When you own a commission salon, attracting new clients is usually pretty simple—if your salon is located along a busy street, that is. But when you work in a salon studio, such as Sola Salon Studios (the largest salon studio concept in the country, home to nearly 5,000 providing salon professionals!) you have to focus on specific marketing tactics to successfully gain and sustain your client base. So how do Sola Salon stylists thrive and continue to grow their businesses? Easy, they turn to social media. And while people tend to believe that only a seasoned professional with 250+ clients can make it as Sola Salon Studios stylist, it is simply not the case! There are a myriad of tech savvy stylists who have taken the plunge while growing their business, who continue to build a steady book through social media.
“In a salon studio there is no personal storefront, so instead I use technology and social media to draw in potential clients,” notes Ayla Davis from Sola Salon Studios, Willow Glen. In today’s digital age, it’s a safe bet that the majority of your clients or soon-to-be clients are active on social media. And since creating pages is completely free, this is the best, most cost-effective avenue for tech-savvy stylists to attract new clients and showcase what they have to offer.
“Being in a salon studio, I have found social media to be the most effective form of marketing,” says Heidi Christensen from Sola Salon Studios, Cinco Ranch West. “It’s free, it doesn’t take a lot of time and it gives you the ability to reach a large amount of people. On a weekly basis, I will have anywhere from one to 10 inquiries from social media, and many of those end up booking, which has resulted in higher retail sales as well.”
So what’s the perfect recipe for social success? We reached out to six salon owners at Sola Salon Studios who share their tips and tricks for utilizing social media to grow your business and thrive in salon studio environment.
Know Your Audience
“I live in the San Francisco Bay area, so I try to appeal to the tech-savvy Silicon Valley demographic,” notes Ayla. One way she does this is through automated text, phone and email confirmation services as well as online appointment scheduling from her website. “I am also accessible through Facebook, email, phone and text message, which my clients utilize when they need to get ahold of me.”
By far, Facebook offers the widest reach compared to other social media sites. So always be sure to post everything to your business page. “Most people have a Facebook account and access it daily, so I want to make sure that the majority of information about my business is on there,” notes Traci Garcia from Sola Salon Studios, Park Ridge, IL. “The age range on Facebook is also broad, so posting more in-depth information works on this site.”
Instagram is geared toward a younger audience, so try to keep things short, sweet and to the point. “I post images of my room, before and after photos, products that I use, makeup that I’ve done, etc,” says Traci. The trick with Instagram is to post, post, post!
What to Post
Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter tend to offer a more personalized feel, so it’s perfectly fine to include elements of yourself in these pages. Just remember that you want to sell your talents more than anything else. “Posts about your life keep people feeling connected to you on a deeper level rather than just a business,” suggests Ayla. “Just keep all your posts positive. Don’t be negative and never post about religion or politics.” It’s also a good idea to refrain from posting drunken photos, for obvious reasons. After all, you are selling your services, so keep it classy. You can also create buzz by posting about a new product or service you are offering. If it sounds interesting, people will be more prone to come in and inquire about it, notes Kris Kiss from Sola Salon Studios, Port Jefferson. Before and after photos of a great cut and color are always big hits, as well as color corrections. “At my studio, I often find that when I post a picture, within the next couple of weeks I will have multiple requests (both from new and existing clients),” shares Lauren and Kanani of LoCK’s Studio, Arvada, CO.
“Try to post at least three to five times a day,” suggests Traci. “Facebook is not as business-friendly as it used to be. Now you have to be really active on your page, with likes and shares in order to be seen on people’s feeds. I try to spend an hour a week just scheduling posts for the week, that way I don’t have to think about it while I’m working.”