The Importance of Social Marketing for Hair Salons
We already know that many of your customers are on social media platforms, so I’m not going to spend time jumping into the stats and numbers of how much time someone spends on Facebook every day. I am however, shocked to see that there are still many hair stylists and hair salon owners who doubt the strength of social networks and all the new clients it can have sitting in their chairs.
This article is for those of you who have either embraced social marketing, or have come to the conclusion that you need to quickly make moves to capitalize on it’s business potential. Outside of the individual social media stats, it’s important to know that the odds of someone doing business with you increases by 51% if they read something positive about you on Facebook, and they increase an incredible 68% if they read about it on Twitter.
Seth Godin, who’s an incredibly brilliant marketer says it best;
“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.”
How incredibly powerful is that? And what does it say about your level of commitment to your social outreach campaigns? Seth Godin calls this; flipping the sales funnel. It’s essentially reverse engineering the traditional method of marketing, and utilizing your clients and your network to do the sales for you through creating word of mouth business. Let’s take a look at how we can create a consistent flow of traffic utilizing social media marketing for your hair salon or if you’re a hair stylist, how we can capture more clients for your book of business.
Word of Mouth Business is the Best Business
42% of U.S. Adults Use One or More Social Media Platform
92% of Consumers Trust Word of Mouth Above All Other Advertising
70% Chose Online Customer Reviews as their Second Trusted Choice
82% of Small Businesses Say Word of Mouth Marketing is the Most Effective Way to Find New Customers
As you can see from the statistics above, a lot of the strategy behind social media marketing is leveraging your relationships to help establish new ones. It’s getting a customer that is two degrees away from you to inquire about your services. By two degrees of separation, I mean someone you don’t know, but have a mutual friend or connection with. Even though it’s at times tricky (no one said it was going to be easy), it’s still a much simpler way to build new relationships and to utilize the brand that you’ve created vs. having to go out and fight other salons and stylists for new business.
In the hair and beauty industry, social media won’t give you an immediate return. It’s unlikely that someone will see a picture and promptly pick up the phone or visit your website to book an appointment. It’s all about planting seeds and creating the foundation. When they’ve seen your name enough times, and maybe at the right place and right time, they will pick up the phone or book an appointment through your website. That’s why it’s so crucial to pick a few social media outlets, and stay consistent with updating them. That’s one thing I emphasize on in working with our clients. I would much rather you pick 2 social media outlets, and be consistent with them versus trying to juggle the responsibility of managing 4 of them. Which brings us to the next topic…
The Best Social Media Sites for Hairstylists and Hair Salons
Each platform has it’s own native way of interacting with it’s users. You’ll see me really press that you need to learn how to communicate in each platforms language. Effective communication looks very different on Facebook than it does on Twitter than it does on Pinterest and etc. You need to learn the language. That’s why as I mentioned above, I’d much rather have a hair stylist pick 2 that they will commit to, learn everything they can about it, and be consistent with it before they move onto adding a new Social Media platform to their arsenal. I’ve already broken down the use of Pinterest Marketing and Twitter Marketing for hair salons in previous articles.
Each salon owner or hair stylist is in a different stage of their career. For those of you that have been in business for more than 5 years, the low hanging fruit is going to be referral business, and retargeting past customers that may have not done business with you for a while. If you’re newer, than obviously customer acquisition and increased exposure will be the primary focal point of your social media efforts.
- Facebook – An absolute necessity for every business owner not just stylists and salons. If you’re not on Facebook yet you should open a business account right away. Not only does it help stay in front of your current customers and improve retention, but the fact that everyone is on it also helps you gain more exposure.
- Instagram – Currently it’s my second favorite social media outlet for hair stylists and salon owners. Your entire career focuses on beautification, so showcasing it through images is just natural. You can also gear your Instagram marketing to your local area by using hashtags to gain new business, in addition to staying in front of your current customer base as well. Sometimes a well timed image of an ombre can be exactly what one of your customers needed to remind them to book an appointment.
- Twitter – The power of Twitter is highly underrated. To be frank, most of your customers aren’t using it. But folks on Twitter are social media power users that don’t fear expressing their feelings online. There was a study done that said Twitter users are the most charitable of all social media users. Winning new customers on Twitter is a great strategy to utilize and the beauty of it is that your happy Twitter customers will immediately share the love online.
- Pinterest – Success on Pinterest is different than other social media outlets. It’s hard to generate new business from it for the hair industry unless you’re trying to sell hair care products. But the strategy that makes Pinterest effective is utilizing it to help with your search engine results. In working with our clients, SEO has been the focal point for Pinterest.
- Google Plus – Similar to Pinterest, I’d say the primary use for Google + would be for search engine optimization. It’s a platform that I haven’t really dived into as much as I probably should have myself. It’s hard being active on all the social sites and as far as active and engaged users go, I haven’t found Google Plus to be a major game changer. But there are an abundance of articles that state the importance of Google Plus and it’s effect on your SEO.
- LinkedIn – Not very effective for hair salons & stylists quite yet. If your clientele is primarily business folks, than maybe. But otherwise I at least haven’t thought of a good strategy for using LinkedIn for your marketing. If you have, please share your ideas below!
Social Media Marketing takes patience and consistency. Unless you have some sort of crazy viral video, the odds of it giving you over night success is highly unlikely. But to ignore social marketing altogether is silly. Instead of trying to become the master of all platforms, pick two that you can dedicate consistent time to and create content for. Facebook is pretty much a given. As for your second social platform, it all depends on whether you’re trying to generate new business, or stay in front of past customers. One topic that we’ll have to take a deeper look into is email and sms (text message) marketing. Two great areas of opportunity for the salon industry. As always if you have suggestions please share them and if there’s anything you’d like me to elaborate a bit more on, than please let me know.