Hair and Beauty isn’t like every other business in the retail sector.
If you are in this industry your customers are, for the most part, coming to you to indulge themselves and spend money on something they see as a luxury that they have to fit in to their weekly or monthly budget.
Hair and beauty businesses also tend to have a lot of overheads and running costs, so marketing can be pushed down the list of stuff to do until it’s possibly too late.
But marketing and promoting a hair and beauty business doesn’t need to cost a bomb and in this list of the 31 ways to promote your business, I want to show you what I would do in the online and social marketing space if I owned a hair and beauty business.
1. Start a blog.
This is a great way to personalise your brand on the one hand, but also get your some great Google love on the other. Google loves dynamic content and, more importantly, so do the punters! Make sure your website changes regularly and provides up to date content as well as giving the readers some idea of who is behind the brand and the business. A blog does this so well.
2. Create a second blog.
I would then create a second blog and also create a persona to be the author of it. The persona would be a pseudo staff member at the store like Little Vivo Lady from Vivo Cafe and Lily Stemms from Tynte Flowers. Being able to hide behind anonymity can provide a great opportunity to be a bit irreverent, a bit naughty and make the readers laugh and be interested in what’s going on in the store.
3. Create a Facebook Page.
It seems like a no-brainer these days but I mean create a Facebook Page that actually works! Work hard to get enough fans to get your custom web address for the page and then update, update, update! Build a committed and interested fan base on Facebook and you will keep those fans forever.
4. Create an engaging and effective landing tab on the Facebook Page.
When a punter comes to your page for the first time, make sure two things happen. Firstly, make sure they click on ‘Like’. This can be done using a ‘fan gate’ where they don’t see some of the content unless they become a fan first. This works well to provide an air of exclusivity as well as growing the numbers of likers on the page. Secondly, make sure they are engaged! There is no point simply getting a whole big number of likers if they are not engaged with your marketing on Facebook and therefore not spending money with you!
5. Make the Facebook Page look great.
While Facebook restricts the look and feel of all the Facebook Pages to some degree (thank God), there are still a few little things you can do to make your page not only look great to the user, but also look a bit different.
Firstly, the image you can have in the top left hand corner of the page can be up to 200 pixels wide and 600 pixels high. The majority of pages still have an image that is only 200 pixels wide by 150 pixels high. A taller, more dramatic image really makes the page pop in the readers’ eye and also frames the rest of the content on the page really nicely.
Secondly, make some smart use of the filmstrip of 5 images across the top of the page. Make sure all of them are optimised and sized correctly to look great and deliver some branding message too.
Thirdly, think about rotating that 200 x 600 image in the top left hand corner of the page to promote a new product or service, or an upcoming event, or even offer it to one of your key suppliers to promote one of their new products on it (to your likers) – for a price of course!
6. Do something great with the Photos tab on the Facebook Page.
The photos tab on most business’ Facebook Page is terribly under-utilised. This is despite the fact that more than 2 million photos are shared on the Facebook platform each month – what an opportunity lost! Make sure the actual tab and the photo albums are all neatly organised, labelled (with attention given to what people might be searching for) and not including any images that might detract from your branding or overall marketing effort.
7. Use the photos to introduce your staff.
I would have a photo on the Facebook Page of every current (and past if they are still OK with it) staff members with a full description of what sort of work they do or specialise in, what sort of work they enjoy doing, something about what they enjoy doing away from the business, where they have worked before and so on. All of this content is really searchable and engaging for people who might be shopping around to find a new stylist.
Think about getting some professional photography done for this so that every photo is uniform in look (black and white can look really classy too like on PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s Facebook Page). Either that, or do something quirky like using photos of the staff members when they were babies or even running a competition where people have to match up the baby photos with the staff members photos now.
8. Before and after photos.
I would include LOTS of before and after photos of your work on the Facebook Page whether it be hair or make up or cosmetic treatments. This can be such an engaging and powerful tool to promote the quality of your work but also to convince people who are thinking about getting a similar treatment or style that it will look great on them.
9. Show off your digs.
Does your salon look amazing? Does it create a really great user experience that people would only know if they actually came in to the store? Then take some photos and upload them to the Facebook Page too. They can present an extra dimension to your business that might be the deciding factor on whether someone is going to switch salons and become your client or not. This works particularly well if you have some equipment or perform some techniques that most salons in your area don’t.
