Social Media is more than just a way to find potential customers. It provides a means to humanise your business, to put a face on your brand, to engage your customers with your ideas and build a following of fans. While there are many different social media platforms, each one provides an opportunity to let your customers and would be customers see what you’re really about!
But by the same virtue social media needs to be approached differently from other channels – not only are you exposing yourself to all comers (not just potential customers),
But BEWARE – even your biggest fans will recognise when you’re being inauthentic or self-serving, and will vote with their unfollows.
So what are your options, and why would you choose each platform? Briefly, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of social media platforms:
Other notable mentions might also include blogs or blog aggregating sites such as Stumbleupon or Medium, community sites such as Reddit or forums, and questions & answer sites such as Quora or Yahoo Answers.
Sounds like a lot huh? Well you don’t have to be on all of them, and in fact it can be damaging if you are, just in terms of spreading yourself too thin. Instead it is worth picking 1 or 2 that you really want to own, and using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to semi-automate your activity on the others.
By far the largest social network, facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide, and is the social media platform that almost everyone is on.
I’ve argued in the past (perhaps controversially) that Facebook can be a waste of time for makeup artists, and this is because even if you have a hug number of followers for your page, only a small percentage of them will ever see anything you post.
That said, if simply for the aforementioned “Everyone is on it”, it is definitely worth maintaining a presence there, even if it is just so people can find you and you can re-direct them to your website, or showcase some of you portfolio.
If you’re an active blogger or vlogger, then Facebook can also be one of the means by which you publicise your work, either on your own page, or through groups that would find it interesting (but no spamming!).
One makeup artist that I think is using Facebook really well is Donna Mee. This is because she’s created a group to support the Makeup Artist community, rather than just promote her own brand, the aptly named “MAKEUP ARTISTS COMMITTED TO GROWING SUCCCESSUL CAREERS” group (yes she know’s about the spelling mistake). The group now has over 6000 members, and Donna is very active in the group. Highly recommended.
Predominantly a young crowd, Twitter serves as a broadcast platform to get your message out into the public domain. Those messages are short lived however, and so it is very much a case of the more you put in the more you get out.
If your work and your life is fast moving, then Twitter provides a great means to keep your fans and followers informed about what you’re up to and some of the things you think are interesting that you’d like to share.
It can also be a good way to engage with those who might otherwise be hard to reach such as celebrities. By hashtagging your tweets people can find you who might not otherwise, and in this manner you can build a following.
The transient nature of Twitter also means than only a limited number of your followers will see your tweets, and being “active on Twitter” can take up a lot of your time. Ideally you should be tweeting 5 or more times a day.
If you’re already using a personal Twitter account, consider making this your professional one too – after all, the aim of social media is to let people get to know you, and hopefully build enough of a connection that you would be their choice when they come to need a makeup artist.
Do be aware though, Twitter is completely searchable and open to the public. Once something is in the Twittersphere it is very hard to take it back, and there have been of a few instances of disasters caused by a careless tweet.
The well known makeup artist Same Fine has a following over 55,000 and is really active on the platform – check him out!
In the last few years LinkedIn has been widely accepted across industries as the social media platform of professionals, and provides an excellent means to build and manage a network.
If you’re interested in building a network in the fashion industry for example, then LinkedIn is the social media platform to do it. As well as your personal and extended (2nd and 3rd degree) network, you can also access interest groups, although these are often much smaller than the groups on Facebook.
LinkedIn also has InMail, whereby you can send a limited number of messages to people you aren’t connected with, which can be a great way to reach out to influencers you’d like to know, and has the potential to overcome the noise of people’s email inbox.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that once you’re set up, it doesn’t take a great deal of work to maintain. Essentially you’re posting an online resume that people can find you through.
So how do you find work? Well you can be active in the groups and actively look for jobs, but in our experience these can be a bit spammy. Instead, use LinkedIn simply as a tool to expand and maintain your professional network, to stay in touch with people you’ve worked with, and to keep your name at the front of their mind as they think about hiring their next MUA.
You can also use LinkedIn as a blogging platform – once you have a large number of connections. This in turn can help you establish your authority and expand your network still further.
The webs largest video sharing site and it’s second largest search engine. If you are using video you should be on Youtube.
Building your brand across multiple platforms is a good idea both in terms of awareness and helping people find you through search engines.
The benefits of doing video could be a single topic in itself, but the biggest case is it puts a face to your message and allows you to communicate as you. If the purpose of social media is to build relationships, then video is probably the most powerful medium for letting people get to know you.
BUT not everyone is comfortable on video and it can take time to get there. Video can be quick and easy to film, but it can also take time to prepare, edit and get web ready. If a professional finish is required this can be expensive (either in terms of buying the right kit and software, or hiring someone).
But don’t be put off – recording a video is easier than ever before – quality on even an iphone is actually pretty good, and everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t expect to be an overnight success, but then your first few videos you may be finding your feet anyway, so this can work in your favour 🙂
Ash’s Youtube channel has helped her stand out from the crowd, and is often a differentiator for clients. She’s recorded hundreds of killer makeup tutorials and you can find them here.
Pinterest is where people go to be inspired and find things that they love. It is also the platform with the biggest female demographic – in other words, as a makeup artist, your customers.
If you’re interested in fashion, beauty, interior design, crafts or food, Pinterest is the place to be. We’ve spoken at length about why you need to be on Pinterest, and how to use it effectively in the past, and so I won’t repeat myself, except to say this…
With Pinterest you can build a relationship with your potential customers over shared interests and loves, and give them a glimpse of the authentic you. By making sure your Pinterest reflects all the things that are important to you and your business your followers are much likely to become your customers.
And make sure you sign up to our mailing list to get access to our list of 7 pinners we love!
If Facebook is the web’s meeting place, Twitter the megaphone and Pinterest the scrapbook, then Instagram is definitely its photo album! If you want to communicate with pictures, this is the place to do it.
And makeup being a visual art form is at home on Instagram.
While the professional photographer is capturing the portfolio quality photos, you can be snapping the amazing location, the before and after shots, the kit you’re using that day, the amazing people you’re working with and even the celebs you’re rubbing shoulders with.
And as with Twitter, you can hashtag your photos so they can be found more easily – opinions vary on just the right number of hashtags, you can have up to 30, but 10 is probably enough, and can be a great way to build a following fast.
A word of caution, as with all social media once it’s out there, it’s out there – which means if you post photos of your work that later you might reflect is sub standard, then so too might potential clients. Quality control is important!
Want to see a good example? As you might expect Lisa Eldridge has an Instragram account worth following – it’s aspirational stuff, with amazing locations and clients, and her latests picks product wise too.
Ash also loves Nadine Elias – a former assistant of hers who moved out to Dubai and is having a great time as an MUA there.
Other notable mentions
GooglePlus – Google’s own social media platform has never really caught on to the same degree as Facebook. Even the case for it being Google’s platform and therefore helping your search rankings is starting to look pretty thin. If your time is limited this would be a low priority.
Slideshare – If you are giving presentations you can host them on slideshare, making them shareable and searchable.
A final thought
Despite their differences, each social media platform aims to connect people, help them find their community and share what they’re passionate about. The same is true for businesses, and if you’re a freelance MUA then the two are often one and the same!
Do you have a favourite social media platform that you use for showcasing your makeup skills, or growing your makeup business. Drop us a comment below and tell us what’s working for you!
Blog header image used with kind permission of mkhmarketing.wordpress.com