The online revolution has changed the way the world turns. Whether buying shoes or completing your degree, the digital world can deliver your every heart desire from nearly any corner of the globe – just point and click (well, almost).
Yet the Australian aesthetics industry seems to have a love-hate relationship with the internet – in particular, social media.
Publically we embrace the idea of sharing ideas, connecting with our customers and indulging in the occasional giggle about the client who asked if they had to get naked to have their underarms waxed, but professionally we seem more crippled than not by what is now dubbed Socmephobia, the fear of social media.
As the newly-appointed Digital and Social Media Manager at Inskin Cosmedics, one of my aims is to debunk social media fear factors and shed some light on how digital media can seriously help take your business to new and exciting levels.
Why do you need to master social media?
Business owners tend to think of social media management as a part time task for the front desk staff or intern and maybe in the start-up phases of digital media it was. Not any longer.
The rapid transformation of these media into robust business tools demands the attention of a passionate and skilled driver, whether part time or full time. To make these media work for you, you have to work them.
So ‘what’s in it for me’, you ask?
How about a personal, unique and instant opportunity to communicate with your audience, to engage them in two-way conversations that interest them and could ultimately result in the kind of bond you form in a friendship. Is that kind of relationship worth investing in?
The goal of social media is to create an online presence for your business that people want to be involved with whether that be by like, follow, Tweet or Pin; in essence, to take the heart of your business into the cyber sphere.
‘Who cares, it’s just a bunch of children on Facebook’
The most common misconception about social media is the identity of its users. Too many people assume that most social media users aren’t even old enough to drink and while those forums exist that is not what we are talking about here.
We are talking about the grown up use of these mediums. According to a study conducted by Nielsen (2014), in just one month Facebook attracts 10,829,000 unique monthly visitors, the second highest ranked website in Australia second only to Google at 14,191,000.
In the same month, Facebook users will devote an average of 7:49:41 hours almost tripling the time spent on Google. With 55 percent of the Australian population active on Facebook, that’s a lot of time and a lot of eyes on your social media material! Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Four Square.
What platform should I be using?
A serious offender in stirring social media anxiety is the overwhelming number of platform options and the pressure to spread yourself across them all.
I know that the thought of adding social media management to your already busting to-do list is excruciating. While I can’t add more hours to your day I can give you an invaluable tip: do a couple of things really well rather than doing a lot of things poorly.
Do your research and be sure you’re talking in the same place that your audience is listening.
To post or not to post ‘ and when?
Timing is everything and the same is true for successful social media. Don’t assume you know when people are online. Do the research and be sure. for example, the O Cosmedics Facebook page experiences consecutive peaks in audience numbers on Saturday morning at 6am and Sunday morning at 7am. Yes, you read that right!
If you miss the boat so will your chances of having your material seen and acted upon.
What do I need to do to take my business to the next level through social media?
Success in social media is all about being present and understanding what and who you are working with. The reality is that if you don’t really know what you are trying to do, or how to do it, you won’t get the ripples in your business you are chasing.
For the purposes of this article, I’ll take my own advice and focus on Facebook. In one day, the average Facebook user can be exposed to 2000 posts generated by people, pages and groups that they subscribe to.
If each post was visible on your News Feed it would be physically impossible to view them all, let alone absorb the messages, so to counter this Facebook created a filtering algorithm (a set of calculations and rules) that reduces the number of posts visible on your News Feed.
The ones you do see are prioritised by what Facebook thinks you would most likely want to see based on previous interactions (likes, comments, shares).
The point is, unless your page is active and engaging with its audience there’s every chance even the people who ‘Like’ you aren’t seeing your posts.
Now that you know that, here are my…
Top 10 tips for making social media easy, fun and successful in your business.
Welcome to Social Media 101:
1. Balance. Social media presents an awesome opportunity for self-serving promotion but users rarely login to be sold to. Successful social media understands that content should address what users want to see as well as what a business wants to promote. Creating a balance between these audiences is key.
2. Post with purpose. Be really conscious of over-posting. Eventually your audience will tire of material spamming their News Feed and are likely to hide your posts or worse – unlike you.
3. Ride a trend. Be aware of what’s going on and what stories have social media buzzing. Comment on things where appropriate and you’ll engage a whole new audience.
4. Make it easy. Add your social media accounts to your phone, login to your business profile so when you’re using social media you’re doing it with your business in mind. Having your go-to Apps set up for your business pages means you’ve got your finger on the pulse and won’t forget to post whenever you can!
5. Get your head in the game. Look at things and think ‘could I use this as material’ and if you can, do it! Social media moves at the speed of light, hesitate and you’ll lose the moment.
6. Trial/error. Try new things, be conscious of the audience response so you can do more of the things your audience will interact with and less of things they don’t connect with.
7. Analyse. This is essential. The difference between adding to social media white noise and cutting through it is knowing your audience. Use the Insights tool on your Facebook page to understand who is looking at your page and when.
8. Schedule. Be proactive, use the Schedule tool to prepare posts ahead of time and let life and your business exist outside of social media peak hour with minimal stress.
9. Measure. Record results of your posts, let the numbers tell you what does and doesn’t work.
10. Have fun. The best asset to your social media profile is YOU. Your online presence is an extension of walking into your business – be positive, have fun and remember that online, ‘the world is listening’.
* Winner of best Instagram biography in 1999, Cassandra Cocciolone is the Digital and Social Media Manager at Australian skincare powerhouse, Inskin Cosmedics, home to brands like O Cosmedics, SkinDNA, 1 Truth 818 and emerginC. Armed with a Bachelor of Marketing, certificates in Copywriting/Design and a passion for bridging the gap between the cyber and real world, Cassandra’s aim is to take the heart of Inskin Cosmedics to the cyber sphere be that by like, tweet or pin. Cassandra also passionately delivers the Inskin Cosmedics Social Media Master Class training available to all Inskin partners.