Review sites – love ‘em, or hate ‘em, it’s a social platform every salon owner must pay close attention to. During my social media trainings with stylists and salon owners the topic of review sites often raises heated debates. Some owners have great success with review sites and work hard to capitalize on positive reviews where some tend to avoid the topic and brush off the negative reviews.
Online recommendations and reviews allow potential customers to gain perspective on your salon’s service - but there is no one monitoring the good and the bad you may be losing new business.
The best way to take control of these situations is to be aware of your review atmosphere! The three most popular salon review sites are Google Reviews, Yelp, and City Search. These sites provide a platform for clients to exchange stories, recommend a salon, or vent about a bad experience.
Here are the steps we recommend taking when it comes to managing your online review sites:
1. Know What’s Being Said:
With your online reputation, awareness is key. I often work with salon owners who (at first) have no idea what is being said about them online! I suggest going back to the basics and first conduct a simple Google search for your salon and see what pops up. Review sites actually pull to the top of Google ranking, meaning, this could be the first impression a new client sees when searching for your salon online.
So, then what? The next steps in the awareness process is to also take a look at the three major review sites out there: Yelp, CitySearch and Google. It’s best to know what is being said about your salon on all three sites…and trust me, in most cases, there are reviews posted, good, bad and unfortunately some times ugly. Now that you know they exist – what’s next?
2. Claim Your Location:
Now it’s time to claim your salon location on each review site. Each site has a "claim this location" or "are you the owner" link. By clicking on the applicable link, the site will lead you through the process of verifying you are owner, and then allow you to manage the account. You can now begin to monitor what’s being said, and post feedback as the salon owner or representative. Once you have access, get ready to spruce up your online profile.
3. Build Your Profile:
When you build up your page with pictures, hours, pricing, and product information for your salon clients can view your review site and have a better feel for what your salon offers. Search engines also pick up on this information, so be sure to make your online profile robust with content.