How Salons Can Grow Their Customer Base Online Beyond Their Local Community
You might have bagged your trusty regulars' business for life, but is your salon cashing in on the lucrative non-local customer? Loyal customers in your locality are the bread and butter of salon business, but to stay growing and successful, you need to tap into the off-peak, once-off and non-local customer base as well.
- 8 million tourists per year
- A booming wedding trade
- An urban sprawl that causes whole families to relocate
These are your potential new and passing customer base, and you need to let them know you are ready to help them with their hair and beauty needs. So how do you get this non-local population to engage, trust and book with your salon?
The non-local customer is almost certainly going to find out about you and your salon online. According to a study carried out by Nielsen detailed in this blog, 85% of customers searching for a business in a locality do so online. Of this more transient, passing clientele, most are likely to be looking for you on their mobile phone.
That means you must be out there, online, in order to be found. Make sure all your salon information online is up to date, consistent and accurate to be sure that you are ranking where you should when your out-of-towner is searching for a service that you provide.
Your salon website needs to be well-thought-out and optimised for search so that your SEO ranking is high when your non-local customers search for 'hair salon, your town'. And when they do find your website, don't lose out by forgetting to ensure it is mobile optimised.
An out-of-towner might be more swayed than your local customers by positive reviews; they don't have time to try out various services in the area and have no local knowledge to explore and get word-of-mouth referrals. They will often rely on independent reviews and rankings on Google to find what they feel is the most trustworthy salon. Get as many positive reviews as you can on your own website, and incentivise happy customers to post reviews on as many review sites as you can.
Be specific in targeting your non-local audience. Who are they and why are the likely to be passing through your area? Are you in the vicinity of a popular wedding location or a tourist attraction? Or are you in a busy town and in stiff competition with a number of other salons with similar services?
Find out what your unique offering is for your out of town customers and make your business as attractive to their needs online as possible. This could be with special 'first time' offers, express services for those who are time-short or a dedicated weddings page for bridal services on your website, all supported by plenty of marketing across your social media accounts.
Don't wrap them up in the same marketing that you have for your local customers; give them some targeted, specific love and see how you can earn the business of the non-local ahead of your competitors.
If you haven’t put your hair and beauty salon or your stylist services online with a website, and are still relying on Facebook, it’s time to change your approach. Relying on traditional word of mouth or social media ‘Likes’ will only keep hold of regular customers, but that huge market of once-offs such as tourists, bridal parties and new potential clients looking for a local service online will pass you by for one simple reason: they never knew you existed.
Building and maintaining a website and online presence doesn’t have to cost you that much in terms of money or effort. It’s actually more affordable than you think.
Get FREE Your Web Audit and find out the steps you need to take to start driving more customers through your doors.