Sole Tan

Any business can benefit from social media

By Alyssa Lajoie and Shay Sweet

Sole Tan, a local tanning salon just minutes away from Lasell College campus, is a thriving and booming company.  Being such a prime company for the young adult and teenage community, social media is a vital way for this organization to reach their key audience.  For the two of us, being tanners ourselves, this company caught our interest because we are included as key customers to this business.  After learning more about social media in our class and looking at the way that Sole Tan handled their social media, we thought this would be a company we could help improve.  Before talking to the owner, Andrea Mancini, we did a little background research on what kind of social media they did have.

We found that Sole Tan did have a Facebook page as well as their own website.  We also found that their website was lacking in energy, as well as updates.  Looking further we saw that the specials that they offered hadn’t been updated since early 2011.  After contacting Sole Tan we gathered more information about the company itself and how it began.

Sole Tan was established in 2005 and has been growing since then.  Current owner, Andrea, bought the business in April of 2010.  Since she’s taken over the company, she has made many changes which have resulted in an increase in customer traffic, as well as a monthly pick up.  Andrea credits the expansion to the variety of their product lines and the new friendly staff, making customers eager to come back.  Knowing that she is so close to Lasell and many other schools like Brandeis, Regis, BC, and Mount Ida,  Andrea can see an increase in her business when school is in session. Different promotions that Sole Tan offers are also accredited to the increase in customers.

We then asked a little bit about the difficulties a company like a tanning salon comes into contact with.  After stating that going tanning is a luxury, Andrea talked about the fact that being in the tanning business is very challenging with the economy the way it is.  When Andrea took over the company,  she stated that she immediately lowered the prices.  She talked about how she would much rather see her business busy than slow because of prices being too high for people.  Another difficulty that Andrea and the staff of Sole Tan came into contact with was the 10% tan tax on all services, which started in July of 2010 shortly after Andrea had taken over.  This not only upset Sole Tan as a business but also upset its customers.  Andrea, however, was very happy to say that it didn’t slow down their business all too much.  The final difficulty that Andrea mentioned was that Sole Tan did not have their own parking lot, just street metered parking.

There were some benefits for the company, however.  Sole Tan offers events such as “free tan day” or “$5 tan day.”  Andrea said that both of these events are very successful for the company and bring in a lot of new customers, as well as returning clients.  Two other offers that they have are for new customers to tan free on their first visit and if an existing customer refers a friend, they get a free upgrade to stronger equipment.  Andrea stated that they get the word out about these types of events by passing out flyers and using their Facebook page.   After mentioning Facebook, we took the time to jump on social media in general and ask Andrea more about how it works for the company.

After taking over the company, there was already a Facebook profile established for Sole Tan.  Andrea then went in and made a business page for customers to like, but she has said that the personal page has gotten more feedback and has seen more grown than the business page.  The Sole Tan Facebook profile is used to update customers on upcoming promotions and deals that the salon is offering.  Andrea was very happy with having Facebook since she knows that her key customers are within the ages of 18 and 30.  And by association, they use Facebook a lot. While she has paid for creative marketing, nothing has worked as well as in-person promoting, word-of-mouth, and posting on Facebook.  Andrea’s goals are to get customers excited about events and upcoming specials.  Bringing in as many new members as possible as well is always a goal for Sole Tan.

Andrea is the social media “expert” for Sole, although she says that it would definitely be helpful if they had someone other than herself or an actual expert to help with the social media of her company.  She updates the Facebook herself and also uses the help of her current employees to promote on their two pages.  Andrea admits she has had some problems with social media because she doesn’t know the ins-and-outs of each outlet, but she is very confident in the way social media works.  She says that social media has been a great tool for her small business because it is free, but reaches a bigger market.

After having our interview with Andrea we got a better grasp of knowledge on what exactly Sole Tan is doing with the social media technologies and how they are contacting their key audience.  There were some great things that Sole Tan is doing and then there were many others that we found they could do a lot better.  One of the first things that we wanted to recommend to the company was to keep on track with their website.  We found that it hadn’t been updated in over a year and that was something we definitely wanted to see change.  Another thing that we wanted to change was the Facebook page, but only a little.  The first thing that we saw was that the pictures on the Facebook did not pertain to the company at all.  We would recommend that the company put pictures of the actual tanning salon itself, the products that they sell and even pictures of the employees to show the friendly staff.

The next thing that we would want to see happen is have Sole create a Twitter page.  They could use the page the same way that they use their Facebook page; to promote offers and specials that the tanning salon is offering.  We thought that this would be a great idea for them because of the target audience that they are aimed at.  Not only could they use the Twitter to reach current consumers, those consumers could help open new doors for Sole by retweeting them and getting the word out about them with just an easy click.

