Nikki Partise is the social media manager for Dermalogia and the International Dermal Institute.
I’ve seen first-hand the importance of utilizing social media in your business. Plain and simple: your competitors are there, and if you aren’t, you’ll get left behind! It can be intimidating, that we understand, but just like anything new, it can be learned and better yet, easily understood. So how do you begin? Let’s start with the basics.
Social media—what does that even mean?
The term social media applies to new media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and various other networking platforms. Users of social media sites create and engage in online communities to share information, thoughts, photos, videos and other content. That may seem obvious to some, but what may not be so obvious is how exactly social media differs from traditional media, such as television commercials and mailers.
Traditional media once kept companies in charge of their brand’s or business’ reputation and messaging. New media, on the other hand, puts the messaging in charge of the consumer. Now, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertising, giving you the opportunity to hear feedback from your clients so you can keep doing what works and adjust what doesn’t.
How do I create my social media pages?
There are an endless amount of social media outlets, so I recommend you choose the top sites when starting out. Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and Instagram are likely to give you the most visibility, so I suggest you start there.
Facebook. Visit Facebook and click “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business.” Choose “Local Business or Place,” and then you’ll be guided along as you set up your page. It’s important to know that you need a personal page in order to manage a business page. Once your page is finished, you can begin personalizing it by adding a profile and cover photo, your contact information and hours of operation. You can also post skin care and product tips, share available openings, show photos and videos of your space—it goes on. Check out other skin therapy businesses on Facebook to see how they manage their pages. For more on setting up, see here.
Yelp. Yelp is the top site for consumers to share reviews about businesses. You may not know this, but you don’t have to start your own Yelp page—someone else can start it for you. If a page for your business already exists, you can claim that page. If no page exists for your business, visit Yelp and click “Sign up for Yelp” at the top of the page. You can then encourage your clients to write a review so that new prospects can see how wonderful you are! What if you get a negative review? Reach out to the client and amend the situation however you can to turn that client happy once more.
To learn more about how you can use Yelp to enhance your business, watch this clip.
Twitter. Go to Twitter and select “Sign up for Twitter.” Follow the steps for setting up your page, and begin personalizing it for your business. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not have business pages vs. personal pages, so a simple sign up is all you need to get started. Following are a couple details about Twitter that may be of use.
- A username, or handle as some refer to it, means using the "@" symbol in front of your name. If you want to directly speak to or support another page, use "@" when speaking to them rather than using their username alone (i.e. @Dermalinstitute vs Dermalinstitute).
- A hashtag has the "#" symbol in front of a word (i.e. #acne). When you hashtag a word, regardless of the word or context of the tweet, it puts your tweet in a search of others that used that same word. This is useful because it can enhance visibility of your tweets.
After your page is set up you can begin following others (ahem, @Dermalinstitute), and you can begin tweeting about your business and all the wonderful treatments you have to offer! For more on Twitter, click here. Instagram. Why tell, when you can show? Instagram is a photo sharing app accessible through mobile device. Download the Instagram app, then simply click "Register” and follow the steps. Choose your username (the same you would on Twitter, using the "@" symbol), and then choose an appropriate profile picture. Begin sharing photos of your treatment space, your product line(s) or events you hosted at your treatment space. You can link your photos to your Facebook and Twitter pages as well! Get more details here.
Is that all I need?
Not quite. Don’t forget that a website is always recommended, and it helps to maintain a blog through your website as well. And don’t forget YouTube! YouTube is now the world’s 2nd largest search engine, so once you adjust to life in the social media world, start creating videos of your treatment space, your treatments, your product lineup and your events, and show the world what you’ve got! All stats and more can be found in the clip below: Social Media Video 2013.