Tag Archives: Social Media

The Power of Social

ThePowerOfSocial

I’ve been really thankful for social media this week, and not just because I get paid to help small businesses excel at it.  Sure, our social feeds sometimes feel over saturated with iPhone photos of lattes, unimaginative promoted content, or memes, but the times that these platforms allow us to organise, educate, and meaningfully connect with one another far outweigh any of the grievances I’ve heard from people opposing their use.

On Monday, I learned about the explosions at the Boston Marathon the same way I’ve learned about most major news events in the past five years, through Twitter.  Moments after the bombs went off, my social feeds were full of photos and updates from people near the tragedy.  With my heart in my throat, I read Facebook updates from friends assuring their loved ones that they were shaken, but safe.  I kept a close eye on Twitter for updates from my favourite news agencies and scrolled through eye-witness images in real-time on Instagram.  It was harrowing and it was powerful and it made me realise how truly lucky we are to live in such a connected world.

In addition to the marathon news, since Monday, I’ve learned about the earthquake on the border of Pakistan and Iran, the fertiliser plant explosion near Waco, Texas, and the touching applause at Thatcher’s funeral, all through social media.  I’ve also learned that The Mount Edgcumbe has a delicious-looking burger on their menu this week, that someone has re-invented the wheel, and that David Sedaris advocates for one of my favourite writing tips AND has a new collection of essays out soon.  All this information has been unsolicited but illuminating and I’m pleased to be aware of it.

For the nay-sayers out there, sure, social media can be trivial, and sometimes it takes a lot of work to cut through the b.s. and create a meaningful connection.  But when it does, social can be powerful, too, and this week, I’m extra thankful for the ability to carry my friends, my favourite informants and my go-to web curators easily in my pocket.  This week, I’m especially thankful for social.

Photo of my phone displaying Justin Erswell’s latte from Basil, shared via Instagram on Tuesday.  You may remember Justin as my tech shaman and you can look forward to seeing more from him in the next couple weeks.

Be Terrific on Twitter

Social media is fun!  But so often, small businesses get a little tongue-tied when it comes to connecting with their customers on social platforms like Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram (to name a few).  Because I don’t like seeing awesome businesses struggle, I started The Etiquette Shop to help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs find their voice and creatively and authentically tell their stories and connect with their customers online.  One way to do this is through social media, and I work with clients to decide which social platforms work best for them, teach them how to utilise these tools, and then create a strategy to help them connect with their customers and grow their business.

After completing a couple Terrific on Twitter courses last week, I wanted to share five of my fundamental beliefs about Twitter with you.  These simple guidelines will help you focus your content, grow your tribe, and make lasting professional- and personal- relationships online.

Be+Terrific+on+Twitter

If you want to know more about developing a social media strategy, creating engaging content, or learning how to use a particular social media platform?  Just drop me an email at kate(at)ladykatherinesims.com.  It’ll be fun!  Promise.

Make Yourself Relevant

Make+Yourself+Relevant

“There is a reason, after all, that Gen. Y–which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy–has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own. Sure, the training isn’t traditional but my generation is brilliant; we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take. Tradition and innovation have little to do with one another and in the battle of success and relevance between the former and latter, the latter has proven itself quite victorious.”

I was catching up on some très important blog reading last night when I came across the above quote in this post by Leandra Medine, the genius behind the Man Repeller.  The sentiment of her post had me nodding my head and saying yes, emphatically, yes!  We are an entrepreneurial generation, we have been blessed with the ability to pull ourselves up by our fetching bootstraps, and we’ve had to make a name for ourselves because no one was there to do it for us; but it’s not just Gen. Y that has felt the need to innovate and make themselves relevant, it’s every entrepreneur.  Whether you’re opening a cafe, starting a fashion line or branching out as a freelancer for the first time, one thing is true- if you build it, they will not come.  Not necessarily, anyway, not unless you entice them.  You can do this by making yourself relevant.

So, how do you do that?  Easy!  Here are 3 Simple Ideas for Making Yourself Relevant by creating something, sharing it with your people (whomever they may be), and growing your tribe.  Let the drum-banging begin!

  1. Respond to something already relevant.  If you’ve recently read an article that made you fist-pump the air and yell, “Yes!”, or, conversely, made your hands start to shake as you muttered, “No, no, no, NO!”, then take a page from Leandra’s book blog and passionately respond to that piece.  Your response could be a blog post, a video, a song– anything that allows you to share your point of view in a shareable and articulate way.  It doesn’t have to be long, but be sure you make a claim and succinctly support it.  Share your piece via social media and encourage others to join the conversation, too.  Sure, some people will disagree with you, but the ones who don’t, the ones who share your feelings, they’re going to become allies, clients, supporters.
  2. Join or start a movement.  Perhaps you’re passionate about clothing designers paying their employees a liveable wage, perhaps it’s recycling to-go coffee cups, or saving the seals– whatever it is, join-up and start sharing your experience.  Not only will you have just joined a ready-made tribe, you’ll also be attracting others who think like you, too.  (Nudie Jeans has done an excellent job of building a tribe of like-minded customers around their economic and environmental initiatives; you can read my post about it here.)
  3. Host an event.  A tea party, picnic, gallery tour or themed walk– anything that will get a group of awesome people together for something out of the ordinary.  Invite everyone: friends, local business partners, mentors, and clients, then share snippets of the day online (via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Vine).  Encourage others to do the same and BAM, you’ve allowed your tribe to multiply, your message to spread, and your existing clients to see you in a new light.  Fun!

Of course, there are a bijillion other ways to make yourself relevant, to spark a dialogue and better connect with, and grow, your tribe, but I hope these three suggestions helped to plant some seeds.  I firmly believe there’s more than enough business for everyone out there, it’s just that we need to think creatively to find it, sometimes.