Why Digital Matters for Hair and Beauty Businesses: A Spotlight on Estelle Oliveri

Alex Davies-Parmenter
Alex Davies-Parmenter
Product Marketing at Timely
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Social media and PR expert, Estelle Oliveri, tells us why she made the jump from successful architect to PR expert. Finding a strong alignment between architecture and beauty, Estelle tests, challenges, and builds digital ideas for hairdressing and beauty businesses. Here are her predictions for the future of the industry. 

My name is Estelle Oliveri and I’m the driving force behind Hairpin Digital. Together with my team, we constantly test, challenge and build digital ideas for the beauty and hair industry. We draw inspiration outside of the Beauty industry that allows us to think creatively and differently within it. We push barriers and test the market to ultimately help business owners succeed.

Can you tell us about your jump from an architect, to a PR/Social Media expert in the hairdressing and beauty industries?

I worked at a prestigious architectural firm in London for 5 years from 2007 to 2012. This company took on projects from all over Europe. I worked on projects for Russian politicians and celebrities, the King of Saudi Arabia, Michelin Star Restaurant owners and Singaporean billionaires.

Due to a family illness in 2012, I returned to Australia to help run a family business in North Queensland. It occurred to me during this time how much the business relied on reviews for growth, however, technology and social media were not at the forefront of their marketing strategy. It was also during this time out of the hustle and bustle of London I recognised how much I relied on friends and technology to find service providers like hair and beauty salons.

The disconnection between people desperately seeking services and businesses looking for clients became apparent.

In September 2012, I won a Female Fellowship with an American organisation called the Founder Institute to start my own technology company. It was through this fellowship I built my first mobile app Eternal Eve, an app to help women find quality service providers in the beauty, health, and wellness sectors. The mobile app was invested in by a group in Western Australia.

The app was essentially another marketing channel online for businesses in the beauty, health and wellness sector to promote their services. However, the key problem I found was that salons did not know how to use the existing platforms they were already on, such as Facebook and Instagram.

I knew I could help.

I had been trained in everything technology related – online marketing, sales, Google Advertising, SEO, Facebook Advertising and social media.

Hairpin Digital was born.

Why did the hairdressing and beauty industries appeal to you?

Hairdressers and beauty professionals provide confidence to women like me sitting in corporate meetings, rejuvenation to tired mothers, engagement and banter with the elderly etc. They are brilliant at igniting a spark with clients, excellent with their hands and artistic vision but (generally speaking) not as good with technology.

I see hairdressers and beauty therapists as angels – people born with a passion to make someone’s day, week, month and year brighter.

Architecture is also a visual artistic profession and I share this same passion with hairdressers. Architects and hairdressers are very similar in that regard.

Overall the hair industry appeals to me because if I can help another woman find a quality hair salon to evoke the confidence that I myself have needed on many occasions, then I’ve succeeded.

What difference do you think you can make for salon owners?

The difference is the connection I make with ideal clients. It’s tapping into the ideal clients’ psyche, understanding what they like, what makes them tick online to engage on social media. A lot of salons fall into the trap of following what other salons are doing online. I help salons understand how their ideal client engages online to ensure the right message is crafted for their audience.

Why is social media important for the industry?

Social media is critical for every salon business. Your business is open 24-hours a day online. People are searching all the time to find quality service providers. Generation Y, X and baby boomers use it daily as this is how they connect and LEARN about the world around them. I like to think of social media as your business’ online magazine. The quality of your magazine tells a lot to a viewer. Is it chaotic? Professional? Branded? If you are not on social media or not using it frequently it is difficult for someone to validate the authenticity and quality of your salon.

What do you love the most about the hair and beauty industry?

What I love most is the impact that the hair and beauty industry can have on an individual’s life. I love how they can turn a frown into a smile and bring joy and confidence to lives.

Those in the hair industry sprinkle happy dust amongst people everywhere they go.

Any predictions for the industry?

I see social media becoming more and more important in the appointment/booking process. With Generation Y using social media as a communication tool, Generation Z now surfacing and technology moving at the pace it does, I see additional features for social media coming in to play to funnel and fast track online bookings.

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