As an entrepreneur I've witnessed my hair towel business, Aquis, grow exponentially since its founding in 1990. I'm a believer in marketing strategies that work, and have found social media to really help reach current and prospective customers.
Aquis has more than 46,000 likes on Facebook, all as a result of what we post and how we engage with our customers on the platform. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned while building up our social following along the way.
1. Pick a platform.
Your company doesn't need to be on every social media platform. It is critical that you choose your platform wisely, especially if you have limited time and staff to manage the network. When deciding on your platform, be sure to understand the audience and drivers for each. Then focus on the platform that is more aligned with your own audience, brand strategy and immediate priorities.
For Aquis, our biggest marketing challenge is educating people on our hair towel product. If they don’t understand the difference a hair-specific towel can make in their lives, they will think it is just another bath towel.
Facebook allows us to speak to our audience from an education standpoint. We’re able to engage existing and potential customers in meaningful conversations instead of simply selling to them. We look at hashtags and follow topic influencers, then join discussions on hair styling topics like combating frizz and preventing split ends, where our expertise can be of service. Social media is all about engagement and education for us, so we don’t use image or photography-focused platforms as much. We want our customers to know the backstory of our product, not just see a pretty picture.
2. Stick to your mission.
How a person dries his or her hair can be the most impactful step of a hair care routine. That’s the educational message we drive in all our social posts. To help back up that claim, we post in-depth studies on hair science and editorial articles from our blog, The Wrap.
Adding value to the lives of your followers is key. Consider staying away from brand promotion or hard selling. Contrary to advice we’ve been given to keep posts short and non-scientific, we actually find the best success with relevant, scientific and in-depth posts.
3. Focus on engagement, not just approval.
The number of likes or favorites on a post shouldn't be your main concern. Instead, focus on how much your audience comments on and shares your content. We are constantly refining our Facebook strategy to test what resonates with our community. We use Facebook Page Insights to help measure activity on posts, and we add tracking codes on the end of hyperlinks to measure how many users clicked on that link.
For example, our weekly engagement rate on Facebook, which includes likes, comments, shares and clicks, has been 35 percent or higher for the past year. That is impressive when compared with brands that may have millions of likes but whose engagement numbers are a fraction of ours.
Also remember to interact with the posts yourself. Constantly monitor and respond to questions, comments and messages on your page. Whichever platform you choose for your business, consider it an extension of your customer service.