How to make social media work for your adult business
Social media has been a part of our lives for over two decades and includes a range of different websites with an emphasis on the sharing of ideas and content between individuals, private companies, government and the community/not-for-profit sector.
Although it is tempting to think social media is the easiest and cheapest way to promote your business, it should be considered as one part of the marketing mix. As the popularity of social media has increased, so has the competition for your business to be heard.
However, with an understanding of how different platforms work, who your audience is, and a focus on content and customer relationship management, your brand can stand out amongst the crowd. This article will focus on the three most commonly used social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Create a personal profile and connect with people you know by adding them as ‘friends’. Users post content to their ‘wall’ and can also ‘like’ business ‘pages’. Content from friends and pages you like appear in your ‘news feed’.
Pages vs Profiles:
Profiles are for people, pages are for businesses. There are a range of useful business tools such as ‘insights’ (analytics) and the ability to schedule posts that you cannot get from creating a profile.
Content should be diverse with sales and product promotion integrated with other posts. Share content from other pages (for example, from the official page of an adult toy that you stock) and don’t forget to have fun. Content should drive positive emotional responses with your audience. Keep it relevant.
Content must adhere to Facebook’s community standards (https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/#) which includes a restriction on posting images that contain nudity. You can restrict the audience of your page through the settings, meaning that as a responsible retailer you are not allowing people under the age of 17 to see or like your page (based on US content ratings).
Less is more – a couple of posts per day allows for those posts to have more exposure over time. The more people react to, share and comment on the post (called interaction), the more likely your post will appear in people’s timelines. Don’t forget to respond to people’s comments on your posts.
Scheduling posts can be an excellent way to keep business and personal separated and avoid getting lost in a ‘social media time vortex’. It’s also a good way manage content across a number of pages, for example if you have one page for each of your store locations, or if you wish to delegate responsibility to a specific staff member. Unlike most other retail businesses, adult retail businesses are open late. This provides an opportunity to schedule posts in the evening when people are at home.
This is the data centre for your page. It tells you demographics about the people who like your page across a range of indicators. Knowing your audience should inform content creation. You can also review statistics on each of your posts, such as audience reach. Reflect on what works for your page and audience as it will be different for every business.
Paid advertising and boosting posts
Facebook is driven by data and algorithms and they want businesses to pay for this powerful marketing tool. If you post to your page without spending any money, it will turn up in the newsfeeds of only around five per cent of your all your page’s likes. It’s good to first test content to see how much organic reach you can achieve. Posts that perform well can then be boosted.
It is much easier to convert sales with existing customers rather than with new customers. Facebook Custom Audiences is one way to find and direct your advertising to existing customers. You can upload your email lists or data on visitors to your website through Facebook’s secure business servers. Facebook uses these emails to find your customers. You can then segment this audience using demographics and then target advertising that is relevant to that segment. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/business/a/custom-audiences
You have 140 characters for you to communicate from your ‘handle’ (ours is @eros_assoc). All content is public and ‘tweets’ appear in live time to your ‘Twitter Feed’ from those you follow. You can use #hashtags to group your tweet with other tweets on the same subject manner. ‘Retweet’ to share content from someone you follow with your followers, reply to tweets and mention followers.
Twitter: for adults
Unlike many other social media platforms, Twitter treats adults like adults and does not censor content per se. Twitter may issue warnings about sensitive content that requires a person to click on the media to show it. This an opt-in feature based on a user’s settings. Many adult performers and businesses love Twitter for this as it offers an opportunity for direct engagement of adult content with followers.
Unlike other social media, Twitter allows users to be anonymous and so there is a higher incidence of spam, trolls and haters, especially where adult media, adult entertainment or sex work is concerned. Watch out for the anti-sex feminists and we have seen some attacking Eros members with false and misleading allegations. There is the ability to report users if they are impersonating or defaming your brand. You can mute users if they are annoying you or block them if they are really pissing you off (they won’t be able to see your posts). Or you can simply choose to ignore.
Time is money
It is very easy to spend a lot of time on twitter, especially if you get into a discussion with another user that spans a number of tweets. It is important for businesses to consider whether the time invested in Twitter is about generating sales or building customer relationships. You can use third-party tools such as HootSuite to manage and schedule tweets – using this will maximise your reach in the least amount of time. Again this is great for delegating responsibility to one staff member or team. But if a business cannot measure outcomes, then time and money might be better spent on other social media platforms that do generate sales or improve customer service.
This is like Facebook but for business. Individuals and businesses can create profiles, allowing connection between colleagues and business to business. Colleagues can endorse your skills or provide written references for specific role you have listed on your personal profile. Businesses can list job advertisements, post information about their business or projects or start discussions about particular topics. Individuals can join groups and follow businesses.
Adult retail okay but not some forms of adult entertainment
There are no restrictions for adult retailers to have a business listing. This is one excellent feature of Linkedin – you can post job advertisements without worrying about having the listing removed (as has happened with with some of our members on other job listing websites). Linkedin do make a distinction between adult retail and some forms of adult entertainment, stating that “prostitution” (sex work) and “escorting” businesses are not permitted to use their site. It is unclear if this includes adult entertainment venues such as a strip club.
Joel Murray’s professional experience comprised many years in state government policy and project management across different portfolios before he jumped into the not-for-profit sector. Joel worked as an arts manger for some of Melbourne’s leading arts organisations before working for Eros. He has also developed policy for the Sex Party as well as running as a candidate a number of times. Joel has a Master of Arts (Arts Management) with distinction from RMIT University. He is a keen gardener as well as a passionate advocate for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis.