SOCIAL MEDIA, YOUR BEST FRIEND
We all have a Facebook page or an Instagram account, don’t we?
Nowadays social media is everywhere, or to say it better we all are in social media, so what better way to promote yourself, your business and your work than such a global tool.
There are many reasons for social media to be considered an extremely effective marketing tool; in my personal experience, when I started with the business 11 years ago, I didn't consider the impact and relevance of publicity. For me the basics were giving out flyers and pasting posters with promos at the front of the business. I never thought that investing in marketing was something necessary, but boy I was wrong!
When I say investing in marketing, I don’t exactly mean hiring a big marketing firm or spending your whole wedges on advertising. It really is way simpler and cheaper. The key is to have the right people on your side. You see, when I met my husband, who happens to be a very talented graphic designer, I had no knowledge or experience with any “modern” means of publicity, nor did I know about how effective a fan page could be to reach more potential clients. I was doing fine with my logo and the flyers I distributed, or so I thought. Then, Valentín started suggesting I did some changes, first with my logo and the looks of the salon I own. He redesigned it and improved the whole concept with a fresher and more sophisticated look. The name and concept were the same, but it definitely looked more attractive, elegant and professional than what I originally had. He took my ideas and made them a real concept. The next big step was to get that concept out to the public in order to sell it appropriately. That’s when I discovered the wonders of Facebook publicity! Valentín had taken many seminars and workshops to specialize in marketing, branding and publicity through social media, so he obviously knew about the effectiveness of Facebook fan pages and marketing, so he suggested we paid for a campaign, but I was a bit hesitant because in my mind it was very unlikely for it to be a real thing. Still, I let my apprehension aside that one time and worked with him to design the first couple of publications the salon’s page would have. Guess what happened? Within a few days of launching them, the posts had double the followers and likes! Many new potential clients started contacting us through Facebook, making appointments via DM, and asking if we would do some live videos of our work. I was in awe! Needless to say, sells increased and the salon started to get full bookings more often.
Apart from helping with salon appointments, Facebook has also been an amazing connection aid for our courses. At the beginning, I started teaching one or two students who happened to be previous clients that got interested and asked me if I would train them. Then, those two students would tell other people about the training, they’d contact me personally and ask me, so that’s when I had the idea of posting interviews and testimonials on our Facebook page. I asked a couple of trainees if they’d be up for it, and we did some short videos where they talked about their experience taking the courses and working on their own. Those videos helped us promote the courses and, within a year, the number of students had grown from 5 people to more than 15 in one single course. We were also able to sell those courses in different cities around Mexico, starting with 10 a year to now having more than 30, nationwide!
As the amount of work increased, so did the need for a more consistent and stronger presence in social media. We kept on paying Facebook campaigns, we increased the number of regular posts on both, Facebook and Instagram pages, and I opened my official Lash Artist Instagram account, @soniamacias_lashista, to expand our reach. We launched our lashes brand, Kona™, and started inviting our students to become distributors and promoters of the products and courses, using their own social media and web pages. It is a whole network now, and it works wonders, believe me!
Now, an important thing to emphasize here is that, even though it is easy and somewhat friendly, working with social media requires a lot of hard work and commitment. As I mentioned before, you need to have the right people on your side. Get yourself a good designer, one who is a friend of yours or a person you can trust. Someone you can be sure is not going to take advantage of you and is going to listen to your ideas and work together with you to boost your business. You’ll also need a good photographer, who knows about editing video for publicity and will help you catch the right things to fit in your concept and attract your target market. Maybe you have some friends who are there all the time and can offer you these things for a better price. Create a business network with them, it is not that hard, and it totally pays back. You need to create appropriate campaigns for courses and services and keep in mind that, in order for them to really work, you must keep them running for a minimum of three weeks. Pay attention to Facebook requirements to keep your campaigns updated and running. Reconnect with previous clients using the records that Facebook keeps of the people who originally contacted you, that’s a wonder!
But, above all, you must ‘be at work’ all the time! Be present, appear in the videos, present yourself and your work in an honest and true way. People like to connect with you in a personal level, talk to your clients, share bits of your personal life, share motivational phrases that inspire you to be better and work hard; use funny memes, live videos, edited videos, random photos taken with your own cell phone, write catchy captions; be original, be true and remember to always provide and deliver the same, real things you offer. You must do your best in providing the best services and be open to any feedback, positive or negative, and follow up on any comment or message you get, that’s part of an integral service and will add up to your reputation. Eyes are on you and your business all the time and one bad comment wrongly handled can do tons of harm, so be wise.