As I mentioned a few days ago, (or few weeks ago, where is January going?- good riddance I guess...) I recently received Diane Gilleland's e-book "Social Media for your Crafty Buisness" to read and review. As someone who is new to the social media scene, I found her book a helpful introduction to how to effectively use social media, to make connections, build trust and eventually grow my knitting-pattern business, Hedgehog Lane.
She opens the book by describing social media as a virtual "water cooler" where folks can casually share news and information. She stresses the value of reputation and the balance between forming genuine relationships with people and the spamming, "I'm just after your business" type. I appreciated this distinction because there are several people who I used to follow on Twitter who posted "shop updates" or "product news" most of the time. It's annoying and I soon un-followed them. Most of the crafters I follow have a good mix of posts, funny little updates, links to cool projects and some posts about things they have for sale. I found her review of "broadcast marketing" and "engagement marketing" helpful, it's something she covers in-depth in another e-book, "Creating a Blog Audience, an Unconventional Marketing Guide."
Additionally, Diane talks about how the social media scene requires give and take, you are forming a social contract with the people you follow and those who follow you, and that to be a popular or trusted user, you have to respect that contract. That includes not posting spam-like posts, not following countless random people just to bump up your stats and offering value on a regular basis to your readers.
One of the most helpful sections of the book was where she talks about goal setting and time management. I choose to not spend much time at the computer, so learning how to maximize that time and not spread myself too thin was helpful.
I like Diane's focus on crafty businesses and her writing is clear and succinct but rich with information and examples. Some other small business how-to books I've read spell things out too much or use repetition a lot, and Diane doesn't use those techniques. I admire the way she has carved out a specific, unique niche for herself online and look forward to reading more of her work! If you are looking to grow your crafty business, it would be well worth your while to read what she has to say. Thanks Diane!