Harnessing the Power of Digital and Social Media

Welcome to the American Salon’s first supplemental edition devoted exclusively to successfully navigating the ever-evolving world of digital and social media. As someone who considers himself a social media evangelist in the beauty space, I can say with confidence that the online world is the great marketing leveler in the salon and spa industry. All of the promotional horsepower formerly reserved for big business is now available to you (if you take advantage of the wealth of information and education out there and find role models who have succeeded in the medium).

Fortunately, we’ve done the homework for you. In these pages you’ll find best practices that can make the difference between success and failure; movers and shakers you can learn from and emulate; websites that really work to generate new business; insight into how third-party review sites like Yelp can clue you in to what your customers actually think about your business; and lots more. We’re even providing an overview of the digital and social landscape (online communities like Facebook or Instagram, apps and productivity tools, ways to curate or create content for all your social media platforms, and marketing resources).

Today, your ability to reach people (current or prospective clients) has never been greater—or more powerful. If word-of-mouth is the gold standard of building success, then your best friend outside of the real-world time you spend with clients—encouraging referrals, rebooking and retail sales—is social media and its digital cousins.

Our industry has the prospect of success in social media written all over it. You are without a doubt the most “social” people I’ve ever known. You are engaging, authentic individuals who love to share with those around you, which are all hallmarks of success in online marketing. Add to this mix an ongoing dose of education and resources as you work to apply those skills to your day-to-day interactions online, and you will be on your way!

My best advice to anyone wishing to succeed in the digital space is to do as I hope you are doing in your real-world career and business efforts:

• Set measurable goals

• Have an action plan

• Acquire the resources needed to implement your plan

• Measure your progress regularly

• Adjust your plan as needed

• Repeat

• Stay calm—You can do this

—Gordon Miller, Senior Director, Digital