If you read our last blog on the ins and outs of video blogging (VBlogging), you might be thinking, sure it’s a great tool, but HOW can I use it for my salon? Where do I start and how can I get my staff and stylists involved?
I’m excited to share some industry insight on this unique social tool from Ale "The Hair Ninja" Bonilla. Bonilla is an industry veteran of over 20 years, Sebastian Professional international platform artist, Next Level Stylist educator and the owner of Esoterica Salon. Bonilla’s salon has developed and embraced Vblogging as a culture within their salon, promoting their stylist, services, products and specials in a fun, visual way.
Leading the team at Esoterica Salon, Bonilla has taken vblogs and integrated them seamlessly with their online brand. There’s no doubt Estoterica Salon is unique– they are housed in the same space as the Esoterica Lounge. This combination of salon meets bar brings in customers who might "already have a hair dresser" and provides a distinct experience for new and existing clients….not to mention, lends itself to great content for vblogs and other social networks. Think rock bands, comedy shows, movie nights and live DJ’s all combined with an amazing salon experience.
With that in mind, there’s also a strategy behind their Vblogs (click the images for examples) that includes the following process:
Each stylists creates a video profile
Clients study the profiles to choose a stylist, and are even featured in the videos with their favorite stylist.
Two-minute videos are emailed monthly as a conglomeration of videos with clients, stylists and new features.
The videos are promoted by the salon's other social media outlets where they and increase their influence, reach and help become the topic of the salon's online buzz.
As we talked, Bonillawas sitting in his client's shoes getting his hair done! Which was a perfect fit for his stress on the importance of organic content. Bonilla pointed out that just because it's business doesn't mean you can't be creative and give your clients and fans great content.
To hear his take on VBlogging, we asked a few specific questions aboutAle The Hair Ninja's blogging style:
KE:First things first, how did you acquire the nickname “The Hair Ninja”?
Bonilla:Traditionally I'm really fast in everything I do. I use razors, my shoes are made in Japan and I have long hair so people say I look like a ninja. I've done Martial arts my whole life so, naturally, I became known as “The Hair Ninja” around the salon and within the industry.
KE: Where did you get the inspiration to start video blogging?
Bonilla:[I've been] watching social media take off in the last decade, seeing the bloggers [influence] and I thought it was cool. I got a microphone, a stand and some lights and I started doing it just for clients. I think of people with the technology now, and how they can watch versus read. I think vblogging is more impactful than blogging-- when you get to watch it and you can feel the energy from the host and from our guest - it's just better.
KE: What is your goal with vblogs and what makes them so successful?
Bonilla: The goal depends on what it is. If we get a new product or have a high profile client coming in and they'll let us, then we'll do an interview and then we can put it on the music scene, or the independent movie scene. Sometimes I make organic stuffthat has nothing to do with the business or hair so that people will stay genuinely interested. I have to have variety in my videos - it can't be all business, business, business. When I'm doing business interviewsI'll always ask them personal questions just to keep it interesting and organic.
KE: How do you get your stylist excited to be online and join in on your videos?
Bonilla:Last year I brought in a media team and we had a full media training. Every single stylist has media training under their belt, and some of it comes from what I do. I give them a heads up but it's very candid, and they don't even know what I'm going to do in the interview. It's just another tool that they can click or post and get their friends, family and clients excited. I never put someone on film that doesn't want to be on film. Luckily everyone here likes attention!
KE: Do you encourage your stylists to have their own online profiles?
Bonilla: It's actually mandatory. They have to have a social media network. They have to at least have Facebook. We even have training and a social media etiquette that lets them know how to do to it professionally--keep it organic, keep it fresh, and be professional by keeping the negativity off page. I want them to become a public figure and when you're maintaining the brand of the business or the product and you always have to hold yourself to a higher standard.
KE: Looking at salon's online profiles your video blogging is one of the most advanced strategies. What would be your advice to someone who is looking to get started with vblogging?
Bonilla: Here are a few tips:
- Keep it simple, and under one minute. It doesn't have to be perfect, because I think that's what the audience wants to see--something organic, nothing over-produced.
- Make sure to promote yourself and always put your contact information within the video.
- Use your smartphone, then upload it right to Facebook. It doesn't have to be fancy.
- Have fun with it and be yourself! Showcase the salon’s personality and individual brand style.
KE: What will your next Vbloglook like?
Bonilla:We have a team member getting married, so we thought it would be fun to have our clients, stylists, and receptionists all ask him one question about getting married! Then we’ll produce a little video and publish it, so we can offer people a glimpse in to our culture.
We figure, even though we are not "directly" promoting the salon, people are going to see the salon and come in and ask"how was your wedding party". We'll keep it mostly personal and then at the end we'll have the website and we'll get a laugh. Remember, our strategy is to keep it organic and fun – this will certainly be a cool twist on our usual Vblogs.
For more information, or click to check out Esoterica Salon’s social networks:
As always, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
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