Marketing & Promotions

Manufacturers Abuzz with Social Networking

Facebook and Twitter pages are becoming the quickest and most effective ways for manufacturers to directly communicate with customers. For nail techs, becoming an online fan or follower can help keep you informed about nail education, troubleshooters, product specials, style trends, and more.

“It’s not just a fad,” says Anne Moratto, American International Industries’ (AII) director of public relations and advertising, “social media is quickly becoming the most popular way of communicating between manufacturers and customers. It’s worked out so well for us that we’re going to be marketing all of our brands on social media.”

The online communities of Facebook and Twitter have grown tremendously over the past few years, with Facebook alone having more than 400 million active users. Innovative companies in all fields have been marketing their brands on Facebook through fan pages, but it’s only recently that the idea of having a company Facebook page or Twitter account is an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy.

The nail industry is one of the best places to witness firsthand just how powerful a company’s social media page can be. Nail techs have already made a strong presence on the web, especially with social media, where techs post nail art pictures and populate discussion boards — like those found on www.nailsmag.com and www.beautytech.com — offering helpful hints and troubleshooters to fellow techs.

So it comes as no surprise that a nail manufacturer-hosted Facebook page would immediately tap into the online tech community. “It’s the main reason why I started the Light Elegance Facebook page,” says Light Elegance president Jim McConnell. “I could tell that a lot of our customers were already on there.” Within two months of creating the Facebook page, Light Elegance had more than 300 fans.

Posting Customer Service
Nail manufacturer Facebook pages are wonderful ways for manufacturers to spread the word about upcoming educational events, new products, distributor information, and even offer product discounts for its Facebook fans.

Entity Beauty keeps an active Facebook page, with regular updates to keep their clients informed, but the page is also a two-way street, and often sincere dialogue breaks out between a nail tech and the manufacturer.

“The page really gives us an insight into what our market believes,” says Entity CEO Vicki Heller, “We get feedback much more often and quickly through Facebook, and I like to hear the honest thoughts of our consumers.”

Troubleshooters can be answered on Facebook as well, with links to instructional videos and pictures. Greg Salo of Young Nails will routinely answer technical problems from nail techs, giving advice on product applications and performance, and Salo often links the customer to step-by-step videos that are on Young Nails’ website or YouTube.

Twitter Style
The newest social media craze is Twitter, where users post quick comments and links that are no more than 140 characters long. The posts are immediately shared with all of the registered followers.

With restrictions on word count, Twitter posts are excellent ways to send out small bursts of information and for drawing attention to certain websites or beauty blogs.

One of the most successful Twitter campaigns in the nail industry has been China Glaze’s. AII’s most popular polish brand started its Twitter page in August 2009, and it currently boasts a following of over 7,500, with tweets made two to three times a day, and retweets (followers reposting the brand’s tweets) made just as often.

Public relations associate Irene Chao had never used Twitter before, but when she was tasked with moderating the account for China Glaze, she hit the ground running. “I had no idea the kind of following we would get, but I just started posting fun stuff, like asking what kind of polish our followers were wearing, or what their favorite colors were, and they started responding like crazy,” Chao says.

The China Glaze Twitter page contains many links to popular beauty bloggers, which are the new go-to figures for consumers looking for advice on what products to buy. Followers of China Glaze will then be able to keep up-to-date on not only what China Glaze is posting, but the bloggers as well.

“We’ll get requests on where they can buy China Glaze, so we look up local distributors for them, and a lot of these are coming from overseas in Europe, so it can be time consuming to track down a distributor,” says Chao. And such is the two-edged sword of social media, once a page is a hit, it takes a lot of posting to keep the buzz healthy and the followers interested.

But the benefits of an active social media campaign far outweigh the costs, according to Chao. “The Twitter page has brought such great exposure to China Glaze and we’ve been able to get so many people excited about the polishes,” she says. Chao has shared behind the scenes photos of China Glaze polish in the fashion shows of New York City, and offered prizes and contests on Twitter that get immediate and enthusiastic responses.

Following a manufacturer on Facebook and Twitter is very easy to do. If you already have a personal page, just type the name of the manufacturer you’d like to follow in the search bar. It should come up first on the list and you can quickly add yourself as a fan or follower. If you are not currently signed up for either, consider creating a page, because the information nail manufacturers (and magazines like NAILS) are providing on Facebook and Twitter is valuable and easily accessible.

NAILS Posts Too
NAILS Magazine is no stranger to Facebook or Twitter either. Our Facebook page currently has more than 6,500 fans, and is updated with links to NAILS blogs, nail art from fans, story ideas from editors, and new product announcements as well. Our Twitter page has more than 1,000 followers, with links to nail-news in the media and to NAILS blog postings too. Come and find us online at www.facebook.com/nailsmag or www.twitter.com/nailsmag.

For more information about setting up Facebook, Twitter, and even MySpace, Blogs, YouTube, and Linkedin accounts, click here.

Keywords:   business     Facebook     Facebook marketing     marketing/promotions     networking     social media     Twitter  



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