Final Presentation: Social Media Tools & Strategies

Social Media Handles

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Instagram: Let Your Followers Take the Lead

Sophia Bernazzini’s article about successful Instagram campaigns only reinforces what I’ve spent my time in Social Media Tools and Strategies learning: your customers want to have a genuine emotion about your brand or an experience with your products. They want to feel like they’re a part of something.

This led me to brainstorm a few Instagram posts I am planning on creating in the near future. For one thing, I am doing a bridal show in September (which you should totally check out!) and I think in the weeks leading up to it, I can post photos or videos related to:

  • my own wedding, such as photos and memories of my great day
  • small detailed shots of wedding items with beloved quotes about love and marriage
  • people looking at my bridal products and reacting to them
  • questions or “opinion polls” to engage followers directly

There are also a few holidays and events coming up (fall, back-to-school, Halloween, etc.), which would be an excellent time to experiment with:

  • cohesive, fall-themed graphic design posts about events and products
  • reposts of people who receive one of my cards or prints as a gift
  • #TBT of myself and my family at Halloween time, sharing traditions that matter to me and are relatable to others 🎃
  • customer reviews from Etsy, vendor sales, etc. as text graphics

Overall, I think I use Instagram for my artwork and products pretty effectively, but I don’t start a lot of conversations through my posts. That’s how The UPS Store, Aerie, and other large companies have been able to use Instagram to become a part of their customers’ lifestyle. Do you feel connected to the brands and shops you follow on Instagram? How do you engage as a follower? Does it differ from the way you engage as a creator and/or business?

Om nom nom!

Will return Holiday 2017, tinyrevelations.etsy.com

Snapchat Stories

I love the Internet. I’ve been using it in one form or another since I was nine years old, and I was very “up” on things all the way through my first undergraduate career in college. I vlogged, I forumed, I Livejournaled, I was an early Twitter adopter (before you could share links or photos easily, oh my!)…

…Then came smartphones, and I felt like a deer in the headlights.

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A literal picture of me hearing about iPhones in 2009. (Photo used with permission under Creative Commons)

So it should come as no surprise that Snapchat is just above my digital comprehension. However, with multi-platform marketing and social connection driving relationships between consumers and businesses, I know I need to integrate it into my social media strategies. Reading Sophia Bernazzini’s article detailing Snapchat Stories was really helpful to me as I planned my own Snapchat Story this weekend.

You can see a few screenshots below from my Story, which was an examination of some of my portfolios from the last few years. I tried to have some fun with text and filters while I was at it. How do you use Snapchat? Which do you create more frequently, story arcs or slice-of-life snaps?

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The Perfect Gift

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Looking for the perfect gift? Visit our Etsy to find the right card for all the special people and events in your life!

(Inspired by Phil Cooke’s article, “Reach More People With Your Message.” Like my other post based on this piece, my marketing focuses on the specific wants of my key demographic and shows it as a fun activity [finding the perfect gift] rather than an ordinary transaction.)

What’s Your Love Story?

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Tag @tiny.revelations on Instagram and use the hashtag #tinylove to share your love story. How do you share your love? Grand gestures or sweet little somethings?

This post was inspired by Phil Cooke’s article, “Reach More People With Your Message.” The idea is to connect consumers with a positive idea that reflects their own lifestyle and values rather than simply the products themselves. With this advertisement (created in Canva, one of my favorite desktop editing tools!), and an interactive element through Instagram, I’m “selling” the notion of love rather than greeting cards.

Snapseed for Mobile Editing

In Power Social’s “5 Instagram Hacks You’ve Been Missing,” I learned about an app that’s been around for quite a while, but I had never seen before: Google’s mobile editing app, Snapseed.


This is simply one of the dozens of tutorials for the powerful little app available online. It’s touted as being particularly good for accentuating nature images, so I tried it out with some pictures of a flower garden I took a few weeks ago.

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Before Snapseed

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After Snapseed

The subtle changes in light, blur, and contrast successfully bring the vivid greens and yellows to the center. I definitely think the edited one draws the eye with a little more brightness and appeal.

A lot of my Instagram shares are of artwork, so I don’t think Snapseed would be ideal for those images which are already highly curated and edited. I do, however, think they could add pop to behind-the-scenes images or “day in the life” shots such as these. It’s easy to use and, in terms of tools and features, falls somewhere in between Instagram’s own filter/editing system and a more intensive editing program such as Adobe Lighroom.

How do you edit photos for social media? What’s your preferred app or method?

The Busy Life

Reading Phil Cooke’s micro-article, “Are You Too Busy? Read This Before You Answer” is a fun, brief examination of how we spend our time. As a creative entrepreneur going to school and working a day job, my answer to this questions remains an exhausted, “YES!”

