A Better Plan for The Social Crafting Business

BlogHer Original Post

I'm sure I'm not the only one whose life often feels like one big social network experiment. Like many others, I know that my blogging has suffered at the hands of Twitter. At least once each day, I find myself sharing fascinating links via Facebook. And spending time searching new way to find those links to share - besides other people's Twitter and Facebook links.

Several years ago, this would have proceeded at a somewhat slower pace. I'd find a great link, write about in my blog, publish and think- that's enough for the day. With a crazy desire to do more, share more and be more visible on these sites, I often forget to stop and blog about some of these finds. My bad. But a practice I'm finding in more of the blogs I used to follow regularly. We've become "victims" of the instantaneous society. Visual ADD junkies who need a fast and frequent fix - like junk food. Forget developing thoughts into stories, adding depth and interpretation to what someone else has already done and shown to the world. It seems enough to simply say: Hey! This is WORTH LOOKNG AT BECAUSE I LIKE IT!

Time to take a virtual "chill pill" and spend some time thinking about my (our?) habits and consider ways to make the social network experience less frantic and more productive. How to add value to these items. Maybe even how to use them to push us back into the blogosphere. (come on, folks- my once-overflowing RSS reader has been depleted by the lack of great writing. Actually- come on me! My own blogging has been pathetic.)

What has gotten me thinking about how I present myself in media- how things look, how often to share, what am I doing and doing right? was reading Diane Gilliland's new ebook: Social Media for your Crafty Business. While this may be a MUST READ ebook for many business crafters, I think it's likely a great book for any artist trying to build their personal brand on social media- whether a crafter, musician, or sculptor.  Gilliland goes over the basics -focusing on her primary network, Twitter- then suggests methods for developing a good relationship. 

My personal favorite point from the book?  Building trust means talking about more than just yourself.  Gilliland suggests that at least 50% of your tweets should be sharing links and information created by people other than yourself.  Only posting links to your material is broadcasting; old-school style marketing.

Now, if you're finding links, maybe you don't wish to share them right away.  So how do you organize your links in an easy to find and use method to find them and share them later?  Right now, I'm experimenting with two methods.

Last time I looked at any social media tools, it was Smub.it. I'm still using this site to save links for myself and to share links on Twitter. On Facebook, however, it does not format the share to show the original post -and whatever great picture I may wish others to see. So I'm not using it there. Means a multiple step process if I share the same information on multiple sites. A pain, but worth it to me to make my presentation of information the way I wish. Unfortunately, by sharing a page link directly on Facebook, I also lose the ability to quantify who clicks through based upon my recommendation.

For links that I will be sharing at a later time, I'm now saving them to EverNote.  Yes, I could bookmark them to Smub.It - but there isn't yet a folder/file system that lets me organize my links.  EverNote lets me organize items into folders.  Me and organizing the information AFTER I save it -that's what it's all about. 

Gilliland suggests using HootSuite to "schedule" your shared links every couple hours during the day.  This keeps your online presence visible even when you're off actually getting some crafting work done!  I haven't yet started doing this-but it's on my list of things to try in the next few weeks.

How about yourself?  How do you encorporate your crafty life and your social media life?  How do you find time to do it all?  And what would be your #1 hint to someone just entering into this?

Others are talking:

Keep it Social came up with 5 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Marketing.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts has hired a digital agency to create and present their presence online.

Debra Roby blogs her creative life at A Stitch in Time and her journey to fitness at Weight for Deb.

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