Tips on how to Market your Salon
Part 11- Run a Facebook competition
There are plenty of creative ways to build buzz around your salon, but a Facebook competition is certainly among the most engaging. By putting a competition out on social media, you’re able to encourage sharing to increase participation. It also helps get the word out about your brand, and at the same time, the event will help improve your authority on social media. Leading your current customers to feel more connected and loyal to your brand.
The reasons to run a Facebook competition are plentiful. Here are some inspiring ones to get you on the right track: You will,
- Engage your current followers by getting them involved.
- Gain new followers by having shareable content.
- Build brand awareness by getting users to talk about your salon.
- Improve your business/client relationship with whoever wins.
How to Run It
How you approach the competition depends on what you’re trying to achieve. There are some basic rules you’ll want to follow to align with Facebook’s requirements, but here are some popular ways to go about it:
- LIKE: Include anyone who has liked and followed your page as a potential winner. This can mean giving a prize away to an old follower who might not have even heard about the competition, but it’s a proven method.
- SHARE: To participate, have users share a specific post where you mention the competition, and hopefully something else you’d like to get the word out about. This will have a compounding effect (each person who participates will share with their network, and so on).
- COMMENT: Have users comment something specific, like the answer to a question you ask, and choose from among those who answer. This can give your brand valuable data about something you want to know (opinion on a product, new service, etc.)
What to Giveaway
When it comes to picking what to giveaway, there are plenty of possibilities to interest your followers and encourage new users in your area to participate as well.
The prize doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive or even that big. People love to win things, and anything relevant you choose to give away will help build a bit of excitement. Pick something simple like a nice hand cream or a nail art add-on. Furthermore, you can encourage them to redeem at their next visit.
You can also involve your suppliers. Many will be happy to supply the prize just for you mentioning and tagging them in a post. Therefore creating a mutually beneficial relationship. They might consider tagging you in their next campaign. As a result, helping build your social proof.
If you pick a current client, you’ll help build a better business/client relationship with them. In addition, if a person who has never been to your salon before happens to be chosen, you can get off to the right start.
Tips on how to Market your Salon
Part 10 Send a 3-week follow-up message or give clients a courtesy call.
Don’t let those clients who don’t rebook go somewhere else. Some clients just can’t plan their lives so far in advance and a courtesy email/sms might just be the thing that reminds them to rebook with you instead of just running into the next salon they see. Being at the top of mind for the clients that can’t seem to book in advance is the best way to ensure they stick with you. Eventually, you will get that busy that you won’t have last min spots available for those clients but the ones that love your work will then make an effort to book in in advance.
Customer service is the lifeline of any business, and an efficiently managed customer service system contributes a lot to improve the success of a business. Try and plan these follow-up emails/sms’s in your schedule to ensure that they get sent. Work on a template for these messages so that it takes up as little time as possible and start making it a habit. Have a chat with the support team of the software you use as I am sure they will have an automated system for these types of emails/sms’s which will make your life easier. If you don’t have an automated system taking care of your appointment reminders then try and put some time aside when sending your appointment reminders to send these messages as well.
Another useful customer service tool is a courtesy call. A strong emphasis on good, helpful communication can carve out a place of respect for your small business. Courtesy calling is a nice way to remind customers of upcoming appointments, check that they are happy with the service received or even just to say happy birthday. However, it is important that the courtesy call be made the correct way. Customers don’t like receiving unsolicited sales calls, especially if they already do business with the company but a courtesy call is acceptable. The aim of your courtesy call should be to build a relationship with the client. If it’s a new client it also gives you the opportunity to see if any part of your service can be improved and to get feedback on the whole customer experience.
As mentioned in previous posts, clients love doing business with people, not companies and courtesy calls, emails and sms’s go a long way to building that person to person relationship. It’s something that takes up little to no time but will help build customer loyalty and improve client retention. We all know it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to try and attract new ones.
Team up with other professionals.
Building strategic alliances by teaming up with other professionals, not in direct competition with your salon, are probably the most overlooked form of offline marketing and, yet, they’re one of the most meaningful. Two heads are better than one and, in many cases, two businesses are better than one–especially when they combine resources or share expertise.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s simply a way of thinking about your current relationships in a different way and looking to the outside to form new relationships. Open your eyes to all different kinds of possible alliances, including wedding dressmakers, photographers, beauticians, jewelry stores, make-up artists etc.
