Nail salons face a lot of competition in most cities — not only from other nail salons, but also from spas, hair salons, and other locations that offer nail services. If you want your business to thrive, you have to constantly come up with new nail salon marketing ideas to set yourself apart.
Start with a clear idea of what makes your nail salon unique. What do you do better than anyone else? Are you the cheapest or the most elegant? Is your staff the friendliest, or the fastest, or the best-trained? Maybe your chairs are the most comfortable, or your environment is the most spa-like and relaxing. Know what your main selling points are so that you can promote them clearly and consistently.
Here are 28 fresh nail salon marketing ideas to bring new customers through your doors.
Social Media Ideas
1. Post your work: Ask clients to let you post photos of their beautiful nails when they’re finished. You’ll have a steady stream of great images to share on social media.
2. Mix it up: Include a couple of videos each week, as well as photos. Try using stories or creating reels instead of always posting to your feed.
3. Go Live: Real-time videos get a lot of attention on both Facebook and Instagram. Go live to show a client’s finished work, talk about a promotion, or just show an empty chair that’s waiting for a client to come in and be pampered.
4. Follow your guests: Ask customers to connect with you on social media. Spend 30 minutes a couple of times a week commenting on their posts to build connections.
5. Tag your clients: Don’t miss an opportunity for your posts to show up in your customers’ feeds. Always tag them when you post their nails.
6. Rotate hashtags: Don’t let your hashtags get stale. Pay attention to any new tags you see coming through your feed, and once a month or so, do some quick research and add a few new tags.
7. Stay local: Keep your social media local by including your location, joining local groups, and adding locally-focused hashtags on all your posts.
8. Sponsor a contest: Encourage your customers to show off their nails and tag you in their posts by offering prizes like free services or upgrades.
9. Influencer marketing: Is there a beauty influencer in your local market? Anyone who has tons of followers who admire them could be a great asset for you. Invite them in for free services in exchange for featuring you in their feed — and go all out to wow them.
Online Marketing Ideas
10. Optimize for search: Make a list of the words people might use to find your services online and use them throughout your website. Include words like nails, eyebrow waxing, manicure, pedicure, and also include common variations of your city and metro area name. Make sure these words are in your headings, alt text descriptions of your images, and sprinkled lightly through your text.
11. Upgrade your site: Options for online appointment booking, Google maps, scheduling groups and events, or downloading coupons are affordable and easy to add through most site builders. You can also add instant contact options like phone dialing or chat.
12. Claim your Google my Business listing: This free service helps you appear in Google searches, manage your listings, offer coupons online, and more. Periodically post some of the same images you’re adding to social media on here as well.
13. Run Google ads: You can run ads on Google for as little as a few dollars a week, and you can target a very specific group like women in your city with a specific household income. You pay only if someone clicks on your ad. Constant Contact offers a service that makes creating Google ads easy.
14. Run Facebook and Instagram ads: Like Google ads, these can be targeted to very specific people and you pay only if someone clicks on your ad. You can create social media ads in your Constant Contact account to keep things simple.
15. Collect email addresses: Build an e-mail list and use Constant Contact’s email marketing features to send out regular updates with trends, offers, and seasonal ideas.
16. Ask for reviews: After the appointment, send an e-mail to your customer asking them to leave you a review on Yelp or Google. Include a link since they are more likely to write a review on the spot.
17. Join local groups: Search on Facebook for neighborhood groups and join boards like Nextdoor that will let you post occasional ads. Don’t spam the group, though. It’s better to engage in conversation and become part of the gang.
18. Guest post on blogs: Find a local fashion or mommy blog and offer to write a post about nail trends for them in exchange for a link back to your website. You might even offer their readers a discount.
19. Birthday promos: Offering a free birthday service is a great way to encourage newsletter signups.
Local & In-Store Ideas
20. Encourage referrals: Offer your customers a discount if they refer a friend. Have some discount cards printed with a space on the back to write their name. When a new customer claims the discount, the referrer gets $5 off or a free upgrade.
21. Add a banner: Colorful banners are eye-catching and affordable to print. Use them to promote seasonal discounts in your front window.
22. Sidewalk signs: If your signage isn’t very visible to passing traffic or pedestrians, add a sidewalk sign. Make sure your message is big and easy to read.
23. Loyalty programs: Customers will often bounce around and get their nails done by whoever has a sale going on. Encourage loyalty by giving them a punch card to track their visits and offering a free service every 10 times they visit.
24. Host an art gallery: Invite local artists or students to display their work on your walls for 6-8 weeks at a time, and host an art show for them at the end. They get visibility for their work, and you get to introduce their friends and family to your location. Plus, you get free fresh decor every few weeks.
25. Push your party pricing: Do you have group pricing for bridesmaids, birthday parties, and mom’s-night-out groups? Make sure local groups know about your offer. Post about it prominently in your salon, mention it on social media, and post flyers on public billboards.
26. Partner with other businesses: Any business that isn’t a direct competitor is a potential ally. Create fun bundled packages with other shops that serve your market. Create a fashionista bundle with a local boutique, a Mother’s Day gift basket with a florist, or a pampering package with a massage therapist. Everyone involved can help promote the packages.
27. Host events: Client appreciation nights or open houses help you bring people through the door. Make these events as festive as you can to get people to show up — invite a musician to play, offer snacks, and prize drawings. Hire a fire dancer to perform outside your door. List your event on local calendars and on social media.
28. Hit the fair circuit: Take out a booth at local events that might attract potential customers. Parenting fairs, health fairs, and home shows all attract women who might be looking for a nail salon. Set up a drawing for a free service. Include a space for name and e-mail address on the entry form, along with a checkbox to opt into being added to your e-mail list.
There’s an old saying in marketing that if your business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking. No matter how successful you are, you’ll always have to keep coming up with fresh nail salon marketing ideas to keep your business vibrant and profitable. Try a few new marketing ideas each quarter to keep your nail salon growing.