Andrea Horan, former PR with youth specialists Thinkhouse, is the creator of Tropical Popical, Dublin’s brightest, kitschiest nail salon. Andrea actively promoted her business through social media from the outset and opened her salon doors with a full appointment book.
Here, ahead of the next IMAGE Networking Breakfast, she shares her words of wisdom on just how important a role social media can play for any campaign or business…
How does social media impact your business for Tropical Popical?
Social media allows us to communicate the brand’s personality. If there’s no grounding to what you’re doing, social media isn’t going to change that – it’s simply another more direct channel of communication rather than its own raison d’etre and I think people forget this all too often. For us, social media lets people see into Tropical Popical ahead of their visit and lets them know what they can expect. It sets the tone.
How has social media changed in the past 3 years, since your business opened?
For me, I think it’s more that brand guardians have changed rather than social media. The amount of content being put out has increased and consumers are becoming more picky about what they see and consume so content needs to be targeted, relevant and have a reason to be. The thing that most annoys me about branded content is when there is no consideration given to the end consumer. The good marketeers are creating valuable content that not only adds to the brands image but also to the consumer’s life.
Tell us about a digital campaign you initiated/worked on that worked well?
There were two campaigns that stick in my mind and that I really loved whilst working in Thinkhouse. The first was a ‘Barry’s Tea With…’ cultural series and the other was the launch of Your Heineken, a personalisation option for Heineken bottles. They were both very targeted and neither isolated to on or offline –which I think is key to creating valuable emotional connections between your audience and a brand. For the ‘Barry’s Tea With…’, we wanted to target young, cultured Dubliners, so we teamed up with a few different people who were leaders in their field, giving our audience the opportunity to have ‘Tea With’ these inspirational people. It was the first time Barry’s had engaged in online and was exciting to see a traditional brand embrace new technology and still retain the brand’s heritage and remain true to its personality whilst moving into a new space – both culturally and digitally. I loved the Your Heineken launch campaign because we really localised the launch of the campaign which is difficult with global brands. We wanted to communicate the fact that you could now create your own personally designed bottles of Heineken. We called on people to submit their designs, inspired by cities in Ireland. The winning design, chosen through an online voting system by the public, would be produced and sold on Heineken bottles but would also be recreated on a landmark wall in the city it was inspired by. I still love to walk by what is now Drury buildings and see the artwork that was created from this campaign integrated onto the façade.
What fills your appointment book fastest?
Good service the first time! Our platforms are hubs for our customers to direct their friends to, for them to see if we’re their cup of tea/ coconut of Lilt.
What was the most favourited/retweeted Tweet you’ve put out?
Not surprisingly it was the offer of a free mani! People will never stop loving free stuff.
What’s your favourite social media channel for business and why?
We use the big three – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each of them has their own place in the mix and we’re very conscious of using each of them for their own purpose.
And finally… the next big trend in nails will be…?
I’m passionate about people just getting what makes them most happy rather than following trends. Trends are created by brands to make people buy more. If you like nail art, go wild with it. If you like a particular colour, wear it.