From online bookings to virtual makeup try-ons and tutorials on TikTok, the health and beauty industry is undoubtedly experimenting with different ways to engage consumers.

Online customer engagement can lead to several benefits for your business, including increased sales and customer retention, as well as customer loyalty. Whether through text, social media, video, or email, as a shop owner, you can maximize several channels, platforms, and technologies to foster a better relationship with your customers and keep them coming back to your business.

The power of customer engagement.

Engaging your customers online is not only necessary for today's digital world, but can also drive meaningful results for your business. According to Gallup, customers who are fully engaged drive more revenue, profitability, and relationship growth for companies. They often spend more, make repeat purchases, and are more likely to recommend your business as well.

According to Salesforce's State of the Connected Customer report, 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs and 52% of consumers expect offers to be personalized to them and tailored to different channels, such as email, phone, in person, and online chat. Salesforce also notes that 83% of consumers also expect to engage with someone from a company immediately when they make initial contact, which indicates health and beauty businesses now must deliver high-touch, highly personalized service to effectively engage their customers.

How to boost customer engagement online.

With so many ways to connect, increasing customer engagement may feel like a daunting task, but focusing your efforts on a few key areas can quickly boost your relationship with your customers.

1. Utilize your website and data.

It should go without saying, but your salon should have an updated, well-functioning website where customers can go to learn more about your products, services, and pricing. You also should integrate an online appointment system into your website to make it easier for customers to see your current availability, book and reschedule appointments, and pay for services—all from a single interface. This can save time for your staff, increase sales, and help you gather valuable customer data to better tailor your services and marketing initiatives. For example, by working with a software provider, you could set up your online appointment system to send automatic notifications to customers when it's time to book their appointment.

2. Capitalize on social media.

It's no secret that the health and beauty industry is highly visual. As such, social media provides a great opportunity for your business to engage current and future customers. Consider using TikTok or Instagram "Stories" to post makeup, hairstyling, or skincare tutorials. Use Twitter or Facebook to share health and beauty tips. You can also post before-and-after photos or videos of clients (with their permission) to these platforms to showcase your work.

Keep in mind that the beauty of social media is a two-way exchange between you and your audience. You can't just post content and let it sit. Take advantage of social media to engage in a conversation with followers or other users by responding to their comments and to both positive and negative reviews. Being responsive will humanize your business and lead to positive consumer perceptions.

3. Reward loyalty.

Once a customer books an appointment online, reward them for their loyalty. Create a loyalty rewards program and use automated technology to invite them to join. If they enroll and opt-in to receive messaging, you can send them promotional offers for their next service via email or text, offer flash deals that are only good for a limited time, or allow them to earn points toward free or discounted services every time they visit your salon.

As a shop owner, it can be difficult to balance the day-to-day demands of running a business with marketing and engaging customers online. However, you can use technology to automate this process. Tons of software services are now available to help you set up a website, create an online booking system, and launch social media campaigns customized to different audiences—all from an integrated platform. With these tools, you can build your connection with future and potential customers and keep them fully engaged with your business.

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