Every few months, we interview one of our social media management clients to ask them about their experience with social media. This month, we feature Laurie Gullo of Elle Salon LTD. You can join them online by “liking” their Facebook fan page, following them on Twitter, and following their Pinterest boards.
Tell us about your business, your industry and your experience with social media.
Elle Salon is an upscale, but relaxed salon in the greater Harrisburg area (Camp Hill). We offer complete hair care using Organic Color Systems and Goldwell color; nail care, including manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements; skin care; massage therapy; makeup application (regular and airbrush); lash extensions; body waxing and airbrush/spray tanning.
We believe social media – Facebook and Twitter – has been a great tool to reach audiences in our local area. We’re very busy, so having social media professionals like Rachel and Amanda helps us to maintain a consistent social media presence and post effective content to capture future clientele.
There are still business owners who have their doubts about using social media. What’s your take?
It helps us stay in front of our loyal customers and fans while having the opportunity to gain new clients through online “word-of-mouth,” so to speak. Rachel and Amanda also guide us in the best way to use Facebook and Twitter as well as other online outlets such as Google and Yelp. We couldn't do that research on our own without spending lots of time. They are more knowledgeable about this ever-changing industry and I look to them for guidance on new ways to reach our audience.
What made you decide to hire a social media manager? What qualities were you looking for?
When I started social media three years ago, I thought "if you keep talking, someone will listen." But we needed to know the best way to reach an audience. With my busy salon, I needed someone to do this for us - someone who knew the ropes of this crazy world of social media. That's when we contacted Strella Social Media as a referral from Sue Pera at the Cornerstone Coffeehouse.
How has social media impacted your business?
It keeps us connected and interactive with our clients through postings about products and services. Social media changes so often that it’s sometimes a challenge, but so far Strella Social Media has stepped up to the challenge. Facebook is making it harder to post specials because they want you to spend money on advertising, but Rachel and Amanda are guiding us around this issue. Facebook was to be a free ‘advertisement’ when it started and our goal is to keep it that way!
How have you been able to blend traditional marketing with online marketing?
We did pursue newspaper and magazine advertising when we started the business, as a way to get our name out there. However, we are very fortunate that we have not had to incorporate traditional marketing recently. Social media was gaining ground when we opened nearly five years ago and we knew it was a better and less expensive road to travel. We pay for Strella Social Media’s services monthly, but it’s not nearly as costly as paying for ads in print publications, which was less interactive. In our business, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertisement – and Facebook and Twitter are very helpful ‘mouth!’ A print ad can't talk back about your needs for certain services or products! LOL!
Anything else you would like to add about your experience?
Google has been a great resource for attracting potential clients looking to find a new salon. Strella Social Media has helped us interact with these clients after they walk in our door, complete our client information sheet, and Like us on Facebook. That's where the interaction continues as we share new services and products with our fans!
Past client interviews:
Batbayar Damdin of Tian Shi Acupuncture
Mimi Reeves, Owner of Balloons and More
Susan Pera, Owner of The Cornerstone Coffeehouse
Ann Dennison, Owner of Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness
Mike Kushner, Broker and Commercial Realtor® for Omni Realty Group
Cheryl Garman, Co-Owner of Pazazzz
Sylvia Hepler, President of Launching Lives, LLC
Justin Leader of Special Risk Insurance Services
One important note that I forgot to mention in this blog is how our monthly newsletter is a big part of our social media efforts to reach clients. Rachel had referred Teri Cole from Chickadee Marketing for my monthly newsletter writing and has done an amazing job with creating a visual picture of my salon on a monthly basis! With Rachel, Amanda and Teri by my side, I feel we are a great team in the Social Media/Marketing world!
Laurie - Thanks for the compliment. It is a pleasure working with you and Rachel as your engagement marketing team.
While it's true that email marketing and social media work hand in hand to engage and connect with your clients and customers, there is another important piece of the puzzle. Elle Salon has an excellent website. It is very well designed and engaging. it contains great photos, links and information about all that you have to offer at Elle Salon. The goal of engagement marketing is to drive clients (new or existing) to your website - the hub of ALL your information. It is there that they will discover more things about you and your business and then hopefully share what they discovered with their friends.
it is truly a pleasure working with you and Rachel's team. "We" will rock 2013!
You are so right Terri! Again another great referral from Rachel was Bob Friedman with Pams Press Graphic Design. He recently upgraded our website last year and made it very user friendly especially with our Gallery Page where we display all of our work! A great team makes great business for everyone involved! 🙂