Hey y’all! So you haven’t heard too much from me blog wise this past week because I’ve been super busy at Southern Jewlz launching our Aggie Game Day collection (oh and don’t miss the extra 70% off sale items happening right now!), cleaning and organizing my office, studio and home, stepping up my workouts since I’m currently in a friendly challenge against my husband that ends this week, and I was doing more promotions on my first ever fitness giveaway featuring Lululemon. Congrats to Brooke Brooks by the way!
Anyways, as much as I would have loved to have enjoyed a Sunday off, it is full of projects because on non-business days that is when I can really get ahead and tie up some loose ends. I’ve got a HUGE giveaway going on right now and I will post all the requirements to enter below.
But you know me, I can’t just do a visual-only or give away-only type of a blog. I like depth and it seems you all like hearing my perspective. So here goes ways to use social media to better your business, yourself and your followers!
I remember when I first started my business. I would use my personal Facebook profile to take pictures of the jewelry creations I had made to sell them. This was when Facebook only had personal accounts and it may have been not long after Facebook only allowed students of universities to have profiles. Anyways, I have been using social media for marketing since almost the beginning of its time. And one thing I am proud of to be able to say is I have only ever paid for social media advertising twice! Both times with my Southern Jewlz Facebook pages. I know in today’s world that may be hard to fathom, but it is the truth! I may not get to say that for much longer with how fast social media is evolving, changing and taking over, how I do want to expand and grow my following, so I guess I better write that one down before things change yet again from a social media standpoint.
Now do I have hundreds of thousands of followers on instagram? Absolutely not. Are my social media accounts as active as I may want them to be? Again the answer is no. But my website views, stats and referrals from social media platforms are increasing daily both at www.SouthernJewlz.com and www.RandaCarrabba.com, so I’m pleased with my social media’s performance for now.
I hear so many people say how social media is ruining so many things. And in some instances, yes I agree. I believe it’s easier for people to secretly snap chat talk without anyone being able to print out a text message record, I believe that people who reach fame or success are more likely to hear and see negativity, I believe a lot of people are comparing themselves to others and becoming jealous of something that may not even be REAL, and I believe a lot of people are spending more and more time on social media without a positive plan of attack. I mean whenever you get on and scroll on Facebook or start doing you “instagram stalking”, I know sometimes it is for good reasons like looking up a potential employee, checking in on a fitness page to encourage you to switch up your workouts, scrolling through your favorite fashion blogger’s feed to get an idea of how to style yourself or what new dress to purchase and so on. But then again, I see A LOT of people just scrolling and wasting precious time on social media. I notice more and more people on their phone and I like to ask “what are you looking for?” Most of the time there isn’t an answer and they put it away and get back on task. I mean I am very guilty of this myself and Grant and I will have to check each other sometimes on our quality time together.
In a world that seems far more connected that ever, where competition can see the marketing aspects of other similar companies and even pay for ads to TARGET other company’s customers, I just going to end talking all the negative sides of social media and now transition into all the positive aspects it brings!
First off, almost everyone is on social media to stay connected to other PEOPLE rather than businesses. Yes, business pages and brands are a large emphasis and for someone like me, social media is a huge platform to why my company even exists, but at the end of the day it is all about people! For those of you who don’t already know, I closed my retail store front after 6 and a half years being open to focus on getting married, trying to balance my work life more for my husband and family and to focus all of my energy and efforts online. And let me tel you, this was one of THE BEST business decisions I ever made! Social media is a fast, consuming and evolving animal and I am seeing more growth this year than in the 3 years before that combined!
Social media has truly changed the retail industry. Now someone can open a business with much less over head and risk than in years past. But at the same time, there are far more pieces of the pie making up the cumulative whole as well. Whether you are new to social media marketing, maybe you waste a lot of time scrolling rather than being productive at home, at work, or in the present, or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran like me who has seen multiple changes and is wondering just what the next algorithm will be and how it will affect your efforts – hear me loud and clear when I say MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN A POSITIVE LIGHT. The world has enough critics, it needs more cheerleaders and unifiers!
So much opportunity exists! There are so many ways to win freebies (like this giveaway that I’m doing for y’all), or to connect with people that encourage or inspire you. There’s so much opportunity when it comes to business, too! I know it can get overwhelming sometimes because we are all sooooo connected, but don’t forget the opportunities that social media allows for all of us!
SPREAD THE LOVE. Do you feel that your account isn’t even noticed? Well you still have a voice! Anytime I find myself on social media, I try to make my best effort to like or “double tap” every post I see. I mean it’s FREE and I’m there anyways! And if I catch myself seeing posts that I don’t like or that aren’t my style, then I remove or unfollow. I follow others on social media who are making things happen, changing the world for the better in their own way, those that inspire my personal style, accounts that encourage me to finish styling and designing my home, and the list goes on. If you’re a business owner and you see someone wearing your products or tagging you in your photography pics, why wouldn’t you like and comment? And if I ever find myself just wasting time on social media, I check myself by asking “what’s the goal here”? If I can’t come up with a good quick response to myself, then I put the phone down or click back to my email or online store and get to work. So spread the love and follow those accounts that make you BETTER. This can in turn benefit your business and your followers who are feeling loved! Plus, the more you like and comment on your friends, families and business accounts you like to keep up with, the more likely you are to continue to see their content in your feed and that only helps their content activity. I have caught Grant sitting beside me in our media room and I’ll see him just scroll past a Southern Jewlz post and I’m quick to kindly ask him to scroll back up and give the post some love. A lot of social media content you see takes a lot of work, time, and even money to make happen, so pay back the love to those who you follow and those who follow you. Your voice may seem so small or like it doesn’t even matter, but use it positively and you just might be surprised. I have a hand written note from one of my blog followers that is framed on my desk and I bet she never thought when she wrote me that sweet note that it would end up framed for me to look at daily.
