How to Have an Effective Grooming Business Facebook Page

 

 

Fb

When I started my business a few years back, I decided to have a Facebook page. I'm glad I did. When I ask new customers how they heard about us, many (including a frail looking man well into his 80's!)  will say, "I saw you on Facebook." I receive quite a lot of positive feedback about my page. Grooming industry educator and writer Mary Oquendo has given the address of my page out to groomers more than once as a positive example of an engaging business page. Mary says, "A good Facebook page will be an extension of your business. It's like your card, but you can constantly update it to show how you want your business to be represented." 

What are some key elements to creating and maintaining a compelling FB page for your grooming business? Here is what I have found works well for me:

Logo.

  • Promote your "brand."  Do you have a logo for your business? Have it prominently displayed at the top of the page.
  • Use an eye catching header photograph. Mine shows a nicely groomed dog, looking relaxed and happy, lying on the floor. You can glimpse a rocking chair in the background, which echoes the rocker in my logo. The photograph is not professional, but it is clean, clear, crisp and compelling.
  • Make sure you fill out all the pertinent contact information, so if someone wants to book an appointment or ask for more information, it is easy for them to reach out to you.
  • Decide what sort of message you want potential customers to receive from your page. For me, I want them to see happy dogs, professionally groomed, and get a cozy, homey feeling about my place. I try to post images and information that reflect this.
  • Make sure you complete the "our story," section of the page. Here is where you set the tone, and let people know what area you serve.
  • Post often. I strive to post something each day. I often fail, but I do manage to get new items posted several times a week. Experts suggest posting 3-4 times a day.
  • When I photograph a customers pet, I ask if I may post the photo on my page. Only one customer ever refused. Legally, if you took a photograph of your work, you are able to use it, but it's nice manners to ask. I never post the animals "full," name. For instance, I wouldn't post a poodle and have it say, "This is Muffy Smith from Your town, Your state." But I might say, "Muffy looks adorable after her grooming appointment."
  • I post mostly head shots of the dogs, because this is what people respond to; cute, expressive, faces.  The average pet owner is not likely to be impressed if I nail the proper breed outline, but if they see a dog with twinkling eyes and perked ears, they tend to get that, "Awwww!" feeling.
  • Invite people to respond to your posts. If you get folks commenting on things you put up on your page, it boosts your engagement, and this good when it comes to FB statistics and traffic.  You can do this by inviting people to add a caption to a photo, or asking for suggestions to something you put up.
  • Post short videos. People love them!  Do a quick video tour of your work space, or show a dog doing it's happy dance after it's grooming is complete. They are easy to make using your smart phone and you will be amazed how well received they are.
  • When you take pictures of dogs that you may wish to put up on your page, take a moment to whisk the hair off the table, put your tools away, and move any back ground clutter.  That shop vacuum you have is a very important tool, but it does not look nice in the back ground of a cute picture. Also, think about what you are using to restrain the pet. Many pet owners are put off by the look of grooming loops and belly bands. Think about how the picture will be received by non-grooming people.
  • Mix things up. If I read an interesting or entertaining article about pets, I will post it. One of my most frequently viewed posts ever (27,000!)  was a cartoon about telling dogs a knock knock joke. I  do think twice before I post cartoons, avoiding politics and religion, and trying my best to never offend any readers.
  • I attempt to post articles with seasonal, educational interest. For example, in the summer, this might be something about how hot pavement can be dangerous when walking your dog. In the winter, it might be about how to care for pets feet after walking on roads that have sand and salt applied.
  • I live in an area that attracts many summer visitors. I will be posting information about pet friendly destinations to be of interest to tourists as the days grow longer.
  • If you have employees, use FB to catch them doing something wonderful and tell your readers about it.
  • Have a contest. People love them!
  • You can easily create polls on Facebook. This is another good way to boost engagement.

Busy groomers often don't have time to do a lot of self promotion, but Facebook makes it fairly easy to set up a page one time, and then simply and quickly add content. I have learned to post pictures on the fly, in between grooming dogs, and you can, too.

One added benefit that I did not take into account when I set my page up is that existing customers will often see a post and be reminded to call to set up an appointment. Often someone will respond to a post, "Oh that dog is cute. I'll call tomorrow to set my pup up." 

If you'd like to peek at my page, you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/fairwindsgroomingstudio/ 

See you on line!

 

 

 

 


Six Free or Cheap Ways to Find New Customers

A well known rule of business is that it is easier to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones. For this reason, it is important that groomers take care to build relationships with their customers. Even for those who have an excellent customer retention rate, all of us need to find new customers from time to time. Here are 6 ideas for ways to get the word out about what you have to offer to new customers. 

  1. Be a walking billboard. A grooming friend of mine designed really stylish shirts and a jacket with her bright, eye catching logo and business name. She wore them out and about, and they were serious conversation starters. Studies show that the average adult has an attention span of just 6-8 seconds to have their interest captured. So, if you are wearing a snazzy shirt emblazoned with your business name and logo, and someone asks you about it, it's a win.  You then have approximately 60 seconds to tell them about your business before they tune out.  Experts suggest that business owners formulate and practice a blurb about what they want people to know about their work that is 60 seconds or less.  Imagine this; you are wearing a jacket or ball cap with your logo and name on it. Someone notices and asks you about it. You are prepared with a quick, enthusiastic explanation of what you have to offer them. And you also have...
  2. A really nice business card.  Many groomers I know try to pinch pennies when they buy cards. I think this is a big mistake. Even really expensive business cards are not a huge investment. An eye catching business card, well designed with all the important information a potential customer needs to get in touch with you in a wise investment in your future. In many cases your card is the very first impression people will have of you. Hand those things out everywhere!  If you are walking your dog and talk to another dog owner, give them a card. If you meet a new person, give them a card. Say you are at a business that has a bulletin board, put a couple cards up there. 
  3. Network with other pet care professionals.  Doggy day care providers, pet photographers, dog walkers, trainers and more can be potential partners. Offer to recommend their services if they recommend yours. You can get a group of pet related businesses together and host a public event to educate people about the services all of you offer. You can also share links on web sites and on social media. This is a huge win/win for all parties involved, and a great way to target the pet owning public. 
  4. Speaking of social media, a 2015 study showed that more than 2/3's of adults engage in social media. You might be surprised at the wide range of people you can reach this way. I recently had a man in his 80's tell me he found my business after someone referred to me on Facebook. Choose a few formats that appeal to you, and publish content often. The more you post photos and interesting information, the greater chance you have of your posts being shared. This is free advertising that has long reaching impact. 
  5. Give something away. People love to get something for nothing. Try offering a free add-on service with grooms for a period of time. Some suggestions are: a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment, a seasonal facial, a paw treatment or  upgraded spa package. These services don't cost much to offer, but can attract new customers to try your business. 
  6. Give a nail clinic.  This month my business will be at the local fire house where a low cost rabies clinic will be held. We will do nail trims for a $10 donation, and all the money raised will go to help support the volunteer fire department. You can do something similar. Many rescue organizations hold public events throughout the year. If you can arrange to do a nail trim clinic there you can meet a lot of pet loving people, and raise money for a worthy cause at the same time. 

As groomers, our advertising efforts should be focused very locally. This makes it easier for us to reach potential customers. Beyond my suggestions, brainstorm ways to target the customers you seek within your community.