Special occasion celebrations like weddings, proms, bat mitzvahs and graduations are not complete without a flourish to the nails, as seen in Jenny Packam’s 2014 bridal collection, where Essie designed the manicures for the model brides. Plus, since clients are getting maximum time in front of the camera during these hallmark occasions, she’ll be making sure that she’s looking flawless—from head to toenail.
Lizzie Renaud of Pinky’s Nails in Toronto has seen a slew of such style-savvy clients. And as much as nail art is in demand for a range of demographics, prom and graduation seasons are a great occasion to introduce younger clients to your salon. Renaud shares how to speak to this tween-to-teen market.
Go Where They Go
“We know that this age group is on social media platforms. If we want to promote prom nail art, we push through Tumblr and Instagram as opposed to Twitter or Facebook,” says Renaud, who has spent a long time on all these major social media platforms to find out which resonates the most with her target market. “We get the biggest response from teenagers—the prom age group—on Instagram. Instagram is a quick share and very youthful. So we can also post on our Instagram and slip in a promotion; provide details of the sale.”
How to #Hashtag
If you’re new to the Instagram game, you’ll notice that seldom are sentences used in posts. Instead, hashtags make images searchable and noticeable: the more popular the hashtag, the more hits the Instagram post tends to receive. “Use a specific hashtag that relates to proms or graduation and nail art,” Renaud suggests. “Go to our favourite nail artist’s page and skim their hashtags.” She also recommended including local buzzwords, for example, “promTO” for students who might be attending proms in Toronto, and also finding out which hashtags your potential clients are using on their pages. The more overlap, the more exposure to those who are speaking the same hashtag.
Ease the Parent’s Mind
For young clients whose parents are a little unsure about sending them to the nail salon, there are several benefits to special occasion nail art you can discuss. “Nail art is temporary, and some are press-ons that can be sized and peeled right off,” says Renaud. For parents, this means safe removal and the option to wear it just for the night. “Press-on or painted designs also saves you time, compared to traditional extensions,” adds Renaud. While traditional extensions might be better suited to someone confident in its long-wear benefit, temporary-wear nails are more popular among the prom demographic because it’s more affordable and low commitment.
Party at the Salon!
Every special occasion warrants a super party: bachelorettes, prom afterparties, bridal showers and more. Why not take the opportunity to invite clients to the salon for a private event? “Depending on the size of the salon, hosting a nail party means you can give them full services, including treatments,” says Renaud. The best part is, she’ll remember that your salon helped make her special occasion an unforgettable one.
Image courtesy Essie