Another form of social media that we would recommend for Sole is to create a Pinterest.   With Pinterest becoming such a popular social media we feel that Sole could benefit from having a page on this website.  We could picture the company having multiple themed boards with pictures of products they sell, spray tans, or sun-friendly destinations.  We could also see the employees having their own boards to help contribute towards the overall Pinterest.

Lastly, we would recommend that Sole create a FourSquare account.  FourSquare is a social media where people can check into the places that they go to.  By creating this account, again this is a great way for customers to promote for the company, but it could also open doors for other offers that Sole could give.  If a customer checks in a certain number of times, Sole could reward them with a free tan, etc. 

We were very happy to work with Sole Tan and are looking forward to seeing them grow in the social media world.


So. Much. Work

By Alyssa Lajoie

It’s about that time of year again, final projects are starting to be due, research papers for classes are due, exams are right around the corner.  Students are feeling extremely overwhelmed.  Sure, you can’t exactly help that you have these large heaps of homework, but you can help the amount of stress you have.

Make a to-do list- Use your planner!  That’s what it was given to you for.  Write down when you have due dates for projects, papers, and readings.  Each day write down what you need to do that day and check it off as you accomplish them.  It’ll feel great and decrease your stress about all the work you have due once you check something off your list!

Plan your time accordingly- Have a big exam coming up?  A research paper or project due?  Don’t wait to do it last minute.  Use that planner and write down that you need to work a little bit on it each day.  Do you have an exam coming up?  Split up your material you have to study for over a span of days and leave the day before for a review of everything you’ve been studying.  Writing a research paper?  Make each day productive.  Research your topic one day, make an outline of what you want to write the next day, start writing the day after that and continue going with the days following until it’s due.

Keep organized- Make sure you know where everything is at all times.  Keep your materials organized in folders and binders and easily accessible.  Label everything by class and make sure that nothing that doesn’t pertain to that class gets into the mix.  This will help when you get back to your room and want to jump right into your work.  You won’t have to dig for study materials or a rubric for your project that you’re working on.

These are just three simple things that you can do to try and decrease the amount of stress students have right now with the end of the year winding down, but there is plenty more that a student could do.  Make time to relax and hang out with friends could be something else a student could do, but sorting out your priorities and being organized is the best way.

Easter Monday?

By Alyssa Lajoie

As I was growing up, Easter wasn’t much of a hassle for me.  I woke up in the morning, ran downstairs to see my Easter basket and search for eggs, went back to my room showered and got ready and went to my cousins house for brunch and to spend the day with my family.

Lately, as I’ve gotten older and gone to college, Easter has become just a burden on my list.  For many college students and now that I think about it many professionals in any field, a holiday on a Sunday is incredibly difficult to have.  Granted, not many holidays are on a Sunday, but Easter is.

As a student, depending on where you go to school will determine how much time exactly you get off for the holiday.  Some classes give a full week off, some give Good Friday off, and some don’t give any time off at all.  Honestly, the Monday after Easter should start becoming a holiday.  People travel for Easter so they can be with their family and loved ones, and especially for college students they come home for the whole weekend only to have to return on the holiday they came home to celebrate!

There could be a lot of good coming from having that Monday off as well.  There would be less traffic, well, kind of.  There would actually be time to relax with your family on Easter Sunday and not have to rush trying to get brunch over with as well as other activities just so that the families could get home to get ready for work and school the next day, or like I said for college students, drive back to campus to be ready for classes the next day.

Many students who came back to campus yesterday complained about the excessive amount of traffic there was.  A normal 2 hour drive took close to 3 and a half hours!  Sure, there is going to be traffic after any holiday, but on a Sunday at  even 9:00 at night, it’s rediculous.

Can’t you see how much of a burden this Sunday holiday is? It’s time for the Monday after to be a holiday.  Until then, follow these tips to avoid the holiday traffic no matter what day!


By Alyssa Lajoie

Social Media has been a great outlet for public support with just about any topic.  From presidential elections to animal abuse you can find about any cause on Facebook or Twitter

With the recent controversy of 17 year old Trayvon Martin being shot by George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain of Martin’s own neighborhood, Facebook and Twitter have been booming with followers and people supporting the cause.

The case has been brought to the media’s attention with the question of whether Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in self-defense or if it was an act of racism.  In many of the news reports it was said that Martin was wearing a hoodie, eating skittles, and drinking an iced tea while walking back to his home when Zimmerman shot him.

Hoodies for Trayvon has been adopted on Facebook and Twitter where people can “like” and “follow” to join the movement to support Trayvon and his family during the investigation of his murder.

