When you think of viruses, you probably don’t think of Mark Zuckerberg, one of the richest guys in the world, right? But as co-founder/CEO of Facebook, he is arguably one of the greatest virus creators of all time. Now, in the medical world, viruses are considered a bad thing. They’re something we don’t want to spread from person to person. But in the business world, viruses refer to information, articles, and images that are shared largely through social media—and those types of viruses, we want to spread like wildfire. We want to go viral.
Zuckerberg, in his youthful and technological genius, understood before a lot of other people did that liking, tagging, and sharing other people’s social media posts would become our new way of communicating online. We’re drawn to it because it allows us to interact with others but in a very quick way—and in our mega-fast world, that’s key. Every time we share a post, we increase the odds that one of our friends will share it with their friends, and so on and so on. When a business-related post goes viral, it can be highly profitable to the business owner.
Organic vs. Paid Efforts
Facebook posts, like many other social media campaigns, fall into two main categories: organic posts and paid advertising. The goal is the same for both types—to get more followers, likes, and shares. The difference of course is that organic posts are free, focused on content creation and curation. In the esthetics world, examples of Facebook organic posts include blogs, before/after photos and videos, specials that you’re running, introductions to new treatments, and providing links to any exciting news in your industry. With organic posts, you’re building your brand awareness and also hoping to drive traffic to your website which ultimately, will result in sales.
Paid advertising is just that: You set a budget to run ads or boost posts and monitor your results. Your decision to do this is largely determined by how much you want to spend but you don’t actually have to spend a lot to get click-throughs.
Keys to Effective Ads and Posts
Targeting to your specific customer is essential and to do this, you need to be very aware of your audience, what types of ads and posts stimulate engagement, and perhaps most importantly, what doesn’t work so that you don’t waste money. Who is your main customer? Female/male? Age? Income range? Don’t waste advertising dollars outside your market. A bigger reach isn’t the only goal; it’s reaching the right people, those who are most likely to purchase from you.
I’m also a big fan of boosting posts that have already generated some excitement (your business Facebook page will offer you the opportunity to boost existing posts and you simply set your budget). You can do this for content posts and also for contests that you create to get people to enter for a prize/free service in exchange for their email address.
What Should I Post?
Anyone can post about what they’re selling, but if that’s all you post, over time, you’ll probably get ignored. Instead, mix things up. Some of your posts and ads should be salesy, some informational, some just plain fun, some motivational—you get the idea. I always say the best type of selling isn’t actually selling but involves a personal story: How your own acne scars were dramatically improved with chemical peels; how another client’s confidence soared when she started doing oxygen facials. Find what makes you interesting and unique as a service provider and regularly post about that. This is a type of indirect selling.
For example, even though I’m in the medical aesthetics/training industry, my Instagram feed rarely talks about that. Instead, I post mostly things to inspire and motivate others to live their best lives and chase their business dreams. Then, on my Instagram “story” circle that appears at the top of the page, I always show exciting things happening in cosmetic laser training, which creates prospective clients. Check out @louisthelaserguy to see my marketing strategy, and how you can adapt it to your own.
Visuals are Everything
You may already know that Facebook bought Instagram, so even though it’s a different platform (less written content, more visual, and a younger demographic), it’s still a form of Facebook. Give both platforms a try. If you’re selling a product to a younger audience (acne treatments), try it out on Instagram; if it’s an anti-aging treatment, give it a whirl on Facebook.
Our world (and our industry) is so image-driven and viewers also like the immediacy of live videos. When my company, National Laser Institute, posts a random treatment before/after picture, we’ll typically get about 500 views. But when we do a live video (just thirty seconds or so), it jumps into the thousands. All you need for either is a smart phone and internet access.
Using Influencers to Boost Engagement
For little or no cost, you can also find influencers in your industry and piggyback on their success. Influencers are people who have the ability to influence others to buy products or services by promoting them on social media. Lots of people in the aesthetics business would love to have Kylie Jenner as an influencer because she kills it on social media. Look for people like her with a lot of followers who are in line with what you’re selling. Reach out to them and ask them if they’ll follow you on Facebook or Instagram and/or give you a shout-out in exchange for a free service. When they receive the service, take videos and pictures and ask them to post them on their page, along with a special code so viewers can get a special discount.
Tracking Your Results
In business and in life, it’s often not how good or skilled you already are but how quickly you accept and realize when something isn’t working, dump it, and move on. This applies to all of your posts and ads.
For paid advertising, Facebook and Instagram offer Ads Manager, where you can easily track who sees your ad, who clicked on it, and how much you’re spending. Without measuring your results, you really are flying blind. In fact, most businesses fail simply because they aren’t tracking results. Always: Test, tweak, and dump when necessary. You’ll be glad you did.
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Louis “The Laser Guy” Silberman is CEO of National Laser Institute, a national cosmetic laser and medical esthetic training center founded a decade ago, and owns medical spas in Scottsdale and Dallas. He’s the author of Make It Happen Online and a motivational marketing speaker. Silberman created the sixth most visited health/beauty website and was a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2014. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram at louisthelaserguy.