small biz case study fi2

How can local businesses capitalize on social media marketing to compete with chains and online competition? This week’s case study focuses on a local hair salon that uses their small, local status as their greatest asset, successfully monetizing social media marketing in a mid-size midwestern city.

Case Study: G. Michael Hair Salon

Greg Michaels is the owner of G. Michael Salon in Indianapolis, voted the #1 salon in the city. While you may not think of Indianapolis as a hotbed of social media, Greg and his staff are savvy marketers that use multiple social networks to connect with a fan base far beyond their city.

G. Michael Salon Facebook page
G. Michael Salon Facebook page

G. Michael Salon By the Numbers

  • Facebook Fans: 3,358
  • Pinterest Followers: 10,321
  • Twitter Followers: 1,175
  • Instagram Followers: 1,098
  • Time Spent Weekly on Social Media: 33 hours

ALL Business is LOCAL

Local businesses often feel squeezed by increasing competition from large big-box stores and online competitors. Greg and his staff have turned the challenge of being a small, local business into their greatest opportunity.


By engaging with local businesses and consumers on a level no national salon chain can match. They devote 33 hours each week to their social media efforts: three hours each week planning on what to post, and 30 hours executing their plan.

Social Media for Local Business Case Study: Hair Salon Before & After Facebook Photos
G. Michael fans love the before & after transformation photos

G. Michael’s staff stays in touch with other Indy businesses and clients on Facebook by sharing their posts, engaging on their pages, and reaching the “friends of friends” to increase their brand visibility far beyond the city and into the state. This increased brand recognition “significantly contributed to our bottom line by helping us reach people throughout our state and in our local area,” says Michaels.

Their fans turn to them to stay on top of current trends and for a steady stream of inspiration. Michaels says their fans never get bored because they offer up so much original content.

Sophisticated Use of Social

While G. Michael is a small brand, they’ve mastered social media marketing and use it in a highly sophisticated way. Their Pinterest boards feature staff photos and bios. Click on the Staff board and you’ll get a map to their salon and you can see their large use of hashtags to help their SEO on Pinterest:

Social Media for Local Business Case Study: Hair Salon Pinterest Boards
G. Michael’s Pinterest boards
Social Media for Local Business Case Study: Hair Salon on Pinterest
Staff bios, a map to the salon, and lots of hashtags

Engage Where Your Clients Are

G. Michael has beautiful and vibrant social media presences on multiple social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They upload before and after hairstyle makeovers, run contests, and support local charities. Combine that with their hashtag use, maps, and reviews on Facebook, and they are a formidable brand to reckon with.

Social Media for Local Business Case Study: Hair Salon
G. Michael runs Facebook contests regularly
Social Media for Local Business Case Study: Hair Salon
G. Michael goes where their clients have social media accounts, including Instagram

G. Michael keeps their branding consistent across social networks, and their engagement levels set them apart from other salons in the area, helping to differentiate their brand.

Turning Social into an Over-the-Top Experience in the Salon

Michaels credits his team for keeping their clients happy once they’ve engaged on social media and visit the salon, saying:

Once a guest chooses to visit your business after finding you through all of your hard work, it’s time to deliver! Deliver above and beyond what the guest expects each and every time. Consistency is always key. Offer your new guest an excellent experience/service each and every time and they will now become another part of your thriving business

How you can adapt this case study for your own small business

G. Michael Salon successfully monetizes their social media marketing by focusing on these tactics:

  • Weekly planning session for their social media marketing
  • Post consistently throughout the week
  • Engage with fans and other local businesses (local-only)
  • Deep use of hashtags for SEO (local-only)
  • Take advantage of maps on both Facebook and Pinterest (local-only)

How to Execute Your Local Social Media Marketing Strategy

Ready to monetize your social media marketing for your local business?

I recommend the March members-only bonus webinar: Local Social Media Marketing. I’ll be sharing my secrets, including:

  • where your #1 source of new customers will come from
  • the secret to getting free advertising worth over $10,000 every month
  • marketing resources for local businesses only (your competition doesn’t know about these!)

The webinar is a $297.00 value, free for members in February. I look forward to helping you in your content marketing efforts!