messenger campaigns use a service like ManyChat or ChatFuel and watch customers book themselves into your salon with automated payment set up and booking system and diverse integration capabilities.
4. WhatsApp Business Account
WhatsApp for business is somewhat different from the everyday WhatsApp we all know and love. It allows for more than 256 members in a group and gives a bit more control in specific channels and joining your business WhatsApp group becomes alot more intentional. You can run promotions and have an even higher open rate than Messenger and even connect your FaceBook ads directly to your WhatsApp Business account so when they click your FaceBook or Instagram ad, they get taken directly to your WhatsApp Business Profile where either you, or a WhatsApp bot can greet them and close the sale and hopefully welcome your newest customer. Download the WhatsApp business app here: https://www.whatsapp.com/business/
5. Email List
If you never do anything else online. Do This. Always, always always collect email addresses. Everything else has proven to be seasonal. We’ve gone from Google Talk, MySpace, MSN Messenger, AOL Messenger to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to whatever else is out there. Most of these platforms are really good and run through seasons of providing amazing customer reach and then dying down with dwindling organic reach. It would be prudent to note, that when you are not active on these platforms, even they send you email reminders to come back to visit their platform. So when all else fails, even the biggest and best of the bunch still depend on email to keep their wheels turning. Without complicating things, a simple excel sheet is enough to collect First and Last Name and of course, email address. MailChimp and MailerLite are free to use for the first 1000 subscribers and can provide everything you need to build your list with opt-in forms and segmented lists as well as keeping an accurate record of options.
6. Instagram Business Account.
Salons and spa’s alike offer niche health and beauty services. This makes the requirement for good marketing to always be very visually stimulating. Enter the filter.
Posting consistently has so many benefits. With Instagrams reach beginning to decline, it will probably be on par with Facebooks’ poor organic reach as well. This leaves us to gather data like posting often and evaluating when the best time to post actually is. There are many reports and studies to give you an idea of what a good time to post is, but you are the expert in your geographic area and will need to experiment what the best times are as the broader results are just that, broad. They, unfortunately, don’t take into account the outliers and minor geographic regions a salon might service.
Amplify organic reach by cross-posting with peripheral businesses like yoga instructors, acupuncturists, boutique gyms and even personal trainers. This kind of alliance on a micro-influencer scale can provide reach you would otherwise need to pay Facebook for.
7. TikTok… The new kid on the block
TikTok is a video sharing app that has had phenomenal growth in recent times. Having in excess of 500 million active users, massively high entertainment value and extremely high watch hours per viewer, this app is giving other competing apps a run for their money. Nearly all content is viral and becoming TikTok famous is relatively easy at this stage. It’s a really good time to find some influencers on TikTok and watch 1000’s to 10’s of thousands of fresh, organic viewers see your brand.. More on TikTok in the paid section.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Boasting more than a billion viewers a month People go to YouTube to learn and to be entertained. With make-up and hair stylist YouTube channels earning 6 to 7 figures from monetized YouTube channels, it’s safe to assume that YouTube is going anywhere soon. For most, it is tutorial driven with instructional infovids at its core. Your customers are likely watching these very YouTubers whereas they should be watching you, the local expert tell them how to do the very same things these YouTubers are doing. YouTube’s algo is not as advanced as Googles yet and provides much more organic views with recommended videos, suggested videos and autoplay features, you can rank highly fairly quick in your local region with a little help in dropping in the correct tags and video structure. YouTube tutorials will be consumed by your viewers and this WILL lead to website visits. And, if optimized correctly, these website visits can lead to bookings.
9. Google My Business
It still surprises me that many businesses have not even claimed their very own listing. This is literally the definition of throwing away money. Imagine this situation. Prospect needs to get their hair done. What do they do? Go to Google and type hair keyword with area. BOOM! There your results are. They call or visit the site and make a booking. It’s alot easier to show up higher in Googles Local SEO rankings than it is for organic rankings.
10. Post how-to's, unique, visually appealing content, infographics and advice on Pinterest
Pinterest provides an amazing opportunity to go viral with almost every post. If your graphics are easy to understand, highly shareable and high-value content. Pinterest could serve you for years to come as content gets shared over and over.
I know you’re probably thinking that a salon shouldn’t post on LinkedIn because it’s primarily a Business to Business platform. But the truth is, business people need to look their best and most of the professionals on LinkedIn are parents as well. Parents who have daughters matriculating or getting married or going to prom. As you showcase high-quality work and show your personality through your content, expect to see a rise in engagement. At the time of writing, LinkedIn is at its peak in terms of organic reach. (Q4 2019)
Get active on meetup.com Host free or paid(small fee) workshop where you show attendees very valuable techniques they can do at home. Cross post with Facebook events as it will show up on facebook local and have expanded reach.