On Facebook alone, they have over 8,000 likes on their page and with Twitter having over 18,000 followers, this shows how much social media is being used today to bring controversal topics to our society.  Many students have started wearing their hoodies to school with the hood up as a support mechanism.  On Twitter many people, including celebrities, have encouraged followers to post pictures of themselves with their hoods up as well.

For more information, ABC News has released a timeline of events and updates from February 26th up to March 28th.

Get work done while enjoying the sun

By Alyssa Lajoie

It’s very obvious that since it’s officially Spring, Mother Nature wants to jump straight to summer.  With the weather this past week reaching a high of almost 90 everyone is itching to get outside.  Of course, for students and even young adults occupied with school and work getting outside isn’t such an option, unless they skip out on their daily tasks.  Well, times are changing and now there are simple ways that you can get outside and enjoy the weather while getting everything you need done, done.

If you’re going to take a break away from your work for lunch, grab it to go!  Grab a few friends and get your food, find a nice spot where you can enjoy yourself, put a blanket down and enjoy the day, or hour you have for lunch.  Picnics aren’t just for little kids you know.

If you’re a bit of a gym rat and need to get your work out in daily, take it outside! Go for a run around your neighbor hood, its probably better for you instead of being inside of a stuffy, sweaty, gym for an hour.  Go for a walk with your dog or even a couple of friends, it does constitute as exercise!  Even if you want to do more of the push-up, sit-up thing and take your work out to the next level, find a nice park or even somewhere in your backyard where there’s enough grass and do it there.

As a student class and homework keep you inside the library, your dorm room and classroom leaving you no time to actually start to enjoy the increasingly warmer and nicer weather.

If you’ve got homework that you need to get done, who says where exactly it has to be done?  Have to read a few chapters from a book?  Have to study and take notes?  There’s no reason none of this can’t be done outside.  Get a chair or even a blanket; find a nice place around campus that you can do your homework.  Even if you have to do work on your computer, you can do it outside.  Who cares if there may be a bit of a glare on the screen, you’re multi-tasking and getting everything you want done all while getting some Vitamin D!

You could even go as far as to asking your teacher to teach class outside.  Of course you may need to know your teacher a bit to know if he or she would allow class to be taught outside, but it’s worth a shot!  I’m sure the teachers would much rather their students be in class rather than skipping class and coming up with some excuse the two of you both know isn’t true.

There really isn’t any other reason that you could think of that you have to be inside on beautiful days like the ones we’ve all been experiencing, so pick your stuff up and head out!

Crazy New England Weather

By Alyssa Lajoie

This past Wednesday, weathermen were warning everyone that there was going to be a huge storm coming our way.  A reported 4 to 6 inches of snow was supposed to accumulate Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.  Students throughout Boston were hoping this storm would come and classes would be cancelled.

It was February 29th, why would we actually think that there was going to be a decent amount of snow?  We’ve gone this far through the winter without a decent amount of snow (except for Halloween weekend, of course).

Schools started to freak out, letting students out early, and preparing for late delays. The next morning, what did we get? Nothing. A little bit of snow, a lot of rain and just a big sloshy mess.

Waking up the next morning, many people in the New England area were surprised to see that there was still black tar outside their windows.  As the day went on, more snow accumulated, but it never stuck to much of anything besides grass and cars.

Next weeks weather report shows us that this weather is going to be even crazier! By next Thursday the weather is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high of 62 degrees, only seven days after this huge “snow storm.”

If this doesn’t explain how crazy the weather has been this winter, I don’t know what does.  The weather is fluctuating and who even knows what’s going to be coming next from Mother Nature herself.

Oscar wrap-up

By Alyssa Lajoie

On Sunday, February 26, Billy Crystal hosted the 84th Academy Awards.  Every year the ABC Television Network holds “Oscar Sunday” starting with coverage from “Good Morning America” live on the red carpet outside the Hollywood & Highland Center.

Continuing on through the day with “On the Red Carpet,” “On the Red Carpet at the Oscars,” “Oscars Red Carpet Live,” and finally leading up to the award show.

Some of the many nominations for the show consist of George Clooney and Brad Pitt for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in boots for Best Animated Feature Film, The Adventures of Tintin and Hugo for Best Music (Original Score.)

Viewers look forward to a great awards show filled with beautiful celebrities dressed in the greatest designer clothes, and watching great actors and actresses, films and more win the best award that Hollywood can give.

Afterward the “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Academy Awards” show has become an unexpected post-Oscar show, where guests will join Kimmel after they’ve attended the awards event. This year, the show was less exciting as in previous years because many critics already knew who would end up winning. Although there were many movies released in 2011, not all of them qere Oscar-worthy, so even the winners weren’t surprised either.

All you need to know is that The Artist, a black-and-white silent film, won for best movie. Yes, you read that right. The rest of the winners can be found here.