Evoke Salon gets to the root of social media success

March 29, 2011  |  Alicia Androich  |  Comments

A Toronto salon is taking hair—and social media savvy—to great heights, boosting its brand and building relationships with those in need of a new ’do.

The co-founders of Evoke Salon, a business that’s plugged into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and has a blog, recently used their social media prowess to convince a who’s who of online celebrities to let them style their hair during SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas.

The momentum started when Evoke co-founder Jason Speziale began tweeting back and forth with Gary Vaynerchuk, the host of vlog Wine Library TV and social media expert. Speziale offered to cut Vaynerchuk’s hair and subsequently he and fellow Evoke co-founder Jon Dimauro ended up styling it during the conference.

Buzz built about Evoke’s services and Speziale and Dimauro ended up styling the hair of other social media celebs at the event, such as Facebook director of market development Randi Zuckerberg (pictured with Dimauro) and Punky Brewster actor-turned-Twitterista Soleil Moon Frye.

Evoke, which has two locations, started its Twitter and Facebook presence in 2009. It now has more than 750 Twitter followers and over 350 Facebook fans. But marketing a brand online is more than a numbers game, said Speziale.

“Jon and I aren’t so concerned with our number of followers unless they’re quality followers,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have one million followers; we want quality followers to establish a relationship with rather than just random people.”

To sustain those relationships, Evoke participates in several community charity events, such as a recent Heart & Stroke Foundation auction and an upcoming Japan earthquake fundraiser. Remaining constantly active in social media makes it easier to donate gift certificates and free hair cuts to such events since the social media community is very tight. “It’s word of mouth on steroids,” said Speziale.

Social media marketing is creating a resurgence of consumer relationship building, not unlike in years past when a local butcher knew which cuts of meat customers favoured. “With social media, it’s one-on-one marketing,” said Speziale. “Instead of shouting to everyone, now you can see who’s following your brand.

“Any company can join Twitter, but if someone talks about your company it’s got to be a two-way conversation or else it’s useless.”

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