The Power of the Influencer
Written by Josh Alston.
Social media is the platform where natural living and digital connections collide head on. It has become the modern day farmers’ market for those choosing to live healthier lifestyles; and a tremendous forum for new and existing businesses to sell their products and services.
With Facebook users in Australia tipped to rise to 11.23 million in 2020, 9 million users on Instagram today and more than 2.9 million Twitter accounts in Australia alone, there is a lot of noise to contend with.
Here is how you can get the most out of your social media to grow your engagement with potential consumers and consequently grow your wellness business.
How to use hashtags to grow your business
Back in 2007, former Google designer Chris Messina probably had no idea he was about to change the way that social media would be used in the future. He is credited as the first person to use a hashtag on Twitter, which he was immediately flamed for.
But he and his friends persisted; and now the practice is commonplace on all social media platforms, particularly Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
There are several benefits to these iconic symbols, besides just being a hip way to footnote your social media posts. Primarily, they are used to group posts from different pages or accounts together for audiences looking to consume similar content.
In the health and wellness industry, this can be used to bring in an audience seeking out these products, while also targeting potential consumers in your local area.
These hashtags even have different benefits on different social media platforms. On Twitter, they are almost essential, where posts with hashtags get twice as much engagement.
Instagram is where you want to pump up your hashtag game though, (you are allowed up to 30), with research showing that 11 or more hashtags will get you nearly 80 percent interaction on your posts. This number climbs when you use niche hashtags, rather than generic ones.
Facebook is the newest platform to use hashtags and it is primarily a search tool. This is where options like #vegan, #organicfoods and #cleaneating can really bring in a new audience that is seeking out those kind of products.
How influencers can further your brand
It is one thing for us to tell our story and sell our brand to potential consumers. But trust is a major issue on social media with so much fake material doing the rounds.
That is where social media influencers can come into play, using their standing and credibility to strengthen your engagement with your audience. These influencers typically have extremely large social media audiences, strong writing skills and/or social media nous, and have their followers waiting with bated breath on their next post.
They are treated as peers by their audience and research has shown that 90 per cent of consumers trust their peers on social media. That is opposed to 33 per cent who trust material they view in advertisement form.
This is especially important when it comes to targeting millennials, as research has shown they are the ones most likely to purchase based on a brand’s story and peer recommendations.
Brands can seek out influencers in their industry by monitoring social media, finding the voices in their niche that have a wide audience. Look for engagement as well, with the influencer audiences chatting back. By approaching these influencers and getting them to discuss your brand, you can reach a large and new audience.
Case studies of social media success
Allergy Train is a specialty health and online store with a cafe catering for people with multiple allergies, intolerances or those on vegan diets.
As a new business, growing a strong social media base before opening the doors was critical to ensure the enterprise would have customers ready to purchase from the opening day.
Allergy Train opened its Hampton East premises on March 3, 2018 but delivered a strong social media campaign in the lead up, which included hashtags like:
#allergyfree, #foodintolerance, #vegan, #glutenfree, #desserts, #takehomemeals and #makefoodfunagain.
This delivered enormous engagement, with 100 reacts, 10 shares and 25 comments on their opening day preview post alone.
Blue Dinosaur is another brand that has used social media to excellent effect, with over 28,000 followers on Facebook. The Sydney-based natural and healthy energy bar company has shown that it is never too late to learn new tricks as well.
Despite their massive following, hashtags were not widely used on their posts until this year. The results were instant, with a recent competition post featuring the hashtags; #cfvfightnight #crossfitverde #fightnight #giveaway and #paleo attracting 93 reacts, 47 shares and 249 comments.
On the influencer front, Ere Perez Natural Cosmetics is a company utilising industry experts to tell their story and sell their brand through regular blog posts (shared on social media).
The important step this enterprise has taken is recognising that health and wellness is a lifestyle, not just something that impacts one facet of life.
So while they sell natural cosmetics, Ere Perez shares blogs written by experts in other areas of health and wellness. For example, a recent blog was supplied by República Organic which recommended five ways to enjoy healthy coffee beverages.
These are just some examples, with Naturally Good Expo exhibitors using various methods of hashtagging, blogging and leveraging influencers to grow their brand. By finding your voice and using these social media tools, it is possible to reach a wide audience and boost your sales without the need for expensive advertising.
About the Author
Josh Alston is a journalist, editor and copywriter who has worked for several daily, community and regional newspapers across the Queensland seaboard for 12 years. In this time he has covered news, sport and community issues and has been published in major daily newspapers and nationally online for breaking news. Josh presently works as a freelance reporter writing for clients including the Victorian Government, AGL Energy and a host of others.