– By: Sebastian Rodriguez –
As a salon owner, you’d probably be thrilled.
That’s a dream come true for any business owner—an endless line of customers. Yet, the reality is that your satisfied clients may only tell a few people who in turn may not remember your name when they need new hair styles or touch ups on their roots.
What you can count on is the fact that people search for you online. Think about your own behaviors when you look for new products and services. Whenever I receive a referral for a great salon or any small business (this applies to gifts for myself and my wife), I search online. I hunt for testimonials, pictures of the salon, its location on a map, payment options, hours of operation—I think you get the idea. All of this research occurs before I ever pick up the phone to learn more.
Specifically, if searchers like me can’t find you, think about how much new business you could be losing. Additionally, if a disgruntled former stylist leaves a nasty review on an online directory without your knowledge, how can you possibly even attempt to address it?
Brightlocal, a marketing agency that focuses on search engine optimization, conducted a survey last summer that revealed some interesting stats about your industry:
- 31% of surveyed consumers read online reviews about hair salons.
- 88% said they trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.
- 92% said they will use a local business if it has a 4-star rating.
Think about that for a moment. Three out of 10 of your word-of-mouth referrals will look for you online. If these referrals come across a negative review, that could prevent them from visiting your salon.
Word of mouth still plays a role in business growth, but it has evolved with the digital age. Today, you need to manage your online reputation proactively to ensure that your salon is featured in the best light possible. Additionally, you need to make sure that potential clients find you when they research your salon.
It may sound overwhelming, especially since you have a business to run. However, marketing in any industry takes a lot of practice to reach optimal results. Trust me; you won’t get it right the first time. No one does. However, proactive solutions are the key to long-term business growth.