Get your clients to “check-in” to improve the word of mouth for your salon business
From the comfort of a chair in your salon or barber shop, your clients can “check-in” to your business and instantly tell hundreds of their friends about you. Yes, just one click. Does that motivate you to add another tool to your social media arsenal?
When you check-in on social media, you announce to your social network that you are literally “in the building”. After checking in, you can leave a tip to share with your friends. Then, you can share this tip as an update on both Facebook and Twitter.
The marketing gurus call this strategy “location-based marketing”. Today, there are a number of services available that allow people to share their physical locations with their friends. Whether you are sitting in a restaurant, car dealership, or hair salon, you can use an app on a smartphone or iPad to communicate the places that you like to visit. These apps, using GPS functionality, also suggest nearby locations that you should try. The most popular are Foursquare, Gowalla, and yelp.
For many users, it is sort of like a game to visit more cool spots than your friends. For businesses it can be a powerful marketing tool to send a message to consumers when they are in the right spot to take action. Don’t you want to be the first nail salon to pop up on someone’s phone at the exact moment when a woman thinks about a manicure? And, while she is walking down your block?
Although these location-based services have been around for a few years now, most businesses have only scratched the surface of their potential. I advise all businesses that have a physical location, such as barber shops and hair salons, to take note and do low cost experiments to see if it can be effective way to attract more business.
Here are a few tips to consider if you want to add a tool like Foursquare…
1) Play around with it yourself. You can’t learn how to ride a bike by just reading a book. You have to hop on the seat and start pedaling. It is the same thing with tools like foursquare. I recommend that you sign up for an account and use it as a consumer first. When you sit down at a restaurant, open up your foursquare account and attempt to check-in. The app will guide you step by step what to do. Just give it try.
2) Make sure that you claim and update your profile. Most likely, your business already has a profile. You just have to claim your business in order to make sure your information is complete. It is also a good idea to add the correct category label (i.e. barber and hair salon vs. un-categorized) to be found more easily.
3) Offer a special. Make it worth your clients while to spread the word about your business. Both paid (discounts) or non-paid (special acknowledgement) incentives can work. You can consider something like bring 2 friends to a barber and get 10% off. Reward new clients with free conditioner on a 1st check-ins. Special note: The businesses that offer specials stand out from the rest so go ahead and try one.
4) Post signage in your salon. You don’t really want to have to tap a client under the dryer and say “did you check in yet?” But, you can display visible signage as they come in to remind them that checking in will be rewarded. Just like with your Facebook page and YouTube channel, you need to continue to remind your clients to participate with you on social media.
The final scoop
Word of mouth in 2011 includes giving your clients tools to spread the word about you before they even before they walk out your door. The next wave of tools allows customers to passively check-in after making a purchase. Claim your venues and test it out.