How to Market a Salon
Opening a salon is a challenge in and of itself, but the hard part isn’t over when you open your doors—you need to make sure people know about your new business. That’s where salon marketing comes in.
If you’re looking to spread the word about your hair salon, then it’s time to learn how to market a salon. You may know what sets your business apart from your competitors, but now you need to make sure the public does too. Keep reading for the 10 best ways to market a hair salon.
Why Hair Salon Marketing Matters
While the quality of your services should speak for themselves, you can’t always rely on word of mouth to get the job done—especially when you’re just starting out. Like any business, a hair salon can benefit from a good old fashioned marketing plan that can help keep you on track and assist you in meeting your business goals. Proper hair salon marketing efforts can help take your business to the next level, so let’s take a look at some of the best strategies.
10 Hair Salon Marketing Ideas
As you’re creating your marketing plan, consider some of these top hair salon marketing ideas first. Don’t be afraid to test out a few ideas—it may take a little trial and error to learn the best way to market a hair salon. And be sure to measure the effectiveness of each idea even beyond the test phase. Your marketing plan should evolve as your business does to make sure you’re always putting your resources in the right places.
1. Get Social
While social media marketing has become an important part of almost all businesses, it’s especially important for businesses that are well supported by visual assets. In other words, if you can show off your product in a photograph, social media is the right place to do it.
Sharing before and after photos of your happy clients on Instagram is a simple way to build an online portfolio of your work—and customers today seek out salons’ Instagram accounts before deciding whether to schedule an appointment.
Don’t limit yourself to Instagram though. Tweet your latest promotion on Twitter. Invite your Facebook followers to events you’re hosting. There is no shortage of ways to use social media to promote your business, so you’ll want to cover your bases on some of the more popular channels right away.
2. Encourage Referrals
In an ideal world, your happy customers would generously recommend your hair salon to all of their friends and family. Often, your customers will act as a natural referral network, but it can’t hurt to give them a little incentive to spread the word. Consider starting a referral program that will reward your loyal customers for recommending your salon.
Have plenty of business cards at the ready and let your customers know that every time one of their referrals books a service at your salon, they will receive a reward. What that reward is, is up to you, but ideally it will be something that is motivating enough to your current clientele. A safe bet is always discounts on upcoming services or free products. Don’t forget to spread the word about your shiny new referral program on your social media channels.
3. Host Events
Are you looking to bring in more brides for wedding day styling? Try hosting a free event for local brides about wedding day beauty services. Maybe a ladies’ night out theme with free drinks and small bites will bring in some new clientele.
A free event is sure to draw attention to your salon and hopefully form some new relationships, but you can also consider hosting events that charge for tickets. Plenty of customers will be happy to pay for group lessons on how to master an at home blowout or how to wield a curling iron. Event marketing, also known as experiential marketing, can be very effective for increasing brand loyalty and growing customer bases. Again, remember to promote your events for free on your handy social media channels.
4. Offer Coupons
More than 142 million U.S.-based adults are expected to use coupons in 2020. In short, everyone loves coupons. According to a 2018 study, offering discounts and coupons is the most effective way to increase customer loyalty. So, if you aren’t offering coupons, you’re missing out. If you rent chairs to independent hair stylists who won’t agree to utilize coupons for services they render, then at the very least offer coupons for the products sold in your salon.
5. Reward Customers
Similar to offering coupons, you can make customers happy by starting a rewards program that provides incentive to become a recurring customer. A rewards program, also known as a loyalty program, can save you a lot more money than it costs you to run it. After all, it is always cheaper to retain customers than it is to earn new customers.
In fact, it can cost five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one. Not to mention, you can leverage your existing customer base to make even more money. According to a study by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. Treat your recurring customers to a reward when they hit a certain milestone, such as purchasing 10 services, and you’ll surely have them coming back for more.
6. Pay for Advertisements
While there are plenty of free marketing ideas out there, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. This salon marketing idea could have a massive impact on your business. Paying for advertisements is an investment in your business that is often worth making.
Start small by taking out an advertisement in your local newspaper. Or set a strict budget and run a few social media advertisements on your most popular platform. When planning advertisements, think carefully about who your target audience is and what forms of media they frequent most, as well as the language and visuals that will attract them to your business.
7. Engage With Your Community
Unless you plan on opening a chain of salons, your local community will always be your main customer base. If you want to raise awareness about your salon, try sponsoring a community event, donate to local charities, or volunteer your services for fundraisers. Get out there and network with other small business owners. Increase your advertising budget in local media. Find a way to connect with the members of your community and make your name known to them. Enter local business competitions that give out awards to the best boutiques and salons in town. Commit to being a part of your community and the community will commit to you.
8. Refresh Your Web Presence
When was the last time you spruced up your website? If your website isn’t looking too modern, consider giving it a makeover. Your website needs to be easy to navigate and have vital information at the ready such as a list of services, prices, hours, address, and phone number.
To really impress your customers, look into appointment scheduling software to make it as easy as possible for them to make appointments. Not only can using an online booking feature cut down on staff labor, but it can also allow customers to book appointments when your salon isn’t even open. Both Square Appointments and Acuity Scheduling are free to use (without access to advanced features) and allow customers to book appointments through your website.
9. Hire an Influencer
Another popular marketing strategy that has recently taken off is influencer marketing. An influencer with a loyal and engaged audience can help you gain massive amounts of exposure, depending on their follower count. Choose to work with an influencer on blog, social media, YouTube, or email content that can promote your business.
Influencers excel at making promotions feel like organic recommendations to their followers, plus their followers often turn to them for beauty tips. If you can find a local influencer with fabulous hair and a willingness to collaborate, you might just be able to tap into the audience they’ve already built. Just be sure to do your research to find influencers who reach your target market.
10. Embrace Instagram-Worthy Decor
Speaking of influencers, if you don’t have room for influencer marketing in your budget, there is a surefire way to bring the influencers to you for free. In today’s social media-obsessed age, having beautiful salon decor is a must. The more photographable, the better. If you set up your salon with unique design features in a way that encourages customers to take photos, they will.
Allow your social media customers to do your marketing work for you. Offer free snacks and drinks on cute dishes, have a great backdrop for taking photos of their new hairstyles, or invest in one of those funky neon signs. Make the look your own, just make sure it is eye-catching and pretty enough to post.
At the end of the day, a well decorated salon, reliable service, and talented hair stylists will go a long way. But for salon owners looking to help their business thrive, these salon marketing ideas can be a huge help. Be loud and proud about the amazing work your salon does, your future customers will be glad you did.
- Statista.com. “Number of Adult Digital Coupon Users in the United States from 2015 to 2021(in Millions)”
- GlobeNewswire.com. “Driving Loyalty Through Customer Experience Is the Future for Travel”
- Bain.com. “Prescription for Cutting Costs”