Social Media Connects Even the Remote

Autumn Corn

Gotta say, days like today I feel like queen of the world!

I get to do work I love and I get to do it out of an eclectic, old house. When I need a break, I simply step outside and immerse myself in God’s wondrous nature. And, like today, when the thermometer reaches the high 70s and autumn colors are peaking, life just doesn’t get any better!

Not long ago, working in a remote location such as mine wasn’t feasible. My neighborhood is rural (my closest neighbor is actually further away than this photo depicts) and in the old days I would have missed out on all the action.

Nowadays, of course, that’s all changed. We conduct business from anywhere and the continuously advancing internet enables us to stay in touch with everyone. Nothing emphasizes this more than social media.

Last month I participated in Brazen U’s Social Media Strategy Bootcamp. I’ve been promoting my business via social media for several years with a pleasing degree of success. The tips I learned from the bootcamp, however, are sure to increase that in so many ways—how I organize my social media time, how I make the most of my online presence, and how I measure what’s working and what’s not.

Most importantly, the bootcamp course enforced what I’ve heard over and over: “Marketing hasn’t changed, but the tools have, and social media has become the tool.”

Looking for measurable proof?

I recently sat down and did some 3rd quarter calculations for my business. After nine months of decided efforts to ramp up my social media, I’ve seen a 20% increase in client base and a 46% decrease in advertising expenses. That’s a pretty good ROI, wouldn’t you say? Especially for me, since my only investment is time and I love my time marketing with social media.

Here’s the social media I’ve been participating in so far:

  • Facebook: Check out my page, leave a comment, and leave a “Like!”
  • Twitter: I used to think Twitter was stupid. Now I know better.
  • LinkedIn: My favorite social media. Its groups are the best.
  • Google+: Still figuring this one out. Hey, you can only do so much!


Social Skills Your Mother Never Taught You

Ground Zero Coffee, Madison, Wisconsin

The first Tuesday of the month is always a favorite because it’s the AIGA Morning Blend gathering. Bright and early, I head into Madison and interact with cool design people—a big plus for me after spending days working alone in my studio. Afterward, I stay and work out of Ground Zero Coffee, a Willy Street institution.

This morning’s topic was social media. I was definitely the “mother” figure in this discussion, not only in my media awareness but also in age. But that’s okay. I’m used to it. I like hanging with younger generations because it keeps me aware.

So, with not much to contribute and lots to learn, I quietly picked up on a lot of things—new medias I’ve never heard of like Zerply, a professional network; Dribble, a show and tell for creatives; or GoodReads, an online bookclub. Or the idea that maybe Google+ is a chance for Facebook users to start fresh and leave their more “vibrant” posts behind.

Here’s what else I became aware of (which, of course, I already knew): Social media is how this generation of 20-30 yr. olds communicates. They’ve grown up with social media and it continues to be part of their every moment. As one woman said, “Now with smartphones, online conversations (which essentially defines social media) only become more immediate, more constant, more informative.”

Obviously, social media is not going away.

So where does your business fit in? Do you have a social media presence?

Is your target audience the 20-30 yr. olds? If not, should you at least be thinking about them? After all, what this age group does now is what everyone else will also be doing—soon.

Coincidentally, today was also the start of Brazen U’s Executive Social Media Bootcamp. Here’s one of our assigned readings—an intersting article describing how nine companies are successfully using social media. Check it out.