THE NEW BUYING DECISION: HOW CLIENTS CHOOSE A SALON OR SPA
There was a time when a referral from a trusted friend with great hair or skin was all that was needed to propel a new client through your door. These days, that’s only the first step before the consumer becomes a professional investigator—Googling the salon or spa, analyzing online reviews, and accessing the website and social media pages to decide if you’re a good fit for them.
This new process is often overwhelming for salon owners, who can barely find time to keep their websites updated or respond to fan comments on their Facebook page. Fortunately, a few crucial and powerful tools can help salon owners attract new clients more proactively and efficiently.
Statistics show that 70% of visitors to salon and spa websites are unique visitors who have never been to that site before. Most likely, these are potential new clients.
Help them find what they’re looking for.
The most visited pages on a salon or spa website are: location photos, services, and hours. These pages provide the vital information consumers look for when choosing a salon, so make sure that they are easy to locate.
Give them a reason to take the next step and come in.
Knowing that 70% of the visitors to your site are new, you should give them a reason to look no further and book an appointment. Entice them with prominently located “new client offers” on your home page.
If you have impressive awards like “Best Of” awards, business awards or industry acknowledgements, put them front and center on your site.
One of the most common complaints from salon owners is the inaccuracy of bad reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review sites. Here’s how to best leverage the good and deal with the bad:
Today’s discriminating consumers can and will seek out reviews, whether or not you point them in that direction. Including a live review feed on your website and Facebook page indicates that you are trustworthy and confident in your work.
Though it may feel counter-intuitive, you’re better off with a live review feed that includes some negativity than you are with a small collection of old (or worse, non-attributed, non-dated) reviews. Consumers know if you’ve chosen only the best reviews to make yourself look good. And occasional negative review confirms your authenticity—just make sure to respond to these graciously.
More and more, clients visit your Facebook page, too. Don’t just treat it like a second website. There are several things you can do to attract new clients.
Post 3 to 5 days a week. Facebook is no longer free: every post must be boosted, or very few people will see it. A budget of $5 – $10 per post ($150 – $300 month), targeted to fans and friends, usually works for most businesses. If you need to schedule your posts in advance, skip the third party app and use the Facebook scheduler, as some sources suggest that third party apps may hinder your reach.
Facebook is not a sales platform. Be yourself and speak to your fans like they are your friends.
If someone posts on your page or comments on one of your posts, make sure their contribution is acknowledged—even if you just “like” their comment or say thank you.
Reviews and Offers.
The same philosophies for your website apply here—include a live review tab and a new fan offer. We have found that new client offers are downloaded 30 to over 100 times a month—that’s a lot of new clients.
Take advantage of the new—don’t resist– seek to understand. In today’s marketplace, a business owner has more tools to market their business than ever before. And a lot of them are low cost and easy to use. An excellent resource on the subject of why some ideas catch on and why others don’t is the book Contagious by Jonah Berger.