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great set of suggestions May 13, 2011

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Everyone won’t have the same routine. How could they? The point of this is that your social media routine should revolve around your life, not take it over. But, there are a few key things for everyone to consider in creating their own routine. 
Work on Content During Your Down Time
We know everyone on ArtFire has what seems like a million different things going on at the same time. Sometimes it can be tough to recognize those down moments where you can pop into Facebook or Twitter, or even write a blog post. But maybe your down time is when you sit down to drink your cup of coffee in the morning… or maybe it’s when you switch projects you’re working on. 
Try and Make a Schedule, and Stick to It
Take a look at your week and try and figure out extra time you can fit in to write content, blog content in particular. One suggestion that a lot of people take to heart is to sit down on a Sunday night and just try and write a blog post. By writing it ahead of time you can schedule it to post later, when more people are likely to see the post and your tweets/status updates announcing your post. 
Promote Your Content Across Other Platforms
If you write a blog post, it is 100% in your best interest to let your followers on sites like Twitter and Facebook know that you have a new post! This is a great way to start to get traffic going to your blog. If you use Postling you can write your blog post. Then, once you hit publish, we’ll ask you to create an update for Facebook and Twitter, and allow you to easily drop in a link to your blog post. 
Another great option is to include highlights from your social media content in your email newsletter if you have one. If you don’t have an email newsletter don’t worry about it, but if you do be sure to let those people know you’re on social networks. You can promote both your blog content or even just your presence on the sites. 
Respond to Comments in a Timely Manner
As a good, general rule of thumb, you should respond to your @ replies on Twitter and comments on Facebook in 24 hours. This may seem crazy but I’m telling you… sign up for Postling! Want to know why? When you hook up your social media accounts to Postling, we’ll pull all of the comments you get on every social network you’re on into one place. Then, if you want to respond to all of the comments at a certain time you can log in to Postling and just go down the list. All you have to do is type your response and hit reply, we’ll be sure to send it off to the right social network for you. It honestly couldn’t be any easier. 
Keep Track of How You’re Doing
Set a small amount of time aside each week to check out your reputation management tools. If you aren’t using Postling Tracking, which will keep you updated every day, then be sure to check in with your Google Analytics, Twitter Search results, Twitter Counter stats, and the other tools we’ve introduced you to during Social Media Boot Camp. If you aim to check up on all of these tools at once you’ll get into a great routine of just popping in to see what’s new and getting it done quickly. Try and keep the same order with how you check things and you’ll get into a great pattern. 

If you find that your level of engagement or traffic go up or down in a particular week, take note of what you posted that week. Don’t just accept that you either did really well or didn’t have a great week, try and understand what it is you were posting and how people reacted to that content as a direct result.

Using Social Media to Market Your Business April 16, 2011

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How to Effectively Use Social Media to Market Your Business: Sister Diane’s I Heart Art Workshop

SisterDianeStory by SisterDianePublished on May 20, 2010 in Seller Handbook

Photo by castastone

 

If you want to use social media tools like blogs, Twitter, or Facebook to market your business, read on — Diane Gilleland (sometimes known as Sister Diane) considers these outlets to be the key to success. This post is distilled from a workshop she presented recently for the I Heart Art program in Portland, OR. If you want to learn more about social media and how it works, you can also listen to Diane’s podcast on the subject.

follow_mouse_click.jpg

Friending and Following are just mouse-clicks.
We’d all love to believe that every single person who subscribes to our blog, follows our tweets, or becomes a fan of our Facebook page is listening hungrily to everything we have to say about our product.

But in fact, every one of these people is struggling to keep up with all the other blogs, Twitter pals, and Facebook updates they follow. We live in a perpetually overloaded world.

People can friend or follow you anytime, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re actually paying any attention to you. If you want real attention in the social media space, you have to earn it. That takes some effort — and a different way of looking at marketing.

Using Twitter Made Easy April 16, 2011

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Twitter is easy! Easier to set up, easier to tweet, and easier to come up with things to say… especially since you only have 140 characters to do so! Today’s post is going to get you setup on Twitter. 

So why should you be on Twitter? Well, Twitter is an absolutely essential tool in your social media arsenal for communicating and interacting with your customers. It’s less formal than Facebook and is really your chance to create a voice for your brand (which is your ArtFire shop). Twitter serves as an amazing customer service tool, a way for you to really connect with your followers, and can even serve as a sales tool!

 

What is Twitter?

 

Twitter is a social media network that millions of people are on. It’s a short-form of communication.

 

What is a tweet?

 

A tweet is what you send out on Twitter. Just like Facebook has “status updates”, tweets serve the same purpose. However, it’s really important to note that tweets have a 140 character limit!

 

Why do they limit the character count?

