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July 9, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

Hair styles, salons and the world of social media

Most of my mornings are spent cup of coffee in one hand, Mashable iPhone app in the other one, as my caffeine and social media fix go hand in hand. I’m not as interested in social media for myself, but more so studying emerging trends to stay on top of my PR game, examining best practices for brands using social media to connect with consumers.

To enhance my knowledge beyond the morning reading material, I decided to do a little social media experiment of my own. I needed to get a hair cut/color before starting my Bell Pottinger internship (grown out roots remind me way too much of Britney Spears’ troubled days), but I’m picky about hairstyles, especially in a foreign country.

Alas, the perfect opportunity to put on my consumer shoes (which I bought from Top Shop of course, when I was playing the consumer card yet again). To test out how hair product brands use social media, and to see if my brand loyalty would be built up or busted via online interaction, I decided to send a Facebook message to the UK division of my personal favorite hair color brand: Redken.

I asked for recommendations on salons to go to for their hair color products. If they responded with a salon that worked out well (and didn’t leave me contemplating wigs), I’d be a brand loyal customer for life. If they sent me a salon that ruined my hair color and sent me into my internship looking like a psycho path, you can bet I’d never buy their products again. And, if they didn’t interact on social media at all and avoided my question completely, I’d most likely find a more engaging brand to get my advice from (and buy products from in the future).

My go-to Natalie Portman hairstyle

My go-to Natalie Portman hairstyle

Fortunately, Redken responded within a few days with a suggestion. Even more fortunate was the fact that my haircut and color turned out flawless, giving me confidence at my internship, increased Redken brand loyalty and an even greater appreciation for brand interaction on social media.

But then again, when you show up to a hair appointment with a picture of Natalie Portman’s hair style you want, only to (unexpectedly) find out that Ms. Portman herself was in the salon just a few months ago, I’d sure hope it turns out perfect. Because that sure doesn’t come cheap (unfortunately). Lesson learned? Check prices before your head is covered in foils.

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