Most of my peers are engaged in what is trendily referred to as a “side hustle” of one kind or another. Freelance writers, Uber drivers, Etsy owners, or off-hour web developers. Ironically, I think the medium is what has changed, not the routine. Sure, some of us could pump out novel after novel in our spare time. But the equivalent now would be a well-organized digital portfolio of work, a series of high-quality Youtube videos, or…drum roll…a successful blogging career!

I’d argue that these days, we are all pretty genuinely busy, in spite of distractions. No offense to Anthony Trollope. #sidehustlelife

Conversely, I have tried lately to create blocks of true leisure time, and my husband and I force ourselves to do more traveling so we don’t work ourselves to death. Because I do agree with Cooke on one point: “busy” may be a way of life, but it’s a lousy status symbol.

 

Rosie the Robot Had It All Figured Out and Other Lessons from Micah Solomon

Being a millennial is no easy task these days. Every other week, we get blamed for the death of certain luxury industries, told we are narcissistic for embracing our bodies and our passions, and basically held responsible for ushering in the end of the world. It’s a strange rap sheet for a group of young people just trying to get jobs, make meaningful connections, and wallow in the splendor that is Amazon Prime.

I came into adulthood in the mid-2000s, just about the time the media started lamenting the “hipster” influx of millennial-aged youth coming into the workforce. Instead of destroying the world of commerce, however, we’re influencing it more than ever before, and those same people genuinely fearing my generation 10 years ago are now intricately studying our buying habits.

(I suspect we won everyone over with the mermaid hair thing and making rescue pets cool again, but I’m no scientist.)

Because I’ve always thought the millennial dread was a little misplaced, I really enjoyed Micah Solomon’s book, Your Customer is the Star, which is a guide to helping connect businesses with millennial buyers in today’s remarkably fast-paced marketplace. My favorite comparisons come early in the book as Solomon discusses The Jetsons.

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Pop art courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries; “Rosie the Robot” and “The Jetsons” property of Hanna Barbara

The beloved caretaker of the Jetsons’ household, Rosie the Robot, signifies all the things millennials care about most when interacting with businesses in today’s omnichannel world: machine efficiency, human warmth (with New York ‘tude), and speed, speed, speed. She wasn’t just a device or a customer service rep, she was a deeply entrenched part of the family’s life. She was a family member herself. We don’t have Rosies (yet), but we do have the technological capacity to have that relationship with customers.

Today’s consumers aren’t centering on brand allure alone, but on personal experience and connection. Businesses have to ask themselves: how can we make our products and brand idea a part of our customer’s life? Millennials seek that connection and adventure in every experience.

One thing I added to a craft show I did this past June that I had not done before was to create a small sign encouraging people to interact with Tiny Revelation‘s fox mascot, Large Fox. Children and grown-ups alike hugged, high-fived, and posed with this guy. Ultimately, too, they Snapchatted, tweeted, and Instagrammed the fox and tagged the craft show. This one additional interactive element created more foot traffic to my vendor area. They weren’t just buying greeting cards; they were a “part” of Tiny Revelations and doing something unique!

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Moving forward, I hope to continue centering customers and their relationship to the items I create, rather than standing on the laurels of my artwork alone. Customers are the star, but they’re more than willing to share that spotlight with those that hear their needs and provide meaningful experiences during what would otherwise be “ordinary” transactions.

What do you think? How do you reach millennial buyers and those they influence?

“Drop Everything and Draw” Live Event Weekend

Tomorrow and Saturday, I will be doing several live social media events that you might enjoy! I will be doing some drawings and talking about art, so feel free to pop in with any questions or suggestions.

Friday, July 28th, 10:00 AM central – Instagram

Friday, July 28th, 5:00 PM central – Facebook

Saturday, July 29th, ~10:45 AM central – Snapchat [add me, tinyrevelations]

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Fans, Friends, and Facebook

Mari Smith’s article, “Should You Merge Your Personal Facebook Account With Your Fan Page?”, goes over some of the ways businesses and Internet personalities engage with their fans and friends using Facebook. There are several ways to utilize this extensive platform — so which method is the best?

For me, I have a moderated personal page with a few public posts along with a connected fan page. It’s easier to administer the fan page from one hub account, and I can share easily between the timelines. For example, I can share personal posts of my cats or a special holiday event on my Facebook fan page just as easily as I can share business content to my friends and family. My “fans” feel that personal connection, and those close to me are able to keep up with my artwork and shows!

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These guys are popular across accounts! Nibbler and Jade, two rowdy helpers.

Social Media Tools: Intro Video

As well as being a website for my art business and portfolio, this WordPress site is part of an online class in Social Media Tools and Strategies (Multi1103) through Rose State College. (I’m blogging and branding for college credit. The future is amazing, right?!) You will see posts here about social media as well as art and information for potential clients.

This short intro video is one of the assignments. You’ll learn a little bit more about me and my work for Tiny Revelations. Enjoy!