As tattoos have become an increasingly popular form of self-expression, demand for great work has grown — and competition has ramped up among skilled artists nationwide.

That upward trend has been a coup for the two-year-old Filament Tattoo Co. in Wabash, Indiana, which is already benefiting from an outstanding local response. But to sustain his business during the slow months and keep his staff busy year-round, owner Matt Haynes needed to appeal to clients outside of town. He looked to Deluxe to help make it happen.

Turning Facebook “likes” into leads

Like many businesses, Filament was previously seeing diminished returns from its social media marketing efforts. A quick peek of the shop’s Facebook presence showed its business page had acquired a significant number of “likes,” yet its reach was minimal. Deluxe attributed that partly to Facebook’s increasing tendency to offer better recognition to branded business pages on which the owners have paid to run ads or promote posts. Filament needed a way to boost Facebook engagement, and fast.

Building a community of tattoo enthusiasts

Deluxe recommended Filament invest in cost-effective Facebook ads with the goal of creating a thriving community with deeper connections than those generated through standard brand pages. Tactics included updating Filament’s imagery and ad copy to better reflect its business personality; running ads to get “likes” in targeted regions; and creating a new Filament Facebook group that could provide the business unlimited reach for publicity.

Similar to Facebook business pages, Facebook groups profile individual businesses, but their aim is to draw together people with common interests — in this case, the tight-knit and passionate community made up of tattoo enthusiasts nationwide. Once Filament’s Facebook group was established, Deluxe cross-marketed by inviting fans of Filament’s business page to also join the group.

Creating posts with personality

From funny status updates to photos of his tattoo artistry, Haynes started coming up with unique, personality-filled social media ideas to capture the attention of his followers. As he connected by sharing details about his business, life and passions, the community reciprocated by inviting friends to join. Now Haynes can offer targeted discounts and promotions, build relationships with those who join and better promote his business through word-of-mouth.

Getting seen to get sales

Last year, Filament recorded a 34 percent increase in sales. In the first two months of 2017, the shop’s appointments were booked solid.

Filament’s Facebook page has grown its regionally relevant audience by 158 percent and now reaches more than 47 percent of Facebook users located within 165 feet of the studio. Further, Facebook check-ins have increased 25 percent.

The Filament Facebook group grew to an astounding 6,240 members within the first three hours of its launch and now boasts more than 8,000 followers, 63 percent more than the studio’s business page. Perhaps best of all, Filament can easily reach its community members at any time without having to invest in additional ads.

“Deluxe has now made us a regional destination for tattoos,” confirms owner Matt Haynes.

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