In part 1 of our Marketing Guide, we discussed the importance of using photographs to give clients a clear idea of what you can do. In part 2, we’re moving on to social media, which, as you’ll probably know, is one of the best ways of promoting your brand to the public, and also a great place to share those all-important photographs!
There are several different social media channels, however, for this article we are going to focus on what we believe to be two of the more relevant sites for the aesthetics industry; Facebook and Instagram. In addition to being two of the most popular social networks, Facebook and Instagram are extremely visual platforms, allowing users to easily share photos and videos directly to their profiles, which of course, comes in useful for an industry that relies so heavily on imagery.
If you haven’t done so already, the first thing you’ll need to do is actually set up your Facebook and Instagram pages. Both sites are straightforward with step by step instructions to guide you through the process. If you’re completely new to Facebook, be sure to set up your account correctly; with a personal profile for you as a person, and a business page for your business. This has caused confusion in the past, with many businesses setting up personal profiles, which were later deleted by Facebook for incorrect use, resulting in huge numbers of lost followers. With Instagram you don’t have to differentiate between whether the page is for personal or business use, although you do have the option of making it a business page so that you can view insights about your audience, which is always useful.
Once you’ve created and verified your accounts, spend some time adding information to the page itself. Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to add useful information such as opening hours, contact details and a website link (if you have one).
Building an audience
Of course, once you’ve created your social media page, you’re going to need an audience! A good starting point for building your followers is to encourage any friends and family who use these platforms, to like and follow your pages. If you have your own personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, you can tag and share your new accounts with your existing followers, and encourage them to give your new pages a follow too.
Another great way of acquiring new followers is by running a giveaway on your page. Offer your followers a prize, such as a gift voucher, product or treatment*, and tell them that to enter they must follow your page and share your post on their own Facebook and Instagram. By encouraging them to share the post, you’re making it so that more people see your brand, find out about the competition, and, hopefully, want to enter it themselves. Both Instagram and Facebook make competitions like this extremely easy to both run and enter, so the only cost to you is whatever you’re giving away.
*Remember that it is illegal to run a competition with a POM such as Botox as the prize.
With your page set up and a growing audience, the main thing for you to do now is to get posting! Work out a posting schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key; a single post every day, or even every few days, is much better than sharing a load of posts one after the other and then not posting anything for two weeks. Facebook allows you to schedule posts, so if you’ve got some free time, you can line up several days’ worth of posts, rather than having to share each one individually. Instagram doesn’t offer the same feature, but it does allow you to save “drafts”, so you can still create several posts at once and then publish each one when you want.
With regards to content, the important thing to remember is to try and keep it varied. It can be easy to slip into the habit of sharing lots of self-promotional posts and not much else. However, if you can find interesting articles, funny pictures and memes or even inspirational posts, these can help to make your page that bit more interesting and appealing to your followers, which in turn should boost engagement. Ask questions, run polls and encourage feedback to show your audience that you actually care what they think and that you’re not just trying to push all of your services on to them. You don’t have to stop posting amazing before and after photos of your clients or news of your latest treatments or offers, just mix these posts in with the occasional non-promotional post so that you’ve got a balance.
One final thing to bear in mind and something that is sometimes forgotten about is your brand “voice”. How do you want people to view you and your business? Professional? Friendly? Serious? Fun? Of course, there’s nothing to say that you can’t be all of those things! But it’s important for you (or whoever’s looking after your social media) to have a good grasp of the brand voice. This allows you to give off a very clear image to your followers and also helps you to decide on the sort of content you feel comfortable sharing. It’s easy to spot the businesses who haven’t considered a brand voice, because their content often comes across as muddled. Instead of sharing every funny picture, joke, news article and video, take some time to think about what you want your brand to represent and what sort of content will best reflect this.