Here's the thing with hairdressers and barber shops.
You move to a new town/city. You nervously tread the streets looking for a place to get your hair cut. Eventually, you tentatively open a door and step in... but if they do a good job, the chances are you'll be opening that door for the rest of your life.
First impressions count.
Pulling in customers with fringes in from the fringes is all important.
Now, they can see what your barber shop is like before they walk past, by searching online.
Or... you can interrupt their social feed by appearing in it with a paid ad.
After a pair of clippers, a comb and that weird jar of Barbicide, video is fast becoming a key tool for any hairdresser.
For this post of choice cuts, I've concentrated on male focussed 'barber shops'.
Seen a great example elsewhere? Please do get in touch here or tweet @sfolland.
THE FULL TREATMENT
Schorem Barbers in Rotterdam have created an impressive catalogue of stylish videos that perfectly capture what it's like to visit them. So long as you're a man of course.
THE WHOLE CUT
Cut & Sew in Dublin have had big success with this semi 'how-to' video, which shows their skills and what the place looks like, though not while open, so it doesn't have so much atmosphere as it could. Still, pretty mesmerising.
(By the way, did you get an annoying pop up advert during that? Yep - that's why you should post to YouTube but never embed to your site with it)
DIY - Twitter
True Gents in Hitchin did a DIY film job for their Twitter feed to promote their February special offer of a free wet shave. They then pinned this to the top of their Twitter page.
This kind of video doesn't need to be perfectly finished, it's great to see it raw, it captures our attention in our social feeds.
Keep in mind, on auto-play in your feed this would play silently - works really well.
THE SHORT BACK AND WIDE ANGLE
BarberBarber give us a perfect glimpse into their place. The custom thumbnail is brilliant to grab our attention and get a key message across without even hitting play. I know this is promoting their YouTube channel, but I'm still surprised they don't have a version of this on their homepage, sums up this expanding brand perfectly.
Now, I've had to switch over to a female salon for this example. But there's no reason why others couldn't make use of this tactic.
Instagram is spot on for such a visual business to capture what they're up to. Hugo Salon even have their Instagram feed embedded on their homepage, that's how key it is.
As part of their video strategy they make 'how to' videos for their blog (How To videos are always hugely popular on YouTube) but create these ultra-trimmed Instagram versions (where you're limited to 15 seconds. **UPDATE**: As of Spring 2016 the length expanded to 60 seconds) to promote the full length cuts and work as stand-alone content themselves. I'm thinking of going for the first one, what do you think?
Ali Barbers in Essex popped up in my Facebook feed last year because they paid to promote their video to, presumably, an audience of local men. (My broadband must link to Harlow as I always get adverts suggesting I get things there).
The video is soundtracked by a custom song they had produced for a radio ad campaign.
Facebook ads are incredibly powerful for targeting a specific local audience. It clearly shows the kind of barbers they are, what to expect and, subtley when they're open. If people you know 'like' it, it will also appear in your feed.
DO GOOD, LOOK GOOD
This isn't from one particular salon, but rather a united effort of stylists from a local community. The joined together to give haircuts to the homeless one Sunday at their busiest time of year... just before Christmas.
This documentary style feature is a special heart warming video that reflects well on all of the people and companies involved.
AND WHAT WOULD SIR LIKE TODAY?
This post is looking at barber shops, but of course if you have any physical establishment that you want customers to walk into, this holds true for you too. Bars, sweet shops, beauty salons, butchers, health centres...
You've got more than just your window onto the street now, so let people enjoy the view.