Technology is mostly used in business as a tool for enhancing efficiency- saving time and minimizing human errors. But you can do so much more with technology if you incorporate it properly into your business operations. For instance, did you know that you can use technology as a tool for attracting and retaining clients for your beauty salon? Think of social media, for example. This technology has made it more affordable and easy to reach out to clients regardless of their geographical location. As a result, it has provided a platform for businesses to engage with clients. More importantly, social media has over the last decade morphed into the biggest online market for beauty products and services. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dig deeper into the role of social media and 4 other technologies in attracting clients to hair and beauty salons.
1. Social media marketing
Let’s start with the obvious. You can attract new clients on social media by posting pictures of satisfied clients and answering questions from beauty enthusiasts. That will help you establish yourself as an industry leader, so potential clients will want to try out your services.
Then there are the not so obvious ways of attracting clients through social media:
i. Paid advertisements
For a small charge, you can target potential clients within your zip code through Facebook ads, for example. This kind of targeting gives you a direct line to your target market, so you only spend your time and resources engaging users who are most likely to convert.
ii. Pinterest carousels
Pinterest carousels are also great for targeted ads. You only need to place your best pins in a carousel, describe your target audience to the system, and then Pinterest will make those pins visible to your target demographic. You can pin as much content as you want, with as much regularity as possible.
iii. Business WhatsApp
WhatsApp for Business allows you to showcase your beauty products and hairstyling techniques in a catalog. The catalog can hold up to 500 product images and their descriptions. What’s more, the app allows you to link your catalog to your website and share product links via WhatsApp conversations. All these possibilities give existing customers a good platform for advertising your salon to their family and friends. You give them all the marketing info they need without having to leave WhatsApp.
iv. Twitter parties
Twitter parties allow you to hold live events on Twitter, have an open dialogue with your guests, and assign hashtags to the events. You can even work with local social media influencers to get your party trending. What kind of events can you go live with? A good idea would be to hold a community event, say offer free grooming services to the homeless, and then go live on Twitter. Your salon being seen as an integral part of its immediate community is a sure way of getting people interested in your services.
v. User-generated content (UGC)
The photos and videos that your happy clients create in your salon and share on social media have an immense influence on your target clients. Encourage clients to create UGC by making your salon’s interior décor “Instagrammable”, ensuring that your services are top-notch, and incentivizing them through loyalty programs.
2. Leverage local SEO
Local SEO helps you attract online searchers from your neighborhood. To leverage local SEO:
• Claim and optimize your Google My Business and Yelp listings. Ensure that your local listings are always updated in terms of your location, business hours, and available offers.
• Optimize your blog posts and other online content for localized keywords, e.g. “(your service) near me”.
• Invest in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and optimize your entire website for mobile devices. Most of your salon clients browse the internet using smartphones and tablets, after all.
• Invest in a QR Code for Google Maps to make it easier for potential clients to find your business location.
3. Have a good first impression online
A good online reputation is a perfect platform for launching your online marketing efforts. It grabs the attention of your target audience and creates a clear path for you to pitch your services and products. One way of creating a good online reputation is having a perfect first impression on new online clients.
How can you charm new clients at the very first interaction they have with your beauty business online?
• Incentivize your happy, loyal clients to publish authentic and highly descriptive online reviews on social media and other review sites.
• Enable online scheduling by investing in a quality hair salon online booking system. The system will allow new clients to book appointments without having to talk to your receptionists. They do that at their own convenience and within a few quick clicks. Online scheduling also frees up time for your staff to focus on serving the clients that are already in the house. That’s good for your reputation.
• Allow clients to contact you via the channels they are most comfortable with, notably social media direct messages.
• Diversify payment options in your salon. Take cash and credit cards, of course, but also allow digital payment gateways such as Venmo, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
4. Leverage customer loyalty technology
You will struggle to attract new clients if you can’t retain the ones you already have, for two reasons. One, low customer retention means your clients are unhappy with your services and thus your online reviews aren’t very pleasant. That is a red flag for potential customers. Two, high retention means your customers are happy enough to campaign for your salon in their social circles. That’s a stamp of authenticity for your salon.
Customer loyalty programs encourage repeat business and help you attract new business. You can use technology to design and run customer loyalty programs. Here are a few ideas for you:
i. Mobile Wallets
You can use digital loyalty marketing platforms such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay to store and manage loyalty cards, coupons, and discounts for loyal customers. That makes it easier for clients to access loyalty programs and redeem their rewards.
ii. Loyalty apps and salon software
You don’t have to develop your own business app for this because there are many open-source salon apps that you can utilize for your in-app reward programs. Clients get points every time they book appointments or make purchases through your salon software or app.
iii. Social media competitions
Consider running competitions regularly and rewarding winners with tangible rewards. For example, you can ask clients to post the best pictures they’ve ever taken in your salon and then reward the ones with the most likes, shares, and/or comments. Such competitions drive social media engagement.
5. Leverage beauty tech trends
There are many innovations in hair and beauty technology that you can leverage to grab the attention of your target market. AI Personalization, for example, allows you to measure a client’s skin texture, age, pigmentation, and hydration levels before recommending a treatment regimen. That enhances customer satisfaction and retention, which in turn fuels your marketing efforts. Beauty try-on apps, on the other hand, enhance your clients’ online shopping experience. Thanks to such apps, clients don’t have to come to your salon to try beauty products on their skin before making purchase decisions. You can leverage these apps to drive your sales in your online beauty store.
It’s clear that technology is rapidly changing the beauty industry as we know it. The best thing to do now as a hair & beauty entrepreneur is to adopt new technologies as they come. That’s how you will be able to improve consumer experience and claim your fair share of the lucrative beauty industry.