How to make use of the situation caused by Covid-19 and prepare your salon business for better times.
Apr 6, 2020 · 15 min read
What should I do in case my salon is forced to close?
What can I do in lockdown, I am used to everyday hard work! How long will the nail salons, spas, and medical centers close due to this coronavirus? It is impossible to sit at home and do nothing!
These are the questions salon and spa owners are asking every day. For busy and hard-working business people the situation created by COVID-19 is a real disaster.
However, we want to tell you that this is a temporary situation, though a tough one, but we know how to make use of it.
Do you remember the last time you have much time but less work to do? No? Neither do I. Everything was always on the contrary: the shortage of time was #1 problem. Now it’s changed!
No paperwork, no clients, no accounting, no supervision.
But at the same time a new opportunity to strengthen the business, and make it more than ready for the happy times yet to come. In this article, we will tell you how to do your salon marketing without being a marketer.
Are you ready for easy to use marketing ideas? Let’s start!
The first rule is not to have accounts on all possible platforms. Choose ones relevant to the industry.
We will talk about three main platforms for social media
Let’s start with Instagram, the platform which is most often associated with beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.
With more than 1 billion users, most of them younger than 34, Instagram is a real game-changer for small businesses, especially for beauty and fashion related ones.
Instagram users browse the app on average 53 minutes per day, and your business should be visually appealing, helpful and informative so as to attract attention.
We will pass the step by step guide for creating and developing your salon Instagram profile.
You can sign up for Instagram via email or phone number or log in via your Facebook profile.
The next important things are the Instagram bio and the profile pic, as they are the first two things which people see after landing on your business profile.
Write an appealing, unique and creative bio. Include the main services, address and phone number.
Post your photos only, show the work of your stylists, mention the name of the stylist.
Try to post only high-quality photos and avoid using too many filters. Use up to 10 hashtags with your texts and use ones which include keywords like #BeautySalon #NailBar, add location hashtags like #BeautySalonBoston, #HairTreatmentNewYork.
Don’t be afraid to use long texts with your photos. If the information is interesting and it gives value to the reader, they will surely read it, save it and they will turn to your salon professionals when they need help.
Many of you perhaps have noticed that IG “eats” line breaks in the text. Simply open the notes app on your phone, write the desired text there, then copy and paste in IG. You can also fix it with the help of numerous line breaker apps, tools, and bots.
Go further and change the fonts in IG captions! LingoJam is an example website that can do the trick for you.
Try to keep the same style for the photos in your account, and besides photos, post videos.
Stories. Another great opportunity for salon and spa businesses is to use stories to the fullest. Post at least 3–4 stories a day. Don’t put only photos, make lives, shoe processes.
Show your team and backstage. Go interactive. Use other formats of the stories like Q&A, polls, quizzes.
⛔️ Never, ever buy Instagram followers. They will not reflect the needs of your audience and will affect negatively the engagement.
⛔️ Don’t post photos without a text. Make a little effort and write something entertaining, funny or useful.
⛔️ Don’t copy and paste other users’ content. Unique content will help you to stand out.
⛔️ Don’t get involved in various suspicious activities as contests for adding followers. They are not your target audience.
⛔️ Don’t do that follow-unfollow activity. If possible, invest in advertising and add target audience, people really interested in your business.
Stating that Facebook is an essential platform for nearly any business is to say nothing. People search on Facebook, browse, research and compare. Your business should be introduced properly on Facebook.
And again, just like for Instagram, we should have a quality visual content. Unlike Instagram, Facebook is a perfect traffic generator for your website. You can post links here for your followers to navigate to your website.
Having a content calendar for the posts is a great idea, as we all know how difficult it is to scrape everyday information for your posts. Here we have a nice giveaway for you, a free social media content calendar for salons and spas.
Scheduling the posts is another good idea. Now you can do it from Facebook Publishing tools, where you can post content both for IG and FB. You can also use third-party tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.
According to various researchers, the best times to post on Facebook are:
Another popular way to find out the ideal posting time is to view the Insights. Here you can see when your page followers are usually active.
