Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn… yikes! Sometimes using social media can seem like a full-time job all on its own—but it’s a must-have for promoting your business and getting your makeup artist mastery recognized.
Before you start making accounts for your business left and right, take a step back. Just because social media is a good way to reach out to clients you might not have found otherwise doesn’t mean you need to sign up for every social media site in existence. Managing twenty different accounts is going to eat up all the time you should be using to actually do your job as a makeup artist—and chances are those twenty accounts won’t do you any better than a couple of targeted, well-maintained profiles.
Where should I start?
Think about your target audience. Do you want to focus on bridal makeup? Theatrical makeup and special effects? Maybe it’s getting close to the end of the year and you’re hoping to pick up a new set of young clients for proms and grad ceremonies? Either way, you’re looking at a certain age group, and different age groups tend to gravitate towards different social media sites.
LinkedIn might help establish you as a professional, but if you’re trying to snag a new crowd of high school grads it’s not the best tool for getting their attention. Fun, image-heavy sites like Instagram and Pinterest will probably be a better bet—that’s where teenagers will be going to look for inspiration for their grad looks.
Basically, it’s all about focus, which will probably take some research. The good news is, you’re not on your own. Here’s our cheat sheet on what some of the biggest social media sites can (and can’t) do for you.
This was pretty much the first real global social network. It may have started as a site for college students only, but by now it’s expanded to include more than 1 billion users from a huge range of countries and age groups.
- Huge user base = wide reach
- Easy to set up a professional page for your makeup artistry business
- Easy to upload and show off photos of your work
- Post-scheduling lets you post when your fans are online
- Algorithms used to decide what content is shared and with whom mean not all of your fans will see your new content
- Now that older generations are signing up, it’s becoming less “cool” with the younger crowd
Twitter isn’t quite as big as Facebook, but it’s still pretty huge—there’s more than 140 million users all over the world. With Twitter, your posts are limited to 140 characters, so it’s good for sharing short announcements, as well as links, photos, or videos.
- Search feature lets you find competitors based on keywords—and lets potential clients find you
- Super popular with younger users (if they’re your target audience, Twitter is must-have)!
- Profile limited to 160 characters, so you can’t share much information about your business
- No easy way for potential clients to view galleries of photos you’ve shared
- Character limit might tempt you to compromise spelling and grammar—but don’t fall for it, because this can reflect poorly on your business
This image-based site lets you snap a photo, apply a filter to edit it, and share it with your friends and followers.
- Great for sharing photos and building a profile
- Even if photography isn’t your strong point, filters will improve the quality of the photos you post to make them look more professional
- Easy to share progress pictures or before-and-after photos, so your followers get an inside view into your process
- A mix of (appropriate) personal photos and makeup photos lets your followers feel like they’re getting to know you
- Another big hit with younger users
- An image-heavy site means less space and attention for text and information about your business
- Links are not clickable in photo descriptions, making it more difficult to share your content and get potential clients to your website
Pinterest is another image-based site. This one lets you “pin” images to your online board, re-pin images from other users’ boards, “like” photos, and leave comments.
- Sourcing is easy—when an image is re-pinned, the source and pinner are automatically re-pinned as well, which helps redirect people to your website
- Many people go to Pinterest to look for inspiration for makeup, so your content has a good chance of going straight to your target audience
- Easy to share your own photos, but also to get inspired by creating boards of other people’s work
- Your boards give potential clients a sense of your personal and professional style
- “Secret” boards let you pin photos for your own personal inspiration without anyone else seeing them
- Collaborative boards let you work with clients to achieve a certain look or style
- Image-heavy site means less space and attention for text and information about your business
Okay, but seriously—where should I focus?
You’re never going to find a site that will reach everyone—social media can be a huge time-suck (as many of us know from our personal lives!) so many professionals just focus on a single outlet. Before creating an account:
- Think about your target audience
- Do some research—what sites are best for reaching them?
- Look at competitors—where are they most active?
- Think about your content—what can you post to make yourself stand out?
Because they’re so popular, Facebook and Twitter are probably going to get you the widest possible reach. And if the thought of managing two major social media accounts has you tearing apart your makeup bag in despair, relax—sites like Hootsuite give you a single easy site for managing messages, creating and queuing posts, and tracking activity for both Facebook and Twitter.
But it’s hard to beat Instagram or Pinterest for displaying images of your work. Plus, because these sites are a go-to for many people looking for makeup inspiration, scrolling through other users’ new posts every so often lets you keep up with the latest trends.