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When it comes to digitally marketing your salon/spa, its services and products, it comes down to two things—trust and traffic, Marketing 360's Luke Barnes says. 

Barnes should know, as Marketing 360 is a marketing platform that helps small business owners access all the tools they need for digital marketing, including analytics, content development, website development, SEO, social media and reputation management.  

“You build trust through how your website and your ads look, how quickly you respond to inquiries and what other people are saying about you online,” he adds. “Typically when consumers are ready to buy, 35% of them will look for social proof—what your community says about you and how you interact with them—to confirm they are making a good decision.” 

Salons also need traffic, according to Barnes—that’s today’s word of mouth. “You can generate traffic by reaching out to current clients about a new product through an email campaign, boosting your website’s SEO and making sure you are on the first page of a Google search, or you can do it through a paid ad, for example a Facebook ad, a digital billboard or a commercial on Pandora. Experiment with different ads and see what kind of traffic you get.”

The way to gain both trust and traffic is through content development. “In our digital world, we consume so much content, and consume it so quickly, we’re always searching for what’s new and relative.”

Developing content can be as simple as going on Facebook and talking about the local prom and how excited your team is to make memories for people. Or an email campaign that tells clients about a new product and giving them a special offer. 

“Anytime you can solve a problem for people for free—it’s good content. Think about where you can share tips, tricks, beauty strategies and beauty product solutions,” Barnes says.  

But where digital content is really powerful is video. Give your community live action video that shows them what it looks and feels like to be a guest in your salon. 

“At the end of the day, people do business with brands because of their people—so highlight your employees in the video by having them demonstrate a hairstyle, talk about a favorite product or share why they love to work at your salon,” Barnes advises. “Not only does that get clients to do business with you, it’s a great employee retention strategy. Everyone loves when they feel like a star.”

Ask clients to give you a review on Google, Yelp or Facebook. Barnes advises sending clients an email after their service asking for a thumbs up or thumbs down. If they give you a thumbs up, reply with some helpful links to your review sites. 

“If they give a thumbs down, email or call them to find out what went wrong,” Barnes says. “Give them a chance to air their concerns before they visit a review site.”

If you do get a bad review though, Barnes cautions, the worst thing you can do is nothing. People expect that mistakes will happen at businesses, but they are looking to see how you handle them—whether explaining what happened or taking action to make it right.