I see a lot of scalp micropigmentation and permanent makeup artists, wasting a huge amount of time on Facebook.
It’s not that social media in itself is a waste of time, by any means, but most posts I see look like the poster is simply going through the motions and I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe it’s because they feel they’re doing what they should be doing. Or perhaps, quite simply, they don’t know how else to approach this whole Facebook thing.
Here are some discussion points I’d like to raise. Ironically, I’ll be sharing this article on social media to garner the views of everyone else. This is by no means a definitive position, and I’d love to spark a debate on this.
So here goes.
1. Promoting treatments to other technicians.
One of the most commonly used mediums on Facebook is the discussion group or board. We run the Team Micro group of course, alongside our colleagues John Chandler, John Gerow and Steven Greitzer who run their own groups too. In the permanent makeup world there are several excellent groups run by the likes of Debbie Clifford, Will Anthony and Branko Babic.
However, all these groups are aimed primarily (or exclusively) at technicians. The general public are not allowed to be members of many of them, and although the occasional individual may squeeze through unnoticed, the overwhelming majority of members are other technicians.
This means, of course, that these groups are not good places to find potential clients, yet so many technicians continue to promote their work in these groups with the expectation of winning bookings. These same artists will insist that they ‘do’ social media, but then wonder why the business is not forthcoming.
My point is, it’s pointless to focus a lot of time and energy posting your work in these groups, if the intention is to make your clinic busier.
If, however, you are looking to build your reputation among your industry peers, want constructive and educated feedback from other technicians, or just want to know you’re on the right track, then posting your work in these groups is definitely worthwhile. Just be clear about what you’re doing and who you’re promoting to.
2. Asking people for likes and/or follows
Of all the ways you could spend your time on social media, this has to be the most wasteful. Asking your friends, family and colleagues to ‘like’ your Facebook page or follow your Instagram account is completely pointless. There are two reasons for this.
First, these are not prospective customers. They are not going to buy your service or pay your bills.
Second, in the case of Facebook at least, ‘likes’ are all but redundant now, and you’ll be lucky if even 5% of people who ‘like’ your page see your business page posts. Unless you pay Facebook to boost your posts, and paying to reach your friends, family and colleagues is even crazier than asking them for a ‘like’!
There is one exception, and that’s getting a few vanity likes when you first start out, so your business page doesn’t look empty. For vanity likes, you’re better off spending a small amount of money on some Facebook ads, or even buying a SMALL number of fake likes if you really feel the need.
However, do not fall into the trap of buying large volumes of fake likes and followers. There are some very large brands in the micropigmentation industry that made this mistake, and now have 150,000+ Facebook likes or Instagram followers, most of which are fake, that provide zero engagement with their posts.
3. Copying and pasting in multiple Facebook groups
If like me, you’re a member of multiple industry-specific groups on Facebook, you’ll receive notifications whenever someone posts something new in that group.
You’ll also understand how annoying it can be when you receive a large number of notifications, because one person has copied and pasted the same promotional post in every single one of your groups.
Social media thrives on participation. By spraying your promotional posts across multiple groups, you’re diluting this participation as any discussion will be divided between the groups. The result is usually a rapid decline in engagement.
There are three remedies to this.
First, you could post in one group, then share that same post in other groups using Facebook’s own sharing function. Note for this to work, the originating group must be public, not private. This way, most of the resulting comments will aggregate on the same original version of your post.
Second, you could tailor your post to suit the audience of each group. This is tricky, especially when the groups are similarly targeted, but it can be done.
Third, go ahead and post in multiple groups, but only when you have something really important to announce. I do this from time to time, but only when the situation calls for it.
4. Promoting without contributing
The fastest way to irritate the members and moderators of any group, is to contribute nothing of value to group discussions, yet constantly promote your work, training or products.
You will also find, almost certainly, that members are wise to this one-sided approach and will not easily engage with your posts anyway. It’s a selfish, self-serving approach and one that should be avoided.
5. Dictating, not debating your point of view
This is a tough one, because we’ve all been guilty of it. We love to have our voices heard, but we’re not always so keen to hear the opinions of others.
Social media is a discussion platform, not a dictatorship, and the thoughts and opinions of everyone should be respected.
For the veterans out there, I understand this isn’t always easy. When you have vastly more experience than someone else, and you KNOW that what they’re saying is wrong, it’s all too easy to jump in and shut them down, especially when they won’t listen to reason. I have made this mistake myself, more times than I like to admit.
A couple of thoughts on this.
First, think about how you would be perceived by others if you just charge in and force your point of view. Sometimes this approach is justified, but not always, and you don’t want to damage your personal reputation by acting insensitively or inappropriately.
Second, embrace the idea that others, even newer technicians, may have something of value to bring to the table. Industries that fail to move forward, do so because they refuse to evolve. Things change, often for the better, and it’s usually someone who brings a different perspective who initiates this change. Phi Academy shook up the microblading world by embracing new ideas, just like Uber did within the stagnating taxi industry.
Sometimes people are misguided and need pointing in the right direction, but consider why this might be. Thousands of artists have received inaccurate or incomplete information through poor quality training programs. Some have tried to forge their own path and may have accumulated bad habits, and some base their knowledge on training received decades ago, and may not be up to speed with the latest developments.
My number one piece of advice is this. When engaging on social media, try to be kind, and always be respectful. You simply don’t know who many of these people are, or how your paths might cross in the future. It’s a small world.