This article outlines the Social Media Development at the company I currently work at from back in 2017 when I started until now, and the impact it has had on the business.
Vienna, April 2017
Piercingstudio Wien is a small piercing studio at Mariahilferstrasse 100 in the 7th district of Vienna. The company owner Marc, is the only one doing piercings. Below the studio, there is a small shop, where they sell piercings and other jewelry. Marc also owns a piercing online store called Piercing Mega Store. I was hired to take care of the piercing online store and everything that goes with it.
When I started my job, the Studio and the Shop were doing pretty well. Booking appointments were full about three weeks in advance. The online store had been doing well in 2014-15, but had since been sharply declining in sales due to increased competition, better public access to Asian suppliers and operational problems. Internally, the company was facing the challenge that the piercing studio was already running at full capacity, as Marc was, and still is, the only one doing the piercings. Therefore, the only way for the company to grow, was through online sales.
Everybody has the Same Stuff
The main challenge in terms of the piercing jewelry market ist the fact that there are only a few large producers in the world, mostly in Asia and in the US. Therefore, it is very difficult if not impossible to have something unique that your competitors don’t. With everybody selling the same stuff and no room for differentiation, it all comes down to price. This put us in a rather difficult position, as our operational costs are much higher to run the company from Vienna, compared to some of our competitors sitting in Thailand and doing drop shipping through warehouses in Germany, as Germany and Austria are our main target markets.
Social Media State in 2017
It did not take me very long to figure out that the one thing that drove purchasing in the piercing world more than price, was trust. So my strategy to turn the online store around was to bet on our uniqueness, or on the fact that we were the only player on the markt that was also operating an actual piercing studio. The aim was to position Marc as an industry expert and thought leader on the subject of piercings in order to create that trust, which would help us overcome the issue of price. And the way to do it quickly, cheaply and effectively was through social media.
Back then, we had a couple hundred reviews on Google Maps, around 3000 Likes on Facebook and around the same number of followers on Instagram. Our YouTube subscribers were under 200. Here’s a list of the Social Medial Accounts for the Piercing Studio and for Piercing Online Store back in 2017:
Around 600 Reviews at a 4,8-4,9 Star average.
Piercing Mega Store
The Man with the Plan
We started with a couple of long form YouTube videos about issues like the 5 things that everyone should look for when choosing a piercing studio. We then went on to promote a couple of Facebook Challenges where people could win a free piercing of their choice. Then, we would film the piercing being made and put the video on YouTube and Facebook. The breakthrough however came, when we started posting daily videos with random customers having their piercing done. It took about 2-3 months to move up from a bitter 100 subscribers to 10.000 subscribers on YouTube. Currently we are at about 86K.
Current State of Social Media:
Used for Reviews and answering transaction questions like prices, etc.
1000+ Reviews at 4,9 Star average.
For daily piercing videos, tutorials, and other relevant long forms of content.
We have two videos with almost 2 million views:
Used for booking appointments and customer questions.
Quick announcements – when appointments can canceled and there are still free slots for the day left.
Sporadic posts: with 2500-4500 views – organic
1000+ Posts @ around 10% engagement rate.
Customer stories and content resharing and incoming direct messages answering questions.
Sporadic posts of fresh piercings without any significant value to our audience.
Piercing Mega Store
Used to showcase our product catalogue, product presentation
Product Catalogue Remarketing
- We run a shopping cart Abandonment remarketing ad with a short Video of Marc telling people that they have abandoned their cart and they should go back and complete their purchase 😉
Now instead of being booked out 3 weeks in advance, it’s six week in advance. We have managed to raise the brand of Marc to a level of a semi-celebrity in terms of the piercing world. We have customers taking the bus from over 1000km away just to get pierced by him.
So social media helped the business come into the next level. We can feel the brand value in the online store as well, where this year we will probably make 20x the revenue from 2017 when starting the YouTube channel. The Channel, which is 3 years old, has currently a total watch time of about 1.4 Million hours, or as much as 160 years. We continue to post daily videos on YouTube and share some of them on Facebook as well.
To further build our brand, position Marc as the ultimate industry expert in the DACH region, create trust, awareness and help the piercing community.
- Create a Social Media Marketing Plan and schedule.
- Post content systematically.
- By timely relevant