Marketing & Promotions

Online Reviews Are the New Word of Mouth

Elizabeth Kraus offers four tips to encourage clients to leave reviews and beef up your online presence.

Consumers don’t just see reviews on review sites anymore; they show up just about everywhere — from social media posts to search results. According to SEO specialist BrightLocal, nine out of 10 shoppers read reviews and nearly all of them trust reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Since these endorsements just may be your most powerful online marketing tactic, we asked Elizabeth Kraus, marketing manager of salon financing company DB Squared and author of 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa for tips on encouraging clients to leave reviews:

1. Make it easy. The more work a client has to do, and the more time that passes between her service and the time she thinks of leaving a review for your salon online, the less likely it is to happen. Your website, social networks, and email newsletters can all be used to ask happy clients to leave a review for your services online and provide a link directly to the review site or form. Even better: Ask at the point of sale. If your salon has wifi, clients can leave a review or rating for your services before they walk out the door. You can even supply a tablet just for this purpose.

2. Make it specific. You can’t dictate whether clients leave a positive review or what they will say, but you can prompt them with questions that help shape their thinking and encourage them to point out different strengths of your services (such as creativity, salon atmosphere, friendliness, attention to detail, and so on).

3. Make sure you’re earning it. What sets your nail services apart? “Meeting expectations” is no way to generate enthusiastic client reviews. Make sure that the client experience you offer is exceptional and different from the experience they could receive anywhere else.

4. Reach out more than once. People are busy. While you don’t want to hound clients for positive reviews, you may need to ask more than once and use more than one marketing channel (at the appointment, in-salon signage, email, social media, etc.) in order to reach them at the right time — a time most convenient for them.

For more of Kraus’ salon marketing tips, visit DB Squared Business Finance at



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