Another somewhat matured algorithm. Here it’s important to leverage trending hashtags to maximise exposure. Tag products you use to achieve amazing results, if the asset is worthy, they’ll respond and retweet. These accounts usually have a substantial amount of followers and could drive your Twitter growth.
14. Quizzes. Do Viral-Style Quizzes about different hair types and the products or type of care it requires.
Quizzes have become and remained extremely popular. This is a really great way to refine and segment your audience. It provides a really good platform to grow your email list and to really understand which paid ads you should run to your prospects. Some good examples are Tryinteract and Thrive Quiz Builder.
15. Quora and Reddit
Though not an immensely popular platform, compared to Instagram and Facebook. This is a great way to find out what questions people are asking and what type of content you should be posting. Answering common or popular questions and value-driven participation in subreddits can drive the right traffic to your site.
16. Directory Listings
There are thousands of directories to list your business on. It’s important to find the correct and relevant directories to list on. This can and will have a dramatic effect on your Google My Business profile and where it appears in the local SEO, Google Search results. Go to brightlocal.com or whitespark.ca to find out which listings are the most relevant and geographically significant and watch you GMB listing improve its ranking.
17. Make your content viral for free with viralcontentbuzz.com
Viral content is often shared here and can result in content reaching customers far and wide. Leverage this opportunity to go viral for free.
18. Press Releases
Contrary to popular opinion. Press releases are actually easier to do than one might think. Help-A-Reporter-Out is a platform to connect with industry-related or geographically relevant reporters who will produce articles about you or your business to drive yours and their exposure.
You don’t have to be a genius writer to get this done. Everyone has a unique voice and you should attempt to write in a conversational manner. Gather a compilation of the most common questions customers ask. Especially before and while their hair is being done. Write blog posts of 500 or more words based on real user feedback as if you’re answering their questions. Your readers will appreciate the authenticity of your writing style and value your content as it is after all, based on the opinions of real customers.
Another really hot tip when it comes to blogging is to guest post on other related sites or local business websites. These don’t have to be about tips and how-to’s and can refer to your journey as an entrepreneur. As long you link to your website correctly and early in the article, this will improve your Google search rankings as well. This is Search Engine Optimization technique known as back-linking.
20. Identify Local Influencers
Identify local influencers with growing social media followings and do their hair at no charge in exchange for promotion on Instagram and TikTok. This can and most times will drive massive social media engagement if you find the right influencer for your niche.
21. Issue Coupons
Coupons are totally free to create online. All it takes is a Google Search. Speak to your supplier about mini-samples you can provide to your prospective customers as a marketing tactic you can use to bring them into your store. Link the redemption process with a coupon code or phrase. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You could make up a random word for them to use when they come in-store to redeem.
22. Use calendar content heavily
Nearly every month of the year has a specific event or ‘day’. Christmas, Mandela Day, Womens Day, Youth Day. Make sure to always make a big deal of these days and try to run your promotions around this. Refer to tip #1 for this.
23. SMS Marketing
Technically not free, as you pay per SMS. SMS campaigns to current customer base can be very effective for communicating your promotion, providing reminders of bookings and especially sending birthday messages or special national event messages like Christmas wishes, New Years wishes etc. The idea is to use the most effective platforms to sustain being top of mind and remain the first choice to your customers when they require your services
24. Facebook Groups
Facebook hates people leaving their platform. So much so, that they charge advertisers to show their ads or posts to more people and then charge them for every click that takes them away from the site. Facebook must consider that the user will not return and cannot be monetized anymore. Ok, that long-winded story actually had a point…what was it again?….Hmmmm. Oh yeah, Facebook Groups. Facebook groups is a way for Facebook to further hone in on buyer persona’s as groups of people with very specific interests congregate within a niche community for the purposes of having a likeminded community and receiving value. Think about how many times you joined a Facebook Group for reasons that didn’t benefit you. Probably around the ZERO mark, right? Starting a Facebook Group, preferably with a name not related to your business, solely for the purposes of providing value. This does a few things:
- Establishes you or your company as experts and trusted advisors without seeming ‘salesy’. And the truth is, you’re not selling anything. You’re just providing value, sowing seeds that will reap a harvest in time.
- Depending on how you structure your group admission questions, this could be a very powerful tool to grow your email list as one of your admission questions could be “Would you like to receive free samples or tips?” or whatever people couldn’t possibly say no to and then tell them you’ll send it by email? Add this to your email list and send a welcome email with a voucher/coupon or whatever adds massive value and grows that database.
Take your blog post, copy it, repost it to Medium. A lot more people are likely to be exposed to it on Medium than it would take to naturally rank on Google
26. Search Engine Optimization
This is usually the first tip. I list it last as it may be the best way to get free traffic to your website, but it may not be the best way to monetize your business. A mistake I see many local business owners make is to get lost in the marketing-speak of traffic and clickthrough-rates and conversion rate optimization. As a marketer, I understand the allure that these concepts have. And they do have a very relevant place in your marketing arsenal. However, Your business is driven by bookings, not website visits. And chances are, most people may just click the “Call Now” button on your Facebook page or reach out directly on Messenger or WhatsApp. While this is essentially free traffic, getting to the point where you are actually ranking well organically, might take an investment into a good SEO person first, rendering this technique as a paid one. Optimize your website for calls or bookings and have content that is customer focussed, like reviews and essential hair tips, free downloads etc.
