5 key ways your salon can embrace digital marketing

Quote  I cannot stress enough that you must embrace, or at the very least learn more about Digital Marketing and PR now or in the very near future.” Johnny Paterson - Catalyst PR

Print media certainly is not dead but you must understand that more and more people are engaging with their suppliers, including salons and barber shops, via their smart phones, tablets and desk tops, many now do so to the exclusion of traditional media. And this pattern will only become more and more established.

Let me give you an example. My 3-year-old daughter uses and will always use electronic media – she will never ever read a newspaper, she is part of Generation Z as they are called and who only use mobiles or tablets, or whatever comes next, to engage with potential sources of purchase. This is the new future of engagement so we have to future proof our ways of reaching these users; otherwise known as your customers and clients.

1. Learn about digital marketing

As the salon owner you need to learn as much as possible about digital marketing so you can develop and implement a robust, relevant and effective strategy for your business.

This learning process must include; social media, SEO (search engine optimisation), content management, PR Newswire, E-marketing and Pay per Click. There are plenty of courses that can help you with understanding and implementing these core elements of Digital Marketing.

2. Forget traditional press releases

Rather than writing for journalists, the use of digital media means you are talking direct to your clients and potential clients. So, make the new stories of direct interest and relevance to them. Engage their attention and loyalty and turn them into your ambassadors by encouraging them to share or re-tweet your news or offers. One client can turn into many with a well-crafted message.

3. Spread the word

In the past, you pretty much had one way to disseminate any information or stories – and that was channelled through a journalist or editor before this appeared in print. Now in the digital age, you can go direct to your marketplace using multiple channels – your website, social media platforms, blogs as well as traditional channels. But remember, different channels need slightly different messaging, so think carefully and fine tune your stories to suit.

4. Back to basics

I recommend that you use mystery shoppers to visit your salons to give you an unbiased picture of your salon service. After all what is the point of all this effort if the levels of your service do not match up to acceptable standards. It’s a great exercise and will only serve to enhance your salon offer. Get the mystery shopper to share thoughts on how easy your website was to navigate around and their first impressions of your site. Quite often people will go on to your website or social media accounts before seeing or speaking with anyone at the salon or barbershop.

5. Online reviews

You must take measures to manage your online reputation. Your reputation is, to quote “The most important thing that you must control” and you need a great one. You can easily get and maintain this by employing a site such as www.reviews.co.uk. They will contact the client to request a review and rating about your salon. I suggest you also create a card for your clients encouraging them to review you too.

Many potential clients will look at what other clients say about you on your Facebook page. Eventually with good and excellent client reviews, you will achieve star ratings which showcase positively your salon to those looking for a hairdresser, barber or beauty therapist.

To conclude

Quote Of course, I have only been able to touch on the exciting opportunities offered by the new world of digital marketing and PR – and I truly urge you to find out more about how this fascinating and constantly developing world will really benefit your business.
Johnny Paterson is managing director of leading hair and beauty PR company, Catalyst www.catpr.com.

HOW THE NHF CAN HELP YOU

Hidden Beauty UK are specialists in mystery shopping services for beauty and hair salons and as an Affiliate member of the NHF, you can find out more about their service at Hidden Beauty UK.

You’ll also want to check out TruRating, a service from an NHF Affiliate member which allows customers to rate your service via your card payment machine (Ingenico).

The NHF also holds many events which could help you use a social media channel more effectively including ‘Using Facebook to grow your business’ and ‘How to do effective salon marketing to attract new clients and keep them’. Take a look at www.nhf.info/events

Alice Kirby of Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing in partnership with National Hairdressers’ Federation has produced a ‘Your salon marketing plan for 2016 – a step by step guide’ to help you create a successful plan to grow your salon. You’ll also find it useful to take a look at ‘Delivering an outstanding client experience’ which takes you through the client journey step by step, looking at every aspect of the service you offer.

Members of the NHF can download these guides for free in the NHF Shop.

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