Using Social Media and SEO to Fill Your Books

By Kelly Ehlers | 07/16/2012 10:17:00 AM

 

The ultimate salon goal? Bookings.

Meet Kat Ross, co-owner of Sin 7 Salon, who’s found a new way to harness the power of a digital culture to fill her books. What is Kat's secret? S.E.O. – and no, it's not a newly discovered form of life in space, the term S.E.O. stand for Search Engine Optimization and in this blog post we’ll share a bit more on how she’s using social media and S.E.O. to drive traffic to her salon.

"Our website has been largely responsible for bringing in new guests.  We ask each new client how they heard of us, and there are 2 main ways: referrals from other guests, and online searching.   Mainly I will chalk our web guest recruiting success up to the personal, conversational tone of everything we put on the site.   People seem to really connect with that. "

Using her social media outlets and her cunning internet strategy, Kat has managed to start her own salon and watch it blossom in a short span of 2 years!  Located in White Rock, BC,this two-year-old salon is not just young and spunky but also on top of their social media growth. I sat down with co-owner,Kat, and was blown away. Her salon is a great example of a salon professional using their knowledge and skills to market their salon without a large investment.

To start us off Kat, could you tell us a little about Sin 7 Salon?

We (my business partner Courtney Clark and I) were inspired to start the salon after we realized that our perceived lack of career options was really only limited by our imaginations.  Like most salon owners, we wanted to create our ideal workplace: a well-managed, fun, energetic place where stylists are truly supported by the house to achieve all they can in their career, and a salon where we could provide the level of high-touch customer service that we feel our guests deserve.

When you look at social media what is your overall goal with your business?

There are actually a couple of overall goals, the first of which is just cultivating and maintaining our “brand”, and making sure we always have a cohesive feel to everything we do with our online presence.  The other goal with social media is to keep driving the link traffic back to our website, which in turn keeps us higher on search engines so that people can find us when looking for a salon in our area.   Because our website is so friendly and informative and conveys our shop’s personality, when people find it, they usually book with us.  That is the ultimate goal – bookings. 

Your blog is your heaviest social media presence, what is your goal with the blog and where do your content ideas originate?

The goal with our blog content is mostly to inform and entertain, so basically it’s an online extension of our salon’s personality.  We want you to feel like you know us a little bit before you ever walk in the door.  I post about hair and beauty news that I think would be interesting and/or somehow relevant to our demographic as well as how-to’s, giving readers something concrete they can take with them when they click out. Sometimes I just post funny beauty related stuff, but only if it makes me actually, literally LOL.   Ultimately with blogging, I hope it resonates with people and they’ll book in with us.    

 

Facebook is one really great way to promote your blog and website, what are your other tactics?

Twitter has been pretty great for that.  Relative to the rest of Twitter, I have a teeny tiny following but I have a few who will tweet out my blog posts to their thousands of followers, and that always spikes the traffic.  I also send out an e-newsletter to subscribers and will link to the blog posts in that.  Plus I have a big mouth like most hairdressers, right?  So I blab about it to whoever will listen.  I have an iPad at my station and I can boot it right up for them on the spot.

 

What does social media do for your salon?

Social media lets us keep in touch with our clients when they’re between appointments; it keeps us in their face so when the hair gets too long or the color is grown out, we’re top-of-mind.  It drives traffic to our website which helps with SEO.  One thing Twitter (which I do under my own name with a link to the salon site on my profile) has done is lead me to some amazing opportunities to do guest blogging and paid writing. I’ve also had my work featured in a monthly newsletter that went out to over 12,000 people, so that has all been extremely cool for the salon as far as exposure. 

How does your social media affect your SEO? Tell us about your strategy.

We are a very small business and don’t want to pay someone to manage our SEO and keep us on top of Google, so we are strictly DIY.   Part of generating that Google juice, as far as anyone knows, is traffic from outside links to your site.  So, when I write a blog post, I always put a link to it on Facebook and Twitter.   Every hit helps, in my opinion.  It’s not the only thing we do for SEO, but it’s an integral part of our strategy. 

