The Social Network
[Using social media to connect with your clients — and your potential clients]
> Go where your clients are. Ask your clients what social networking sites they use regularly. It’s smart to set up a business Facebook page (there are currently 600+ million people with Faceboook accounts). You might also consider Twitter, LinkedIn, or a blog connected to your website. Social networking is all about building a relationship with your community of followers. Simply setting up a page won’t do much if you don’t monitor it and post regularly. (We have plenty of information on our website. Just search for “social networking.”)
> Consider offering last-minute deals to fill empty time slots on Facebook or Twitter. Sure, you’ll be catering to the “deal-seekers” but a discounted service is better than no service, right? If you’re trying to build the number of “likes” on your Facebook page or the number of “followers” on your Twitter page, you might also consider offering special deals for those clients only. For instance, maybe you offer a free bottle of cuticle oil for every client who books a service using a special code you post only on Facebook.
> Monitor customer review sites like Yelp! If someone has posted a negative review, look at it as a chance to improve your
customer service. You can respond on the site with how you plan on addressing the situation. It’s a good idea to start your response out with something like, “We value feedback from all of our clients and we’re sorry you didn’t have a positive experience. We hope you’ll give us another chance to prove that we’re the right salon for you.” Then explain how you’ve addressed the problem. Negative reviews aren’t the death of you. Use them to your advantage. And never respond with a biting or negative tone.
> Weekly e-newsletters are a good way for your clients to know what’s going on at the salon. You can mention new services, new technicians, new products, and weekly discounts or last-minute openings you need to fill. If you feel like you have more to say, consider blogging. Just make sure you update it regularly.
> At the very least, have an up-to-date website. Potential clients should be able to easily find the salon’s location and contact number, service menu, photos of the salon, photos of your nail services and nail styles, and information about you and your
salon that would make a consumer stop and notice you.
Catering to the 40+ Client
[What to offer the woman of a certain age]
> Baby boomers are well-off and willing to trade money for convenience. They are a natural market for gel-polish manicures and quick (but therapeutic) lunchtime services.
> This generation longs to maintain youthfulness, and nowhere are signs of aging more apparent than on the hands. Investigate professional product lines that give you the tools to provide a rejuvenating hand facial.
> The 40+ client is receptive to retail recommendations. Not only are hydrating creams and exfoliating scrubs a natural, offer products that allow them to re-create the spa at home, such as cleansing systems, handmade soaps, skin masks, and spa robes.
> Give them the pampering they both want and deserve. Make sure your menu contains a range of deluxe service options. A soothing massage can be incorporated into just about any type of treatment.
> Put some medi in your pedi by emphasizing the therapeutic and restorative elements of the foot service. Arrange for speakers for the medical community to discuss health and beauty during an informational evening event, and be ready with the names of doctors you refer to (and get referrals from).