Salons are naturally social places, but that didn’t always translate into an effective online social presence -- at least until L’Oreal stepped in. L’Oreal USA Professional Products Division partnered with Buddy Media, which creates enterprise social software, to provide salons with access to a suite of social media tools to connect with customers and expand their businesses via social media.
The tools created by Buddy Media for L’Oreal helped salons enhance their own Facebook pages with how-to videos, an appointment booking service, and (of course) production and service information about the various L'Oreal USA PPD brands the salons carry, including Lancome, Garnier, L'Oreal Professionnel, Kiehl’s, and Redken. The online infrastructure also allows L'Oreal to track social engagement and furnish content to participating salons.
The Salon Facebook program, which was recently recognized with a Forrester Groundswell award, has produced 21 million impressions and 2.2 million engagements, with some salons seeing additional sales of up to $4,000 as a result of salon promotions done through the program.
The program is expected to include about 6,000 salons, reaching approximately 1.7 million consumers, by the end of the year.
Salons in general are big business: one recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau pegs total revenues generated by salons and spas from services and product sales at $35 billion, including $19 billion from roughly 80,000 hair and beauty salons. According to the Salon Industry Association, half of U.S. women visit hair salons once every six to eight weeks, and just under three quarters visit nail salons every two weeks. The average salon visit lasts from 30-60 minutes.
Not surprisingly, salons are increasingly popular platforms for various kinds of advertising, both online and offline. In place-based media, a number of digital out-of-home video networks are also targeting salon-goers, including Itandi Networks, Toni & Guy Media, Retail Digital Networks, The Salon Channel, and LaVish Channel.