Sitting here having a cigar,drinking a beer and talking to a few guys about social media and how to use it. I was not sure where this conversation was going to go but in the end it turned out to be quite interesting.
We live in a time where tech is king. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat...etc. In the hair industry whether it is being a barber, stylist or a colorist it seems like you are judged by social media. Does having a quarter of a million followers really mean you are a great stylist/barber. Do brands bring on "educators" based of the amount of followers or like on there pages. Last but not least does social media truly give a clear reflection of that professional?
The truth is it is all in how you choose to use these platforms.
For me the question was is social media an illusion and the response was interesting.
""It means your helping more people then just your clients, by way of education,inspiration and entertainment" say Andrew (founder of ADH grooming products). Jason Bonner (@handsomejackthebarber) believes that "inspiration amongst our peers is priceless".
"Being famous on social media is like being rich at Monopoly" says Matty Conrad (Victory Barbers & Brand Victoria,Bc). "Everyone has a following these days but it does not pay the bills".
Just for the record being "successful" on social media does not mean you are a great stylist or barber it just means you have figured out how to make yourself a commodity... something for people to pay attention to. A few examples are Pope The Barber owner of Vatican barbershop has currently 60 thousand plus followers. I have had the pleasure to work along side Pope and she is awesome behind the chair and has made this huge presence on social media with Instagram & Snapchat.
Another example and hands down one of my favorite presence on Social media is Dougla McCoy, owner of House POP in Spokane,Wa.. His personal Instagram has 1516 followers while his salons I/G has 13 thousand plus followers. The content is creative and reflect him and his salon/brand.
Is content the key to blowing up your social medial? I am not sure! Do my customer give a shit I smoke cigars and drink whiskey......a few do. So should it be all business or should we be game to share a piece of who we are with not only our immediate clientele who follow us but those who pay attention to our business outside the realm of our personal bubble.
Dane Hesse owner of Pig & Eagle in Costa Mesa,CA said "I don't often post haircuts. I mostly toss up lifestyle tidbits. Moments that reflect who I am".
"My life is not a reality show and my family never signed up to be broadcast like the looks That I creat. Finding balance is key" Andrew says.
We as professionals have an opportunity to share our skills and life with others. Whether it is showing a haircut, a simple technique or just a glimpse into what we do at our shops people are watching.
Trends chang so do not get caught up into the platforms that are cool because next month someone is using the next cool thing. And remember it is sometimes better to have 1000 followers in your local community and areas you actually work then 10 thousand followers in places that you have never.
I am not a social media guru by any stretch of the imagination. I hope you find this as interesting to read as I enjoyed putting it together.