With the onset of Social Media we have been given many challenges as well as many opportunities. The challenge, if you will, is to carve out the time, to take advantage of the given opportunities of growing the visibility of ones business over the air waves.
It can be seen as a quagmire of sorts and thus intimidating and daunting. It was in a presentation I gave at ZAAR Design Center, on April 21st, that I tried to sort this out for those that joined me for our Lunch N Learn, which focused on Growing One’s Online Presence, based on 12 years of having an online based business.
I don’t pretend to know it all, but I do know that I’ve learned a few things along the way, and that I am continually learning, and thus tweaking and adjusting as I continue on. AND I believe very much in the premise of what Social Media is based on…building relationships with people online as being viable. Letting people know who you are and connecting with people. Giving you and your business a place to show and grow in the cyber world is a great asset to your business. Yes, a Gift!
However, over the years I, like most, have adjusted, and continue to adjust, what I can expect from myself to maintain this presence, and still have time for wearing the many other hats I don as an entrepreneur.
For instance, my blogging. I LOVE to write. I have plenty to write about. I LOVE to connect with people with this medium, and for a time I attempted to put out at least 2 blogs/week, using that as my main source of drawing people in. I found that I couldn’t keep up with this and was letting the guilt of not blogging as regularly as you “should” , at least to be “relevant” in the blogging world, get in the way of my joy of sharing/being what it was meant to be. Yes, have curbed this to once/month for each biz.
And then there are the relevant portals where my customer base is hanging out. No, it is not enough anymore just to have your website well ranked. We are to go where our customers are. I don’t need to quote you the statistics that qualify that it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Houzz.
So the question is how do you maximize the output across the airwaves, with the least amount of time? And, as I shared in my presentation, I feel that I’ve come to a place where I’m able to do this, taking a relatively small amount of time to put it out there. And yes, blogging still remains relevant, as does putting out a newsletter, like my blogging, once/month newsletter for each biz, to your already defined audience….but want to focus here on those daily nudges to show your’e present.
For maximum punch it matters where you house the photos you post, just keep an eye on the stats on your website as sources of traffic and you’ll see what I mean, where you draw them from to further share.
Pinterest and Houzz are THE places from which you want to house, no pun intended/ok, maybe just a little bit intended, your photos. The subtle photos are those that show, in my case Chinese Antiques or Product from ZAAR Design Center, your product/service in settings. And then there are the less subtle photos of your product, with descriptions and prices…and links to your website that is in perfect form to put out there as well. These places, and I’m told Instagram should be included here, although just jumping on that bandwagon now, are where you want your photos to come from.
And when do you want them to go? Early morning, noon, and early evening…all prime times.
How do you want to get them there when you want them to go, without planning to be at your computer/on your phone, managing this constantly?
On a perfect day I will end it with the following practice in place. Log into Hoot suite Pull up either my Pinterest or Houzz account…feel free to follow me on either one and/or the other. Grab a photo, one either shared by a customer or found in the cyber world, and add a comment that pertains to the image. Use the scheduling function on Hoot suite for it to go out around 7:00 the next morning….on Twitter, Linked in and Facebook. Then, go back and find a product photo of a piece similar and more directly suggest that I have such available in my collection, and post this around noon time, or early evening. I do this both for Antiques by Zaar and ZAAR Design Center.
I’ve been doing some variation of this rather consistently since mid January and have grown my audience for Antiques by Zaar on Facebook from 735 to over 1,000 and have a decent percentage of people “talking” about it. Also do this for ZAAR Design Center, a newer business, and as such a smaller base audience. Mid January I had 35 “likes” on that page, and that has now grown to 282, although with the help of a 10.00/day Facebook targeted ad helping that get a boost.
I am well aware that Social Media is all about engaging and that this approach is simply about growing your presence with a daily practice…and this blog is already long enough without delving further….not to mention I have other thoughts on how to invite people into your circle…yet another missive for that. This is a way to let people know you exist, to entice them into your circle. After that the meat of it happens by taking it a step further and engaging/deepening a relationship.
In closing I would like to also point out that my personal Facebook page is (and fully intend on adding twitter to this/just not as comfortable there ….yet!) where a lot of engagement happens….whereas I see the biz pages more as a place to post regularly…less engagement happening there. I am my business and the people I hope to do business with I anticipate many to become my friends (just my way!) and thus I have no qualms, tastefully, sharing my personal world with my business world, not unlike how I’ve been doing in my online newsletters since 2004…just ask anyone who’s on my list , on my personal Facebook page, where I share my world and my Self.
I welcome you to My World and I welcome any comments/questions or tips you may have to add to this. We all have something to learn from each other and I welcome any tips that may be useful to me and my audience.
P.S. For you High Point Market goers, check out my Pinterest Board on ZAAR Friends/Highlights @ Market.
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