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Social media is a terrific marketing tool.
But it's a tool that can be hard to get a grip on.
If you are reading this because you believe social media could help your case, but you aren't currently deploying social media to support your brand, let's review a few of the issues that might be holding you back.
Issue # 1 -- "Social media" is as broad a category as "print", "radio", "TV", or "direct mail." Within the "social media" category, new platforms are being introduced regularly. Some older platforms are falling out of favor while others have seen a dramatic demographic shift.
Because the use of social media is currently free, it's easy to forget that you are acting in the role of media buyer when you select the platforms you want to address. You make your selections the same way any media buyer would. Your goal is to maximize return on investment. You are concerned with the demographics of the platform, the reach of the platform, and what the cost to you will be.
Issue # 2 -- What will it cost you to use free social media? If you promote using only your own social media assets, the cost is nothing more than the time and energy you put into conversations with your followers. But social media marketing has become much more than a conversation with your own followers, however large their numbers may be. Global brands, for all their money, power, and name recognition, have turned to freelance "social media influencers" for help in marketing their products. Brands pay cash for these services. Why? Because these freewheeling young kids do a better job at promoting. You may find yourself paying for these services too.
Issue # 3 -- Social media influencers -- These are the handful of generally young people who, through their social media conversations, have developed large followings of loyal devotees whose buying decisions can be influenced through these conversations.
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If you are a small marketer of your own fragrance, you might try going to one of these agencies (that are popping up all over) to save yourself the confusion of finding and approaching a self-described social media influencer on your own. Will the convenience be worth what you might pay? If you do decide to go this route, it is wise to TEST on the smallest possible (but practical) scale. But at times you just have to pick a starting point and go forward, learning by experience and perhaps getting burned just a little in the process.
If you are the marketer of your own perfume it is likely that you'll want to make some use of social media. You may have your own social assets -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever -- but if you're going to do some heavy selling, it's likely you'll be led to consider working with an "influencer." This was a topic that was explored in the May 2016 issue of Perfume Strategies. The article made some suggestions but the fact is that, to data, there is no clear and simple path to using this tool. At present we can only keep our eyes open, be aware of what others are doing and, should a practical opportunity present itself, test this pay-to-post "influencer" tool on a moderate scale.