The Beauty and the Social: Making a Statement in Social Media
Following the long path of the beauty industry and its online adventure in the past 10 years, it is safe to assume that Digital Marketing has become an important if not crucial part of promoting beauty products, services and companies worldwide. In 2011, an article in DailyMail UK stated that cosmetics alone reached a sales value of USD$1 billion in TV and on the Internet between 2006 and 2011. Just 3 years later, and we see how almost anything related to the Beauty industry can generate profit and a significant return on investment through the help of Digital Marketing, especially Social Media Marketing. Let’s step into the world of the Beauty and the Social and see how you can make a statement in Social Media in 2014.
Tip #1: How to Face Customers with Facebook in 2014
Owning a Facebook page for your services is not enough anymore. Here is what 2014 means in terms of taking a grip on Facebook Marketing:
a) Reviews, Professional description and Bing Maps integration. Reviews are very important as they reflect your customers’ opinions and feedback in regards to your services and products. In order to obtain them, you can either invite or ask for reviews from the people who Like your page and Check in at the physical location of your business or wait for them to rate your services and products themselves. While the second might seem more natural, sometimes people forget to rate services, so it should be okay to ask or remind them.
Don’t forget to also add a professional description, containing details such as business/open hours, address, phone number and contact details, website and any other specific information about your products or services. Bing Maps integration is also important as many people want to easily visualize an address and to be able to get there as fast as they can. Plus, it saves the trouble for your customers to actually “google” the location themselves. In 2014, social is all about getting the correct information the fastest way possible.
Note: Bing Maps integration will benefit your Social Media presence in terms of displaying the correct information. Each time you create an event, page or local business on Facebook, Bing Maps will be automatically configured if you insert the physical address details in the About or Details Section. However, please note that the maps generated with Facebook are different from the Google Places in Google maps. While Facebook and Bing Maps are related to Social Media alone, improving the potential customer/brand follower’s experience, Google Maps are more related to SEO and SERPs, as well as for users and brand consumers who directly access your website URL.
b) Facebook Paid Ads and Facebook Content. In order to reach a wider audience, paid and sponsored ads, posts or events will not be enough. Even if the distribution of content might reach a wider range of potential customers through paid and sponsored ads in comparison to human shares and comments (which are free), Facebook content will help your business make a statement in the Graph. Value, quality and real information will definitely show up in the searches, as Facebook now acts in similar ways to an internal search engine platform. Quality content will also show up in search engine giants.
Moving to the Open Graph option, while this might not affect your internal SEO strategy or improve it significantly, it can certainly level up the overall experience of your fans and followers with your brand. Specifically for the Beauty Industry, it is imperative that we have links that work great and look great on our Facebook pages and accounts. Let’s discuss a bit about Facebook Tags and Open Graph Tags.
Facebook tags are all about the way your links are presented in the user’s Timeline. Specifically, we are discussing here about Title (og:title), Image (og:image) and Description (og: description).
1.Facebook Title Tags: The Facebook title tag works in somewhat similar ways to the meta title tag on your website or personal blog. The titles appearing in Facebook’s Timeline are sharp, bolded and stand out more than anything. Plus, Facebook truncates the Titles to just 88 characters. This means the Facebook title tag must be precise, concise, straight to the point and relevant. Otherwise, click conversion rates will significantly drop.
2.Facebook Image Tags: The thing with Facebook image tags is of course related to how a brand can visually tell a story. Sometimes, an image is worth more than a thousand if not even ten thousand words. The Beauty industry is all about insisting on visuals, so make sure your images are displayed in the best quality out there. Wondering about the preferred image size? The ideal resolution is 1200px x 627px at a 1.91/1 ratio, which definitely makes your article preview image stand out, as long as it is under 5MB. Images below 400px x 209px will look small and insignificant.
3.Facebook Description Tags: We find it very important to have the proper description for your post, video or any other link. The meta data descriptor on Facebook follows the same rules as the HTML meta in your blog or site: you describe your content and it shows under the title and image. The only difference is that Facebook description tags appear only on Facebook, while the website meta tags are used for a more general purpose: search engines. While just having the meta description tags properly installed and filled in your website might be enough (they would also appear on Facebook when sharing the link), we believe custom and branded are the key to differentiate your business in Social Media in 2014. A compelling description will encourage potential customers to click on it. Keep in mind that Facebook allows meta descriptions of 300 characters. However, we recommend no more than 200-220 characters for an excellent display on all devices (laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone).
Tip #2: Tweeting To the Right Audience, Plus a Medium Mention
Twitter has always worked on the principle of “here, now, on the spot”. The 140characters limit is here to ensure that your message is out there: efficient, straight to the point and reflecting the core of your business.
