Who do you follow on Social Media?

Over coffee a few weeks ago, my sister Kelly had told me this conversation she had with her boyfriend about an Instagram account she follows. The day prior, Kelly was scrolling through her Instagram, and her boyfriend was watching. He noticed something and asked her a pretty straight forward question, do you actually follow an Instagram account about eyebrows? Her response was yes. Of course. Why wouldn’t I?

We spent our coffee date discussing how we both thought following an Instagram account about eyebrows was the norm, but on reflection, we realised how odd that was.

If you know either of us, you would know that we both possess out of control eyebrows and go to great lengths to manage them on a regular basis. In the past, we have driven over an hour and a half (one way) to have our eyebrows maintained by one particular business, of which only provides eyebrow-related services.

To Kelly and I, these actions are very typical. We often discuss our eyebrows like they are separate entities. I can safely say I have never missed an appointment to maintain my eyebrows and will often shuffle appointments to make sure I can do something about the craziness happening just above my eyes.

"When Kelly told me this story, I realised that I, the marketer had been marketed too, and for quite some time. I also followed that particular Instagram account. I wanted the eyebrows they posted photos. I often had eyebrow envy and even sent pictures of some of the eyebrows to my friends."

Upon reflection of Kelly’s boyfriend's reaction, I started to reflect on the power of marketing. The marketer was being marketed too, and it worked. Not once has the eyebrow Instagram account talked about price or run promotions to drive appointments. In fact, they are booked out weeks in advance, and I honestly could not care less how much an appointment is. The finer details that most people think are important somehow became redundant to the results I can (apparently) experience with amazing eyebrows.

So why is this Instagram account so compelling? It's simple, it displays social proof every day and asks for the business on a regular and consistent basis. Oh, and instead of fighting social media, they learnt how to harness it and reach an audience every day, on their customers most personal and highly sought after device.

I told this story in a meeting last week. The client I was invited to meet wanted to start a beauty service-based business, with the goal to grow it into a franchise model later on down the track. I sat in this meeting with a few other marketing professionals (all of which were male), and we all discussed the topic, will someone just buy one particular beauty service? My response was absolutely, and let me tell you why.

I am not going to lie, they all looked at me like I was a bit weird, but the truth of the matter was, I was their target market, and they couldn’t argue with the illogical effect social media had on my decision-making process. And, I bet you, if you scrolled through their Instagram or Facebook accounts, it would be full of sports, gyms and lycra cycling outfits.

The moral of the story, tell your brand story using resources that are readily available. Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube are platforms that have given everyone the opportunity to have a voice. Think of these platforms as a way to show social proof that you exist as a business; how you service your customers and how you conduct business on a regular basis.

Social media equals social proof. It's as simple as that.

marketingApril Ford