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Marketing ideas for beauty salons and nail spas

Posted by Rebecca Weinberg on Apr 7, 2016 3:59:14 PM



Looking to boost foot traffic and sales at your beauty salon or nail spa? Here are some low-budget marketing ideas and tips to get you started

The beauty business is one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries around. Hair Styles, products, dyes and nail polish colors all shift with the seasons, along with the desires of fickle customers. The great part about beauty salons and nail spas is that there will never be a shortage of clients. Everyone needs a haircut sometimes! And lots of women, and increasingly men, love getting regular mani-pedis, along with tweezing, waxing, threading or laser hair removal. It just takes a bit of marketing savvy to make your beauty business boom. Here are the basics to get you started!

Know Your Brand

Beauty is a reflection of lifestyle, and a form of personal branding. Your salon should cater to the types of clients you attract, and their brand ‘image’.  You might discover that an entirely different clientele than what envisioned seems to be showing up at your salon. Great! Work with it! Incorporate it into your brand image. Are they ladies about town, the young hip crowd, or mid-career professionals? Do your customers tend to choose classic hair or nail styles, or more innovative colors and cuts? Get a feel for the different types of hair and nail styles your clients lean towards, and reflect it in your marketing.


Shout out your Location - Online

Step outside and look around. Every person you see is a potential customer. Your greatest asset— the one thing that makes you completely unique (besides your skill with scissors or nail wands!)— is your location.  So shout it out!!  Okay, not so fast…

All those people walking around outside, they’re staring down at their phones. Someone is probably walking right past your salon door…the smell of floral shampoo wafting up their nose…but they are too busy searching for salons online to notice.  It’s a good idea to get your location ONLINE, since a whopping 94% of customers search the Internet before hitting the pavement.  There are a handful of great services that ensure your location will be discovered by potential customers in your area. Some are free, such as Yelp, local directories like Yellow Pages and Google Business.

There are also great low-cost location-based marketing tools to help you attract local customers, with tools such as location based targeting, so people in the area get notified of any specials of promos you may have.


Build loyalty (it's cheaper than advertising)

Hair and nail salons rely on repeat customers for the bulk of their business, so it’s a no brainer to reward customers for their loyalty. Punch cards are super effective, since most clients will immediately see the value in a ‘buy 5 get 1 free’ type deal. However, gone are the days of paper punch cards and client files. Today’s clients want punch cards, and pretty much every thing else, on their smart phones. Look for loyalty platforms that are robust and easy to use. They should offer location based marketing, virtual punch cards, an easy way to set up and disseminate specials and promos, and ideally also have an email and SMS marketing function. Your customer-loyalty strategy should also incorporate elements that will promote word-of-mouth marketing, such as 30% off for clients who bring a friend. 


Work those phones and inboxes!

For long term repeat business, get each customer’s phone number and email address before they walk out, along with their birthday (year not required!). These will be used for email marketing and text message campaigns, and will go a long way toward building a loyal clientele.

SMS or Text Message Marketing is underrated, especially because it is so effective! The idea is to send hair or nail promotions directly to your customers’ cell phones, where they have a 99% chance of being seen. Use SMS marketing for occasional promotions, such as Birthday specials, where you customer is more likely to be receptive to getting a % off coupon, along with a personalized birthday wish. Click here to learn more on our super text message marketing post.  

Email Marketing is likewise great for deals and promotions, and for building loyalty, since most people check their email every single day. Emails can be used to send regular specials, promotions or even a newsletter.  The trick to managing great SMS and email marketing campaigns is to use automation tools that send personalized emails or texts to the right clients at the right time, while requiring very little work on your end.  A good loyalty platform should offer the tools to automate your campaigns, so you can focus on working your hair and nail magic. 

For a great guide to Mobile and Email marketing, fear not and go to the Flok University. 


Network socially

Social networks are the perfect platform for beauty salons and nail spas because they’re all about image. Social network posts that get the most traction are the ones that feature images. The best social networks for beauty, hair and nail businesses are Facebook and Instagram.  Pinterest can be a great spot to search for new beauty ideas and trends and get inspired. Treat these platforms as mini-websites, and be sure to include your address, a short description of your salon or spa, and a great profile picture. After that, it’s all about posting images and calls to action— and you’re in the right business for that!


Pose. Click. Be seen. 

The wonderful thing about a salon or nail spa is that it’s a content-generating machine. Grab your smart-phone and make it a habit to take pictures of the work you’re most proud of (with your clients’ permission of course). You can also prowl around the internet to find hairstyle or nail art images and lifestyle messages that you can re-post to your Facebook page to reflect your salon’s brand. Soon you’ll have social media that starts to attract the kind of visitors you want.


Find local partnerships 


Photo studios and gyms are your friends and most are open to cross-promotions. Print out some hair removal promos during the summer, just for the gym folks, in exchange for keeping their special promo on your front desk. Offer to model some of your hair or nail work to the local photo studio, who might need them for their portfolio— in exchange for being able to use some of the images on your marketing materials, website, or social media platforms.


Show some teeth

Last but not least, smile! Sometimes, a warm smile from a great stylist or nail artist is the most refreshing thing your client will see all day. And that might be all that’s needed.


 Got some other marketing ideas for the beaty salon and nail spa community? We’d love to hear from you! Want to learn more? Flok University is a click away

Topics: Customer Loyalty Program, Small Business Tips, Flok University

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