Sticks and Stones…
The internet is the first place people turn to when they need information, and that includes looking up your salon. And, with the advancement of technology, not only is the internet a person’s first thought, it is right in the palm of their hand wherever they go, meaning everything about your salon is more accessible than ever before.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to not only care about what is said about your salon online, but to actively manage the perception the public has of your business, because what is said about your salon online can hurt you.
Now, let’s get to the reasons why you must manage your online reputation…
What Defines You
In today’s day and age, what is said about you on the internet is what defines you.
But what comprises your salon’s online reputation? It includes everything from customer reviews down to your employees’ personal online activity.
And while nothing on the internet every really goes away, it can be diluted with the story you want the public to see. You have the opportunity to write your own narrative and have people see exactly what you want them to.
Bad reviews happen, but it’s important to remember that getting a bad review is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s an opportunity to showcase your salon’s customer service skills and show current and prospective clients that you are doing everything in your power to correct any errors. But handling bad reviews is only one piece of the equation. You also want to encourage positive reviews, which can be a more difficult task. Customers are more inclined to voice their opinion when they feel they’ve been wronged than when everything runs smoothly. You may need to encourage, incentivize, and even walk your customers through the process of leaving a positive review. While this may feel like extra work piled on top of an already busy workload of running a business, it will pay off in the long run.
Any televised or printed news stories about your company, including press releases or public relations and media spots, can impact the public perception of your salon. While this may not impact every salon, it should shed some light on the influence media attention has. If your salon hasn’t had any press in the past, make a point of trying to acquire some. Getting out in the community and getting involved is a great way to start doing this.
Social Media...Everyone's Favorite 🙂
Like any other online channel, social media posts can be difficult to manage. If you have social media pages, it is likely that customers will post comments and reviews to that page letting other potential customers know about their experience, whether that was good or bad. Your salon’s social media platforms can work with you or against you, and sometimes both. While reviews cannot be removed from Facebook pages, for example, just like with review sites, bad reviews can be buried with more good ones. What social media does offer, though, is an opportunity to directly interact with your salon’s clientele in an informal way. It also allows you to continue the narrative of your brand story and develop your brand’s personality through consistent posts and responses to followers.
Employees and Personal Reputation
What your employees say and do online, regardless of whether it is about your salon or not, has an impact on your business. They are representatives of your salon and, as such, are a reflection of it.
However, current and former employees also have the ability to express comments and opinions about your business on social media and job board sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Whether founded or not, negative comments made by employees on the internet have an impact on how customers view your salon. Generally, customers want to do business with a company that treats their employees well, and if they get even an inkling that that may not be the case, they are likely to stop coming to your salon.
Salon owners must also be careful with their personal reputation both online and offline, including what is posted on social media or any legal or financial issues they are involved with.
While some of these factors may be out of a salon owner’s control, maintaining an open dialogue with employees about the effects of their actions can help mitigate any damage.
4 Good Reasons to Manage Your
Online Reputation 🌟
1. People Will “Google” You
As previously mentioned, the internet is the first place people turn to for information, and it is readily available at consumers’ fingertips. If customers can find you, they will. That alone is reason enough to take stock of and manage your salon’s online reputation.
2. Build Trust
Customers buy from companies they trust. Managing your online reputation helps to build that trust over time.
3. Brand Awareness
If your salon is relatively new or unknown, having an online presence can go a long way to building brand awareness for your company. After all, if people don’t know anything about your company or even where to find you, they won’t be booking any services.
4. No Reputation vs. Bad Reputation
In the event your salon encounters bad press or negative customer reviews, the best way to manage it is to bury it with good news. But not being present is not the answer. Just like with credit, no online history can be just as damning as bad online history.
The best way to manage your salon’s online reputation is to be proactive. Make sure your salon is equipped with a user-friendly website that includes a blog, have social media channels covered and actively engage with followers, and manage and respond to online reviews. You can utilize a reputation management software to monitor online activity about your salon or have a public relations firm manage your salon’s reputation for you. Either route you choose, know that sitting on the sidelines and watching your salon’s reputation take on a life of its own is not an option. The image your salon gives off to consumers is too important to take a backseat approach.