Going Social at July Market

Christi Tasker, owner of PuTTin’ Out and author of the soon-to-be-released book “The Power of Pinterest,” delivered a trifecta of social media seminars to standing room only crowds at the July 2012 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. The seminars, which included The Power of Pinterest for Retailers and Designers; Top Secret: 10 Commonly Missed FREE Facebook Features; and Seven Facebook Contest Tactics to Create and Maintain Customer Relationships, were presented as part of AmericasMart’s Education Center.

In each of the seminars Tasker emphasized the importance of maintaining a consistent branded message between your website, Facebook, Pinterest and any other social media outlets you use. She suggests investing in a graphic designer to produce a logo design that can be used, all or in part, for everything from your business cards and letterhead to your website and social media pages. By doing so, you create continuity through an easily identifiable image that your customers will come to associate with your company. In addition, try to secure the same username across all of these outlets and link them all to your website’s home page.

Be sure to give your social media audience valuable and informative information as a value-add for following you. Christi gave the example of posting a recipe that incorporates a product you carry as one of the ingredients, rather than simply posting a photo of the item you want to sell. By doing so, you’re subtly promoting yourself and the product you carry, but more importantly you are giving people a reason to link to your post, thus increasing your exposure to their friends and followers. In addition, use key words that you yourself would use when searching online for the subject matter you are posting, increasing your chances of showing up in a Google search.

When using Pinterest, it’s best to create boards worth following and keep them organized in a straightforward manner. Christi suggested categorizing boards by subject matter or a common theme, like color, to make them easy to navigate. She also stressed the importance of hiring a good photographer – or taking a photography class – to ensure that you are presenting images that represent your company in the best possible manner. Hopefully, new customers will find you through pins and repins so you should be putting your best photo forward.

When using Facebook, she underscored the importance of responding to messages and posts on your page and engaging your readers with call to action posts such as questions they can answer or contests. For more information on Tasker’s presentations and contest ideas visit: http://puttinout.com/education/presentations/

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