Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why Social Networking

Welcome to day nine of our shop talk series!

Without social networking, namely twitter, I would not know many of the amazing handmade community of bloggers that i so love. I would also be completely unknown. Twitter is a great way to get to know people in whatever type of community you choose and a great way to get noticed.
However, social networking is not a megaphone that you shout at your followers and friends with. It is not an ever changing billboard to advertise your latest creations on.

The word networking defined is: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
-Meriam Webstern online dictionary

Keep the conversation going. I might post, "listening to Phoenix right now - I love this album." Someone might tweet back their favorite song on that album or they just got that for their sister last week. Cool, I just connected with someone new and am building a relationship. later i might post "getting so excited about this new stationery I am working on!!!!", building curiosity with my connections. Then later posting a link to the shop for said stationery. It's important to reply to my friends' and followers' posts further connecting and building those relationships. I also make it a good practice to re-tweet (RT) my friend's promotional links.

I like having my twitter, and facebook name match my blog/shop. It makes it easier for me to find others this way and for me to connect the tweeter to the shop to the blog etc

Facebook is also a great tool for getting to know others and getting noticed by others. However, I have noticed more friends on facebook are less likely to click the link to my blog or shop, they may "like" it or comment right there on facebook instead of on my blog. For facebook you can share all the same promotions, and maybe have a special discount code for facebook followers only, and it's a great place to ask a question pertaining to your shop, or do a game like trivia about you/your shop with a prize from your shop.

Be careful automating any social network posts - I don't like doing these. When Osama Bin Laden was captured and everyone was tweeting about it - I saw a few automated tweets advertising blogs, shops, whatever, and it was most likely a little embarrassing for the tweeter. You never know what big news might hit like Japan's tsunami, a devastating earthquake, God forbid, and you auto-tweeted a new scarf just listed in your shop. Another problem with auto-posting is when it goes up -whatever it is- and someone replies right away, you're not there. It's just kinda odd. Seems a bit fake.

* So be real.
* Build relationships.
* Make new connections.
* And promote your wares and blog posts :)

Another great place to learn about social networking and doing it right is from @unmarketing - he has a very popular book on the topic :) Also if you are attending Blog Sugar Gussy will be sharing how to grow your business with social media.

Unmarketing's Scott Stratten suggests "follow and mean it". And I do, you should too.

Your assignment today is to set up a twitter account if don't already have one and get ready for our live twitter chat from the shop talk series this Friday September 16th 12:00-1:00pm PST

See you tomorrow for Etsy and Bigcartel