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Getting Global With Social Media

By: Colette Mason and Ian Gibbins
Posted: July 9, 2012, from the August 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

People the world over are engaging with each other—and with brands—like never before because of social media. And not only are people using social media to connect, they are using it to connect more deeply and further than was even possible a few years ago. Via the range of social media options (including the big players such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) people are learning about new products and brands from every corner of the globe, interacting with brand owners from Africa to China, Australia to Canada and back again—and buying products from across the globe.

For beauty brands, social media can be an exciting and profitable place to be. If you’re just starting out your brand’s social existence, here are some basic ideas to begin your engagement.

Engaging From Afar

How do you take social media to the next level? Best practices remain fairly consistent despite your location, but there are some fun ways to take advantage of being near or far from your fans.

Through growing and encouraging more interaction on both a local and global scale,  you will increase word-of-mouth marketing through and in a variety of regions/markets, as well as increase your brand reputation and build a great client base online.

Identify Social Media Goals

Now it’s time to make your social media presence work for your brand. The key to building a loyal, responsive following of people is to focus on three distinct groups—existing customers, new prospects and related businesses.

Don’t let social media agencies convince you that it’s extremely complicated and highly technical to connect in this way. Really, it’s about focusing on the underlying human relationships, and in that, you have most of the skills you need to succeed already.

Figure out where most of your customers fall in terms of online usage, and then progress your strategy accordingly. For instance, decide what outcomes you would like to see from efforts to connect with consumers on Twitter and Facebook, or judge which social media outlet(s) you feel would be most effective for your brand and why. Do you want to increase global brand awareness or awareness/strength in a particular location? Test new markets for brand interest? Or simply connect more people the world over with your brand?

Finding a Following

Once you’ve decided on the goals you’re hoping your social media outreach will achieve, it’s time to find those people who can help you see them through. When seeking out social media connections, look for people with common interests to your target market, and start interacting online in those circles.

For example, seek out interaction with people who follow your competitors, and make an effort with members of brand-relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups and pages. Find out what else your followers follow, and engage there accordingly. These new followers might include people who are actively discussing beauty brands and beauty efforts in various tangential groups, as well as specifically targeted groups themselves.