As part of World Nails Live, NAILS Magazine director of brand content strategy, Beth Livesay, went live on Facebook to discuss growing your social media following. Here are her tips:
First of all, before you approach your social media, ask yourself:
> What does it men’s to "grow"? Are you growing your followers? Engagement? Reach? Do you want a bigger following to build up your education platforms? To gain clients? To become an ambassador or educator?
> What are your goals or KPIs (key performance indicators)? Examples: I want to grow by 100 followers by the time the quarantine is over
> What's my virtual reputation? How do I want people to get to know me who maybe have never met me? Do I want to be known for pedicures, art, education, acrylics, video, celebrity clientele, etc.
ALL social media has in common one thing: quality content. Don't panic if you do nails every day and that's your primary source of income. Doing nails IS content, you just have to figure out how to use that content and how to distribute it on which platforms. Be relevant, engaging, original, authentic, and consistent. When it comes to consistency, you should strive for a consistent, cohesive look and feel across ALL your social media. Examples:
1. @Outgrowthpodcast has the same teal color scheme and logo on FB, Instagram, and Twitter. All their posts fit this color scheme. They also post enough sound bytes (visually and audibly) that you can tell this is a podcast, not a salon page.
2. @beaute_asylum uses the same color scheme for her profile pic and highlight imagery
If you're looking to grow your following, don't write Facebook off completely. By numbers alone, it's the most popular platform, so even if you want to establish a page just to send others to your YouTube or Instagram, the page could be worth having. If you're looking to grow your social media in order to grow your business and clientele, then it's even more important to have FB as it adds legitimacy to your brand and has tools for clients such as ratings and contact info.
> Social Media Today just released a guide on staying connected to your Facebook audience during COVID-19: take care, share good vibes, give back, and get creative. An example of this is from The Nail Society Salon & Spa. The Nail Society Salon & Spa did a live with two of the techs who work at the salon to wish clients and friends a happy Easter. Even though there may not be current sets of nails to post, making people feel good through creative means is something that can help garner new followers or retain clients through your page.
> Since FB isn't all about imagery, use it to post albums of only your best work. Maybe even only have albums showcasing your top services.
> Facebook doesn't require so much maintenance, but DO make sure you're answering your messages so that your followers know you do engage through the platform.
Think about your favorite IG accounts (doesn't have to be nails) and be inspired by things they do. Instagram is all about beautiful, quality content, so make sure you're positng portfolio-worthy photos to your feed with quality highlights that are organized, and your bio is on-point so people know WHY they should follow you.
> Make sure your handle and real name are present in your bio. Are you saying who you are, where you are, what you do or specialize in, and how to get ahold of you? Also, your bio is the place to give a humble brag (linking to a mention on NAILS, for example) so include it! For example, see @Astrowifey's bio:
> If you have multiple social media accounts, make sure your Instagram handle and other social handles line up or are clear that they are all you for cohesion and to maximize your following on ALL platforms.
> Be professional. Don't just post memes or racy content. Use correct terminology when talking about nails (Shellac, e-file, as opposed to gel-polish or drill).
>Take quality photos by making sure nails are in focus, background isn't distracting, watermark doesn't obscure, pose allows you to see all the nails or as many as possbile, props don't distract, there isn't product on skin, cuticles are clean and not too dry or oily.
> Take quality product shots by making sure items are full, not dusty, showing off color accurately, or not too old
> Use your highlights to effectively organize content that new followers will want to see to help them learn about who you are and what you use.
> Since IG isn't about text, make sure you're using words wisely by saying what's used to create a look such as the product and tag them. This increases your chances of having these brands take notice and repost you or reach out to you.
> Create a business account to see your analytics. Analytics are found by clicking on the hamburger menu and then selecting Insights. There you can get an idea of what posts perform better than others and what content gets the most views. If you have a personal page, there isn't an Insights section, so you may need to convert. Use these analytics to create high-performing content that can garner you more followers.
