The other day I was getting my hair cut at Alan Benjamin’s Salon (I’d provide a link but Alan does not have a website, yet =). Alan and I got into a conversation about his business and where he derives most of his customers.
I asked him how business was and what he does to get new clients. Interestingly, he said, “Fortunately, I don’t anymore they come to me by referral”. If you know Alan, he’s a flamboyant, talented stylist and also very funny. Women at his salon love him and he loves them.
He told me that he’s just not going to waste money advertising anymore. He’s been involved in local business networking/mixer clubs, he’s paid for yellow page ads, and online listings and the list goes on. Yet, his most effective form of promotion has been his customer network, i.e. word-of-mouth.
Then, I told Alan a little bit about what I was doing and it’s similarities to the Salon Effect. He raised his eyebrows and commented, “that sounds interesting – so what you do is act like a radar dector and show people where potential customers are and what they think about you”. I said, yep.
I really liked the radar dector as an analogy to social media intelligence and I also like the commonality between social media and a salon. What happens in social media is exactly what happens at and around a salon. People go to the salon and talk about what’s happening in the local community. People make recommendations about local businesses, movies to watch, who did what and so forth. And, if you listen while you’re there you on pick up things. If you engage in conversation you learn even more.
Today, people are going to online communities, blogs, microblogs, forums, etc., like they have gone to salons, pubs, local resturants, etc., and are influencing others in mass. Social media is not a fad. In fact, it’s a serious change in how businesses will need to adapt to in order to be successful. Are you ready for the change? Maybe this video will make you think about getting prepared.
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