Sponsored Tweets in 2014
In 2014, you get more than sponsored Tweets and location-verified and translation-enabled accounts. You get a switch from having a large number of inactive followers to having less, but more in terms of quality and compatibility with your voice. Now your success on Twitter will depend on who you follow and who follows you back. Gather around your tweets people of great value, don’t be afraid to mention them or retweet and favorite that which is important and relevant.
More Chatting and Live Real-time Interaction
Another focus in 2014 will be twitter chats: making a “virtual” live conference following a certain hashtag. There are a number of tools appearing in order to make the live tweeting in a twitter chat more comfortable and easy to follow. Twitter is all about creating a story, identifying the right audience, publishing and sharing in order to go viral. Twitter alone might not be enough, but with the right tools, tweeting your way into the right audience in 2014 might be as easy as saying “beautiful”.
Twitter Cards: Short Introduction
Twitter Cards have recently entered the zone as a way of standing out and differentiating yourself from competition. As 140characters might not be enough to be heard in the industry, Twitter Cards present a creative alternative to the limit they imposed from the very beginning, by allowing additional content to be generated. Your tweets in people’s feed will show a “view summary” button below the tweet, which allows them to click and learn more by accessing more information. In the same tone and style as Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Cards allow us to add a title, an image and a description in the type of content we are sharing. It can be used as a summary, photo, gallery or app and more.
1.Twitter Title Tag: The title tag works in similar ways to the Open Graph title tag. The specified title will show up bolded, to stand out and be eye-catching, making the Tweet or Link clickable. The user has up to 70 characters to use. Be smart and make the most of the space you have.
2.Twitter Image Tag: We find images to extremely effective when using Twitter Cards. They are an asset to the already great value we provide. With the Twitter image tag, you have the option of adding a smaller or larger picture. In comparison to Facebook Open Graph image tag, the Twitter Card image tag requires a resolution of at least 280px x 150px and a maximum file size of 1MB.
3.Twitter Description Tag: This tag allows you to add a description to your tweet, a summary that complements the image and title of your tweet. In comparison to Open Graph description tags, Twitter allows no more than 200characters. It’s enough to be thankful for. The meta description does not affect positively or negatively your website SEO, but it will add a huge extra positive factor to your Social Media presence.
The Importance of Medium
And speaking of additional tools, let’s talk a bit about Medium. Medium is a blogging and social media microplatform, free and accessible to anyone with a Twitter account. You can sign up with your Twitter account and start writing articles of any length – yes, there is no character limit on Medium – and submit them to Collections (which are basically categories on a given topic). You get these great Medium analytics and stats showing you what was your success in the past 30 days, how many Clicks, how many Reads, percentage of Reads and Recommendation ratio. Plus, you get to access Referrers sources and suggest further readings. We can see this as an add-on to the Twitter’s general outline. Combine them and you get right on the spot information and a chance to extend the information without linking to an external source. It is more than marketing, it is a content strategy. And content is healthy!
Tip #3: Following the Right Path to Visual Content Representation
But having content and fresh information is not the only thing Social Media encourages us to do in 2014 to level up. Remember that Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – with an accent on Eye – meaning visual is a must have in your social media strategy. What other Social Media platforms should You use? We will focus on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and GooglePlus.
But before that, take a close look at these numbers in a recent article on KissMetrics:
A. Is Your Business Pinteresting?
Ask yourself what is your Beauty business targeting and most importantly, who is your audience. After generating hands-on information with instant availability and fresh content, how about upgrading the game a bit? Is your business Pinteresting in this very moment? We can help you make it.
Why Pinterest? Pinterest has slowly become the future of e-commerce. It is not just a social media platform for personal use; it is mostly for commercial use. The Beauty industry has its well-earned place among the other industries as pinners (Pinterest users) are 3 times more preoccupied with looks than the average social media users. 80+% of Pinterest users are females, with an age rate between 25 and 45, who spend on average at least 16min per visit. Pinterest percentage of images showing faces is under 30%, which makes room for the beauty industry including facial beauty treatments to enter the stage. That is enough of a reason to upload images of your beauty salon and happy customers or excellent results and let the world enjoy them.
New Features on Pinterest include: updated versions of Pinterest apps for mobile and iPad use, plus Place Pins. Place Pins are a great way to boost your business, by adding geo-location information. Again, the easier it is for the user to access location information on your beauty services, the faster they can become customers.
B. Activate Your YouTube Channel
YouTube is another great way of getting your business out there. There are hundreds of makeup companies, makeup artists, beauty therapists and businesses in the Beauty industry who already use the platform. With millions of views on each video, there is no better way to get yourself noticed.
How can you be successful on YouTube? YouTube works great when combined with other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs with engaging content. In 2014, YouTube levels up their strategy by encouraging users to add End-Cards to their videos. End Cards can be infused with the video creator’s own voice and sense of humor and when done professionally, the fans will fall in love with them and click on the next videos, generating hundreds of new views on average per video.
