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How Hair Salons Can Nurture Their Online Presence

Provide personalized hair and beauty service by focusing on social media and your online reputation.

In the past, a prospective client might have heard about your salon by asking a friend where she got her hair done. Then maybe she called to book an appointment, and arrived at your salon without ever having seen your website or social media accounts. Today, your prospective and current clients want to engage with you online from the start.

In fact, a recent survey found that almost half (49 percent) of customers choose a salon based on online reviews and reputation, according to American Salon. And it goes way beyond choosing a salon: clients also want to see photos of work your stylists have done, learn about new trends, get hair care tips and book or change appointments online.

Here’s how salons can better engage and nurture their online presence in order to provide more personalized service:

  1. Start with the basics: great in-person service. Almost one out of two clients will choose your salon based on your online reviews and reputation. That means you need to shape the reviews you’re receiving online, not by being unethical but by being proactive. Learn how to avoid bad reviews by providing knockout service and proactively offering to make things right if a client isn’t satisfied. Let clients know that you welcome feedback upfront so you can fix any issues.
  2. Track and nurture your reviews. In addition to making proactive efforts to avoid bad reviews, you’ll also need to carefully track, respond to and shape the reviews you get on social media, Google, Yelp and other platforms. Learn the art of responding to a bad or mediocre hair salon review with professionalism and poise. For example, be sincere, and apologize for any bad experience. Then offer to get in touch directly to make the situation right. Finally, talk to your happy clients and let them know how much it would mean if they’d leave you a review. Sometimes it’s the unhappy clients who tend to speak up, and you can make up for that by also getting reviews from your raving fans.
  3. Pick your platforms and stay consistent. No business can be everywhere at once. That’s why it’s important to pick one platform to focus on as well as perhaps a secondary platform on which you’ll also nurture a presence. For many salons, Instagram is a natural fit while others choose to focus on Facebook or delve into TikTok. Create a schedule for posting new content and responding to questions, comments and messages on your platform or platforms of choice. If a prospective client visits you on social media and sees that you don’t respond to questions or that you last posted three months ago, it can create a bad impression.
  4. Offer inspiration and show off. Clients used to flip through magazines to find photos of hairstyles and colors they loved. Now, they turn to social media. If you want to win their business and provide personalized service, make sure you’re the one offering them ideas and possibilities. When posting content consistently, make sure that a percentage of what you post is designed to inform and inspire. Post photos of the best hairstyles your staff create. Post about new trends, or techniques your stylists perfected at a recent training session. By providing inspiration, you not only help clients and potential clients solve a problem, you also make it more likely they’ll book an appointment. Tip: photos are engaged with 120 percent more than text-only posts, according to Wishpond, a social media marketing company.
  5. Allow online booking and changes. Consider embracing new technology to allow clients to book, cancel or reschedule an appointment 24/7. That way, they’ll be able to easily book when they’re scrolling Facebook or Instagram at 2 a.m. and see a cool new hairstyle that reminds them they’re seriously overdue for a cut and color. This also allows clients who don’t want to pick up the phone to book or cancel quickly and easily.

Hair salons can’t afford to neglect their online presence any more than stylists can afford to neglect their own roots or split ends, so start nurturing yours today.