Just like Instagram, where bio was the first thing to impress new people, Facebook offers the “About Us” section. Write your business story, be emotional, tell the funny, amazing and important details.
Tell your followers why you do that business, why you are dedicated to doing quality jobs and why you care about them.
Fill in the information for the Services section. List your salon services and mention prices.
Always answer the messages on Facebook.
If you are not able to answer the messages, you are too busy or you don’t have the resources to hire a social media manager, implement a chatbot.
Lily, the salon and spa bot is completely free and you don’t have to be a marketing specialist to integrate it to your Facebook page.
Create a linked group for your page. This can be a spot where your clients ask questions, help each other, initiate discussions. Keep the group private, and make it for your clients only.
When you hit on the google search “Balayage Images”, “Blond hair images” or “Nail ombre Images” what do you see in search results right beneath the google images section?
Yes, links leading to Pinterest. Pinterest has 322 million monthly users, and the 97 of them are women. This fact only makes Pinterest an incredibly essential tool for salon businesses.
Here are 3 reasons your salon should start using Pinterest starting from today.
It is very easy to set up and maintain. It will take you several minutes to pin an image to the board and write relevant hashtags with keywords.
This is the place where people search for visual content and inspiration. If you have visually appealing content, they are more than likely to stumble upon your salon portfolio and get interested
It is a powerful traffic generator for your website. People will see your photos, love them and visit your website to learn more.
Set up a Pinterest account now via your email, Google account or Facebook. Important tip: Open your account as a business!
You have set up the social media accounts, that’s perfect. Now you need to create content for making your marketing strategy work.
Why is content so important for salon and spa business? Why do you have to write articles or shoot videos? For many salon owners, this seems impossible.
First of all, you don’t have to do it all alone. Let’s see how.
We will separate this part to 2 main directions
Let’s imagine you have a website and have a blog part in it. You have several well-written articles there, which give useful content and tips about various topics. They may be about hair treatment, skincare, nail care and so on.
Potential clients who search for those topics land on your website read the articles, browse your website, your portfolio and see that you can solve their problem.
You know how to do it because you speak about it in your articles. They go to the online booking part or contact us part and book an appointment. Sounds cool, right?
Your next question will be: I can’t write articles, I am not a content writer. Yes, we know that most salon owners are not supposed to be content writers. But they can hire them, and their services are nor always pricey.
One of the best platforms to find and hire a freelancer is Upwork.com. Here you can find professionals according to your budget. You can pay them hourly or negotiate at a fixed price.
If you do not have a budget for content writing you can have a “write for us” option for content writers who are looking for writing opportunities.
If you don’t have a website to post your articles, you can use blogging platforms, which are absolutely free. One of the most famous ones in Medium.com, where you can start your salon blog.
First, here are some stats about video content:
6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. (Google)
Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. (Insivia)
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017. (Cisco)
78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day. (HubSpot)
A Facebook executive predicted that their platform will be all video and no text by 2021. (Quartz)
92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others. (Wordstream)
The best and the most relevant platform for video content is Youtube. If your salon does not have an official channel yet, it’s time to create it. That’s the easiest thing to do, as you sign up via your Google account, i.e., if you have a Gmail, then you can have a Youtube channel.
Before starting the shooting process ask yourself, what your clients would like to see? Makeup tutorials? Hair treatment how-tos? Nail art videos?
Post videos that your audience would love to watch and share with others.
When posting videos, choose relevant keywords for the videos.
For example, if it is a makeup video, the tags can be #MakeupLosAngeles, #makeuptips #makeup_tutorial
Post the video content on social media, ask people to share them with friends.
When you have useful content, nice pieces of articles and videos, you can try email marketing. Send them your article via email, your clients will be happy to get valuable information from you.
While social networks have become the primary source for customers searching for services, having a website for your salon or spa still pays off lots of dividends.
First of all, it’s search engine optimization: if someone is looking for “blow dry near Sydney” and you have the service the chances that your website will be in the top result are very high. Of course, if you have a solid website.