C. Instagram-ing Your Business
Instagram boosted as a social platform in the past year and its potential is significantly growing day by day as Facebook acquired the service. Instagram offers a series of great visual services such as taking photos and videos, editing and uploading images and easy-to-share visual content on other platforms and websites. What’s even more interesting is how you can create high quality images without being a professional photo-editor and without dealing with tons of editing tools.
Businesses can now create visual content that is professional and fresh to the delight of customers and the envy of competitors. Another great thing about Instagram is that it allows its users to directly embed Instagram posts into blog posts and websites. What does this mean? It means you get a killer weapon for your 2014 marketing strategy: great visuals mixed with great content. Instagram hashtags are also growing more and more popular as users find it easier to follow a trend through a hashtag. Just in November, stats showed that the percentage of hashtags used in Instagram posts was of 83%.
Check out this Infographic for more reasons to use Instagram for your Business:
D. GooglePlus – Where Does It Fit In Your Social Media Strategy
Earlier this year, Google announced they will be implementing Google+ in all their products and services, linking one to another. In short, this means Google+ is Google and Google is Google+. Therefore, this will not be just your average social media platform and Facebook competitor. They are bringing it to the next level. 2014 is the best year to join Google+ and become active as a business. But what can Google+ do for your Beauty business? Here is a quick list providing enough reasons to make a statement:
a) Next Level of Quality Social Engagement: Google+ has changed its design interface to make it more visually appealing. And visual is the key factor in creating a strong brand presence in the beauty industry. The designs are colourful and attractive and user-friendly, making user-brand interaction simple, yet effective. Not to mention that everyone owning a Gmail account out there probably owns a Google+ account, as well.
b) Social SEO: Yes, Google has integrated the content shared on Google+ in their Google Search page. Set up your publisher account correctly and your Google+ business account and you will get the most out of Google search page. Social SEO is the future of online presence.
c) Free video conferencing through Google Hangouts: imagine how important visuals are for your business especially in this type of industry. And why limit yourself to YouTube videos only, when you can have live interactions and conferences with your customers, doing demos or simply offering beauty consultancy services through a Hangout? To add more, you can record a session with your customers and add it as live testimonials for your business. Plus, it offers Youtube integration options.
d) Collaborative tools, cloud storage: these options are crucial for any type of business. When you go online, you need the best tools and storage options out there to ensure you have everything ready and on-the-go. Why should the beauty industry be any different? The more visuals and content stored you have, the easier it is to access it at any point and share it with your customers.
e) Google Adwords Integration – Beta version: This is the first time Google+ will have the Adwords option integrated for measurable results. There is still a lot to learn about this new integration and information will be publicly available in the future. Nonetheless, this is a great asset for local campaigns.
E. Honorable Mention – LinkedIn and the Beauty Industry
Some beauticians might wonder how can LinkedIn help your business and if there is a connection between the professional network and the beauty industry.
Our answer is a definite Yes: by connecting your business with professionals around the world, you can build up a certain transparency for your services and the customers who reach out to you. Potential customers are more encouraged to try a service if they find out their friends or the people they admire (professionally) have tried it before. LinkedIn recommendations are another great way to testify your services are the most professional out there. And while you are on LinkedIn, their Ads system and community system can become a great asset in the brand’s online presence.
Although not as visual as the above-mentioned social platforms, LinkedIn remains the platform where highly skilled and professionally-driven people activate. We see more active adults there, with a certain level of education, income, age and career choices – all potential customers and promoters for your business.
Social Media Tips for the Beauty Industry: Conclusions
We hope you enjoyed reading our article. Here are a couple of conclusions in terms of what’s new in 2014 in terms of Social Media and how your business in the Beauty Industry can benefit from them:
- 2014 brings content and visual as key factors in any Marketing strategy
- The Beauty Industry has evolved significantly over the past few years and there is still room for improvement and growth
- Each Social Media platform has leveled-up by offering great new features for a better business experience and excellent results in terms of customer-brand interaction
- Each Social Media platform has integrated more content and image features
- Facebook Open Graph tags can help you reach more people with the appropriate settings
- Twitter Cards are a significant add-on to the classic 140-character policy by expanding word count and displayed information
- Medium is gaining popularity and generating sharable content on a daily basis
- Visual content and video options should be integrating in your Social Media strategy for 2014
- Pinterest offers great perspectives for images containing faces (less than 30% of shared images contain faces) which is a huge opportunity to promote your beauty services
- Youtube, Instagram and Google+ offer great video options and visual customer-brand interaction
- LinkedIn still remains a trust source for potential customers who wish to connect with your brand but need reassurance from other professionals
- User demographics differ from one social platform to another and businesses in the beauty industry can make the most out of these stats to identify key-potential customers for their services
- There is a new era opening: Social SEO.
Digital marketing consultant for MW Creative Solutions, web designer and social media expert; all-round marketer with over 10 years of hands-on experience in various sales and marketing roles.