Today it is necessary for most businesses to have a website in order to compete with others in their industry. Websites are effective marketing tools which help businesses spread the word about what they do, engage with new customers, and ultimately make more money in their field. Without a website, the chances of your business being selected over another are slim. Most people first turn to the internet when they are in search of a good or a service, and if your business does not have a web presence, than you are not competing well with others who offer similar services.
Hair salons are a great example of how digital media and digital marketing can make or break a business. We recently visited several hair salons in New York City and then compared their online presence to see who was competing the best and drawing in the most new clients. We choose three different salons, all with varying levels of online activity. The first, we will call salon A did not have a website or any online activity. You could find their address and several yelp reviews when you googled them, but that was about it. Salon B had a website and a Facebook page, but both were out of date and you could tell that they had not been updated in some time. Salon C had an active website with a news feed, updates from the salon, and was active on social media outlets. We went in to talk to the owners or managers of these three salons so we could get a chance to
Salon A: Salon A reported to us that they had many returning customers, but rarely saw a new customer. When new customers did come in, it was usually either because they accept drop ins and someone just walks in from the street, or because they were directly referred by one of their current clients.
Salon B: Salon B reported that they have new customers each month, but not many. Some of these people find them online and like the services they offer, while others are referred to them by a returning customer.
Salon C: Salon C, is a salon with a strong web presence and digital marketing strategy reports seeing new customers nearly every day. They run monthly specials for things like an introductory haircut, discounts on coloring, etc., which they post on their website and circulate through social media. They also post stories every couple of days offering hair tips to their clients, which help to establish them as experts in their field. They post interviews also with their hair stylists to highlight their expertise and help people choose the right hair stylist and book an appointment through their simple online booking application.
The result? Salon C saw the most new clients on a day to day basis. Most of their clients had found them online and said that they decided to come into their salon because of an online deal, and many of them stayed and became returning clients. It is clear that having a good website design helped this salon grow and expand its business.