Another reason for having a website is the flexibility and freedom on how and what to display to your potential clients. For example, on your website, you can talk about your specialists, their achievements, and show off their work portfolios in an organized manner.
Your address, contact information are easy to find on your website rather than search for them on social media.
Having a website is a great option for the salons that want to feature their products and sell them online.
Another reason to have a website is the opportunity to integrate an online booking system.
We do not recommend using agencies for creating websites for your salon as there are many easy to use tools for creating websites yourself. Two of these tools are wix.com and squarespace.com, both have beautiful template libraries that are mobile friendly and out of the box, support SSL for your custom domain, and you don’t have to worry about technical maintenance.
Another great thing is that these website builders generate search engine optimized websites. All you need to do is to fill in the content which should include information about your services, stylists, prices, contact information, and your story.
Typically having a website will cost you about $10-$15 per month. If you are technically more advanced and familiar with WordPress then 10web.com would be a great choice.
Every salon owner knows that returning customers are the heart of the business.
Nowadays, when the competition is tough, everyone wants that perfect client who visits the salon on a regular basis, recommends the friends, writes good reviews and is ready to try the products you offer.
But most salon owners find it difficult to think of new discounts, offer packages, gift cards to keep the clients entertained and keep them coming back. Most of them need a single, automated solution for all this stuff.
The era of punch cards and paper surveys has already passed, so going digital is inevitable in this case, if you are determined to step forward and stand out.
There are various loyalty apps and programs across the internet for the salon owners to choose from.
We’d advise trying RetentionForce, an all-in-one marketing automation program, which also includes a referral program, free chatbot, feedback management, positive review boost and a lot more.
The advantage of the software is that it’s easy to set up and maintain. It works on Facebook Messenger, so clients won’t have to download extra apps for their points and communication with the brand.
If you have a business, you should make all the efforts to make it visible and discoverable. When people search on the web, they are likely to visit the websites which they discover on the first page of the search results.
Registration on the local directories increases the chances to appear on the first page.
There are two ways for your business to appear in local directories:
Invest time and efforts and do it personally
Pay for services like Yext listings and have your website registered in 100+ local listings.
If your salon marketing budget is tight, start the process yourself. In fact, it is not so difficult and you won’t need special training for this.
The first place to register the salon is Google My Business.
You will fill in the business details and ask for verification. The authentication code will come via mail. You will get an envelope with a code inside. All you have to do is to fill in the code and your business is on search results.
Other directories for local businesses are Yellowpages, Yelp, Tripadvisor, BBB, Bing Places, eLocal, Local pages.
Sounds scary? We will tell you a little bit about SEO, and you will see that it’s not a new thing for you, and everything we listed in this article will help you to appear on the first page of the search results.
Doing SEO is tailoring your content to match what people are looking for. SEO is based on the keywords. So here you should understand what your clients are looking for.
Let’s say you have a hair salon in Orlando. Your best performing keywords for content should be a hair salon in Orlando, hair care in Orlando, hair salons in Orlando, beauty and hair salon in Orlando, beauty salon prices in Orlando, best hair salon in Orlando, top hair salons in Orlando and other keywords which your clients are likely to hit in the search bar.
Here are must-haves which will boost your SEO.
🌐 Website Content: It goes without saying that your website should have an “about us” page with your salon story, a services page with detailed descriptions and if you also have a blog with articles, then your website probably will pop up when the clients are searching for “top hair salons in Orlando”
🧾 Facebook Page description. If your Facebook page “About Us” section has a decent description with relevant keywords, you are the winner.
🎥 Youtube Videos
When you post videos on Youtube, and you write the description and put special tags (You will be prompted in the process), You increase the chances of your videos to be found.
If you have read up to this point, it means you can start transforming your salon to a new, modern, innovative and advanced business, which will grow and prosper.
Coronavirus has done all of us a big favor. It granted us the time we were always short of, so let’s start using it wisely for a better and brighter future.
Digital Marketing Specialist, Strategist, Content Writer at RetentionForce.