Fact: People who need pet grooming services and products have numer- ous options to choose from in today’s
crowded marketplace. So, the question is:
How can you make your grooming business stand out from the rest? One suggestion is to be social—really, really social.
The key to reaching the maximum
number of customers is to create a comprehensive social media plan. Facebook Live
and Instagram can play central roles in that
plan, allowing you to effectively connect
more with your existing customers and attract new ones.
Today’s Facebook users love video content
in posts. Videos show “action,” are engaging, and, most important of all, they can
be viewed quickly, which consumers love.
Facebook now has a feature that makes
video even more effective for your business called Facebook Live.
This feature allows you to take a live
video within the Facebook app as opposed
to uploading your own video. Facebook
Live videos are getting lots of views not
only because they are videos, but because
Facebook’s algorithms are paying attention
to pages that use the Live feature and are
boosting those posts naturally.
There are a few ways to use Facebook
Live for your grooming business.
1) Take customers inside your business.
Walk them around the store, and show
them how the operation works. An inside look will give them confidence in
your business practices and make them
feel better about choosing you. Use this
feature if you have a mobile van too. It’s
the same concept—show them you are
neat, professional and clean, and that
pets are comfortable in your mobile
2) Show a grooming in progress—this,
again, will give customers confidence,
demonstrating that dogs are comfortable
in your shop or van.
3) Feature a Live how-to video of grooming that can be done at home or a safety
video for pet owners. This will demonstrate your concern for clients’ pets
and will foster customers’ trust in your
Once you finish the actual Live event,
you can then post it to your page for customers to view it after the event. These Live
events will be a very effective way for your
grooming business to get lots of eyes on
your social posts via Facebook.
In addition to adding Facebook Live, you
should plan to use Instagram to reach
more customers. Instagram is a photo
and video-intensive site that is perfect
for showcasing the services your business provides, as well as the products you
sell. Instagram is all about engaging with
great images and videos, and there are
numerous free editing tools that can help
you look like an expert with very little effort on your part. Instagram is owned by
Facebook, so it also offers you the ability to
advertise and reach even more customers.
You must have an Instagram Business
Page to advertise on Instagram. If you
currently have a page set up personally, it
takes 10 seconds to convert it to a business
page, and it will not only give you advertising features, but will also give you access to insights on viewership, which can
help you target more customers.
The key to effective Instagram usage—in addition to using eye-catching
photos and videos—is to use the correct
hashtags in your posts. A hashtag is a
metadata label on content that is used
on social media. Come up with a list of
hashtags that support the business you
do, such as the brand names of the products you use as well as the name of your
town and any other keywords you think
need to be promoted such as #shoplocal,
#yourtownname, #dogbreedname, #dog-sofinstagram, #groomer, #grooming, etc.
There are numerous free services that help
you find the best hashtags to use; one is
hashtagify.me—try it or find another one
to ensure that your hashtags are effective.
Keep in mind that, just like with Facebook, the key for Instagram is to create a
personal interaction first so your followers trust you and don’t feel like they are
constantly being sold to. From there, your
customers will want to learn more about
your business because they will know
you care about their needs. Use hashtags
to improve your posts and videos even
more as people tend to search Instagram
Another way to quickly get more eyes
on your Instagram page is to comment on
other pages you follow, such as local businesses and associations in your area. Being
a good social media neighbor and posting,
sharing and commenting on other posts
will get attention for your page as well.
Whether you’re using video or images,
the key is to get social with your customers about what you do, how you do it,
how much your pet customers like your
services and, most of all, how much your
customers trust you so that you can reach
new customers who will want to entrust
you with their pets. •
Lynn Switanowski-Barrett is the founder and
president of Creative Business Consulting
Group (CBCG) ( cbc-group.net), a Boston-based
retail strategy consulting firm. Using more
than 29 years of retail experience as her guide,
Switanowski-Barrett and the CBCG team help
grooming retailers understand how to build,
grow and sustain their businesses by harnessing marketing and business growth using the
opportunities created by a changing business
environment. Contact Switanowski-Barrett
via Twitter and Instagram @retailhelper and
at facebook.com/cbcgroup or via email at lynn@
BY LYNN SWITANOWSKI-BARRETT
How to attract new pet grooming
customers through a clever and
engaging use of today’s social