44% of beauty salons view social media as biggest opportunity for growth

A survey from global salon supplies wholesaler SimplyHair has found that beauty salons are prioritising their social media growth, more so than website development, to drum up new business opportunities.

Alongside the development in social media, the survey also found that upksilling in new services and treatments, as well as retailing, are also key this year as salons up and down the country re-open.

Social media marketing for salon owners

44% of respondents said they are focusing on growing their businesses’ social media profile this year, while 35% of hair professionals see growing their social media profile as offering the biggest opportunities for business growth, with nine out of ten (89%) salon owners believing that social media presence has a strong or very strong influence on how a client chooses a salon.

Additionally, 78% of beauty and hair professionals agree that a strong social media following will help them to attract higher-paying clientele, and justify charging more for current services. The survey suggests social media platforms are more important for business growth than a company website, as less than a tenth (9%) of salon professionals’ primary business focus is website development.

The value placed on social media is also influencing other areas of business investment such as branding and aesthetics. 85% of salon professionals believe that brand look and salon design influence or strongly influence a client’s choice of salon, and 86% agree that high quality photography helps to attract higher-paying clientele or justifies charging more for current services.

Three quarters (75%) of respondents agree that “Instagrammable” salon interiors will help them to attract higher-paying clientele and charge more for current services. As a result, 1 in 10 (12%) salon owners are focusing on updates for their salon’s interior design this year.

Upskilling in specialist treatments and services

After social media, the most common area that business owners are prioritising is technical skills. 16% are interested in learning new technical skills, and 88% of respondents agree or strongly agree that offering a wider range of specialist services helps to attract higher-paying clientele or justifies charging more for current services.

Professionals agree that showcasing technical talent also helps to attract new clients, with 94% believing that before and after pictures influence or strongly influence how consumers choose a salon.

Retailing

The past 12 months saw many beauty and hair professionals start to sell products and DIY kits online, to ease the financial loss of store closures and diversify revenue streams. However, the survey suggests growing an ecommerce offering is not a future trend for the sector. Less than a tenth (9%) of professionals are primarily focusing on establishing an online shop this year and even fewer (7%) see an online store as their salon’s biggest growth opportunity.

Salon owners are also selling aftercare products as an opportunity to increase profits across the wider business. Almost three quarters (74%) of respondents agree that selling high quality aftercare products helps to attract higher-paying clientele and justifies charging more for current services.

Why are salons focusing on social media, upskilling and retail?

Commenting on the findings, Amy Filippaios, founder of SimplyHair, says: “The survey confirms that there’s been a steady increase in the use of social media over the past few years, with many hair and beauty businesses using social media accounts as their online shop front, rather than developing their own website,” she says.

She continued: “During the pandemic, use of social media as a whole increased and for in the hair industry it became a primary channel of communication to keep in touch with clients while salons were closed. Having seen the value first hand, it makes perfect sense that professionals want to continue developing their platforms and prioritise investment in social media to sustain business growth.

“Salon owners have also recognised the importance of elements including quality photography, branding and digital advertising, which naturally support social media activity. Improving salon aesthetics is also a priority, as well as being a source of social media content and backdrop for photographs, interiors help to build a memorable brand and appeal to consumers who seek shareable experiences,” she added.