It was a pleasure to interview Melissa Sassine last week in our London offices.
Melissa is one of Australia’s most well known beauty influencers and celebrity bridal makeup artists. Melissa has been changing the landscape for brides around the world and within Australia. With nearly half a million followers on Instagram, Melissa been recognised and profiled by some of the well known international news publications such as The Dailymail, Elle, The dailytelegraph, Stylist and many more.
Melissa is one of the fastest growing social media influencers on Instagram and Facebook. With over 3m followers on her Facebook and Instagram pages, Melissa’s videos have been viewed over 100m times across her Facebook, Youtube and Instagram channels. Melissa is one of the fastest growing Instagram stars and counts fellow Instagram star Zoella as a close friend.
Going viral is all down to luck. You can crank out a hundred videos and a thousand blog posts but whether any of them will fly around the Internet is all down to chance. At least that’s what they say. Melissa Sassine knows different. She knows that it’s possible to build a huge profile on the Internet in a short space of time powered by reliable viral content. She knows because she’s done it. Last year, Melissa Sassine had zero Facebook followers and no social media presence at all. Shee now has millions of followers, her videos have racked up more than a billion views, and brands as large as are clamouring to put their name in her clips. Success doesn’t come much faster.
It looked like an opportunity, one over which he could have complete control. She started by uploading videos but found that they didn’t take off so she switched to a different topic: Beauty – her main passion.
The success of those videos is down in part to their quality. “You can’t make bad content go viral,” Melissa says. But it’s also the result of careful planning and strong marketing. Melissa soon found that starting a video by talking directly to the lens lowered views so her videos now dive straight into the action with special attention paid to the first four seconds to grab viewers. Even the video thumbnails are action-oriented. Melissa has found that an image of her screaming will generate three times more views than a shot of her running. “There’s no easier exit on Facebook than to scroll down,” he warns.
To land those views, though, the videos first have to make their way into users’ social media streams. Melissa started her Facebook marketing campaign with an empty page and an old fashioned approach: she reached out to other sites. In fact, she wrote to hundreds of pages, asking their owners if they would upload or share her videos. They ignored her. Facebook blocked her account for a couple of days. She persevered, eventually receiving a message that Mayor Boss, a musician with more than six million followers, had shared one of her clips. That pushed Melissa’s follower count from around 100 to over 7,000. She and Mayor Boss agreed to share each other’s videos and Melissa continued hustling, uploading three videos a week and offering content-sharing deals to pages that had around 10,000 followers. As her own follower count grew, she was able to work her way up the ladder, landing deals with larger and larger pages.
“Now I can share-for-share with anyone I like,” she says. “So my videos explode.”
That large Facebook following has supported Melissa’s Youtube channel, where she describes her subscribers as “hardcore fans.” She can usually count on beauty and bridal videos uploaded to the site to generate between 100,000 and a million views powered by a good clickbait title and votes on Reddit. On Snapchat, she’s now generating about 400,000 views for her daily stories, and her experiments with Facebook live have shown just how much the format has to offer.