 

What is your favorite social medium for your salon? Why?

At the moment I would have to say Facebook.  It allows me to give up-to-the-moment information to our “fans”, for instance when we have a new blog post up or if we’ve had an appointment become available at the last minute.   When we have an in-salon event I can created a page on FB and invite all of our fans, which is super convenient.   I like that it’s got all of the information people would need right there, too, like our phone number, address, and email address.  It’s a great place to post pictures and I also have a newsletter sign-up form there as well.

 

You just began involving the rest of your stylists. How do you make sure that social media is a collective effort?

Almost everyone contributes in some way.  They check in to our Facebook page to “like,” comment, and post pictures of their work, and we’ve all been playing with Instagram a lot lately.  I have two stylists who are delving in with me on the website; one who is writing on the blog once a week and the other is going to write a monthly blog post.  I love having their voices and energy included in our online presence, and I trust them to be the voice of the salon out there.   Plus, since I work behind the chair 4 days a week as well as doing the usual owner stuff, I found that I needed to suck it up and get help with it all!  Consistency is key with social media so we keep an editorial calendar with deadlines.  It makes it harder to blow off when it’s on your schedule. 

How do you get your clients to interact and become part of the Sin 7 Salon conversation and family?

I just ask them to check it out (FB, Twitter, etc) and encourage them to comment.  If they do, I always reply to comments!  A lot of our guests are not 100% glued to social media like some of us are, so they need to be coaxed out of their shells a little bit.  Also, whenever find out we’ve had someone write up a good review online, we make sure to thank them publicly.  Manners still count in the world. 

So, in a nutshell, WAY TO GO Kat and team at Sin 7 Salon!

If you have read my other blog posts you will understand why Kat truly ‘gets it’ in the world of leveraging social media for her salon. She uses many of the best practice suggestions that are at the heart of a successful online marketing strategy. If we were giving out grades Sin 7 Salon would earn an A++!

Kat has mentions many important tips and steps to take with social media but I think that the most important part is to continue to educate ourselves. In the salon industry we are accustomed to keeping in front of the pack by forever updating our techniques and styles. Social media is the same atmosphere, it is forever changing and those who take the time and educate always come out on top.

Check out Sin 7 Salon

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Sin7Salon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katr_stylist

As always, feel free to contact me at: kehlers@evokebrands.com with any questions or comments.

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About www.StyleSync.me:

Style Sync is an on-line social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed specifically for salon owners and stylists to help them magnify their image and multiply their results.

Style Sync, a division of Evoke Brand Strategies, is an on-line, subscription based social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed to help individual stylists and salon owners turn social media prowess into more clients and more money for your salon.

About www.EvokeBrands.com:

At Evoke Brand Strategies we develop digital, social and mobile strategies for salon professional, beauty, hospitality and entertainment brands. As branding and public relations veterans, yet early adopters of all things digital, we understand the importance of creating measurable, buzz-worthy campaigns that generate bottom-line results.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelly Ehlers

Kelly Ehlers is a recognized leader and expert in social and mobile media for the salon and beauty industry. Her firm, Evoke Brand Strategies, specializes in providing innovative digital solutions for salons, stylists and brands looking to connect with their customers in today’s technology-driven society. By combining traditional PR and relationship building with today’s social platforms, Ehlers bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

Having literally grown up in the industry (her mother was a successful salon owner for 40 years), Ehlers’ unique perspective combines years of PR, marketing and social media knowledge with real-world salon experience. In February 2012, Ehlers launched her newest venture, StyleSync, teaching small businesses, salon owners, stylists and students how to easily utilize social media to grow their businesses and personal brands.

For more, go to www.evokebrands.com, and follow her blog at www.stylesync.me.

 


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