There is a host of benefits to these types of relationships, including:
- Expanding your customer base.
- Utilizing a partner’s expertise in a given area.
- Having a trusted advisor.
- Capitalizing on another business’s size or prestige.
Where to start you ask? Think of finding a common interest in a business in your area. Some of the most popular alliances are demographic or geographic relationships. The key here is to ask, “Is there a business with a product or service that overlaps with my target audience and that I can partner with for a win/win scenario?”
Companies in the wedding business are particularly adept at demographic alliances. These businesses regularly host expos be it big or small, where engaged couples can meet local florists, photographers, wedding location coordinators, and wedding planners. In this scenario, by acting as a one-stop shop for couples, every business wins. If you can form an alliance with businesses in an agreement like this already, you can have a host of businesses that can refer clients to you and you can do the same with your existing customers.
The key to success with team-ups is making the alliances work It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s not all that difficult to form alliances. Think of it as networking with a purpose. First, look for a common customer based or audience. Once you’ve identified a business that fits the bill, open a line of communication. Then, answer the following questions about your potential partner:
- What can we package together to save money? (it might be doing a joint advertisement and sharing the cost)
- How can we work together to expand our reach?
- What resources can we offer one another?
- How is this a win-win for both parties?
That last question is the most important. There must be a win-win situation in order for an alliance to work.
Whether through a formal contract or a gentleman’s handshake, alliances can take many different forms. The best alliances are completely voluntary, open-ended relationships that either party can leave at any time. Consider the following methods of collaboration, with varied strategic benefits:
- Advertising together.
- Sharing marketing efforts.
- Co-branding promotional products.
- Offering referrals.
- Redirecting business to each other’s Websites or Social Media sites
- Forming “preferred supplier” relationships. (this is a good idea if you can team up with someone that purchases from the same supplier as you do and you can see if by pooling your spend you qualify for perks like free delivery or a discount)
- Sharing information and advice or expertise.
As mentioned it might be hard or take some time to set these alliances up but they can go a long way to your brand awareness and client referral when done properly.
Tips on how to Market your Salon Part 8
Start a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs go a long way in helping build relationships. Building a relationship with customers leads to improved loyalty and to increased bottom-line profits. Offering a loyalty program encourages clients to rebook. A client that regularly goes to have their nails done are spending the money anyway and offering them a loyalty program could ensure they spend it with you. This offers you the opportunity to build a relationship with these clients.
Loyalty programs help retain existing customers. The effect of the customer retention on actual, bottom-line customer numbers cannot be over-estimated. Not only does a loyalty program provide a practical, hard reason for continuing to buy but it also provides information about your customers that allows for you to better meet their needs. This, in turn, makes them more likely to remain customers. Once a customer starts redeeming their rewards, enthusiasm rises and with this comes customer loyalty.
A loyalty program should attract new customers as well. How effectively will depend on how exciting and how valuable the rewards seem to be to the customer. Acquiring customers is essential to any business, but it can be expensive if compared to nurturing existing good customers. It should not be the central focus of a loyalty program; there are cheaper and more effective ways of acquiring new customers. One of the most effective ways of getting new customers from your loyalty program is posting about the program on your social media and encouraging your existing customers to post or review their experiences with the program.
The quality of new customers acquired can be raised by the careful use of a loyalty program. By grading rewards, for example, offering extra points for exceeding a specified spend threshold in a time period, customers can be moved up from one spend level to the next. You can create a step-up loyalty program to encourage lower spending customers to move up through the step-up program.
One of the biggest advantages of a loyalty program is the fact that it can be used to deselect undesirable customers. It can be more profitable to lose a bad client than to gain new ones. Cherry pickers (who buy only your discounted lines and nothing else) cost you money, as does any low-spending customer. They cost more money to service than they generate. Designing a loyalty program that rewards better customers without rewarding this group at all gives them less reason to stay. With this approach, you simply don’t reward them in any way and hope that they will leave or alternatively might encourage them to start spending more money with you.
Loyalty programs help create brand advocates. Advocacy is one of the highest forms of loyalty that a customer can show. Advocates are so satisfied and pleased with your offering that they refer their friends and associates. And as mentioned in previous posts, to most people, a personal recommendation or referral is far more convincing than any amount of promotional material.
Loyalty programs help you work on all aspects of building your business from client retention, acquiring new clients, getting clients to rebook and building your social media following.