Running a salon can be a hairy business— are your
current marketing strategies for college students making the cut?
Defining your niche is the first key to success. I realize that this might sound pretty basic, but not defining a specific customer base is a common mistake that salon owners and operators make, so it’s worth spending a little time on.
Does your staff specialize in working with an all female clientele? All male? Are you known for sorority stylin’ for formals or shaping a perfect Frat Daddy do? Do you pride yourself on offering affordable cuts or are you geared more for clients who could care less about price? Ask enough questions to determine your target audience. If you’re marketing to a really wide audience, you might actually be losing business. Spend some time considering what it is that you do best, and choose your marketing strategies accordingly.
After you’ve gotten a little trim, you can start to build your business strategically.
Mobile marketing works great in conjunction with more traditional avenues of advertising, like print and radio. Use keywords and use the same keywords in all of your marketing efforts. Continuity will pay off and your client base will grow.
Use QR codes in print advertisements with links to promotional service offers or product specials and freebies. College kids, even more than everyone else, thrive on free stuff.
You might have customers who are loyal to your salon, but for just one service. Profile everyone who works with you—colorists, nail technicians, and stylists—on your social networking sites and through QR codes in print and in your waiting area. You’ll drum up new business and increase the amount of money your current clientele is spending with you. Co-eds (especially the ladies) are totally down with sacrificing and eating Ramen noodles for a month if they’ve got a killer mani/pedi and fresh highlights to show for it.
Challenge your social networking fans and followers to submit pictures and stories telling you why they should win a free makeover at your salon. Announce your winner online and feature before and after pictures to gain even more interest and fans. Again–college students LOVE the word “free.”
Who wouldn’t want to me a model? Salons and stylists need hair models all of the time; find them through mobile marketing, print, and social networking sites. Again, publish professional images on your social networking sites to draw interest and more “stars!”
Once you have decided what it is you do best and acquired your new clients accordingly, you can market more efficiently to them. Texting is perhaps the easiest way to maintain business and college students are constantly glued to their iPhones. Annoying for their parents and professors; totally convenient for you.
You can then text them a reminder as their next appointment approaches. Not only will this avoid wasting staff time with reminder phone calls, but your clients will be far less likely to change appointment times or miss one altogether because they forgot (kind of like they forgot their homework).
Most people get the urge to make a change right along with seasonal changes. Perhaps a current customer is pondering a lighter shade of blond for the summer. A friendly little “lighten up special” text might just be the nudge she needs to make up her mind to come in for a salon visit and become blonde and beautiful.
Keep track of their spending with a virtual “punch card” and give them a dollar amount off or a free product when they reach a certain purchase amount.
You can also use the same VIP program to offer special discounts to your college clients during quieter days and times. If you find that Tuesday afternoon suddenly looks slow, send out an email and/or a text to VIP members Monday evening and offer a little incentive- say $20 or 10% off to get them in the door and in the chair.
It doesn’t take much incentive to get them to skip their eco lecture, and they’re bound to be thrilled with the savings. (It is more beer money, after all.)
For more information on reaching college students give us a call! We look forward to speaking with you! 512.480.0893