Social media success comes in all shapes

I recently attended the tail end of Premiere Orlando, one of the larger hair and beauty industry shows of the year. While I was there, I kept overhearing (okay, eavesdropping on) snippets of conversations from hairdressers about social media. There seemed to be two schools of thought: those who use it well and those who resent the ones who use it well.

The ones who use it well are celebrated as experts and the standard for mortals to live up to. The ones how resent them are the ones working on their craft, getting education on new products and techniques, and have a salon full of clients who need their attention more than any Instagram follower does.

So, which of the two is actually more successful?

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Disclaimer: this mindset is not exclusive to the beauty industry. It happens across the board, even in marketing and communication.

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OK, it’s actually a trick question. Both camps are successful because success means different things to different people. You already know that I do not believe everyone needs social media. But for those who do, there are three things you have to do.

The first is to define your social media goals. Do you want to increase followers? Do you want to showcase your work? Do you want to become an influencer? Do you want to network? Deciding what you want to accomplish through social media before you begin using it will help you shape your strategy and save hours of frustration when something isn’t working.

The second is to accept that other professionals in your field will have different goals than you do. And that’s OK. Some people use social media simply to attract brands so they can get free products and be treated like media darlings. Others use it to cultivate a loyal following. Still others use it as a repository for funny memes. Whatever they choose to do is their choice, not yours. Comparing yourself to them will only lead you down a path of bitterness. And no one wants to follow a bitter Betty.

The third and last thing you have to do is be authentic. It’s fine to only share the best parts of you on social media, as long as your true self or brand is shining through. Transparency is a desired trait in this day and age, and users will not hesitate to click the “unfollow” button if they believe you are putting on an act.

Social media can be an amazing marketing tool for your business as long as you are willing to give it the time and attention it needs to blossom. Not sure how to get started or what your goals are? Let’s talk.

Nadia Zerka is not a social media influencer but does love to follow funny meme accounts.

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