With many salon doors back open, and more set to return soon, beauty is back in business.
After a year away from the salons, clients are eager to get back to their beauty therapists. A recent social listening exercise found that pampering and beauty therapy was the public’s number one priority once restrictions ease – ranking above going to the pub, eating at a restaurant, and rated as more hotly anticipated that seeing family, friends and loved ones.
With the right preparation your business could be set for a bumper beauty summer. To help our network of skincare professionals make the most of this as they build back from a challenging year, we’re sharing tips geared to help you excel in the new normal.
Level-up your social strategy.
For many beauty professionals, lockdown proved the incredible importance of social media as a tool for skincare businesses. When we asked our network, it was the most popular way you kept in contact with customers over lockdown (45%) and heading back to business it remains a powerful tool to help you connect and grow.
Mastering the nuances of Instagram and Facebook can seem like a daunting task, but it is now a non-negotiable business necessity. To help you elevate your social media, here are some top tips to get you started.
Showcase your salon online and start a conversation
Combine marketing assets with content that you create yourself, to showcase your salon experience to the world. Your followers love to see behind the scenes imagery and videos, these will help them discover more about who you are and what to expect when they come into the salon.
Always finish with a call to action, giving your followers a chance to ask questions and for you to engage with them. Examples could be: "What is your favourite Environ® face masque? Comment below" or "How is your skin feeling today?"
Take time to create a plan of what you are going to share. Think about your business aesthetic and colour story too. Instagram is all about scroll-stopping content.
Collating content is a team effort. Create a WhatsApp group and encourage therapists to take ‘Before and After’ photos of clients’ skin journeys*, and to share content inspiration that would look amazing on your social media. Create an area in the salon where there is good lighting and a clear background to take new images. Your photos can be shared on the WhatsApp group, creating a bank of ready-to-post content.
* Make sure you have your clients consent to share imagery of them first.
Growing your social media presence is crucial in today's digital world. Did you know that 81% of Instagram's users research products and services on the platform? This doesn't have to be time consuming: scheduling apps allow you to upload and schedule content ahead of time, leaving you to get on with business. You can be busy looking after your clients whilst the app does all the hard work. Just make sure to reply to comments and build that community feeling.
If you want your content to be scene to a larger audience and attract new followers, then you need to up your Hashtag game. Use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase to ensure content is seen by people searching for related content. Use hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting about and make sure you tag the relevant brands @advancednutritionprogramme , @janeiredale_uk and @environskincare). Include #iiaacommunity so we can see your fabulous work!
Behind the scenes
Our sales and PRP teams share their top business tips to help you refine a strategy for success and adapt to operating in the new normality.
- Have you found that people are available at different times now? It might be time to review your trading hours and staff rotas to suit new trading patterns. Now more people are working from home, your trading patterns may have adjusted. Some people may not have a commute to work now, so could come in at 8am where they couldn’t before. Others may live close by and can come in on their lunch break, which they couldn’t do when they were at the office. Consider what adjustments you can make to ensure you have the right opening hours and staffing levels.
- Continue to offer your clients the F4 service so if they cannot come to salon, they can still have a virtual consultation, a personalised experience and continue on their skincare journey with you.
- Create pre-payment packages and treatment plans to secure revenue up front and ensure client footfall for the months ahead. Check consultation notes for clients before they arrive and plan (with your therapists) what products to target to maximise their results. Surprise and delight returning clients with something special to create spending opportunities from each visit.
- Consider running virtual consultations with clients before treatments, saving valuable turnaround time during Covid-19 restrictions. Fill white spaces in the diary with these consultations to drive productivity. Research has shown 46% of beauty consumers would still prefer digital or video consultations post-lockdown.
- Link up and network with local businesses, such as a hairdressers or coffee shops to upgrade the client experience and keep them shopping and thinking local, driving footfall to your area.
- Network on your local Facebook community groups so you will be first to mind when people are looking for recommendations and you can network with new clients. Eligible salons can join the iiaa network Facebook group, the Skin Conversation, to network with other skincare businesses, share ideas and boost each other’s morale.