10. Include photos of your products on the Facebook Page.
Lastly on photos, why not upload photos of all of your products – or at least the ones that you make the greatest margin on. Again you can also include comments and full descriptions of the products, their prices and so on, maybe even a special offer if the customer quotes a special code that is only found in the description of that product on your Facebook Page. Make sure you get some quality images of the products from the suppliers who should be more than happy to help you promote their range online. The best part about that is when you can encourage users to talk about or simply ‘like’ the product’s image on your Facebook Page, you know they are a pre-qualified fan of that product the next time they come in to the salon.
11. Feature events related either directly or indirectly to your business on your Facebook Page.
Facebook Events is another really under-used tool on the platform. The great thing about them is that they can become very interactive and very well promoted even before they are even talked about offline. You can use a tall 200 x 600 image for your event as above and also let the punters RSVP to the event, add their own photos or videos to the event (either before, during or after it) and of course comment on and ‘like’ the event as well. All of this appears in their own news feed also which can in turn be commented on and spread around even further – let the punters market your events for you!
12. Create a Facebook Event where existing customers bring their partner in.
This can be a great way to in effect double your customer base. If you have a woman who is a fan of your business – and a ‘liker’ on your Facebook Page – she can bring her partner or husband in on a particular day or at a particular time for a special offer or discounted style or treatment. Then it’s up to you of course to do a great job and make sure he comes back of his own volition in the future!
13. Create a Facebook Event for when your new stylist is starting in the salon.
A new stylist or technician in a hair and beauty business can be a really big deal. Particularly if the new staff member is likely to bring a whole new database of customers through the door! So build some momentum and anticipation of the day they are starting work by creating an event on your Facebook Page. This can also act as a great way to let that stylist’s current client list know that they are moving.
14. Include a shopping cart on your Facebook Page.
You can also include a shopping cart on the Facebook Page to sell not only appointments and your services but also your products or the products of your suppliers. Again, make sure you get the best product shots from your suppliers for this. We can even embed your website (including your shopping cart) right there on your Facebook Page to create a seamless buying experience within your own branding.
15. Run a Facebook Only Promotion.
You should run a promotion that is featured only on Facebook and only available to enter if you are a fan of the Facebook Page. Remember these have to be done within Facebook’s Terms and Conditions which can be a bit tricky too. The competition could revolve around a free makeover of some sort and to an agreed value. The fans have to upload either a photo or video of themselves for example with a short sentence as to why they think they should win the makeover or something like that. Could be some interesting entries…
16. Run some Facebook Ads.
I’ve banged on a lot about Facebook Ads on this blog and I would definitely be running some if I was in the hair and beauty industry. They are great for local marketing and great for targeting new business as well as existing fans. You can target users by their age, location, relationship status, things they like, things they are interested in, music they like or whatever. This will give you a very accurate snapshot of who you are targeting and who might be interested in your brand and special offers on Facebook and so on.
17. Write an e-book.
I know that might sound a bit daunting but it doesn’t have to be a massive hard copy epic or anything like that. I would write an e-book – probably around 15 to 20 pages only – and titled something like, “How to get the most out of your new hairdo” (or something much more creative) and then give the e-book away as a free download in exchange for someone ‘liking’ the Facebook Page or signing up to your database. It’s also a great way for you to establish your credibility and expertise in your market.
18. Get yourself on Twitter.
You will be surprised how many of your existing customers will already be using Twitter and will be more than happy to spread your word around for you if they are. Twitter is also a great way to get new business AND establish your credibility and expertise in the hair and beauty industry. You can create a following that is really loyal to your brand and your ideas on Twitter.
19. Run time-sensitive offers for your Twitter followers.
You can then reward that following with special ‘Twitter-only’ offers that are only available for a certain amount of time AFTER they appear in your Twitter feed. For instance, “TWITTER ONLY SPECIAL: Receive a free treatment with any style booked in today. Only available for next 60 minutes. Must quote code FRTRT11″ … or something.
