Marketing your salon business today is not as simple as it once was. These days, getting your salon’s name out there will require some cutting-edge online salon marketing strategies and a plan. When done right, this can instantly give your hair salon an advantage over your competitors. But one erroneous move (or lack thereof) can ruin everything you’ve worked hard for.
While we cannot please every client, as salon owners, it is important that we address any issues immediately. Bad news can spread like wildfire, but learning how to manage your salon’s online reputation can help you grow and protect your business at the same time.
Below are some steps you can take to keep your salon’s Internet reputation glowing and intact.
Strategies to Manage Your Salon's Online Reputation
Salon Businesses Should Focus on Local SEO
As a small business owner, being visible to your target market is crucial to success. Salons are a local business type that requires ample foot traffic, so focusing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts on solidifying your placement on local search engine pages can put you ahead of the competition.
Fun Fact: Local Searches Lead 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Businesses Within One Day
As you can see, potential clients are looking for local businesses daily. Staying on top of Google and other search engines will lead to a steady flow of clients to your chair.
Ninety-four percent of searchers don’t go beyond the first page of Google, therefore being in that highly coveted #1 spot will instantly translate to sales and new clients. There are various factors that affect Local SEO ranking, but being listed in Local Business Directories and mentioned in Local Citations are the most important ones.
- Local Business Directories
Local Business Directories play a key role in getting instant ranking, but these three search engines are the major players.
These search engines have the most users (with Google getting 63.4% audience share) – listing your salon in these search engines will help put it at the top of the list. Recently, Google has added salon and spa bookings as part of Reserve with Google, another free service of the search engine juggernaut that allows customers to discover and book appointments (so be sure to sign up for Google My Business!).
Aside from that, potential clients tend to trust businesses more if their Business Name, Address, and Phone Number are available online. This makes your business look legitimate and allows them to get in touch with you easily.
- Local Citations
The average consumer reads about 11 reviews before making a purchase decision. These reviews come from the following:
- Review Sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, among others
- Local Newspapers
Being mentioned in Local Citations help search engines like Google verify your business. When multiple credible sources have the same accurate information about your business, it signals to search engines that your business is legitimate. So, be sure your Business Name, Address, and Phone Numbers are correct and consistent.
Salon’s & Hair Stylist Should Market on Social Media
To this day, many entrepreneurs still regard social media as a marketing fad with no real returns. But statistics say otherwise. Sixty-eight percent of all U.S. adults use Facebook, 28% use Instagram, and 21% use Twitter.1 That’s millions and millions of potential clients online.
Being on social media allows clients to easily find your salon and vice versa. Aside from marketing and customer service, having accounts on those three platforms helps boost your salon website’s Google reputation. Google crawls social pages as it would any other website. Meaning, social media can greatly influence your website’s page rank and Google search results, enhancing your salon’s online presence.
Track Your Business Mentions Online
Once you’ve finished submitting your business name to local directories and creating your social media accounts, start tracking your business mentions online. Waiting for a wave of bad reviews to come in before taking an action can be detrimental to your business. One negative review can send potential clients to another salon.
Be proactive by monitoring your social media channels and responding to both compliments and complaints with carefully though-out responses. This sends a message that you care about them and are willing to improve the way you do business. Below are some of the ways businesses track their online mentions:
- Google Alerts. This free tracking tool from Google notifies you via email whenever your salon is mentioned on the Internet.
- Social Media. When you regularly check your salon hashtag and tags on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you get instant feedback and insights from clients.
- While Hootsuite is mainly used for scheduling posts across social media channels, one major perk of this tool is you get to monitor what people are saying about your business.
Turn Your Salon Team into Brand Ambassadors
You have talented stylists in your team – they make the perfect brand ambassadors because they have first-hand experience and genuine understanding of what your salon is all about. Furthermore, they use the products and have personal connections with clients. Leverage that relationship by having them create their own professional social media pages where they can promote their work and their favorite products.
Their social media activity will not only help position your salon as an active member of the beauty industry, but also help dispel any negative opinions about your business.
Encourage them to put your salon’s website on their social media bios as well to drive more leads to your site.
Expand Your Network
Your salon’s online reputation is as important as your offline reputation. Many potential clients out there either don’t have social media or are not in your network. Sponsoring local events like meetups can help you tap into a wide network of like-minded individuals. Sites like meetup.com are always looking for people who can sponsor food, gifts, and venues.
Bonus Perk: When you sponsor, your salon website will be linked in the event page, bringing more traffic to your site.
Gather and Respond to Reviews
Businesses nowadays live or die by their online reputation, especially salons. Over 90% of consumers look up online reviews before booking a service or buying a product, so be sure to get as many reviews as you can. Encourage clients to leave a review on your Facebook or Yelp page and embed them on your website so prospective clients can see them.
Review Management Tips
- Cultivate real and authentic reviews. Hand out biz cards before your clients leave to remind them to leave a review on your website.
- Respond to good and bad reviews. Acknowledging BOTH positive and negative reviews shows that you appreciate their feedback and opinion. Call them if you must – this way the client will feel how much you value them as a customer.
- Maintain and uphold professionalism. Respond in an honest, professional manner. Whatever happens on the Internet stays on the Internet, so make sure to always put your business in the best possible light.
1 Pew Research Center. (2016). Social Media Update 2016. Available: http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/