Brig Van Osten, Shear Genius winner, on Tweeting in her Pajamas
August 15, 2016 | By Kelly Ehlers
Get ready, it’s installment number 3 in my Twitter for salon series. Let’s do a quick recap. Installment one walked us through the nitty-gritty of setting up a Twitter account and understanding it’s uses. Installment number two looked at growing our following by integrating our social media into the salon experience. And now…drum roll please, we will look at how to keep those followers by developing unique, exclusive content that will not only build awareness for your salon but fill your appointment books. Don’t worry, there will be a final and fourth installment as well.
Like most things social media it’s easiest to understand when we break things down to their individual parts. There are two best practice strategies to using your Twitter account to enhance your business and this blog entry focuses on how to leverage your ‘salon’ personality to develop a following and ultimately drive business to your salon.
But don’t just take my word for it. I sat down with Brig Van Osten- season 3 Shear Genius winner and owner of p!ay hair lounge- to get the scoop on her quirky and innovative use of social media which she calls “advertising in your pajamas!”
You’ve come a long way since you won Shear Genius! What has the ride been like for you?
The ride has been full of incredible opportunities to meet and also help out other in our industry. I’ve done things I never imagined from hosting huge events to speaking in front of 2500 beauty school students.
We’ve noticed that you are ALL OVER the internet. What different online outlets do you use to promote yourself and your salon?
I actively use seven different social media platforms: I have a blog on WordPress called BrigVanOsten.com and a new one on Tumblr which is called SkinnyBrig.Tumblr.com I have two “Brig“ Facebook accounts and one for p!ay hair lounge. I also have a personal Twitter and one for p!ay hair lounge. I am on Pinterest and Instagram with p!ay hair lounge. And finally I have a profile on Hairbrained.me.
How do you transfer your unique style and personality of your salon to your social media?
One step into p!ay hair lounge and you will see me all over it, as well as the personalities of the other stylists who, coincidentally, love to have fun while working hard. It is a carefree uber creative space free from the usual salon structure such as a reception desk as soon as you walk in. Nothing stops our clients at the door. They can walk in and join the social architecture upon arrival. Which transfer well into the digital space of social media. Our community web director, Celeste Johnson keeps our social networking fresh. On twitter we share “overheard @ p!ay….” funny things clients or stylists say. On Facebook we try to keep a happy blend of hair, design and fashion to keep our fans interested.
How do you use social media to promote your salon? Do you use your personal branding as a stylist to bring traffic to your salon’s pages?
I am always linking back to our website in posts and also commenting and sharing our stylists posts. We try to work as a team when someone posts to circulate it to as many clients and potential clients as possible. To promote the salon we always keep the branding consistent. We like to have fun days! For example, for The Hunger Games premiere we offered Katniss braids and that was a huge hit. We got the word out quickly using our Facebook page.
How did you build your Twitter following? What was your general strategy?
Word of mouth. We have small signs up at p!ay hair lounge suggesting our guests follow us. I post “call to action” posts on my Facebook pages to transfer those “friends” into followers
What is your advice to salon owners and stylists who are looking to build a social media presence and how do you view social media’s role in the salon industry?
Social media is HUGE. I can sit at home in my pajamas at midnight promoting my salon for free! My advice is to designate a single person to be your social media expert. This way you can communicate and make a plan with that person and they can keep the posting consistent. As an owner it is too much for you to take on singly. Designate!
Twitter is a medium that many salons are hesitant to use. What is your goal with your salon’s twitter account and how do you keep the content fresh and unique?
We try to keep posts short and to the point. We also try to limit how much product speak we do on Twitter. No one I know wants to be “sold” all the time. Instead we will share tips. Mostly though “overheard at p!ay” which has become pretty popular. We ALWAYS ask our guests permission before we post something they said. Most are flattered and agree to let us share their quote.
Do you encourage the stylists in your salon to have a social media presence? How do you make sure that they maintain the balance of unique and professional?
When I brought on each stylist and client coordinator to p!ay, I briefly explained that “the internet is forever” and I used judgment when I hired them. We have a strong, healthy and passionate team excited to p!ay together. Everyone understands to be careful because their clients can see what they post and that this makes using Facebook a great way to expand their clientele.
There’s no doubt that Brig has a handle on her social media outreach – great job and thanks for sharing with our audience! Here’s how you can connect with Brig:
p!ay hair lounge:
As always, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and, be sure to “like” our Facebook page.