Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Socially yours

Fying Elephants curtesy of 

I had an interesting chat with a friend the other day (well at least for me it was!)  She said " I'm terrified of social media marketing".  I blinked, looked at her and asked the most intelligent question ever created by the English language, "Why?".  ( I do try, we all have our bimbo moments)

This is what she said :-

"I don’t hate social media, I just have a slight phobia when it comes to sharing things online; personal things mainly. I pick and choose what I say and share like a lot of other people do, I’m sure.  I’m not a social butterfly – I’m far from it. I’m more of a major wallflower. I don’t have many friends at all. It took me ages before I got onto Facebook, and that was only because someone else set it up for me and handed over my username and password, “here you go, welcome to the world of social media…finally,” she said.

It is nice to see photos and read updates once in a while – catching up on the on-goings, and I suppose it can be a great stress reliever and morale booster when you get great comments and loads of likes on your posts. But then again, I do also believe there is such a thing as oversharing…a fine line, and the amount of hate that goes around too, oh boy. Sometimes I find my pulse racing, my palms sweating and my facial expressions morphing and I catch myself holding my breath. Sometimes I feel like a nosy little neighbour for some odd reason…it makes me feel creepy. Strange, I know…it’s probably all just in my head! 

I suppose being the homebody that I am I do tend to like my privacy and my space – I absolutely adore my studio and every day I design and work on something creative and fun. I used to blog about my creative endeavors and have only recently realized that I have almost 200 000 hits. Having quit my day job as a university lecturer and working on my design business from home now, I do believe I will take on board the advice so many have given me about doing more with my endless creative streak, start blogging about my journey again and share my creative processes once again…I might just befriend social media after all."  ~  Oxoloco's fb page is FACEBOOK OXOLOCO

Liza is a designer and artist, her site is

Talking to Lisa one can understand being gun shy of starting your own social media marketing, it's natural to feel a little apprehensive.  Later on the same evening I was having another one of my regular chat sessions on Skype,  (doncha just love technology!), you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for long distance calls anymore and you can chat for as looonnggg as you like, why didn't they have this when I as a teen? (my mother is probably saying the same thing!!)   Anyway I brought up the the topic of social media marketing with my good friend Mariana. She had a more philosophical response, and went on to explain:

"To say that I was extremely reluctant to interact in any way online when I first started my business 8 years ago is a huge understatement. I couldn’t see myself trying to convince others that it was in any way a good thing to buy my art, or products – even a soft-sell was a horrifying idea.

I was fortunate enough, however, to discover a community of like-minded artists who were hugely embracing and encouraging, and who persuaded me to begin blogging, and eventually open up a facebook page. Tentatively, I began posting my work and was surprised at the wonderful response. Complete strangers stopped by to comment and leave compliments, so I went over to their blogs and pages and left messages of thanks, and read and commented on their posts in turn, learning how to interact online! A whole new world opened up before me.

The fear of expressing ideas and thoughts online is now gone, replaced by an appreciation for the inspiration and motivation that groups of friends on various social sites are sharing. Products and illustrations are marketed on a regular basis, art is being shared, ideas are discussed, and not only have new friends been made online, but I’ve reconnected with old ones I might never have met again if it weren’t for social media. The trick is to learn how private or public you’d rather be on it, and to adjust your settings accordingly.

Having discovered that personal posts attract a good response, I’ve learned to mix those along with art posts, and the response is still incredibly encouraging. Sales and confidence have increased – what’s not to like about that?"  ~  Mariana is an illustrator with her popular blogsite called FLOATING LEMONS  as well as  MARIANA BLACK ILLUSTRATION

Mariana is in the midst of doing some illustrations for a children's book,

So you see, we all go through some form of unease to start with, but like learning to ride a bike it gets easier all the time. (that's not what my scarred knees say but that's me!)   To simplify,  I'll just break it down for  you in girl talk.   A fast way of hitting  three platforms simultaneously is via instagram.  You'll be able to share with twitter and facebook at a click of button, 3 birds 1 stone so to speak,  that's as long as you have accounts on them, (opening new accounts are easy so don't hesitate) .  We always take a load of pics, so why not take pics of  you, your product, your product and a customer, your customer telling others about your product...,  get my drift, and make sure you hash tag words pertinent to your picture. (#socialmediarocks)    Once you are more comfortable posting and have worked out your timing,  then start to interact more with your posts and likes and online adverts (facebook and twitter offer this).  And remember, ASK QUESTIONS always, there is no need to be shy about technology, it's there to help you.

I know a lot of you will be wondering about the "follow me and get 20K followers" accounts that ask you for a fee and say they can get you hundreds and thousands of followers/subscribers.   You want my opinion about it? (well you're going to get it anyway!)  Those are just not worth it.

As for Social Media Marketeers, you have the ones who are really good and some that are totally .. let's be mild here... useless.   Here's an example, on one of my media platforms, one of these social marketeers was promoting a client's product and quoted from a book Ayn Rand wrote called "Atlas Shrugged".   If you have read the book the most famous quote is "Who is John Galt?", so I posted the quote on his feed, he then responded back by saying he didn't KNOW who John Galt was.!! (contextually he was probably wondering WTF),  I explained it was a quote from the book, and get this, he hadn't read the book and didn't know the quote.  His only interest was pushing out the product en masse.   If I was using a social marketing person, I'd make sure whatever they quoted was relevant  to my product and it was a personalised.   So if you are going to use a social marketing person/company make sure you research them and their work ethics properly, get recommendations and make sure you look at their work, after all you're paying for their services.

There are so many more platforms,but I chose to talk about the ones that we're all familiar with and ones I work with.  Cheers all, have a lovely week ahead, I look forward to your comments and mails, so keep it coming!

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