3595 N Shiloh Dr Suite 2
I am so utterly impressed with Manely Curly Salon's branding and social media. I'm going to try to highlight some of my favorite things, but it's one of those situations where the more I analyze it, the better it gets.
Disclosure: This post is going to be a bit personal and girly. But there's still some good nuggets of social media marketing wisdom to be found.
First, how I found Grace Heffron and Manely Curly Salon.
To be honest, I don't remember.
Which means the chances are they came across my feed because their social media is amazing.
They caught my attention. I try to ignore ads and adsy type posting. Typically it's pretty easy, because ads and posts aren't targeted enough to catch my attention. But I can't ignore Manely Curly Salon.
So what caught my attention?
Gorgeous curly hair.
See, this summer I decided to take the plunge and own that my hair is curly. I've been researching curly hair products, processes, cuts, etc. I did "the big cut" this summer, and it was ok, but it was mostly just to get the dead stuff off and lighten the weight on my curls.
But I am ready for a big girl curly hair cut. And I don't know where the heck to go. I'm still relatively new to the area, and how do I know someone knows what they're doing?!?!
One of my first salon experiences was awful! I wanted a "Rachel" and I got, as my dad put it, a "Goldie"... as in Hawn. Since then I have always been nervous about finding a new stylist. (Yeah. It's been over 20 years, and I'm still not over it)
I had one stylist pass away. I had another completely quit doing hair due to health issues. So now I am left without someone I trust. And I have completely different hair. So I am terrified.
Anyway, I'm looking for a curly hair specialist. Someone who knows curly hair. I don't even know where to start. But they found me.
And they've hooked me.
Manely Curly Salon knows their target audience- young(ish) curly-haired women.
The value and quality is seemingly flawlessly proven over and over.
So I go to see if they have their prices listed.
Now, I've not spent more than $65+ tip on a haircut... and that felt exorbitant even though it was at a luxury salon. (To be honest, she wasn't that great, but I kept going to her because of my fear of finding a new coiffer.) But I would have no problem paying that for someone who can do to my hair what Manely Curly does to their clients.
They even have an introductory cut!... for $140?!?!?!
But y'all. I have absolutely no doubt it is totally worth it. The fact that they have an initial, more expensive, 90-minute, new client cut tells me they will provide a phenomenal service. And there's only a few openings in the next four months. So I am not the only one who is convinced.
So I have new hair stylist goals. But back to marketing.
Lessons to learn from Grace Heffron and Manely Curly Salon:
Well done Manely Curly!
Hashtags can be a powerful way to increase your reach, but when done haphazardly, they can do more harm than good. And hashtags perform differently on different platforms.
Today, we're talking about how to use hashtags effectively on Instagram.
First, the logistics of how hashtags are used on Instagram:
The ONLY hashtags you should have on your IG posts are ones that are relevant to the topic at hand. On other platforms, hashtags can be used for added meaning and snarkiness, but for IG it can hurt your reach, because:
You can just slap a bunch of hashtags together. It might work. And at first, that's absolutely fine as you develop your brand, your voice, and your social media skills.
But to really improve your reach, you can optimize your posts by choosing strategic hashtags. You can hire someone out, and there's software to help you, as well.
But I highly recommend going through the research process yourself first, so you can better understand what you want as well as what you're looking for in hiring someone or signing up for software. Here is a free and more manual way I approach hashtag research when I first start working with a target audience.
Step One: Brainstorm related words, topics, keywords, and phrases based on your target audience. What is your target audience interested in? What else are they interested in? Where is the overlap? (BONUS TIP: Keep this list for content ideas, too.)
Step Two: To start researching a potential hashtag, type it with the hashtag into the search bar on IG (don't hot enter). A dropdown will pop up with the hashtag you entered, how many posts that hashtag has, and related tags with their number of posts. (BONUS TIP: Write down the relevant related hashtags that have at least 1,000 posts for research later.)
