My first day at CHA was spent in social media seminars. I feel like I have a great handle on social media and use it pretty well but I was able to learn new things from each of the sessions I attended. Here is what I gleaned from this panel discussion:
Social Media Panel Discussion with moderator Amy Anderson (Mod Podge Rocks), Kathy Cano-Murillo (The Crafty Chica), Adrian Taylor (owner of Ben Franklin store), and Simone Collins (Prime Publishing LLC including Favecrafts)
You have to know just from the line-up in this panel discussion, that it’s going to be amazing and filled with all kinds of helpful information but that was proven by the fact that within 5 minutes, I had scribbled so many notes that I had to whip out my laptop and continue them on there just to keep up with all the fabulous tidbits! Here are some of my favourites:
Key point: Connections and networking are essential BUT it’s a community – build relationships and help each other. BUILD TRUST.
The panel was broken down into three sections: Get Savvy (what’s one thing I can do to grow or sustain my blog/business/social media presence), Get Smart (how can I catch the attention of the consumer), Get Simple(how can I make it more manageable and effective). These, to me, formed an excellent framework not just for the panel discussion but also for organizing my own social media plan.
Kathy: Take what’s happening in the world and pop culture and bring it to your readers from a crafty perspective. This provides connections for them and gives them an immediate way to relate to it. Other ideas for blog posts or for sharing on Twitter/Facebook/other social media platforms include: crafty shoutouts for others’ ideas/projects that you like, inspirational and motivational quotes and images, contests and giveaways, share your daily life with your readers – give them a sneak peek of an upcoming project, show them what you did that day, tell them about the negatives and what lesson was learned from it, tell them about new products, give them behind the scenes peeks. Build connections and relationships with others.
Simone:You need to find like minded people to connect with. Chat with other crafters, join crafty groups, participate in tweetchats for crafters (YAY for the shoutout to #crafterminds!), participate in blog hops. Talk to other crafters – answer them when they talk to you! @mention people, thank them when they do the same for you, use appropriate hashtags (such as #chashow) to find others who share your interests. This is a great way to find “your people” and connect with them. Set up collaborative boards on Pinterest and invite others to curate them with you. She used an example of a board she set up with under 50 pins but that has nearly 3000 followers, over 4000 repins, 700+ likes, and 65 comments.
Adrian: You need to let your personality shine through. Be genuine and authentic. Be careful about what you post – the internet has a long long memory. Social media shouldn’t just be for self promotion. In order to build trust you need a real person behind the creativity to give it crediblity so make it personal and make it real. Share ideas and projects – be collaborative and reciprocal. “Every store has a personality whether you like it or not.” (Same applies for every blog). Youtube is essential for building an online presence and in letting your personality show through.
Kathy: She reminds us that what goes around, comes around and you have to give out in order to get back. Don’t be shy about reaching out. She mentioned Instagram as an up and coming way of building some new relationships. Put your personality out there to create a personal connection – that’s what people are looking for in social media. She also says don’t send the same message everywhere. Each social media platform is a different party with a different vibe going on!
Simone: Many people will shop locally instead of at the big box stores because the local store has a great blog with personal touches and fantastic customer service. Customer service in social media is also essential. Remember to respond to any messages, questions, or mentions of you/your blog/your business and remember to check for as many references to you as you can find – i.e. not everyone will remember to use the @ sign before your name or the correct hashtag, they may spell your name incorrectly (for example, on mine, I should look for “cynchronicity” spelled synchronicity) or they may forget to leave a space or put in a space where there isn’t one. Try to find all those variations and RESPOND!
Some recommended social media tools: Obviously, we had already talked about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram as social media platforms but here are some tools mentioned in this discussion that might help you simplify the use of these platforms: Hootsuite: it allows you to set up scheduled posts and then have them automatically delivered so several different platforms from one dashboard. Social Bro is a free plug in to work with Google Chrome and shows you things such as the best times to tweet, which of your followers are influential, who is following you that you aren’t following, and which of those you follow are inactive users. Pinreach is another free app that works similarly to Social Bro but with Pinterest. Animoto allows you to turn pictures very quickly into a short video.
Simone has some more great information here: http://ht.ly/clZOE