 

Twitter was created as a means of communicating information, but not too much information. Capping the number of characters per tweet ensures that Twitter has a certain uniformity and avoid total information overload!

 

What does “follow” mean?

 

To follow someone on Twitter means that their tweets will show up in your Twitter stream. The Twitter stream will show up when you log into your account, and will show the tweets of the people you follow in reverse chronological order (the newest tweets at the top). When you go to anyone’s Twitter page there will be a “follow” button.

 

What is with people using the @ symbol?

 

In Twitter, the @ symbol is how you communicate with other users. This is called “@ replying”someone on Twitter. By adding the @symbol before any Twitter username the tweetwill show up in their account. People are pretty unlikely to see your tweets ifyou don’t have that @ symbol before their username. 

 

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Now, let’s get you on Twitter! From the Twitter homepage you’re going to click “Sign Up”. Twitter is going to ask you for your full name. Your username is what people are going to know you by on Twitter. As laid out in the registration process by Twitter, your username will be part ofyour URL.

 

Next, select the password and email address you want to associate with the account. I’d recommend using the email address you use for your business and leaving the first box checked (saying allow people to find you by your email address). Now, why would you want this? Say your customers search Twitter for email addresses they know. They’ll see your Twitter account and are more likely to follow you. After all, you want as many people following your Twitter account as possible! Lastly, accept the terms of service and select “Create my account”.

 

After you create your account, Twitter prompts you to select the topics you’re interested in. For most of you the natural choice is going to be in the art/design realm. By selecting an area of interest, Twitter will give you suggestions of people to follow. I’d recommend following some big brands to start off with… maybe a famous museum or a designer you’re fond of? You certainly don’t have to follow anyone, but Twitter is very much a give-and-take community. Follow people, they may follow you back. I’d definitely suggest following a few people to start off with.

 

Once you’ve done this, hit the “Next Step” button. Twitter allows you to see if any of your email contacts are on Twitter. Simply click the type of email service you use and sign in to your account. Don’t worry, Twitter isn’t taking your password… you just simply need to allow access. Once your address book loads you can check off which contacts on Twitter that you’d like to follow. You can always skip this step if you want, but I highly recommend completing it.

 

Now you should complete your Twitter profile. You can do so here. From here you can upload a photo (probably your shop logo), enter your location (if you want), link out to your online shop, and write a short bio. Keep it simple, but give people a sense of just what it is that you do. See those tabs at the top? You can also set up different settings for your phone, change the design of your Twitter page, and change your notification settings (how often you receive emails regarding activity on your account). Be sure to look through all the options and make your profile as complete as possible and that it fits all of your needs.

 

To get back to your Twitter stream/homepage you can click “Home” at the top or the Twitter logo. Now, why don’t you send out your first tweet? Keep it simple like you did on Facebook at first, maybe mention thatyou’re just getting started.

 

Below are a few great resources that we think are really worth your time, including beginner’s guides and tips/tools:

 

Guide To Twitter March 10, 2011

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Image by oktak
Guide To Twitter: Rethink Everything

I caught this question in the Etsy Success Forums, “I thought tweeting your listings was a good way to market oneself?” In short, the answer to this would be “No.”  Actually, with each item listing tweet, you could be losing Twitter-cred. The very best resource for Etsy sellers curious about using Twitter effectively, is this guide by another seller, CopperLeafStudios

The Who and Why of Social Marketing February 9, 2011

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Who Uses Social Networking Sites?

• Social networks provide an opportunity to create more interactive experiences with customers and prospects. Social networks can help humanize a brand.
• Sites like MakeOutClub.com are built around the social activities of users, and so for brand advocates in particular, it is not only easy to embrace and promote a brand, but it’s encouraged.
• Although users are concerned about online social networks becoming over-commercialized, according to Forrester, a significant percentage of users show interest in engaging with their FAVORITE brands. Again, this points to the importance of brand advocates within social networks.

Why Social Networking Sites Work?

• Customers: There is a growing need, and the customer demographic is expanding. People are finding use in communicating and keeping up to date with friends and family through the tools that social networking sites provide

• Brands: Social Networks help humanize a brand, which consumer actively seek

• Industry: Companies are increasingly investing more of their marketing dollars into creating a presence on social networking sites.

• As companies recognize the value of social networks and advertising opportunities within them continue to grow, marketing spending in this channel increases significantly.

• In this Jupiter survey of companies with revenue of +$500 MM, more than half expect social marketing budgets to grow by greater than 10% next year.

 

Blog January 22, 2011

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When is the right time to market your business or product?  NOW!

The clock is always ticking. Are people talking about your business?

It’s no secret that Facebook, Twitter, Blogging & Video are what people are watching every minute of everyday.  That is the reason these Social Media Sites are exploding into every home, office, business, cell phone, and every type of device in use by your potential customers.

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Every minute counts!  Social Market NOW!