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11 Best Salon Marketing Strategies Right Now

Table of Contents

salon owner posing in front of products in salon
Let’s face it—from COVID shutdowns to mask mandates, the past few years have been tumultuous for everyone in the salon industry. If you find that you are struggling to build (or rebuild) your salon book of business, you’re not alone. For one thing, your industry is already huge, and it’s still growing! These recent Gitnux salon industry statistics show that:
  • The salon industry is projected to grow from $216 billion in 2022 to over $355 billion in 2029
  • The global haircare market hit $87 billion last year, over $47 billion in the U.S. alone
  • There were over 1.3 million people employed as hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists worldwide in 2023
  • There were more than 86,000 beauty salons in the USA in 2021, and more than 218,000 hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologist in the United States in 2022
  • You also have online competitors for professional sales; nearly 13% of Beauty and Personal Care market revenue was generated online last year
In an industry this size, understanding how to market your beauty salon effectively has never been more important. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of time, the salon marketing strategies below will help put your business on the map (in some cases, literally!) and make sure it stands out from the competition.

6 Online Salon Marketing Strategies to Build Your Web Presence

From clients doing online searches and checking out salon reviews to booking appointments online, developing a strong online brand presence is a must. This includes having digital content that you can control and manage, as well as leveraging tools and apps that make it easy for clients to get onto your calendar, refer friends and loved ones to your salon, and leave rave reviews about your business.

Publish a Website

This probably sounds obvious, but you can’t get found online if your business isn’t online. A website – even just a one-page website – is the hub for your online presence. It’s also just about the only online marketing strategy where you get to control all of the content displayed about your salon. What’s more, with today’s artificial intelligence (AI) website builders, you don’t need special skills to create a website that looks professional and feels like “you,” in a matter of minutes. Here are my top two picks for salon AI website builders right now:
  • Wix: $16 a month gets you a website on a custom domain name (e.g., and access to a ton of built-in functionality. Use built-in AI to create a website in minutes and get add-ons for online booking, payments, and more (visit Wix).
  • Hostinger: The most budget friendly way to get an AI website on a custom domain, Hostinger gives you a domain name and it’s AI website builder (with ecommerce and online scheduling) for $2.99 a month the first year (paid up front) and just $8.99 a month afterward (visit Hostinger).
There are other ways to get a website, such as through salon booking or payment software. While this may be tempting (especially if it’s “free”), keep in mind that if you change providers, you’ll lose your website and domain name. Since it’s such a critical component of building your brand’s online presence, I recommend staying in control of your website and domain name by using a standalone website builder like Wix or Hostinger instead.

Create Business Listings on Google and Yelp (and Get Reviews)

Have you ever wondered how Google decides which salons get those coveted placements in the “map pack” in search results? It’s all down to having a great Google business page. Even if you don’t create any other online listing for your business, make sure you create one on Google! To make it great and move your listing up in search results, here’s what you need to do:
  1. Create your free Google business listing (you might need to sign up for a free Google account first)
  2. Add photos and videos of your business (Google likes visual media!)
  3. Add your hours of operation, driving directions to your salon, your business phone number, and a link to your website
  4. Fill out all the information you can; the more info you add, the more likely Google is to show your listing in relevant search results
  5. Get clients to leave reviews for your salon—ask at each appointment, send text reminders, use station talkers and signs at the point of sale, and so on
If you’re game for adding more online listings to give clients other ways to find and research your salon, a Yelp business listing is another great option. Like Google, it’s free, and Yelp listings are often shown in online search results. Getting positive reviews on Yelp also benefits your salon and gives customers reasons to choose you over competitors, and you can repurpose all the same information and visuals you used on your Google page.
woman at front desk of spa

Build Your Salon’s Credibility

The reputation of your salon doesn’t start and end with customer reviews! In fact, there are things you can do to build the credibility of your salon that are fully within your control, such as:

  • Joining your local Chamber of Commerce and displaying a membership badge on your website and in your salon
  • Showcasing qualifications like your business license, accreditations, industry association memberships
  • Highlighting continuing education completed as well as any niche certifications you have
  • Leveraging business tools like your salon liability insurance to instill confidence in your clients

Be Present and Participate on Socials

Technically, business profiles you create on social channels are also business listings, so they help expand your brand presence online. However, the nature of most social media platforms also makes them conducive to client interaction, engagement, education, attraction, and more.

But some are more important than others for salon marketing strategies, simply due to the ability to reach large numbers of people that fit within your target audience. Here are some of the top options for salons right now:

  • Facebook: Facebook (aka Meta) is the most-used social media channel by far, giving you the ability to connect with and advertise to reach whatever your target audience is at a low cost.
  • Instagram: Owned by Facebook, Instagram is best for engaging your audience with visual assets (photos, photo carousels, videos, and so on). Think of it as a “look book” for your work.
  • TikTok: TikTok is a great tool for reaching a younger client base and you can use it to build educational videos like how-to’s and product overviews. But if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed with all the options, keep in mind that you can create educational videos on Facebook and Instagram as well, and keep your social channels down to just one or two.

