09 February 2011
Be Great in Social Media By Creating Value for Others
A Case Study on Personal Social Media Plans
To get the most out of social media over the long run it is a good idea to have personal social media plan - a defined approach for how you will be present online - how much you share, when, what, and why.
Taking just 10 minutes to consider your approach can make you much more effective in social media.
That’s what Yvonne Shea discovered. Yvonne Shea is a member of Redeemer and she has been making beautiful beaded jewelry for ten years. It is her passion. Yvonne has a Twitter feed called @bead_tips where she shares tips on all aspects of beading from supplies to selling.
Yvonne has a very clear, well defined social media plan. It is also very successful. Yvonne has 564 Twitter followers and appears on 29 different lists. She gets 10-20 new followers every week, including bead stores and manufacturers. She gets re-tweeted frequently.
I was so impressed that I interviewed Yvonne to find out more. Here’s what I learned:
1. Above All, Create Value
The thing that distinguishes Yvonne from most other people is that she is not trying to sell you anything. She defines value, not by jewelry sales, but in making other people better beaders.
She creates value by giving away her advice and her encouraging tone. She almost never links to her online jewelry stores at Etsy and Artfire. (At the moment, she doesn’t even have links on her blog.)
She said, “I wanted to share my knowledge, to give it away. I’m trying to help other beaders use better descriptions, make higher quality work, know the basics, and find good suppliers. I’m giving what I know best.”
#beads: Write good descriptions: customers like to hear the story of their jewelry - describe the components - name the artist - elaborate!
2. Know Your Voice
Yvonne tweets are effervescent fun, bright , creative, helpful and kind - just like Yvonne. Her personality shines through in every tweet. Every tweet includes a tip, but she also incorporates a little rye humor. She tries to make each tweet “appealing twist of words.”
#beads: Make your jewelry area festive -- a little music, a nice jar candle, and all your beads around you, what could be nicer?
3. Focus. Be Useful.
This may be the hardest part of any social media strategy. There are so many things to share - and so many ways to share it - that we quickly become unfocused. We often mistake quantity for quality and frequency for consistency. Yvonne is clear, useful, not too silly, and never mundane. She only tweets things you can use to make better at making jewelry. She says, “Keep the focus small and useful and valuable to whoever is reading it.”
#beads: Support Fair Trade: buy artist-made lampwork glass beads and pay fair prices for real treasures!
4. Be Consistent
Yvonne’s tweets are never impulsive. She tweets exactly once a day at exactly at 10am. She schedules them with a service called Twuffer, which allows you to schedule tweets in advance. She often writes 20 tweets at a time and then schedules them. At times, she will go back and review her tweets to see if they are up to snuff. In addition, she always uses the #beads hashtag.
Return on Investment
So, what does Yvonne get out of all this? A lot of joy. Yvonne loves beading and wants other people to love it to. She knows they’ll enjoy it more if they are better at it.
She doesn’t mind giving away her ideas or designs. They are gifts to the beading community. She has also made a few new friends. She says, I like “to find people that are into it as I am. I can learn from them. They can learn from me.”
“It’s the spirit of generosity that people are receptive to.”
It is that spirit of generosity - creating value for others - that is the heart of Yvonne’s and any good social media strategy.