Potion London are producers of health and beauty supplements that are dedicated to making your life healthier, easier and more beautiful. We spoke to Founder Alexa Mullane about social media and found out why she deems it essential for entrepreneurs to be proactive and always stay true to their brand.

Could you introduce us to your business?

Potion London is a luxury wellness company that sells health and beauty supplements direct to consumers. Our products are available on our website, potionlondon.com, as well as through Harvey Nichols, Feelunique and some independent health and beauty retailers.

How important is social media to your business?

Social media is essential to the business. When I first started the company and we had no customers, our first ones came via social media. It’s an invaluable way to find your customers and reach out to them for free. Social media can also be the first or only way that customers are able to interact with your company, meaning it can act as a digital shopfront and representation of your brand.

Do you use social media to acquire customers?

I use Facebook and Instagram adverts to attract potential new customers and convert them into paying customers. 

Blog posts are used to encourage people to visit the website and get familiar with our brand, while promotional tactics help to cement purchase decisions. Trials are one such tactic, such as offering money off your first order or a discount when you sign up to a subscription.

Using social media is a very successful channel for acquiring customers, but it also works as part of the overall picture. For example, email marketing is another customer acquisition channel, but a lot of potential customers come from social media and feed into the mailing list and then convert to paying customers in the future. So it shouldn’t really be looked at as a channel in isolation, but rather as one cog within the machine.

How do you manage your social media accounts effectively?

The variety of different social media accounts can get overwhelming and managing them can be very time consuming, but it is essential to post regularly and consistently. I use scheduling tools to make the most effective use of my time. That way, it’s easy to schedule a whole month of content in one go.

I also have alerts on my phone, meaning I can respond quickly if someone posts a comment or sends a private message through one of the accounts. Even though you can schedule content and then forget about it, it’s still important to be active and interact with your followers on social media, so I spend a few minutes every day checking in on my different accounts.

What social media network do you find most useful for your business?

I find that Instagram is most effective. You can curate images to tell your brand story and bring your products to life. It’s also a fun way to interact with your customers. 

How do you go about keeping your followers engaged?

Using a combination of different types of posts. Some will talk about the latest blog post on the website, while others will highlight product benefits. Other types of posts that I use include comparisons of images taken before and after a product is used, sharing customer reviews and promotional posts that might highlight a gift or competition. 

It’s important to have regular new content to keep followers interested and engaged. It’s also important to have a conversation with your followers. I recommend that you respond to comments, pose questions and encourage them to engage with you.

What are your top tips for startups in terms of using social media?

Collaborate. It’s hard to garner a following from scratch, so a great way to get your brand seen by more people is to collaborate with like-minded businesses on competitions, events, etc.

Be proactive. Engage with businesses and users that are interested in the same content and give as much as you get. Don’t just sit back and expect people to find you. Follow others. Like and comment on their posts. Create conversations and you’ll find that people do the same in return, which will ultimately lead to your community growing.

Stay true to your brand. Social media is an extension of your website or shop. The pictures you post on social media all contribute to your brand image, so it’s important that you put some thought behind what you are doing. Create a visual style of how you want your account to look, then choose images that match this aesthetic. This applies to the tone of voice that you use as well, so don’t make spelling mistakes!

Don’t try to ‘sell’ too much. People go on social media for inspiration, so give it to them and ensure that not every post is pushing your products or services. Otherwise people will get bored and unfollow you.

How does social media work alongside traditional marketing channels?

It’s an essential part of marketing and acts as the friendly, conversational part of the business. If someone has seen an advert of yours or a magazine editorial that mentions one of your products, they might end up checking your social media accounts before they see your website. This means it’s important to have a presence on the main channels.

Nowadays, people mostly use social media as a means of directly communicating with companies. There’s no opportunity for conversation via traditional marketing channels, so you can expect to be receiving plenty of tweets and private messages from customers that are keen to have their questions answered.

Have you got your own start-up? Join our MeetUp in London on 27th February to find out how to make social media work for your business. Tickets are only £10. Click here to find out more.

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