- Dog Groomers: Boost Your Online Presence with These Essentials
When someone in your town needs a dog groomer, how do they find you? You're right, they go online. Some open the browser and type in something like "dog groomer near me" or "best dog groomer in [your town.] Others go to Facebook, open their local group and ask for recommendations.
Either way, it's important that they find you. Your strong online presence is equivalent to having a well-located dog grooming salon in a popular shopping area with prosperous dog owners.
Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics
When you think about your dog grooming business marketing plan, you might wonder what makes a strong online presence? Can you rely on Facebook and Instagram or do you need a broader web presence? What about texts and emails? How do you communicate with your potential and existing customers?
As a savvy dog groomer, you might wonder what dog grooming business marketing fundamentals you need for success?
Glad you asked!
In this article, we'll cover the 7 online presence fundamentals every successful dog groomer has in place.
In an era where every search starts with the internet, your online presence is essential. Yet, it's more than a matter of having a Facebook or Instagram Page. You also need a quality, modern website, great recommendations, and a solid Google My Business Listing.
In other words, you need a plan. Let's dive in.
Facebook and Instagram are especially important for dog groomers. These are the social media platforms where your customers spend their time.
According to Statista.com, there are 118 million Instagram users as of 2021 with that expected to grow to 127 million in the next two years.
Facebook has nearly 3 BILLION users. It's also easily the place where people can find and recommend you. Every local Facebook Page is a hotbed of local news and yes, recommendations. If your customers can easily tag your Facebook page, then they'll come, check you out, and if it meets their expectations, then request more information or an appointment.
As a dog grooming salon, you have tons of cute content possibilities for your Facebook Page. Whether you create a "dog of the day" or demonstrate some of your techniques, there's no shortage of ideas. One dog groomer I know created buzz around one of her bathtubs because she always takes a picture of the 'big dogs" who visit in the tub. "Can your big dog fit?" has become a marketing tool for her.
What about you? Do you have a specialty you'd like to highlight?
Don't overlook your Google My Business profile. When you claim your Google My Business page, you're able to put in your correct address and telephone number. That way, people can know exactly where you are and how close you are to them. From there, they can pull up the map right on their phone if they're driving and trying to find you.
Google My Business also gives you a place to add quality images to your listing and even customer reviews.
When your Google My Business looks professional and is up-to-date, your dog grooming business looks credible. Plus, Google looks at it as a "vote" for your business and will rank your website higher. You don't need to be a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert to recognize it's better to be at the top of Google than not!
While it might be tempting to skip the website and rely on social media to help your customers to find you, that's a dangerous scenario. There's a popular saying in the marketing world, "don't build your house on rented land." The reason is that algorithms change, businesses get banned for unknown reasons, and no matter how big and engaged your following is if you don't have another way to communicate with them (email, anyone?) then you're at risk of losing them.
That's why every strong online presence incorporates a quality website. It's your "home" online that shows your dog grooming business in its best light Your social media and Google My Business are tools to drive customers to your site. There, they'll discover more information about your dog grooming services and be able to make an appointment.
While SEO is a complex topic, it does help to have relevant words at strategic locations in your web copy. For example, your home page can be called dog grooming in [your city] and your services page can be something like [your city] dog grooming services.
When you incorporate the relevant terms as headlines and in other strategic locations, then your website can rise to the top when people search for "dog groomer near me" and other such terms.
How do you create a positive feeling about your dog grooming business? You give awesome customer service, you have an attractive and clean salon, and yes, of course, you give great dog grooming services. Over time, your brand reputation grows.
If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then you know you need high-quality photos on your website and social media channels. You can hire a photographer for your website and social media banners. After all, they've spent years learning about lighting and composition.
But you want your everyday shots for social media to stand out in the social media feeds too. You probably know that today's smartphones can take great pictures. You can take online classes to discover how to take great photos with it too. You might also be able to hire a staff member who can take good photos for your ongoing social media needs.
What about video? YouTube is the largest search engine after Google. So if you have video skills and want to demonstrate how to clean ears how to detangle fur, it can be a good channel for you.
There's also Facebook Live. It offers the opportunity to talk with your customers in real-time and invite them into the conversation. One dog groomer I spoke with gave Facebook Live tutorials on proper doggie bathing and nail trimming during the COVID lockdowns. When they were able to re-open, they were fully booked not only with their existing customers but also with new ones who'd discovered their helpful videos.
Once you have reviews, you can incorporate them into your website and marketing campaigns so more people see them. You could even screenshot a new review for a Facebook or Instagram post.
Facebook Pages make it easy. They have built-in message templates that let people ask about your hours and if they can make an appointment. You can set it up so when they send a message, they receive an instant reply which you can customize.
If you want them to send their questions via email or your contact form, you can include the link to make it easy.
It's all about reducing friction. Recently, I reached out to a doctor's office via their Facebook Page. They had the easy to communicate messaging and I asked how I could make an appointment. They answered me a day later and said I had to call the office. That's friction. I reached out to someone else who got back to me within an hour and could see me the same day.
What methods do you currently use and what do your customers prefer? If you'll only take phone calls and they want to text or send messages via social media, then you're introducing friction and losing customers.
As you can see, a strong online presence isn't one thing. It's a few things brought together that help your dog grooming business marketing come together and look consistent, credible, and the obvious choice.
You can choose one of these elements to work on at a time. Break it into a three-month marketing plan for yourself if needed. Once you tackle each one in turn, you'll have another component of your strong online presence. Soon, your brand reputation will grow and you'll be booked solid with the types of clients you love.