Social media is certainly the latest ‘must have’ in helping to market your salon business online. Its everywhere, on our computers, on our TV’s and even on our phones. Very soon it will even be on our wrist watches! So if social media is so important, do you still need a Website?
The answer: Yes . . . possibly more so than ever!
Whether you are already in business or you are just starting out on your salon business journey I imagine you selected your location because you thought it would attract customers. Chances are your salon is located on a street where lots of people drive or walk past or in a hotel or retail park where lots of people already come to visit. But what about all those potential customers who don’t walk or drive past your location or stay in the hotel or visit the other shops on the retail park? How do they find you?
Some 80% of people search for businesses now online before they even thing about visiting somewhere. That’s before they leave their house or get in the car.
More than ever before your customers are looking for you ON LINE!
If you do not have a well organised, pleasing to look at and easy to navigate website where an interested potential customer can come and check you out then you are missing out on a huge amount of business.
The Team at Salon Business Secrets have looked at hundreds of salon businesses in the run up to the launch of this site and we have noticed that although most salons do have a website, most have shifted their attention over to Twitter and Facebook for posting new and up to date information and they may not have touched their website in years. Sound familiar?
Don’t get me wrong, Twitter and Facebook are great. They are free to use and require little or no technical knowledge to get them up and running quickly. However they offer little in the way of flexibility and control. Although you can put your logo at the top of your Facebook Fan Page and have your Logo as the icon on your Twitter account . . . the layout of the page is the same as the rest of your competition so it makes it more difficult to stand out from the crowd.
SO HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR SALON STAND OUT ONLINE?
A professional looking website boosts your credibility and can draw in more customers through people searching on Google. It allows you to connect more deeply with people who are not yet familiar with your business or your brand. You can make your website look exactly how you want it to look and it can, indeed it should, reflect the personality of your business. Your website could be the difference between a potential client making a booking with you or with your competition down the street.
But how can you make the most of your website and really use it to drive real business through your doors and why is it still your most important on line resource. Here are 4 reasons why:-
1. Google Searches
As I said above, the number one way that people search for a business today is using Google or another search site such as Bing. Imagine yourself that you have just moved to an area or the salon you used to visit has closed down or moved on. How are you going to find a new salon?
Google uses complex algorithms to give you the best search results for whatever you are looking for. Did you know that Google’s ultimate aim is to get to a point where you perform a search and their results are so accurate that they simply give you just one result and that would be the perfect website or article for you!
If you want more clients to come through your door then you need to be that perfect result, or at least you need to be on page one of any Google search relating to your business.
Why is it important to be on page one of Google? Well ask yourself, when was the last time you searched for something on Google and went to the second or third page to find the information you were looking for? Very rarely, if ever.
It is possible to use SEO (search engine optimisation) strategies to boost your Facebook and Twitter page search-ability, but you will get better and faster results using an optimised website.
Don’t let this talk of SEO put you off! Ranking your website in Google is not all that hard, especially if your business really is that perfect result for people searching in your area. At the end of the day that is the whole point of Google.
There is lots to talk about when it comes to SEO and your website and we will go in to more detail about this in a later article. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of our articles you can subscribe to our newsletter below.
2. Keep The Competition Out
Facebook is free to use and it probably always will be, but they are a real business now with shareholders who will demand it makes money. That money is going to come from advertising. You will have seen these adverts down the right hand side of the screen on all Facebook pages and where better for a competing salon to put their adverts than on your Facebook page!
Facebook is important, possibly even essential for business these days to help build communities and raving fans, but the goal of your Facebook page should be to get people to your website where they can learn more about you and then come to you with their business and their cash.
Strange as it sounds your aim for all social media should be to get people off your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest pages and on to your website – well away from all that nasty competition. Do this well and you will turn them from browsers in to buyers.
3. Let People Know Who You Are
Facebook and Twitter are filled with distractions, that is part of their allure. That latest status update, that latest funny picture from your sisters friend. Just like in the above point, social media should be a gateway to your true online home . . . your website.
Although you can upload your own image or branding as the header image on your Facebook fan page and create an icon for your Twitter page, everything else about the layout and format is exactly the same as every other business. Plus you also have to deal with the branding of the site you are on be that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc.
On your own website things can be exactly as you want them to be. They can be a reflection of your salon and what it would be like to come for a treatment or a service with you.
Make it Personal
Share your story . . . studies show that people prefer to buy from people, real people with a story. So share your story, how you got to where you are, why you are passionate about what you do and why you believe people should come to your salon Show off your passion!
Share your treatment menu so people can easily see what is on offer. You could highlight certain treatments and really go in to detail about them. You could have a treatment or service of the month and link this to a promotion. You could highlight certain members of staff and what they are passionate about or what they have achieved and you can also post testimonials from satisfied customers.
Give people a sense of who you are and a reason to come and visit your salon!
4. You’re The Boss
Would you let someone you had never met run your business for you while you were away on holiday or just taking a break? No! Well you shouldn’t completely trust your valuable on line presence to websites like Twitter and Facebook either.
OK . . . it is unlikely that these particular sites are going to disappear overnight with the takings from your till, but who knows when a change of policy might mean that your account is shut down with little notice. It could take you some time to get it back again – this does happen. Or what if Facebook change their entire business page layout (again) and it takes you time to reorganise everything so your clients can find their way around your page.
This is not going to happen with your own website! You are in charge here and you always will be so no nasty surprises.
Your Online Store Front
Your website may not be the magical solution to certain success – you still need to have a great business. Otherwise you will not be around very long no matter how amazing your website is, but it is your main presence online. It is your virtual store front if you like.
People can get to know you, learn what you do and most importantly learn what you do differently and what makes you stand out from all the other salons in your area.
It should help you to create a community of loyal fans who can find you easily, who can share you with their friends and that is where the likes of Twitter and Facebook do fit in to the equation.
Stay tuned to Salon Business Secrets for more information about your online presence including the most important qualities your website should have, exactly how your social media strategy should work and how this fits in with your website. We are going to go through everything you need to know in detail missing nothing out. We are only just getting started.