Not so long ago I was contacted by a gentleman looking to pick my brain on social media. I agreed to meet with him and we chatted for some time about the strategies he was employing for his wife’s somewhat new salon, CarolAnn Joy Beauty Salon. We traded ideas, swapped war stories, and discussed the latest trends. But at the end what I walked away from our time together with was a great story about their small business and the success they had seen utilizing social media to bolster their efforts.

Carol Ann Joy had worked in other salons previously but decided, like many entrepreneur’s, that it was time to be her own boss. Her husband Jordan soon began working full time to help boost the new family business. They operate the small two-chair salon in Redmond, WA just outside of Seattle. During this time Jordan partnered with a friend of his forming Lava Lounge Creative, ¬†helping their customers with their creative strategies and social media marketing.

Some of the tactics and learnings Jordan had I thought might be helpful for other people just getting a small local business started in social so I asked if I could highlight them for you here.

In June of last year Jordan and CarolAnn got their presence solidified in Google places. They didn’t yet have a website up so this acted as an online destination for the time being. I personally advocate getting a website up as soon as possible when launching a new business of nearly any kind. Customers today turn to the web first when searching for a new service provider or when researching a product. If you aren’t there to be found it is highly likely you’ll be passed up for someone who can be found. In their case the website wasn’t an option so their Google Places page filled in. Until you can et your website up a short term solution is to find a site like this, or Facebook, Yelp, etc that can act as your landing page or online calling card. But remember – it is a solution for the mean time. Facebook or any other site should not take the place of your own.

You can see the growth they experienced on their Google Places page with Jordan’s effort:

CarolAnn Joy - Google Places
They also began building our their email list. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that email marketing is dying. That’s just ridiculous. Is your marketing mix changing? Sure. Is email marketing as a channel changing? Absolutely. But let’s be real. It is still a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal and you need to be using it. If you are kudos to you – and kudos to Jordan and CarolAnn for seeing the importance of it and starting early to build out this list.

Jordan and CarolAnn knew that while their website was being developed they needed to keep moving forward. They needed to spread the word about their blossoming new salon and get new clients in the door. CarolAnn was busy cutting, slipping, washing and making beautiful so much of the marketing fell on Jordan. He took what he knew about the social web and set about using it for the good of their new business. Jordan started by reaching out to influencers and others that would be interested in their salon’s services in the area. They began pushing Facebook as a channel and leveraging the power there to grow their audience. The growth they experienced there is quite impressive especially given the time frame:

CarolAnn Joy Salon -  Likes & Sales

Overall the growth they experienced during this time period before the launch of the website was impressive and is owed to their hard work and the utilization of the social web.

CarolAnn Joy Salon Growth

Their website is now up and running – and quite beautiful I might add – and they’re really set up for success.