Tag Archives: facebook

Co Creating Value with your customer. How a Saloon can use social media to build its brand reputation

21 Apr

I was waiting for my turn for a haircut at the regular saloon shop when I started talking to the guy in charge also who happened to be the brother of the owner. We were discussing latest mobile phones, laptops, fitness etc,When I asked him – “Is that computer connected to net?” He replied with an affirmative.  I asked him if his saloon had a website or a facebook fanpage or an orkut community group.  No, his saloon did not have any online presence.

So I ask him – “How many branches you have in this city”.

Reply: 12 branches in Chennai. 3 in Coimbatore.

“What kind of customers do you get here? Age group? “, I ask.

Reply:  Customers come in all age groups.Male and female.

I understand from the cost of basic haircut that the shop reaches out to middle and upper class.

I tell him – Guess what? I can help you expand your business. Grow your customer base, improve sales and more importantly build brand loyalty which will generate word of mouth.  And you don’t have to spend tons of money. Are you interested?

Reply: Absolutely…

I became a Social Media Consultant for him.

Here are the points I discussed with branch head. Maybe you can use it too…

Website:

Start with a simple website. Simple content should suffice. Don’t worry about SEO and SEM. You don’t need that here. First, cover the basics:

About the company, who owns the company, History of the company, what are the services you are offering, prices for each of your services, meet the barber

Let us focus on 2 features:  Services offered and Meet the Barber page

Services offered will have different hairstyles with pictures for the customer to identify each hairstyle. Also, why not a video testimonial of a satisfied customer? Host the video testimonials to a youtube page which will have other similar customers giving you 3 min testi of your services.

Meet Ur Barber Page: Will have the name and profile of the barbers you employ with ratings section. Your customers can rate the barber in an open transparent system. Every month the barber who gets the maximum ratings gets incentive. Thus, you also build morale and a healthy competition which in turn will improve productivity.

The website can also have a page dedicated to latest hairstyle in vogue. Your customers can chose the hairstyle, get the name and when they visit you next time, then can mention the name and get it done.

Let your website also have a space for your customers to submit ideas. This is your UGC (user generated content). This is important. UGC has power. Give your customers power and give them platform to share. That is why you need…

Facebook  Fanpage :

Your facebook fanpage should be integrated to your website so that your customers can connect and collaborate with each other online. Here are the things you can do:

–      Post pics of latest bollywood, Hollywood heros and heroines with their latest haircut. Ask questions and generate interactivity with fans.

Eg: Post in your fanpage wall – Check out Brad Pitt’s latest hairstyle ( post the pic). Kool huh? Who wants this hairstyle? The first 10 people, who wanna have this haircut, comment here and get 10% off.

Or,

Eg : kareena latest haircut ( post the pic) . You can get it done at any of our branches. Just drop a mail with your details to fix an appointment.

Or,

Eg : Our new facial for summer is out. It’s a blend of (this and that). The first 10 who post a comment here get 30% off on this new natural facial.

–      Post videos of your customers in youtube and pull it to fanpage

–      Offer tips on grooming

–      Offer sneak peak and special discounts exclusive to online customers

–      Ask your customers to directly post pics or videos of their fav good/bad hair moment

–      Invite your customers/fans to post ideas, seek advice on hairstyles, good hair maintainance tips etc…

All this will go in building a good brand name and generate word of mouth buzz.

Twitter:

Twitter should be next in agenda. Use the content which you have and post it to twitter. Today, loads of Indians have twitter handle, why not connect with them?

Twitter is important because Search Engines now give importance to social media feeds.

Use blogs: Start a corporate blog. Comment on other blogs which has content on grooming, facials, hairstyles etc…

Write to online local/citi portals to feature you.

There are huge load of things you can do with social media.

( if the reader of this post wants to discuss more ideas, get in touch)

The branch Head then had a big question for me:

“Vikas, how to bring fans or bring customers to facebook fanpage?”

