Despite being a fairly “blue sky” thinker… I’m actually the first person to stop someone in their tracks when they start to talk about all of their great “marketing ideas” – usually because they lack any real direction, strategy or relevance to the business – one of my pet hates, in fact.
So what if you’ve just opened your new Salon, Spa, Nail bar or the like? Maybe you don’t have the plan all written out in stone just yet, and do you know what? …That’s just fine too.
there’s room for manoeuvre and a little trial and error.
However contradictory those two statements may seem, I think that there is a time and a place for just ‘going for it’ when it comes to marketing a new business. The key for me is ‘NEW’ businesses. As when your Salon is in its infancy it’s likely that your brand isn’t established (remember your Brand is as much about your logo, colours and what you stand for as it is about what others think of your business when they see your logo or visit your Salon) so there’s room for manoeuvre and a little trial and error.
My key tips for new Salons revolve around “EWW!” the Easy Win-Wins that we are surrounded by. For example, papers, online groups, local magazines and other community activities – and of course… social media.
They’re all “EWW!” because it’s easy to get a message out these through all of these platforms and it’s also possible to be seen and heard without spending hardly anything!
Email your local press editors and writers and explain your story and tell them you think you’ve got a story that their readers will be interested in and then all you have to do is make it relevant to them! RELEVANCE is key. So if you’re looking at a local newspaper then read and couple of editions and note any themes running through them – are there lots of stories about local employment, booming economy or young entrepreneurs? If so make your story about one of those things. Maybe you’re opening a local Spa and it means you’re employing 3 new therapists and looking to train two apprentices within your first year of trading? All of these can make a great hook for your story and will grab the attention of the person writing the content for the paper. The same goes for local magazines: look them up, find out their hooks and give them an email. It’s free advertising and is often much more effective than an advert.
Remember that whether you email customers, talk to them face to face or post on facebook or Instagram – you’re talking to customers who are people.
As for social media (another subject that often frustrates me – see my video on the matter of apparent “experts”…) – the biggest and most important thing to remember is that it’s a PLATFORM and not an entirely new language. So stop posting sentences full of hashtags within the sentence and trying to be extra ‘hip’ in the way you talk compared to e.g. your emails. Remember that whether you email customers, talk to them face to face or post on facebook or Instagram – you’re talking to customers who are people. They don’t change character when they go from reading your emails to going onto facebook, so remember to keep a consistent tone of voice throughout all of your methods of communicating with your customers. It may seem subtle but its actually very powerful and will enforce your brand building.
Don’t change your tone, remain consistent, and use the platforms tools.
So if you post on facebook, remember that video is key for 2016/2017 so whenever you can post video instead of images (but images are better than just text!) and every now and again find a reason to go LIVE! It draws in viewers, shares and comments like a magnet! Just make sure you’ve built up a core audience to show it to first. Or if you’re on Instagram use the boomerang app to make punchy and catchy videos.
remember that video is key for 2016/2017
As for hashtags – go and see what the key thought leaders and celebrities within your industry are posting about and what hashtags they use. Then just copy and paste them into a note app on your phone and then paste them into your posts. It’s a great way of getting in front of an audience who are interested in your topic of choice. Beware, you’ll also get an influx of ‘fake followers’ so don’t be alarmed if you have a few comments of “great post” and “: – ) “ that seem to bear no relevance to your post and the next day notice your follower numbers have spiked by 30 but then drop by 8… it’s the nature of the beast at the moment.
It’s a great way of getting in front of an audience who are interested in your topic of choice
Using hashtags and getting more followers leads back to the mention earlier of ‘building an audience’. Its futile posting day after day to 4 followers. Make sure you post relevant content, keep it short and sweet and give them something to reply to. Also a few quid here and there on facebook ads can really help you target an audience and build followers (we’re talking under £10). So do that before you go out and out on a huge campaign or competition otherwise it’s a waste of time, effort and money.
- Consistent message on all methods of communication- including social media
- Use the tools on each platform to your advantage – VIDEO IS KEY!
- Build an audience and experiment before you invest time and lots of money on competitions and large campaigns on social
- Target local media with relevant articles to get the word out to your local community