Use SMS and Email to Communicate

A lot of online booking apps include the ability to send text and email reminders to your clients. However, there’s nothing stopping you from getting more out of SMS text and email as a salon marketing strategy.

For example, you could send a short monthly message letting customers know about a new product or one that has a special offer. That way when they arrive for their appointment, they may be more open to adding on services or buying products from you as it won’t feel like a cold pitch.

Some specific ways to use SMS text and email to promote your salon include:

  • A welcome email to new clients
  • Appointment reminders
  • Announcing holiday closures or changes to your hours of operation
  • Promoting limited time offers or events
  • Introducing new services or products
  • Gamifying rewards, such as notifying a client how to level up to their next reward

Offer Referral and Loyalty Rewards

Online loyalty and referral rewards can be great at incentivizing service and retail purchases as well as that all-important word of mouth marketing. As with other types of salon software for booking or online payments, these types of programs may be available to you in apps or software you already use, making it super-easy to build loyalty and get referrals from your existing clients.

people in a salon looking at a phone

5 Offline Salon Marketing Ideas to Attract and Engage

Having online marketing strategies in place to promote and grow your salon is a must, but not all marketing has to happen online. For example, you can use education and incentives when the client is in the chair to increase product sales and get clients in the habit of booking out months in advance. Here are some proven salon marketing ideas to employ:

Continually Educate Your Clients

It’s not always easy to talk about salon products or services that your client needs. But since they do need them, aren’t you doing a disservice to the client if you fail to talk about them?

Make giving consultative advice a regular part of your service routine both toward the beginning and at the end. Tell the client about each product you’re using and why you chose it (chances are they are going to want to reproduce the look or effect at home!)

Make sure your client understands what they have at risk or will lose by not following your advice. Sometimes fear of losing something is a more powerful decision driver than even the most potent features and benefits!

Use Incentives to Lock In 6-Month Scheduling

Wouldn’t you love knowing for sure that your client is coming back every few weeks for the next 6-12 months? You can use simple incentives like a free product add-on, gift card, or a retail discount to get clients to commit and book appointments for the foreseeable future.

This removes the added hassle of rebooking at each appointment. Plus, it ensures your client gets their preferred appointment time, decreases customer churn, and eliminates the problem of forgetting to rebook at a service appointment.

Send Targeted Print Ads

Postcards and door hangers are great low-cost options for attracting clients in specific neighborhoods. Postcards are inexpensive and allow you to target and attract new salon customers by zip code or some other type of mailing list.

Door hangers are best thought of as a micro salon marketing strategy that allows you to target the neighborhoods where your ideal clients are clustered.

This can help your salon attract people who are likely to want specific types of services or who would be more willing to spend a bit more on salon products or services.

Get Involved and Give Back

Many customers are looking for more than products and services with the businesses they buy from today. They might even learn about your salon because of the community or charitable causes you decide to champion. From “going green” initiatives to givebacks, get involved with causes that speak to you—because chances are, they’ll speak to your customers, too.

Test Out Collaborations

Collaborating on events or givebacks is a great way to extend your marketing reach. This could be as simple as participating in local business events, developing referral partnerships with other businesses, doing pop-ups, or tapping local micro-influencers for added buzz about your salon.

Common Questions About Salon Marketing

What’s the best way to promote my hair salon?

One of the best ways to promote your hair salon is to build word of mouth. You can do this using referral rewards or incentives as well as by getting positive customer reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other platforms.

You can also get more word of mouth from salon clients by getting them to engage with or even share your social media content with their connections. Even inviting them to check in on your salon’s Wi-Fi can send a positive social signal that gives your salon more brand awareness and affinity.

What’s the best way to attract customers to my salon?

There are many ways to attract salon customers. You can advertise on social media or direct mail postcards to build brand awareness and extend special offers to new customers. You can also leverage word of mouth from your existing customers and increase your salon’s credibility with positive online reviews, association memberships, and business tools like insurance.

How can I increase client retention and loyalty?

Customer churn is a salon killer! On the flip side, client retention and loyalty are key for long-term success in the salon industry. Salon marketing strategies that support retention and loyalty include client education as well as loyalty rewards. In addition, getting clients to purchase products from your salon increases loyalty, especially when the products aren’t readily available elsewhere.

Did you know? Beauty and Bodywork Insurance has just launched monthly payments for salon liability insurance! Check out our press release announcing BBI’s new monthly payment option.

We want you and your business to thrive! These aren’t the only salon marketing strategies you can try, but they are definitely among the most important right now. Making the investment of time in promoting your salon and building a strong brand is essential for your salon’s long term success.

Looking for more ways to grow your salon? You might also like:

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