Answer:

Simple! From now, every time you give a bill to a customer, ask him for his name and number, mail id, and ask if he has a facebook, twitter or a blog presence .

Then tell him, this – Sir, we have a facebook fanpage and we have plans to have a website, may I invite you there? Is it ok if I send you an email invitation? You can also give us your ideas on what and how the website should be

If the customer agrees, then later send him a mail. This is Permission Marketing. You are not blasting spam; you are asking the customer his permission.

This is social media at its best and the customer will appreciate it.

Crowd sourcing:

The saloon has all sorts of customers who use their services. Why not run a contest inviting web designs? The best web design will become the official web design and the guy/gal who wins get 3 haircuts free with the name featured in the website.

Some of you who read this may argue , why is that I am going to such lengths in discussing social media for a saloon.

You are obviously missing the point.

The point is – Social Media is not confined to big brands. Social Media is sometime best suited and most effective for small business owners who wanna build big brands.

I am always open to crtizism or better ideas.

You can tweet me @spartanvikas

If you like my post, may I request you to share it in twitter, facebook or Delicious?

Dedication :

I would like to dedicate this post to C.K Prahalad, the pioneer behind the idea of Co Creating Value with the customer. He inspires me to give the best I can give to my customers.

Advertisements

Convert your photos to sketches – trust me .. u will love this one!

9 Jan

Got this from Wikinomics blog. You will love this one…

How about converting you digital photographs into sketches for a change? And what if  you can do it for free?

Befunky, does that for you ..Befunky enables you to convert images into sketches, digital paintings and comics.

According to their website ,BeFunky helps people turn their offline personalities into powerful online visual expressions”.

Brought to you by engineers and artists , Befunky has 2 mouth watering applications you are gonna love .

  • Cartoonizer – Converts your online/desktop images and photographs into sketches  and other digital formats.
  • Uvatar (…and I love this application) – This application helps you to customize/creates your own digital avatars. What is new about this one is that you don’t have to improve among exiting avatars you find in Yahoo or Second Life but create  your own which you think suits your personality.

Other funky thing you can do is –

Ecards – Design your own E-card . Lets say you have a pic of you with your spouse/gf/bf and you just don’t seem to find a kool E-card anywhere online which you would like to send . No problemo .. Why not create your own ? It is more romantic,  fantastically creative and damn fun!

i know for a fact that if i go to distance and make a E-card and give to my gf, she would love it, appreciate and cherish it for a long , long time to come..

pic-1

Not just for romantic stuff but say , if you wanna apologize to your dad/mom/best friend, then instead of buying a card, design it here and give it to them.

Log in ( it is free of course) and try converting couple of your pics to sketches before you upload them to Orkut or Facebook.

Now all that is needed is to unleash your creativity ….

Innovation is the key to social media marketing not random banner ads

14 Dec

The article Advertisers face Hurdles on Social Networking Sites in The New York Times is once again bringing to light on the fact that putting up banner ads and fan page in social networking sites need not be entirely successful. Being a social media evangelist myself, i echo same point here as well.

Putting up in-expensive banner ads or creating a fan page is not good enough. The users will sign up/become a member of the fan page just to show their solidarity to the brand. Fair enough. But that is not branding .

Branding is all about reinforcing the name of an existing brand and the product or luring in new customers to buy the brand. To put in simple language , that is.  Bottom line .. all this is done is to increase sales.  Dynamic banner ads is not the solution for that .

One thing is that social media marketing and networks are at a very nascent stage. In order to leverage social media companies should find much better ways to use social networks in branding and lead generation.

One good way is to start a blog ,connect with relevant bloggers and run a viral campaign. Implement multiple viral/buzz/online word of mouth marketing campaigns and learn from trial and error method. But make sure there is one “BIg IDEA” behind every campaign which is run. For this , the marketing teams should innovate and launch highly customized products to users and propagate it without being intrusive and irritating.