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Customer Marketing, Health & Beauty, Marketing, Social Media

Take Your Salon Online and Grow

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The hair and nail salon industry is a $50 billion market that is growing at a steady pace, according to IBIS, a leading market research firm. Because of an increase in consumer disposable income, industry profit margins are better today than they’ve been in nearly a decade. In other words, there are more customers who are willing and able to purchase haircuts, hair treatments, manicures, pedicures and other services. So, if you’re a salon owner, this is great news.

Yet, the majority of hair and nail salons are not maximizing online marketing to find and retain customers. In fact, many salons still don’t have websites. Instead, they rely on print advertising, direct mail coupons, and signage to reach new customers. This presents a valuable opportunity for salon owners to reach out to new and existing customers online.

A Few Statistics to Consider

Are you a salon owner who is still using marketing strategies that were popular 20 years ago? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at the power of the Internet and online marketing. Here are just a few of the latest digital marketing statistics:

  • More than 85 percent of Americans search for businesses using the Internet.
  • Nearly 80 percent of Internet users conduct online searches using smartphones.
  • Search engines are the most common starting point for finding a business online.

What do these statistics indicate? The message is loud and clear that salons need to be online to increase exposure and grow. And, businesses that embrace mobile marketing are gaining a distinct advantage.

So, what are the best strategies and tools to capture market share and increase sales? Keep reading. The following are a few of the best ways to successfully grow your salon via online marketing:

Your Website is Your Online Storefront

In many cases, your website will be your customers’ first impression of your business. Having a slow, poor quality, or non-existent website is akin to having a really bad haircut.

Fortunately, creating an eye-catching, professional-looking website has become much easier in the last several years. User-friendly content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, can enable you to create a customized website in a matter of hours using a template theme. No HTML or programming experience is necessary.

An all-in-one solution, such as Expand2Web’s SmallBizTheme, is a smart choice for a salon because it can be used to create a primary site, a mobile-optimized site, and even an online store if you want to sell products from your website.

List Your Website on the Top Directories

Once your site is up and functioning, you’ll want to ensure it’s visible on directories that your customers use, including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Yellow Pages, and MapQuest. These listings will help customers find you through more online locations and will improve your search rankings.

Share Your Salon’s Story with a Blog

Maintaining a blog may seem like a tedious task when you’re already strapped for time with the daily duties of a salon. Yet, it’s one of the most powerful online marketing tools for three very important reasons:

  1. Your blog is the place to offer more than the basic information found on your website. It’s where you can share style trends, new products, photos, videos, events, updates, and announcements.
  2. Your blog increases the amount of relevant content your business produces, which makes it easier for Google and other search engines to find you. This translates into more website traffic and ultimately more bookings. How much more? According to inbound marketing software producer HubSpot, websites with blogs get 55% more visitors than those that don’t.
  3. There is valuable data found on blogs that can help you better understand who your customers are, what they are interested in, and what they are searching for online. All of this information can help you refine the content on your website’s main pages and can even impact how you position your salon in other marketing mediums.

Get Social

Another important way to be found on the Internet is to create and manage social media business pages. Many salons dabble in social media, but far fewer are actually leveraging them as valuable business tools. Facebook and Twitter are the two to focus on first because of their volumes of users. Instagram can also be beneficial as it is focused on images. Consider this: a single photo of a fantastic up-do shared by a customer can reach hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers.

Social media should be considered a daily task. Updating pages with interesting content is the only way you’ll grow an online community. It’s also important to respond to questions and comments and share content that isn’t simply self-promotional. It’s a give and take on social media, and those who understand that it’s not just a one-sided conversation will have the greatest success with it.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Salon marketing shouldn’t be exclusively focused on getting new customers. Reaching out to repeat customers to up-sell and cross-sell can be an incredibly effective way to generate more sales. This begins with maintaining an up-to-date customer list. Make it a habit to ask for an email and cell number every time someone enters your salon’s door.

An email marketing tool like Constant Contact allows you to send out email announcements and regular newsletters to stay in touch with those who already buy from you. To increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns, make sure to always include a very strong, compelling subject line that intrigues readers enough to make them open your emails to learn more.

Text message marketing provides another fantastic opportunity to reach existing customers. You’ve already taken the time to collect their phone numbers, so put them to good use by sending out special offers or coupons via text message.

Online Word-of-Mouth

In a 2014 consumer review survey conducted by BrightLocal, more than 88% of respondents stated that they read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Online reviews can literally make or break a local salon. Positive reviews will make people want to take that next step of calling for an appointment or consultation. Bad reviews will scare them off.

In the same study, 31% said that they read online customer reviews specifically about salons. Simply put, if you are not actively managing your online reviews, you could be losing business. To take better control of online reviews, it’s wise to encourage happy customers to provide feedback at when they are paying for their service. A tool like GetFiveStars can actually trigger an email to go to your customers using your CRM or point-of-sale system.

Potential customers are searching the Internet for hair and nail services each and every day. If you have a minimal or non-existent online presence, you’re undeniably missing out on sales from countless customers.

Without a doubt, online marketing does require both planning and ongoing effort. However, it can fuel substantial growth and increase revenue. Are you using online marketing to attract customers to your salon or to retain existing customers? We’d love to share your tips and suggestions, so leave a comment below.


Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at