ST: How should salons encourage their guests to “friend” the salon on Facebook or follow them on Twitter?
Patrick McIvor with iPad in hand talks to owners about social media at a Matrix event. PM: My wife came up with the idea of using our one-ounce sample sizes. We posted messages that said, “Check in on Twitter, Facebook or FourSquare, let us know and we’ll give you a gift.” It switches the paradigm. Before, after the service the stylist was supposed to give them a sample and tell them how it would help their hair. Now they check into your salon on social media which by the way, announces to all their friends that they are in your salon— that takes the place of you hoping they tell a friend or two who does their hair. When they check in they tell the front desk, “Here I am, I checked in on FourSquare, which of these samples would be best for my hair?” and that initiates the retail conversation. Now, all of a sudden, you have had happen everything you’ve always hoped for before their appointment even begins. When it went well, we switched it up. For February clients got a free nail polish, for March they received a travel-sized shampoo, etc.
ST: In addition to clients announcing to friends that they are in your salon, how else can salons reach their clients’ friends, which represent a populat ion of potential new clientele?
PM: Well, there are a lot of salons that are doing updos for proms and weddings in the Spring. Why not take a picture of the finished style and offer to post it to their Facebook wall and give them a travel size of a hairspray as a thank you to keep their style looking great all night? They’ve just advertised to all their friends that you’re the best place in town to get your hair done for a special event. They want to show everybody—I mean how many kids already hold up their phones and take pictures of themselves anyway—all you have to do is ask if you can share it.
ST: How can salons encourage staff to get involved in social media efforts , too?
PM: All hairdressers, somewhere in their DNA, are proud of their work. I don’t know any hairdresser who does great work and doesn’t want to show it. It’s easy to get staff to post befores and afters, and when they do, they’ll see that success happens so fast. We’ve always had “mayors” of the salon, we just didn’t have FourSquare to tell us who they were—we used to call them “raving fans.” They wanted to brag about us all the time, but without social media, they didn’t have the easy outlet. Now they do.