Nearly seven years ago, Kaite Lyn Christoffersen launched her sassy little salon concept in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cheeky Strut is quirky, yet feminine, just the way Christoffersen wants clients to feel when they leave the salon. “Cheeky Strut means you’re a little naughty, but you’re adorable, so you get away with it,” she says.
About six months ago, Christoffersen started working through a local antique store to find a vanity that would fit a space in her reception area and match her décor. Knowing that a vanity naturally beckons women to play with retail, she planned to top it with testers. During the search, Christoffersen started thinking about the propensity of clients to take selfies of their great new styles, and decided the vanity would play a key role in a permanent salon marketing campaign.
“We would find clients would sometimes snap a selfie in their car after their appointment or once they got home and they might talk about their new hairstyle, but they didn’t always mention the salon or the stylist,” Christoffersen says. “The selfie station is in a place surrounded by natural sunlight so clients get great pictures. It is fun, and now, it’s a part of our culture. And, it’s a great, organic form of advertising the salon.”
Toward the bottom of the mirror on the vanity, Christoffersen placed her hashtag, #cheekystrut, encouraging clients to tag their photos but getting the salon’s name in the image even when they didn’t. “The white lettering on the clear vinyl over the mirror makes it look like the client typed the hashtag onto the image before they posted it,” she says.
“The selfie station is in a place surrounded by natural sunlight so clients get great pictures. It is fun, and now, it’s a part of our culture.
A few months ago, Christoffersen expanded the idea, by placing the hashtag on each station mirror as well. “They are placed two feet up from the floor, so they’re subtle not intrusive,” she says. “Some clients take before and after pictures, while others take finished styles, and many of them like to take pictures with their stylist in it.”
To further encourage clients to take selfies and tag them, Cheeky Strut runs a selfie contest each month. Clients can post to either their own Facebook or Instagram, and they must tag the salon to be eligible to win. “We give away a different service every month, usually a massage, facial or something from the spa side because we want to encourage hair clients to sample the spa services anyway,” Cristoffersen says.
Many of Cheeky Strut's clients invite their stylist to be in the selfie with them.
Christoffersen believes about 40-50 people post selfies each month, and she thinks the campaign has been directly responsible for bringing in new clients. “It creates a conversation about the salon, and builds an inherent trust in our brand,” she says. “People see a post and think something like, ‘Oh my friend goes to Cheeky Strut and she just got an Olaplex service. Hmmm, I didn’t know they did those there.’”
In addition to the selfie station, Christoffersen also has leveraged the selfie phenomenon by hosting two ‘The Face of Cheeky Strut’ social media campaigns. Clients were invited to submit selfies to the competition. The salon team narrowed down the entries to a pool of finalists and client were encouraged to vote for a winner through social media. The winner served as the salon’s muse for a year, getting services and treatments and participating in photo shoots—the results of which also were posted.
“The campaign was successful in growing followers on social media, as well as bringing new clients into the salon. The 2014 campaign brought 13,550 unique visitors to the salon’s site, and was responsible for 2,375 new fans,” says Christoffersen.