I work for e.l.f cosmetics UK, part of my role is to be responsible for our social media. It's been very successful for the company in building a customer base, which for an online only brand can be hard work. I have been a blogger and YouTuber for over three years. The landscape, technology and number of people involved has increased dramatically in that time. It is barely recognisable from where I started three years ago.
I like to think of myself as an all rounder in the world of social media, I've learned that the only way that works is to immerse yourself in it, learn from others and try new things. The great thing about social media is that you don't have to spend a lot to find out what works.
I manage a few facebook pages, the elfcosmeticsUK facebook page alone has nearly 200,000 fans, as well as the twitter and YouTube channels that are growing steadily. elfcosmeticsUK was voted #33 in the top 100 social brands in the UK earlier this year. We also scooped a fair amount of awards in the Latest in Beauty New Year's honours list, including Brand of the Year, thanks to our social media fans' votes. They are a force to be reckoned with and you can't buy that kind of loyalty and following, it has to be earned. I'm very proud of these achievements as it is mainly down to me and the interactions I have with fans on a daily basis.
Just like marketing, everyone thinks they can do it and with the right experience and mind set, they can! I found that it takes a while to get in to the flow of a community and its mood. It's not that hard really, if you're naturally chatty and have a lot of knowledge about the product range.
I will freely admit that a lot of money is wasted (by others I might add) on social media campaigns which fail to meet the mark in terms of awareness, conversion to sales and interacting on a human level with customers. I won't name names, I take no schadenfreude from these all too public gaffs, I just hope they have learned from their experiences. It's not something you undertake because everyone else is doing it and it seems to work for them.
I've had a lot of interaction with PR agencies, young companies and social media agencies on how best to grow their following. I tell them all the same thing, people won't join a page for a one sided conversation, that's just not social [media].