In a world where state governments monitor COVID-19 counts and make determinations about which businesses can stay open and operational, everyone is closely monitoring the news.

Boulevard, a business platform that powers salons and spas, recently shared some of its findings from a fascinating study about to be published about the impact of a governor's COVID-19 Tweets on the salon industry. The research found that when a governor's Tweet includes fear-inducing words, such as "virus," "COVID," or "pandemic," there is a direct loss to the resective state's salon revenue. 

"As a business management platform made specifically for salons and spas, Boulevard is unique in reporting on this impact firsthand. Our analysis focuses on the salon industry because it’s our area of expertise, and we have seen the industry struggle in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic first-hand," says Matt Dana, CEO and founder of Boulevard. 

For an industry built around close physial interactions, the pandemic has been particularly devastating to salon owners. Salons tend to operate on tight margins, even when schedules are full. Presently, many salons contend with reduced capacities to ensure they operate within current best practices.

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Notably, a single gubernatorial fear word is directly related to $1,600 decline in a state's total salon revenue--the impact is at its greatest two days after the Tweet. The average number of fear words during a five-week period was 39, which means the average loss of revenue due to a governor fear word Tweets could exceed $50,000 during a five-week period for a state. 

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If you look at that number over the course of a year, which is not unreasonable given where we are at with the pandemic, fear word Tweets by governors reflect a potential loss of more than $1.6 million to that state's economy. 

An example of a Tweet from the governor and lt. governor of Connecticut.
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An example of a Tweet from the governor and lt. governor of Connecticut.

To calculate the impact, Boulevard took all Tweets by all governors where the company had customers and measured fear as the sum of all fear-related worlds (according to the NRC lexicon). The company only looked at Tweets containing as least one of the following words: virus, COVID, coronavirus, pandemic. and measured positivitiy as the sum of all postive words less the sum of all negative words (according to the Bing lexicon). 

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Bottomline Findinds of Tweet/Case Count Analysis:

  • State daily new case numbers negatively impocat both revenue and unique visitors at Boulevard salons/locations. 
  • The biggest effect comes from case counts two days prior--one new case in a state is associated with $1,21 less dollars of revenue two days later (this is economically and statistically significant). 
  • For states with large swings in case numbers (CA,NY), this means that 1,000 new cases is associated with a decrease in revenue of $1,210
  • One interpretation--customers digest case counts when planning outings. 

"While our society and businesses recover, we must continue to make choices that balance growth with safety. Fear is an essential emotion designed to keep us safe, but leaders should leverage it discerningly," Dana concludes. "The same is true of optimism. This data underscores the importance of using one’s platform to promote public wellbeing.”

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