Social media can be an overwhelming thing, and it's hard for the small business owner to strike the right balance when promoting themselves online. I've been on Twitter for almost a year, and mostly I've just been having fun. I've connected with some really awesome like-minded crafters and have been introduced to some amazing art that I never would've discovered otherwise. I've also made some true, offline friends through the platform. But I know I could be doing more to forge connections and to grow my business.
Enter Diane Gilleland (or Sister Diane, as she's known in
the social media realm). Many of you are familiar with Diane as the creator of the fabulous CrafyPod blog and podcast and an all-around craft superstar. A few weeks ago, she offered some of her Twitter followers a free copy of her new eBook, Social Media for Your Crafty Business, in exchange for an honest review. I purchased Diane's previous eBooks about blogging and found them tremendously helpful, so I jumped at the opportunity to review the new book, knowing I still have much to learn about social media.
In her usual sincere, warm, and clear voice, Diane walks the reader through the do's and don'ts of social media, teaching you how to use these tools effectively to bring more visibility to your business.
This is a large eBook, divided into two sections, or books: Understanding Social Media and Using Social Media. In the first book, Diane tells you everything you need to know about what social media is, understanding your followers, building your network, providing value, and setting goals.
What? Set a business goal for Tweeting? Yes, and Diane explains why in a friendly, conversational tone with concrete, easy-to-follow examples.
Book Two shift focus to the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts details of using social media. How often should you update? How can you best manage your time? How do you know if it's working? How personal is too personal? Again, Diane offers clear, detailed examples that are very easy to put into practice.
What I liked best about this book is how easy Diane's tips are to put into practice. Diane is very adept at taking an overwhelming topic and distilling it in easily digestible chunks. She doesn't talk down to her reader, and she doesn't fill her books with fluff, either. Every sentence in the book has value.
I also appreciated Diane's focus on engagement, rather than broadcast, marketing. Broadcast marketing is the traditional advertising method of sending the same message to as many people as possible, whereas engagement marketing is about earning people's trust by forming genuine relationships with people and offering real value. The broadcast marketing trap is something I see many people fall into. It gets annoying really fast, and it's pretty ineffective in the long-run as most of us are by now experts at screening out such messages. Diane's book is chock-full of tips on how to avoid this trap.The Bottom Line
Whether you've been using social media for years or are just getting started, this book is an invaluable resource for those seeking meaning and engagement.
Social Media for Your Crafty Business. 72 pages, $12.50.