Tuesday Top Ten – Best Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2

Oooook. I have been feeling very anxious about this week’s Top Ten. Overwhelmed. Do you understand the sheer amount of info out there on these topics? Check out Pinterest. Just do a quick search for “social media tips”. I’ve even set up my own Pinterest board just for this stuff. There is a TON of info on how to use social media for your business. And my goal? To whittle it all down to just a few key points, and to keep it simple so that I, and all my readers, can use it. Sounds like a pretty lofty goal, right? Yeah, it does to me too.

So even though I think I might be crazy to continue this, here goes…

Top Ten Social Media Sites for Small Business Part Two


Top Ten Social Media Sites for Small Business Part Two - Twitter

A lovely representation of the Twitter logo

It was tough choosing this week’s social media site. I was torn between Tumblr (which I don’t really understand), Pinterest (which I’m getting better at) and Twitter. Don’t ask me how I finally decided; I’m not sure myself. I don’t think I really decided until I started to write the word “Twitter”, actually.

I’m terrible at Twitter. I have an account, obviously, but I go long periods of time without actually tweeting anything. I have a whole bunch of other social media accounts tied to Twitter so things still get tweeted, but most of it’s automated and therefore much less personal. But before we get into why this is a bad thing, let’s get the basics down.

Twitter = France?
Twitter is kind of like a foreign country in the social media world. It even has its own language. Here are a few terms that you will absolutely need to know (and know how to use) to be successful on Twitter:

Tuesday Top Ten – Best Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2

Since I tend to be a bit wordy, I went with this short and simple image instead.

These terms, of course, are just the beginning. If you’d like to dig a bit deeper into the Twitter-language, go here. Some of them are really silly, but a lot of them are very useful.

Tuesday Top Ten – Best Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2

Well, they do.

So you want to start a Twitter?
But why? Why is it important to my business to do this whole tweeting thing? Whoa there buddy, hold your horses. First thing’s first. You need to set up the account before we can delve into any deep philosophical questions like that.

First you need a user name. This is how people will find you, and should be easily recognizable. Mine is @madebymegshop, so a Google search for my Etsy shop will come back with my Twitter in the results. People can also easily search for me on Twitter. This is different from the display name. I used my actual name for that.

Then you need a profile image so people know that you’re not a bot (not an actual person, in other words). You can use your business logo here, but I’ve chosen to use a picture of myself. Personally, I like knowing that there is a real, live person behind the business, but that’s just my preference. I’m not alone though. According to PC Magazine, uploading a photo that shows your face can result in as many as ten times more followers. It just adds a more personal touch, in my opinion.

You also need a good description of who you are and what you’re about. Again, this shows potential followers that you’re real.

Finally, you can include the link to your website. If you don’t have a website, link to your blog or your Facebook.

Tuesday Top Ten – Best Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2How the heck do I use this thing?
Hell if I know. Really. But because I’m relatively masochistic, I’ve been doing my research.

First of all, you need to develop a following. This is obvious, right? I mean, you can talk and talk about interesting, valuable things all day long, but if no one is listening it’s kind of like the tree falling in the forest with no one around. No one cares, because no one is seeing it. If you’re brand new to Twitter, this means you need to start following people. You can follow blogs you read (most have social media buttons on their homepages to make this easy), real-life friends, and people who run other small businesses (even your direct competitors). If you know what your target market is, go ahead and do a hashtag search for a term that relates, and follow users who talk about it. But don’t follow every account that you come across, because there is a limit to how many accounts you can follow. I hit the follow limit fairly quickly, so I use a service called JustUnfollow to weed through the accounts that I follow, and get rid of the ones that I can live without.

Once you’ve followed some people, you are going to want to build those relationships by interacting. You can do this by mentioning them, retweeting them, or DM’ing them. And if someone takes the time to mention or retweet you, make sure you respond. It’s actually pretty easy, and I think I’ve got a good handle on this part. Interacting is what normal people do in real life, right? So this part should come naturally.

Top Ten Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2

I’m not really yelling at you

The Deets
So you have a Twitter account. And you have a following. And you’ve made some good connections. You’re done, right? NO! You aren’t done yet! There are some details that you need to keep in mind here…

*Keep your tweets short and sweet. You are only allowed 140 characters, and you want to leave room for other users to reply or retweet. Also it’s been proven that tweets that are less than 100 characters long have a 17% higher engagement rate. You want that, trust me.
*Know when to tweet. Just like on Facebook, there is an optimal time/day to tweet. On Twitter, your best days to tweet are Saturday and Sunday, with Wednesday and Thursday showing the lowest rate of engagement. You do want to try to tweet several times a day, but know that your most important tweets should probably be focused around the weekend. And on those days, it seems that the best time to tweet is between 5pm and 6pm.
*Use relevant hashtags, sparingly. You want people to be able to find you, but you want to make sure that the right people are finding you. Try to only use one or two hashtags in each post.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for retweets. You will easily and effectively amplify your message if you do this. But make sure that you use the word “retweet”, instead of just “RT”.

