The PRO Hair & Beauty Rising Star awards were inundated with upcoming talent from the hair and beauty industry. The judges had the very difficult task of choosing a winner for the 13 categories but, after much deliberation, the final decisions were made and the winners were announced in this month’s PRO Hair & Beauty magazine.
As part of the prize, we invited all the winners to show off their skills by assisting on a photoshoot, so we divided our talented 13 and created two photoshoots. Kelly Gay, winner of the Social Star category, was on hand to tweet away throughout the first photoshoot, and has written this guest blog about the shoot, winning the award and some must-read salon marketing ideas and advice for any hair and beauty salons and stylists who may be a little unsure when it comes to social media and how to use to boost your business.
“PRO Hair & Beauty is a great magazine and I love the fact that it covers the beauty industry from hair to nail – and everything in between. As soon as I saw PRO tweet about the awards (of course, I noticed via social media!) I knew I had to enter. Running a blog and various social media channels for over five years now has allowed me to talk all things hair to people who want to listen, as my friends and family were a little fed up with me telling them all about the latest braid or how Cheryl was wearing her hair. It’s also helped me work with big brands like French Connection and BT.com, so it is great for business!
“Attending the shoot and getting to go behind the scenes was a really interesting way to understand how much time and work goes into creating the images we see in the magazine. It was an amazing experience to take over the PRO Hair & Beauty Twitter and Instagram channels – giving followers a chance to see a sneak peek of the group of talented individuals working their magic.
“Social media is a huge part of running a business nowadays, whether you are an independent stylist, or a salon working hard to build your brand. The first thing I tend to do as a customer is go online to search for a salon or stylist to find out information, and if they are interacting with their clients it encourages me to visit them. Instagram is becoming a huge platform for salons and stylists, it’s the perfect way to showcase your finest cuts and colours, and interacting with customers is a great way to build a loyal base using Facebook and Twitter.
“The most important advice I can offer would be to maintain the social media channels you set up, and create a professional and friendly tone. Clients who have had a negative experience will take to social media to express this, but avoid deleting or ignoring comments, instead use the feedback to help your business. Try and keep all handles similar and easy – trying to type out a 25-character username name won’t be easy – so short and snappy will do the trick. Using social media to offer customers great deals and offers is a way to encourage followers, but just make sure you are up to date on T&Cs and clearly state any information.
“Above all, enjoy, and have fun – speak to customers, build relationships and watch your business thrive. A tweet or Facebook post is a free and easy way to communicate to people – it’s the digital word of mouth.”