By April Berardi and Julie Taylor, with support from the Outreach Committee
Most piercers spend a portion of their day monitoring and updating their social media accounts. In issue #58 of The Point Bethra Szumski mused on the power of social media. She mentioned the case of the explosively popular triple forward helix piercing which gained exposure on Pinterest. The next thing we knew, the “iDermal” video is blowing up our Facebook pages!
There are hundreds of qualified, talented, and safe piercers using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other websites. We don’t have to sit back and wait to see what the next piercing trend will be to take social media by storm. Instead, we can work together to use social media to steer people toward safe piercing practices, specifically those that define us as APP members.
To find out how piercers can use social media effectively, we interviewed several social media savvy piercers: April Berardi from Born This Way Body Arts, AJ Goldman from 12 Ounce Studios, Derek Lowe from Saint Sabrina’s, Courtney Jane (CJ) from TRX, Christina Shull from High Priestess, and Crystal Sims from Evolution.
In this, our second article based on those interviews, we will discuss the most effective ways to gain exposure for your website using social media.
Websites are a high dollar investment for most studios. One of the ways we can make our social media sites work for us is to drive traffic to the websites we have invested in, but how can you practically apply this knowledge? Easy! When posting to any online media source, add your website link or watermark (or safepiercing.org) whenever possible. Of course, each site will have different opportunities to effectively share your web address. We will discuss the best way to link to your site using the most popular social media venues, as well as provide tips for getting the most out of these sites.
Every video you post should be placed on YouTube. In addition to the video, you should be sure to post a link to your website in the video’s description and watermark your video with your URL, for people who don’t read through the description.
Tips (summarized from an article entitled “9 Killer Tips for YouTube and Small Business”)
- Create a channel for your business. This will help people find and follow other videos related to your business.
- Tag your videos! It is essential to tag your videos with the related keywords. If your video is not appearing in YouTube search results, you are not receiving the full benefit from it.
- Create your brand using video(s). Don’t use them like commercials; instead, use them to promote a strategy that you can link to from other networking sites, like Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.
- Create “how-to” videos, perhaps on how-to care for piercings, how-to use jewelry, how-to clean jewelry, how-to package it to bring into the shop, how-to pick a piercer, etc.
Facebook is the place to build relationships, answer questions, and connect with your peers as well as the public. You can share new content as well as content from Instagram, YouTube and other popular social networking sites.
As with YouTube, be sure to include a link to your website in your response to questions whenever possible. You can also link to a blog post about a particular topic or your aftercare suggestions. It also provides you the opportunity to provide your clients with links to the brochures and information at safepiercing.org, which can be an essential reference for many.
Tips (adapted from “Facebook Edgerank: What Marketers Need to Know”)
- With facebook’s “edgerank” system, you absolutely need your followers to interact with you in order for your content to show on their news stream. Asking questions, having contests, and inviting people to post and ask their own questions can increase interactions. (This is especially important to do to ensure the largest audience possible before you make an important announcement.)
- Videos, photos and links: Facebook gives more weight to these types of content, which means more of your followers will see them–and if lots of people like or comment on this content, the weight increases even more.
- Facebook cares more about new than old. Post at least daily, and watch the activity on your page to determine the best times of day to post. Then, schedule your posts to appear at those times.
With the popularity of mobile devices, Instagram has gained “instantaneous” fame. It has become the place to showcase what you want to be known for, and undoubtedly, Instagram is the place to share your best and most beautiful photos.
Tips (adapted from “6 Effective Ways to get more Instagram Followers”)
- Instagramers respond to beauty; use only your very best photos. Photos of jewelry, piercings, your studio, as well as candid shots of your crew and clients can all work well.
- Spread your posts out; don’t upload your whole portfolio at once. Ensure you upload a single beautiful photo with the appropriate “tags” once a day. Be sure to check out the “Popular” page and watch your “likes” (or monitor them with a service like Statigram) to determine which type of photos and what times of day (to post) yield the best results.
- Hashtags or tags can be placed in the caption for each photo, allowing categorization with other photos sharing the same hashtags.
- Examples: #safepiercing #stretchedears #fashion #jewelryoftheday #appmember #instagood #safepiercing #APP #piercings #piercing #yourcityhere #fashion #jewelry #gorgeous #girl
- Similarly,geotags will categorize your photos by place, allowing you to reach existing and potential clients in your geographic area.
- Examples: #sanfran #sanfrancisco #sanfranciscoca #california #cali #ca
- Your instagram page will also gain popularity and garner more attention if you actively participate with your followers, and those that like and comment on your photos, by doing the same for their photos.
Tumblr is also a great way to connect with a larger audience, including other piercers. On Tumblr, you are able to set a ‘click-through’ link to your website on every image you post in your feed.
- Like Instagram, Tumblr utilizes hashtags. Be sure to use relevant and popular hashtags to get as many viewers as possible.
- Share or “reblog” others work. Tumblr is a perfect venue to share other great piercings or jewelry photos. However, it should be added that many others will repost your pictures, so be sure to watermark them appropriately.
- Follow the APP on Tumblr, and reblog amazing piercings from qualified piercers from around the world. (If you are not already, become an APP member and submit your own photos. This can greatly increase your exposure and giving your clientele a great resource to draw ideas from for safe successful piercings.)
Social media sites are filled with millions of people just waiting for the right piercing video or picture to inspire them to stop piercing themselves or find a safer piercer in their area. Legislators look to these media streams for their research and parents are seeking out media when their children ask for (or come home with) a new piercing. You have now been armed with some great information on how to maximize your internet presence through social media. It is now our responsibility. We have the power to fill these streams with information about safe piercing and its practices; there is power in numbers. The more we work together, the greater the influence we can have on the direction piercing takes.
In the next issue of The Point we will look at how you are able to incorporate these types of social media into your daily work routine.
Editor’s note: Due to the time sensitive nature of the information provided—and the constantly changing state of the internet itself—some the content and/or screencaps in these articles may become outdated very quickly. For up-to-date information on each of these sites, please view their individual FAQs, tutorial or training pages.