And if that isn’t enough, here are a few more quick and easy tips to use.
Tuesday Top Ten – Best Social Media Sites for Small Business Part 2

I’m spent. I hope that helps build a greater understanding of how to use Twitter, but really, I’ve just skimmed the surface. There is much, much more info out there that can help you get into it deeper. I’ve found that Pinterest is a great place to go for that info, or at least a good place to start.

So, do you use Twitter? Any helpful tips you’ve found to make Twitter work for your business? Any questions that I didn’t answer? Feel free to comment, and I will certainly help if I can.


Hot Pink Disaster

Right now, if you were to walk into my house and turn right at the top of the stairs, you would immediately be faced with a room that looks as if it was effected by a natural disaster of epic proportions. If you look hard enough, you might be able to tell that it was once a craft room, but has since been taken over by massive amounts of yarn and plastic shopping bags.

Every time I go in there I have a minor anxiety attack. I’ve known that I needed to organize it for months now, but shop stuff has been my priority for quite a while now, so the stuff that doesn’t absolutely need to be done, simply hasn’t gotten done.

But I think about it a lot. I love my craft room, and it’d be nice if I could spend a lot more time in there. So every now and then I get online, onto the great time-suck that is Pinterest and try to find interesting ways to organize my little disaster. Here are four of my most recent favorites:

And the author's name is Megan, which makes it even better.

And the author’s name is Megan, which makes it even better.

1. Organized Gift Wrapping Station from Honey We’re Home

I cannot tell you how much I am in love with this idea. It’s beautiful; functional and eye-pleasing at the same time. Obviously I would have to alter it just a bit to fit my own needs (I don’t really need that much space for wrapping paper), and I would most likely change the color to fit the room’s color scheme, but other than that it’s pretty much perfect.

I especially love the spots for ribbon. I have way too much ribbon, not to mention washi tape and various other things that I could make those work for.

Yup, perfect.

tumblr_mdasdo2iFs1qcyp8qo1_5002. Yarn Organization Ideas from Rosepath Weaving.

Ok, normally I don’t promote other Etsy shops that are similar to mine. But this time, it’s worth it to make an exception. Theresa at Lucky Hanks is the proud owner of this gorgeous yarn wall, which her husband helped her build. I can’t even imagine this being in my house; it’d be like a dream, and I probably would end up spending so much time staring at it that I wouldn’t get anything else done.

Being a bit more realistic… My local yarn shop closed recently, and the owner said that she would probably be selling all her fixtures soon, but I haven’t seen anything about that yet. She had a wonderful yarn wall, made up of diagonal cubes. I’m not quite sure where I would put either of these things, but I do know that I need to find a better way to store what I have. It’s in a bunch of bins, shoe boxes and plastic bags right now, and scattered all over the room. I need something more centralized.

sewing room 4-11 0073. Sewing/Craft Room Ideas from Sew Many Ways.
Since most of what I have is already in these little plastic shoe boxes, this would be fantastic as well. It doesn’t keep everything quite as visible, but I can’t really decide if that matters or not. Half of me thinks that life would be easier if my yarn/supplies were more hidden; my mother couldn’t “shop” in my craft room as easily, and I wouldn’t get in as much trouble for having way too much yarn/elastic/washi tape/duck tape/whatever the current obsession is.

I also loves shelves. To me, there is nothing better than a pretty spot where I can put stuff. Even the color of this works for my craft room. Black goes with everything.

4. Craft-Room-Organization-Twine-Holder-Damask-LoveHow to Organize Your Baker’s Twine from Damask Love.
I originally found this at Everything Etsy, which has a ton of organizing ideas as well. I think this is just beautiful. And yes, I do have that much baker’s twine. Maybe more, actually. As we’ve discussed before, I’m a bit of a hoarder. But at less than $20 (even without the 50% off coupon that the author used), I think I can swing this. This might be the simplest to actually accomplish, and by far the least expensive.

So what do you think? What are your favorite places to find organizational inspiration?