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Hair Salons: Consider Social Media as Word-of-Mouth
I had the pleasure of meeting, face to face, Tabatha Coffey. For anyone who does not know her, she is a hairdresser who has become one of the most recognized hairdressers in the world, and her international fame started from a Bravo reality show called, Shear Genius, and now she has her own high-rated Bravo show called Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. Tabatha is still a working hairdresser and runs her own salon and yet she has expanded herself to write a book, “It’s Not About The Hair” (I have a signed copy AND I loved her book! ), and she was on the Red Carpet interviewing celebrities for TV Guide at the 2011 Oscars. Wow. But back to this fact: she’s a hairdresser! How did this hairdresser become so successful? What’s her secret? I think I know: It’s word of mouth. It’s as simple as that. Her clients, and now, her audience, found her because someone liked her and told somebody else about her, then that person connected with her and passed it on that she’s one fine stylist or that she had a “bang’n” show and so on.
Word of mouth is the key to success for every stylist, manicurist, facialist, massage therapist and all spa and beauty salons. I’m a hairdresser and I will constantly need new clients because people move away, and some have economized on spending. I’ve even known a few to try another salon because his or her girlfriend or daughter had been nagging them to go to their own stylist. From experience, most new clients that turn into long-term clients come from referrals. Like most businesses, existing clients are the best advertisers for new business. But what most salons and salon technicians don’t realize is that, to continue being successful and keep attaining new business, they will have to embrace the fact that word of mouth encompasses Social Media.
There are a few of us salons in Chicago that understand that Social Media is just another way for new clients to reach them. I work at Joseph Michael’s Salon & Spa, and we are one of the top rated in our industry and our clients talk about us which nets us new clients. Every good salon knows that their future clients use Yelp and City Search to find them so we all make sure our services and staffs are excellent. But we must begin to utilize these social media platforms as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to name a few. We must also make sure that we stay in connection with our existing clientele, as well as reach the attention of prospective clients. We can do this through Social Media for it is just a dialogue--and some clients are talking on Facebook, and some on email etc. If businesses and technicians see Social Media the way we do, they would see that it is just an extension of what happens in the salon. We talk to our clients on different topics such as health, hair and family. We inform them of exciting new products. And we show them or tell them how to do their hair or apply their make-up or how to relax. I believe I can expand that conversation with my existing clients and attract new clients as well--through Social Media
Salon owners need to learn that they have to have a website that houses information about their business and represents their salon via "tone," wording and graphics. They can also have a Facebook Fan Page which their clients can LIKE - this is just a continuation of the 'dialogue" which happens in the salon. City Events that the salon is involved with can be posted weekly along with new products and links to organizations that their clients might be interested in. And now salons use Twitter to keep the dialogue going with personal and professional Tweets, such as “I just met Tabatha Coffey and she signed her new book for me!” or “We have spaces available for massage and facials today,” and “Come try out our new No-Ammonia hair color line.” With Twitter and Facebook, the clients and prospective clients can talk back and inquire. YouTube has become a new way to post how-to’s which clients can watch to show them how to blow dry their hair or see their stylists in action at fashion shows.
To survive and to be prosperous and become stellar in the salon industry, social media must now to be considered "word of mouth." If word of mouth can catapult a hairdresser to the Oscars, it can certainly propel our own businesses to greater success.
My name is Jon-David. Tweet me @mafiahairdreser
I use video to attract new clients via Youtube.
I now teach Social Media classes to salons, spas & small businesses. You can go to MafiaHairdresser.com to find out more about that.
Keep the dialogue going.