1. Facebook Ads
There is so much to be said for Facebook Ads. And most of this requires an entire course on its own. But I understand that I am speaking to an entrepreneur who might not have time to run their own campaigns or have the time to learn how to optimize Facebook campaigns. But here are a few essential tips when it comes to advertising on Facebook that could save you advertising spend.
Targeting is probably the most important aspect of your Facebook advertising. You are likely going to choose to boost your post when you advertise. This is the easy option to showing your brand to more people who can become customers. But I would recommend that you first head over to https://business.facebook.com and set up a Facebook Business Manager account. This will provide much more options and in-depth ad reporting. But most importantly, you’ll be able to set up custom audiences based on website traffic or your email list to target geographically demographically relevant prospects.
You will also be able to create a Facebook pixel. This is a tiny snippet of code that you could paste on your website or landing page that lets you track visitors to your site and helps you find them on Facebook after they leave your website and they’re browsing Facebook, Instagram or partnered websites known as the Facebooks’ Audience network. This form of advertising is called remarketing or retargeting, is extremely effective in converting website visitors into paying customers and best of all, is usually quite inexpensive.
Because of time constraints and the sheer convenience of the “Boost Post” Button. I would urge you to not go that route. It's a recipe for throwing money away. Here's why you should not hit that Boost Post button.
2. Google Search Ads
I would argue that Google Search Ads are just as powerful as Facebook Ads for Salons and spa’s, but they provide a service to your prospect at different stages of their customer lifecycle. Google Search Ads operate from a demand-driven standpoint. That is, a searcher needs the service you provide and Google(or Bing and Yahoo, let’s not forget about those) will provide search results for the best and most relevant results. Google Search Ads, places you on the top of Googles’ recommendations for their search. You would usually pay for every click to your website if you are running a Google Search Ads campaign or you could set up Google Click-To-Call paid campaigns to prompt searchers on mobile to call your salon for a booking with a click of a button. These are usually ready buyers and this ad platform can produce results within the first day.
3. YouTube Ads
If you have a limited budget, use only remarketing ads here, this will be for people who have recently visited your website. A great strategy would also be to run your promotions to a list you already own for these customers to come back. These campaigns are cheaper and much more defined.
4. Tinder Ads
This is a marketplace where you know the buyer persona includes people interested in the Health and Beauty niche. Even though Tinder might not have it’s very own ad platform but ads can be placed on Tinder through Facebooks’ Business Manager when targeting Facebook Audience Network. See this article on how to advertise on Tinder: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-buy-ads-on-Tinder
5. TikTok Ads
Currently(Q4 2019), TikTok Ads are ridiculously cheap and can provide massive exposure. It’s important to note that the primary demographic at the moment are kids aged 12-17 so make sure the ads and content are suitable for the demographic.
Very similar to the organic meetup.com tip, the one advantage is that it will do a lot of the legwork for you and target its own users based on their searches to promote you. It’s a fixed subscription program and can be very effective to market your event and your business especially if you are hosting the event at your local business.
Regardless of what people may say. Classifieds, more specifically, online classifieds are still very relevant. The big upside is that they usually have extremely good SEO for search terms that relate directly to your business. So having a consistent running classified ad can have massive upside and can prove to be cheaper than advertising on Google if you are in a geographically high competition area where many similar businesses are competing to rank higher on Google Search Ads. The ads don’t have to be paid, but naturally, when a searcher clicks through from Google to the classified site, like Craigslist or Gumtree, having a paid ad will make sure your results appear first and you stand a significantly better chance of generating business when compared to just a free listing.
Advertising your salon or spa and generating organic(free) website or social media visitors is not hard. But it does require a time investment. Take time to always present a well-polished front end with filters that amplify your work and customers who absolutely love you.
Paid Ads accelerate your investment significantly. Results can be seen in as little as 1 day to a few hours.
You’re probably wondering about offline methods and if they work or not. And if you’re not tech-savvy, or for lack of a better word, a luddite, then these tips might actually deter you from investing your time and money in these platforms. So rest assured, as long as physical newspapers and magazines exist, offline advertising will always have a place. It might not be as effective as online, but if done correctly and on the correct platforms, can provide a positive return on ad-spend. We’ll cover offline in another article. If budget is an issue, have a look at 24 Ways to market your business with little to no money, you may find some helpful advice there as well.
Please feel free to comment below if any of these methods have worked for you or if you have tried a platform or a strategy not mentioned here.
Any questions or enquiries, feel free to email email@example.com