Why you should embrace Social Media
Social Media - is it worth the effort? Like many people, I was not sure about Social Media, especially twitter. Then I had an experience that changed everything and I'd like to share the story with you.
In the beginning, there was twitter (of course, twitter was not the first, but let's start there).
I set up my account @thecubelab with the first tweet that said something like (and this is probably a common 'first tweet') "Well, what's all this about?" Or something like that, I forget now.
Then I started following other designers (sometimes using #webdesign and #design) and I actually got a lot out of twitter in terms of great design ideas and resources. The problem was, I wasn't giving anything back. I was a twitter-taker, not a twitter-giver (made up words!).
Then I grew bored of the tweets I was reading (sound familiar?) and I even 'un-followed' some people who were tweeting boring (in my opinion) tweets.
The day it all came together
One day while having a coffee on a sunny Saturday morning, idly scanning all the latest tweets with the hashtag #SatChatUK on my phone, I tweeted something like "Happy New Year! I'm going to sort out my business this year, what about you?"
And to my astonishment, several people joined the conversation, including one person who happened to mention that she was hoping to sort out her email newsletters this year. Bingo!
"I can help with that" I tweeted. She then contacted me via twitter and has been a client ever since.
We had 'connected' and it felt like an online version of Networking (but without the hearty breakfast, sadly).
How does this help me, I hear you ask
All businesses need customers. Obvious really. In the past, you could rely on Google and other search engines. You could sit there, waiting for an incoming email and sure enough, from time to time, a new inquiry would come along, courtesy of the great Google Machine.
That's not so easy these days - you need to 'reach out' as it's no longer enough to sit and wait. You need to 'connect' and start writing new, fresh content to engage with your customers.
It's not so much about being business-like anymore but nurturing relationships with people just like you.
Don't just sit there, try this
Try firing up twitter on a Saturday morning between 8am and 9.15am (don't be late!) and search for the hashtag #SatChatUK
This is one of many regular chats on twitter where small businesses get together to chat about their week. It's informal and fun as well as an interesting and worthwhile 75 minutes.
After all, what else are you doing on a Saturday morning? I follow the #SatChatUK tweets and add my own comments and stories while cleaning the kitchen!
Don't tell my partner, she thinks I'm busy dusting and wiping down surfaces all morning.
Next time : how hashtags like #design and #exeter focus your search