Sunday, August 19, 2012

Venturing into social media

America is the land of advertising. We are constantly being told we need to do this, learn that, use x or buy y. Our family tries to be educated consumers, in what we do, use and buy.

We haven't had access to broadcast television since the big antenna blew off our farm house in La Junta. Firefly had just gone off the air and we couldn't see any reason to spend the money to replace the antenna. Besides, who needs tv when you have the internet? We research anything we are interested in there. Can you spin chinchilla fur? How do you make green curry? I've loved the internet for a long time.

Shawn is a tech guy and he likes to test and work with any new technologies that come out. He beta tests software and always seems to have some new gadget he is trying out. I get a few of them tried out on me, so he can experiment on how non-techies can relate to the item before recommending it to his web clients. The droid phone and tablet were disappointing. Iphones and Ipads rock. Netflix and Pandora radio fit well into my active farm life. My digital cameras enabled me to chronicle my days and share them with friends and family who live far away, before they got too plugged up with hay and dust to work. The Minolta Dimage worked for more than seven years, the little Samsung, only one. Now I have my iphone camera, not really happy with it, but better than nothing to keep family and friends up-to-date here in my blog.

Online sales and marketing have worked well for our farmstead craft business in the past. We had a very active ebay store for many years, and I have had good success with etsy for what little I've tried it. These marketing avenues take a lot more time and consistent effort than you would ever imagine. But they are effective and work into some time periods and for some businesses.

So, we aren't total luddites, nor are we afraid of trying tech, but... I get told from various angles that I need to learn to navigate social media - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google plus, LinkedIn, new-flavor-of-the-week  and use it. Why? What use is it? What do I need it for? And, I can see where it could take all the time that I currently spend making things and caring for the farm.

Because of the lack of time, I don't see where it can help my own small craft business, but for any group of craft businesses, I can see where having many individuals liking, tweeting and connecting with pictures and links, it could really draw people physically to an area. So, with that in mind, I am attending the Arkansas Women Blogger's Unplugged conference this week. It will be a whole new forum for how to "get connected."

Now off to read how to effectively use pinterest (jenonthefarm) and find something interesting to tweet (@jlonthefarm) that I haven't already shared on facebook (Jeanette Larson) ...

No comments: