Sueb.do. That’s my line of preppy, Cape Cod Coastal inspired clothing, jewelry and accessories. It’s the name of my seasonal store and web site. It’s also how people refer to me. I am my brand. Blurring the lines is intentional.
I fell in love with social media in 2009 when I first began using Facebook. My online business benefited immediately from the marketing oomph I got from posting photos of customers posing with their purchases.
See that photo on my Facebook wall? That’s me with my arm around a happy customer. She’s wearing one of my new beach tunics and looks great. Three people post compliments and the fourth asks “How much?” I quickly reply in the comment thread. Ka-ching! I just made another sale on Facebook.
Two years and 4575 fans later, Facebook has become my most valuable social network and is where I engage daily. It’s all about sharing content that’s true to my brand. Now I’ve also added other social media apps to my iPhone and daily routine. I also use Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare.
Here are some social media tips to help you promote your brand, interact with customers and generate revenue like I do for my retail business:
- The more you “like” and comment on other people’s Facebook pages, the more they’ll comment on yours. Reciprocation is really the secret sauce for growing your social networks.
- Take lots of photos of your customers. Create an album on your Facebook page and post the customer photos in the same album. That way the photos are easy to view along with all the comments added over time.
- Since I sell my merchandise in pop-up markets all over the Cape in the summer, I tweet about where I am and where I’m going next. I have made so many wonderful relationships this way through people discovering and following me on Twitter.
- Your business might not move around like mine so instead, tweet about your products. Consistently use product hashtags like #TintHairChalk, as well as hashtags for your brand. In my case, I mark all my tweets with #SueBdo #popponesset #newseabury #capecod—the names of my store, marketplace, town and general location.
- Be sure to also tweet non-promotional news that’s interesting to your customer base. Tweet or retweet local and industry-specific news. A good rule of thumb is to tweet 3 non-promotional tweets for every 1 promotional tweet.
- The reason Microsoft paid 1BILLION dollars to buy Instagram is that a picture is worth a thousand words. Instagram is truly the easiest and most fun way to quickly share photos on-the-go from your iPhone.
- Use Instagram to post directly to Facebook or your Twitter stream using both your Twitter handle (@SueBdoGal is mine follow me!) and brand hashtags.
- Tweet Instagram photos that are rich in visual appeal. I tweet interesting Cape Cod photos that I take as I visit various locations.
- By using consistent hashtags, you can curate your photos on Instagram—in other words, search for all your photos marked with a particular hashtag, such as #capecod.
- Check your hashtags regularly to see who’s following them. Be sure to follow other Instagram users who happen to curate using the same hashtags you do.
- DipTic is my favorite third party app for the iPhone and iPad that allows you to quickly and easily combine two, three or four photos together into a single image.
- I invested time in creating rock-star Pinterest boards representing my brand SueB.do, as well as my other passions.
- People who “repin”, “like” and comment on my boards clearly share a common interest with me, which makes it easy to engage and move our conversation over to Twitter or Facebook as well.
- Whenever possible, grow your networks on multiple platforms. Using Pinterest, for example, you can cross-pollinate your other social media sites by tweeting your pins and posting them to Facebook along with a comment.
- People on the Cape have found my store because of my FourSquare check ins.
- I check in somewhere every day and ALWAYS upload a photo with my check in because photos make for much richer content for my network to enjoy.
- When you check in at a place on FourSquare, people see all the tips. I check into places near my SueB.do store like Starbucks & Roche Bros (the grocery store) in Mashpee and leave tips like: “After drinking your yummy latte, come over to Popponesset and shop at SueB.do!”.
- You can also post your check ins to Facebook or Twitter if you want your networks on those platforms to read about your activities. Selectively choose what you share with other networks. If my check in helps my business, then I broadcast it on multiple social media platforms.
All of these social media platforms are free, but do require time. Using social media has been a very worthwhile investment of time for my business. If you have all the apps on your handheld and understand how to use them for your business strategy, you can easily and quickly connect with your customers and grow your network, as well as revenue. I believe in the power of many. Social media connects me to the many.
This advice comes from Boston local sponsor SueB.do, a successful entrepreneur, keen direct-to-consumer salesperson, master networker and social media extraordinaire. Her accomplishments span over 25 years and her instinctive nature enables her to spot trends & inspire others. Sue epitomizes the true value of being social on and offline. Located in the Popponesset Marketplace in Mashpee, MA, Sueb.do’s seasonal store is open in July & August only and online year round. Off season you can find Sue selling at direct-to-consumer shows or teaching her social media Computer Companion workshop & classes in the Boston Metrowest area.