by Patti Biro
Social media can be a powerful tool to promote your skin care business, set yourself apart from the competition, and drive service and retail sales. But attempting to manage multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat while monitoring review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and others can be an overwhelming job. With a few key tips, however, you can create a social media plan that helps you get new clients, engage your current fans, and drive revenue.
CONTENT IS STILL KING
The old adage “content is king” is still the first rule of social media success. While posting on the fly can be fun, engaging, and spontaneous, being thoughtful in creating a monthly social media calendar is much more beneficial. You can always add those spontaneous posts when they seem appropriate. Being efficient with social media postings—and not allowing yourself to get trapped in a time-suck—is key. Creating a social media plan can be as simple as a paper calendar, or you can go digital by using one of the many scheduling services available such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Tweet.1 These services or apps allow you to schedule daily, weekly, or monthly posts, all from one central dashboard. Some email platforms now include social media calendars in the price of the monthly service.
Social media posts that include images or video gain more traction than just words. Across all platforms, striking images and engaging videos increase shares and likes. If you struggle to find pictures for your posts, there are a number of free sources you can use, including Pixabay or Unsplash. Most of these images are either public domain or royalty-free. Pictures in the public domain are available to you because the copyrights have expired, the photographer has given up their rights, or the photographer has chosen to share the content for free. Royalty-free means you pay a small fee for use but no additional royalty or license fees. Mobile apps like RIPL allow you to create short videos that can be shared on multiple platforms. Like most skills, simply practicing taking pictures or short videos with your phone can improve your social media posts.
USE THE PLATFORMS YOUR CLIENTS USE
Do you know which social media platforms your clients and potential clients use? You can easily capture this critical and useful information. Make this a priority question on your intake forms and encourage your front desk staff to ask each new caller and visitor how they heard about your business and what social media platforms they use. Make it part of your intake protocol to invite all new clients to follow you on social media. Then, post on the platforms your current clients use. Posting on one or two platforms daily will begin to build engagement and traction. Lindsay Meyer, owner of Urban Aesthetics in Rocklin, California, targets her social media to Facebook and Instagram. With a current Instagram following of 1,390 (and growing daily), she shares her secret of success. “We’ve gotten our followers the old-fashioned way: using hashtags and following similar profiles. We’re not about gaining a massive inauthentic following; we’d rather obtain an organic reach.”
TARGET NEW CLIENTS
While you are growing your social media engagement, you can target new demographic groups, target markets, or potential clients. For example, if you want to target younger mothers for “mommy makeovers,” you might create some specific content to post on Pinterest. This would be especially effective if you schedule these posts for the evening hours after the children are in bed. You might even create a special Pinterest board that targets this demographic.2 If you are promoting your teen skin care services, Snapchat would be a good platform. Teens and tweens love Snapchat and the target age is growing older.3
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
You probably already know there is great benefit to posting on your social media at optimal times to boost engagement, as well as planning the best time to comment and add to the conversation. Once you’ve figured out the right time to post to get the biggest return on investment for your time spent, you must stay consistent with your posting. Mapping out your social media plan for the month is part of how you can create consistency across your chosen platforms. See below for a handy guide to social media best practices. As important as it is to persistently post, you also need to think about brand consistency. Creating a logo—and using it everywhere—is part of how you tell your unique story. Stick with similar themes, color palettes, and styles to give your business brand a distinct look that will help your audience identify you, and use that branding across all your consumer facing social media platforms. Profile and cover photographs should also be consistent across the social media platforms you use.
A Thousand Words
A few stats to bring home the point that pictures matter
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10 percent of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65 percent of the information three days later. www.brainrules.net/vision
Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. www.bit.ly/2E4EB2G
Globally, YouTube is consumers’ leading source of video content, at 83 percent (Facebook is second, at 67 percent). www.bit.ly/2XyBo4g
CREATE SOME CACHET
What is cachet? It’s that special characteristic or quality that makes your social media postings stand out, creating likes, shares, and memories. The skin care business offers a wealth of unique opportunities to create something truly special for your followers. Incorporating these ideas into your social media calendar can help fill your month with content that grows followers and keeps them coming back to see what’s next. Because the skin care business is such a visual business, you have myriad opportunities to create some cachet. “The spa world has seen a dramatic shift away from newsletters or eblasts to shorter, more action oriented messaging such as Instagram or Twitter,” says industry insider Allan Share of the Spa Industries Association. “It’s not a trend; it’s just the way we do business today. It challenges everyone to be creative and consistent.” Here are just a few ways to give a little cachet to your social media.
How-to and mini-tutorial posts
Client testimonials using photographs and/or video
Product-use tips, like the best way to apply sunscreen
Employee tips or short interviews with staff members
Highlights of specials, features, or new staff member introductions
Retail product recommendations: use, effectiveness, and benefits
Unique ways to use gift cards
Membership benefits: how to enroll or special offers
Polls, questions, and requests to share posted information
JUST DO IT
Whether you love social media or find it to be a necessary evil, it is one of the best ways to take full advantage of free, targeted marketing. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Embrace the platforms, stick to a plan, and be consistent. Your following will grow, and so will your business.
1. Elise Moreau, “The 10 Best Social Media Management Applications,” accessed March 2019, www.lifewire.com/social-media-apps-for-managing-everything-3486302.
2. Pinterest.com, “How to Reach Parents on Pinterest,” accessed March 2019, http://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/how-to-reach-parents-on-pinterest.
3. Sarah Steimer, “Average Age of Snapchat Users is Going Up,” accessed March 2019, www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/Marketing-News-Weekly/Pages/averageage-snapchat-users-going-up.aspx; Statista.com, “Most Frequently Used Social Networks or Teenagers in the United States as of April, 2018,” accessed March 2019, www.statista.