I was getting my hair cut and colored on a Saturday recently at a salon on East Market Street.
It was my first visit to Xpressions Hair Studio because my stylist, Evelyn Quinones-Detter, left her former position at Regis at the West Manchester Mall and started working at this salon.
I’ve been seeing Quinones-Detter for years now. She’s a sweet woman and I think she does a pretty good job with my hair. She’s also been known to scold me when I try out my own hair-color techniques at home. (Think pink hair with brown ends and gray roots. Not a pretty sight.)
But as I’m talking with Quinones-Detter and Brendaliz Bernard, the owner of the salon, Bernard looks at me curiously and asks, “What is your last name?”
“Hirko,” I responded.
“Do you work for the newspaper?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I follow you on Twitter,” she said.
And, it turns out that I follow her salon.
From there the chatter evolved into social networking and its business advantages. FourSquare, Facebook, LinknIn and Twitter are becoming staples in our professional lives. It’s how businesses — for little or no money — can get their names out there.
Bernard said she also follows Lauren Boyer, one of our business journalists. If you follow Boyer too, you know she’s very active on Twitter.
Bernard, Quinones-Detter and I ended up sharing tips and ideas of how the salon can get the word out about the business. I showed Bernard the Foursquare app and we talked about some of the small announcements we post in Sunday’s business section in Money & More. I could tell that I was helping them with information they were unaware of.
And then I thought about it: It shouldn’t surprise me that folks come to us for help with their business news. We are the experts in this field of social networking and online work. About 80 percent of my day is spent working with information online.
I’ll share what I know with anyone who asks. In fact we hold seminars at the office and on the road about how to promote your news. It’s an informative seminar.
It’s way more informative than my home-hair-coloring attempts.