> Engagement is key. Put yourself out there and like, follow, comment, and tag others. Just make sure you're not sharing others work unless you are tagging them and making it clear in your caption that this work isn't your own, but you are giving the other person a shoutout.
Pinterest can be utilized to grow your following on Instagram or sending people to your site. If your goal is to grow your social media to grow your clientele, Pinterest may be one of your most under utilized tools.
> Remember when pinning to fill out a caption for the pin including where it came from (if un-watermarked). If you're saving a pin from your Instagram, make sure your handle is on the pin or in the watermark or in the caption.
> Keep your boards organized so it's obvious what boards show your work, your salon, what you use, and what designs are aspirational.
> Join Community Boards to get your work in front of others and potentially gain new followers. Community boards have multiple avatars and there will be a button to request to join.
> You also could join boards that aren't nail specific but could include nail-related topics such as Style, Runway or Beauty. By being the only nail contributor, you could easily gain lots of new followers who share a general interest and come to know you as a nail authority.
> If clients are constantly going to Pinterest for inspiration and you don't know who to credit, be clear that the imagery you're recreating is based on a Pinterest image and you don't know who did the original. Say something like "Inspired by a Pinterest image. If anyone knows the original designer of these nails, let me know so I can follow them and give them proper credit," so that you're growing your reputation under honest pretenses while showing good social media manners.
This video platform is where you'll want to grow if you're looking to educate or build a product-based brand. It's OK to start small, but keep in mind, there's lots of room to grow here, and the more you invest in equipment and time, the better prodcution value you can deliver as your followers increase.
> Make quality thumbnails with text on them and tight nail shots that say exactly what the videos are about
> Consider SEO when titling your videos
> Organize your playlists so followers can find things easily
> For quality videos: keep nails in focus and in frame, remove distracting backgrounds, have a clean area, make sure videos are not too long (5-7 minutes is ideal), make sure voice and audio are clear and consistent, you're talking as you're showing what you're talking about, and show products in a positive light.
What NOT To Do
If getting more followers is your goal, avoid the following across all platforms:
> Being negative/dramatic/controversial. This may give you a spike in engagement or 15 minutes of fame, but odds are you will lose, not gain followers.
> Being something other than what you are. If you want to be an educator about gel nails, don't post videos about politics or weigh in on news stories, or post dog videos all the time. Leave the news to the news outlets and your pet for your personal accounts. Maybe you need a personal and professional account, just make sure you are being clear as to what you're on social media for when it comes to nails.
> Buy followers
> Use stock imagery
> Over photoshop
General Ideas to Help With Growth
> Investing in a website can be the perfect hub for all your social media. This is a space you truly own (you do not own your social media and are subject to algorithms etc.) and a place all your social media can lead back to that ends with you booking an appointment or selling a ticket or product, or reach your end goal.
> Items that will help you with social media photos and videos: ring light, tripod, arm, textured backgrounds
> Social media takes time but it all doesn't have to be done in real time. Add on an extra 15 minutes at the end of an intense service to capture all the work you just created, so that you benefit financially and via social media. If you're busy, you can hold on to all those images until later, you don't have to post right away, but make sure you are making time to gather content and post it eventually.
> Engage with others in your community such as neighboring businesses and follow them on social media so that the odds of getting reposted by them are increased. Interact with your favorite share pages such as NAILS and Modern Salon to get their attention and possibly a mention.
> Come up with unique hashtags and own them. #naturalnailgoals, #notpolish, and #nailswag are a few tags that got wildly popular. Get creative and experiment!
> Treat netowrking on social media as you would in real-life. Join Facebook groups, tune in for virtual happy hour, watch lives, etc. to get your name out there and introduce yourself to others.
> Put your handles and social media info on your business cards and in your email signature to get new followers easily.
> Give back. Share the love by doing a giveaway if you're able, giving someone a shoutout, or paying it forward by posting about a cause you care about. Show people that you're grateful for their follow and let them know what you're doing with your influence to help others.
> Tell NAILS about it! Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us to let us know if you're doing something cool and unique on your social media and let us do the shouting from the rooftops for you!
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