Step Three: Click on the hashtag you are researching. You will be directed to a page that highlights the top performing posts with that hashtag and then the most recent posts with that hashtag. Check them out. Do these look like posts you would have? Do they seem relevant to your target audience?
Step Four: Learn from those who have hashtagged before you. What types of posts do they have? What is the engagement on each of those (reactions, comments, conversations)? What other hashtags do they use (write those down and research them)? Visit their profiles and see how they are doing, what they post, how people interact with them, etc.
Step Five: Keep track of the hashtags, noting related hashtags, number of posts for each, types of posts found, etc.
Step Six: Once you have a good selection of hashtags that have posts consistent with your content, select a handful of high volume hashtags, medium volume, and low volume to use on your posts. If you only pick hashtags with large numbers of posts, you're more likely to get lost in a sea of other posts. But if you also have more specific hashtags with a lower number of posts, you're a big fish in a smaller pond. (BONUS TIP: If you're using a spreadsheet, you can categorize each hashtag and use Concatenate to feed relevant hashtags into one string for easy copy and pasting.)
STEP SEVEN: Use, test, switch around. Don't use all the same hashtags all the time. Algorithms typically don't like copy and paste and other lazy tactics. Select a handful, then use different hashtags relevant to the post that will hit different sectors of the target audience.
Keep in mind, platforms are constantly changing. What is true in this article could be undermined next week. But in general, conscientious selection of hashtags are going to yield better results than cheap and quick fixes. Truly seek to serve your audience and you are more likely to reach them.
1327 S. Main Street
Favorite Brands gives me an outlet for sending kudos to businesses I think have done great things with their branding. It could be one aspect--their social media, website, a process, etc.-- or, like this one, it could be the consistent, in clear messaging to a target audience in all aspects of the brand. Have you seen some good branding in NWA I should take a look at?
About a month or two ago, I started seeing ads from a new boutique. I'm not a boutique shopper, so I ignored the ads. But after a while, I started paying attention. I realized this was a POSH THRIFT STORE... & I love me a thrift store... for a few reasons.
1) Items are usually cheaper.
2) It reduces/reuses/repurposes waste.
3) I know what the garment is going to look like after it's washed... & if it will still fit my long arms & legs.
But this thrift store gives back--unlike some corporate thrift stores with a name that makes you think they're in it for the sake of good will.
Beautiful LIves is a non-profit thrift store that shares their profits with organizations that serve vulnerable women & children. They have several stores in NWA. It's a gorgeous, boutique with gently used clothing at great thrift store prices.
But their branding, y'all!
If you don't already know, you'll soon find out, I preach a lot about branding being more than just the colors & logo. I believe the FULL brand is any impression you make on your target audience, all the way to the bathroom.
Yes, their colors and logo are clean and rich, while still being gentle, but their power lies in the FULL brand. There is a lot I could focus on, but I want to call your attention to two ways they've created clear, cohesive messaging of their Core Values:
Worth- Not only are these affordable thrift store prices, but they don't have exorbitantly higher prices on designer brands. This clearly communicates 1) every item has value, whether it's from Walmart or Free People & 2) quality items aren't reserved for the privileged. Both of these further reinforce the worth of the individuals they serve, both their shoppers and the women and children their profits help provide for.
Hospitality- A relatively large portion of their store is reserved for comfortable seating, drink service. and personal amenities (in the bathroom you can find feminine products, a changing station, baby wipes, and so on). They communicate clearly they want their customers--all their customers--to be cared for, relaxed, valued.
They know who their target audience is & they have accommodated them from logo to gotta-go... to-the-bathroom-now. And their Core Values of generosity and gentleness come out in even the most mundane aspects of their business.
1327 S. Main Street Bentonville, AR 72712
Tara Cloud Clark provides freelance consultation, strategy, and implementation for Branding and Identity, Social Media and Content, and Project Management. Here she provides tips on these topics.