20. Run a Twitter Re-Tweet Promotion.
Each short message you put out on Twitter is called a ‘tweet’. Your following can then ‘re-tweet’ your message out to their following which can be a great example of your fans doing your marketing for you. Every time one of your following does that, you can know about it and track it. I would run a promotion where you reward your following for re-tweeting your messages by giving them one entry in the competition.
21. Create an alternate Twitter Account.
Back in number 2, I mentioned creating a blog for a pseudo staff member. This is along the same lines. That same persona could have their own Twitter account and say things that are a little unconventional in comparison to the rest of your marketing. You might even find that this account has a greater following than your more corporate one!
22. Build a free YouTube channel.
A YouTube channel for your business is free. It is basically a page within the giant YouTube platform where all of the videos that you upload are featured and listed in an organised way. You can also have comments, updates and subscriptions to your channel which is an often under-utilised marketing device as well. Remember to brand and customise your channel with your own colours and logos too.
23. Create new styling or technique videos.
Now to think about what sort of content you want to include in your videos. I would definitely do some videos that focus on new techniques or new styles that your salon could specialise in or that your stylists are particularly good at or well known for. If you can feature some ‘before and after’ about them, that would also work really well.
24. Introduce new and existing staff members in videos.
Video is a great way to introduce your salon but also to introduce individual staff members to the community as well. Whether they are existing staff or when new staff members come into the business, video is a great tool to showcase them and their particular specialties or skills.
25. Create a really engaging About Us video.
Nothing tells a story like that story being told in video. Forget the boring old text ‘About Us’ page on your website – create an About Us video that lets you tell the story of your business, where it’s come from, who’s involved in the business, what the premises look like and so on. When you optimise and tag this video really well you also get the added bonus of some serious Google love as well.
26. Answer your FAQs in videos.
One of the biggest reservations that salon owners have when I tell them they have to create some online video is that they have nothing to make videos about. I couldn’t disagree more. Every time the phone rings and someone asks a question, every time that someone asks you in a social situation what you or your salon do, they are videos! Instead of having boring old text pages of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), create a series of short but well optimised and tagged videos answering them for your online community.
27. Create a weekly ‘expert’ video for others in the hair and beauty industry.
Video also allows you to position yourself really well as an expert in your field. There’s something about video that just lends great credibility to your story. I would take advantage of that by producing some videos specifically for other businesses in the hair and beauty industry, not necessarily for clients. This lets you show off what you do really well, what you specialise in and what you want to be known for. It might also help in recruiting other great stylists from other salons into your business.
28. Place QR codes in decals on your shopfront.
Quick Response or QR Codes act as that elusive bridge between the offline marketing and online marketing of your business. They are 2-D barcodes essentially. But when they are scanned with a smartphone the scanner is then directed to whatever website or online presence you want to send them to. This can be a website, a Facebook Page, it can populate an automatic email or SMS being sent and so on. I would direct them to a video on YouTube because this is guaranteed to look uniform and great on almost any smartphone – some websites and even Facebook Pages don’t look very good on smartphones so you don’t want to do all the hard work of getting people to scan and be engaged only to send them somewhere that doesn’t work on their mobile!
The decals on the shopfront can encourage people to have a look at and follow your different social media channels as well as go to a video detailing your salon opening hours (if it appears on your door when the salon is closed) and even on each work station’s mirror in the salon that can engage people while they are having their hair done and so on.
29. Print QR codes on DL flyers.
I would also use a QR code on a DL flyer or other offline hard copy promotional material. These can be left instore or given out in the local area by promotional staff you can hire for the day or by your own salon staff to drum up new business.
They can also be an entry into a competition or giveaway promotion of some sort to get new business through your door.
30. Record a podcast.
Podcasts are just audio recordings that you can host either on your own website or Facebook Page or on iTunes so that people everywhere can download them and listen to them. These are a great way to again establish your credibility and expertise in your market and can be aimed completely at other people in your industry for the same reasons as in point 27 above. Another way to use these is to interview industry people or even just your regular clientele and record it for others to listen to.
31. Host a webinar.
Like a seminar only online and without having to hire a venue and pay for nibblies! Webinars are a great way for you to show the rest of the industry, your local market AND potential new business that you know what you are doing and have some pretty specific expertise to impart. This can also be a great way to establish an alternate revenue stream as you can sell tickets to your webinars also.
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