When Beehive Salon in Wichita, Kansas, set a goal to attract a new, young demographic, they did what other business do—they turned to the Internet and the web-savvy stylists on their staff. “Because studies show that people are willing to spend a little more on devices like iPods and TiVo to screen out advertising, we sought social networking sites where these customers are looking for way to connect with each other,” says Owner Cindy Yost.
MySpace turned out to be a great, low-cost source for reaching this key market. “One of our stylists who was already addicted to MySpace volunteered to set up our profile and our staff who are already established on the network recruited friends. And, visits to our website have dramatically increased by linking it to our MySpace page,” says Yost. “By sharing information about the salon without it seeming like a commercial turned out to be the best way to connect with young people.”
360 Wichita, a local, online service, turned out to be a great portal to help users learn more about local businesses. Yost can update the salon’s profile as often as she wishes and include printable coupons and special promotions. “It’s also turned out to be a great employee recruitment tool—we’ve found some great employees by listing available positions on the site.”
Web-savvy staff helped update the salon’s site, making it easier to navigate, adding an online version of the salon’s TV commercial, and changing the images to attract a younger clientele. “By combining internet marketing with our more traditional strategies, we set new records last year, bringing an incredible 1,016 new customers to the salon, increasing our salon business by 17 percent,” reports Yost.