Social Media For Your Salon: It’s Not A Popularity Contest

By Kelly Ehlers | 05/04/2012 2:05:00 PM


One of the most common misconceptions surrounding social media for business is that it’s a popularity contest. During most of the events and tradeshows I attend, teaching the ins and outs of social media for the industry, I find salon owners and stylists are always asking me how they can generate more ‘likes’ on their Facebook pages, more reviews on Google and more followers on Twitter. My response remains consistent in that it’s best to first focus on creating value vs. driving volume.

So, what exactly does that mean?

Think of it this way. Social media presents an opportunity to communicate with your customers daily, in a 1:1 format. It’s much like having the ability to pick up the phone, dial their number and askfor their feedback, invite them to an event, or even share the latest trends, deals or product information with them. Take yourself back to the old adage of ‘quality vs. quantity’ and focus on what type of information your clients want to see - and how they want to be communicated with. There’s no doubt that social media is an excellent resource for your salon to leverage, with limited investment.

 A recent study from Mainstay Salire, an independent advisor to global high-tech companies, takes a look at the importance of local Facebook pages and the impact and engagement they have with their fans. The study reports that local Facebook pages (such as the ones you have for your salon community) report five times more reach and roughly 8 times more engagement per fan than the large-scale brand pages you may be accustomed to comparing your salon’s social media to. The good news is, not all Facebook pages are created equal and within the complex algorithms of Facebook, your salon page in many cases has more impact (although potentially far less followers) than a big brand page! You can chalk that up to a process called EdgeRank within Facebook that, in a nutshell, places ‘personally relevant’ pages (such as your salon page) with a higher value and news feed visibility in comparison to distant corporate brand pages.

 If you go back in history and think of salonsas being the original ‘hub’ of what’s happening in your community, the concept today still rings true, but with a social, immediate twist. You can now share your front-row seat in your local community by highlighting what’s trendy, newsworthy and inspiring, not only within your salon, but also within your city. In the past, social conversations only happened with your clients perhaps once a month while they were in the chair…today, you can continue the conversation after they have left and develop a greater sense of communication through social media!

 I encourage salon owners to think of social media as an outlet to leverage your stylists creativity, share your how-to knowledge and get personal with your fans. Not that you’re in the business of building ballparks, but relate your social platforms to the concept of ‘if you build it (with useful, exciting information), they will come’… 

 As always, feel free to contact me with any questions at: and, be sure to “like” our Facebook page at

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Style Sync is an on-line social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed specifically for salon owners and stylists to help them magnify their image and multiply their results.

Style Sync, a division of Evoke Brand Strategies, is an on-line, subscription based social media training, personal branding and business education platform designed to help individual stylists and salon owners turn social media prowess into more clients and more money for your salon.


At Evoke Brand Strategies we develop digital, social and mobile strategies for salon professional, beauty, hospitality and entertainment brands. As branding and public relations veterans, yet early adopters of all things digital, we understand the importance of creating measurable, buzz-worthy campaigns that generate bottom-line results.

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Kelly Ehlers is a recognized leader and expert in social and mobile media for the salon and beauty industry. Her firm, Evoke Brand Strategies, specializes in providing innovative digital solutions for salons, stylists and brands looking to connect with their customers in today’s technology-driven society. By combining traditional PR and relationship building with today’s social platforms, Ehlers bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

Having literally grown up in the industry (her mother was a successful salon owner for 40 years), Ehlers’ unique perspective combines years of PR, marketing and social media knowledge with real-world salon experience. In February 2012, Ehlers launched her newest venture, StyleSync, teaching small businesses, salon owners, stylists and students how to easily utilize social media to grow their businesses and personal brands.

For more, go to, and follow her blog at


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tracy johnson    
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phoenix  |  May, 09, 2012 at 02:44 PM

If it's not a popularity contest, then why does Evoke Brand Strategies buy all of their followers on Twitter and Facebook? Successful social media is earned, not bought. In order to BUILD an engaged audience, one must provide relevant, consistent content to their audience. Buying your "likes" is transparent and comes without loyalty and/or engagement; therefore just wasting time that no one likes. Perhaps your "recognized leader and expert" really isn't.

Kelly Ehlers    
Madison, WI  |  June, 07, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Dear Tracy from Phoenix: On behalf of Evoke Brands, we certainly agree that purchasing LIKES, or followers in any capacity on social media platforms is not the appropriate way to build your audience. As noted in our blog post, social media is not a popularity contest and know that some times there will be audiences that critique or respond negatively to social media outreach or opinions. As a leader in social media education, during our seminars we emphasize that transparency and responding to negative criticism is important, so wanted to address your concerns. For more information and examples of Evoke Brands' fan engagement on social platforms, please check out our Facebook page ( and my personal Twitter account (@kellyehlers). There are some great examples of fan engagement you can use as case studies for best practices when developing your own social platforms. Best of luck! Kelly Ehlers