This can lead to my next point. Post for the content, not the likes. I remember when I first started my business, I didn’t compare how many likes my content got verses another. I didn’t hold back from posting something new I had received in my boutique just because it might not match the rest of my feed. Now I know I view this differently in today’s world and instead of posting something that might not match my overall brand on my instagram profile, I might just put it in my story. Or instead of posting it in my business Facebook page indivually, I may just include it in another album or on my snap chat. Because yes, if you post content that does not generate activity, the algorithm may hurt you and your customers and followers may not see your posts. This is why encouraging your followers to add you on more than one social media outlet is so important. I remember when Facebook was my jam and then it went away and instagram became my cash cow. Well now, my Facebook is creeping back up and almost taking over instagram while my snapchat can sometimes be just as powerful. It’s much smarter to not put all your eggs into one basket, but at least spread them around 2-3 social media platforms. This is one reason why I do not post something “just because it will get a bunch of likes” these days. And believe me, a few years ago I started to think in that type of a mindset. For instance, people love pics of puppies or dogs. And I love to share Bucky and those pictures usually generate a lot of likes, but if I only posted those I may as well be thought of as a glorified bulldog mom. Even though I love adding that title to my resume, there’s so much more to me, my story, my business, the impact I’m trying to make and the things I still want to bring to life and accomplish. Instead I have stepped up the level of my content. I post what is visually appealing to elevate my brand and show what I have in stock, what speaks to those I am trying to target, and basically anything that is a reflection of the SJ brand, my personal Randa Carrabba brand, the morals and values we both stand on, the places I want to travel, and the list goes on. Instead of posting for likes, I have just stepped up the content that I post. I have invested into better lenses and the iPhone 7plus. I had an intern ask me recently why a post that we put up only got “so many likes” and I pulled up the stats behind the post as well as the amount of sales that we made off of that post and she didn’t have any further questions. As you all know, social media can sometimes make things appear different than what they really are. But use this to your advantage! I hear so many people say their pinterest or instagram feed is what they wished their life really looked like. Well, pin, follow and inspire away and one day maybe that really WILL lead to opportunities that can create a life you truly want to live.
Now I’m the first one in line who can feel drained when it comes to social media marketing sometimes. I mean when I’m on site for a blog shoot or gathering SJ model shots there are so many avenues to post including instagram, instagram live, snap chat, actual photos for the actual camera, video content that can be edited later for youtube videos, update the website design and inventory, make Facebook posts, twitter threads, getting the perfect snap shot to pin on pinterest, going live on Facebook or instagram and I’m not even going to name all the other social media avenues because what I have listed is all that I use. I don’t use Facebook stories and I don’t have a Facebook group (even though I know your group members are far more likely to see your posts) and the reason is because I am maxed out where I am. If I struggle to get through the day to answer all emails, ship all orders timely, and post and stay active on all my other social media accounts, then I am not adding on anything else that might drain me. These days in age, customers or followers want to be responded to and they want it quickly. I still encourage an email over everything, however I don’t answer emails as fast as some social media platforms. But email time is where I’m focused and much more likely to give the thorough response someone is looking for. I do not want to open a Facebook group and have another way that customer’s can comment and demand answers right away whenever I already struggle in that department. Find the social media sources that work for you and don’t feel you have to use them all. Remember you have to shine brightly without burning out. After almost 10 years since I first started my business, let me tell you getting to the verge of burn out is a real thing guys. And then whatever social media avenues that you use, use them to all compliment each other and refer others into your other social media outlets.
I believe the future of social media is cross promotions and community over competition so start to build yours if you haven’t already! I love to work with multiple hair and makeup artists, fashion brands, photographers, models, interns and the list goes on. Anytime I post an album or photos where I can properly tag those involved, I always do. And I encourage you to as well. It is respectful business etiquette and courtesy and can go a long way with that business owner or brand. Tagging others who helped create any of the content in your social media posts can also allow you to get more exposure or even for those tagged accounts to share or repost your content. I’ve always been a believer that when the tide is high, well we all rise. And I love to help cross promote with others through my business and my personal blog posts. Just another way to use social media in a positive and productive light!
Share you story. Looking back, I wish I would have shared more depth in the past, but I was scared. In today’s social media world, I think those influencers, brands, and individuals who do the best job are the ones who make their followers feel like they know each other and those who can seem relatable. I honestly feel this is why I’ve seen so much recent growth via the internet and I continue to move down this avenue I’m headed. If you use social media to inspire, blog, market to your customers, etc. remember to listen to your followers and to encourage them to give their feedback. For instance my customers mentioned that they wanted to see other models besides me in the live Facebook videos so I delivered. Over the years as I got away from the camera and styled more models, I would hear so many original customers say they loved to see me and my outfits in the pictures, so I put myself back in the lime light. It seems very important to my customers to see the clothes on a model who is wearing a size large, so I’ve been interviewing potential women to fill this spot. Constructive criticism is not a bad thing and you do not have to listen or implement something that you don’t want to. But I believe there is a lot of positivity and power to those who listen and implement when and where is needed. Isn’t this some of why social media came about? isn’t this why so many people want to see transparency? As scared as I was to put too much about myself or my life out there because I didn’t want people to think I was self absorbed or I didn’t want people knowing about my struggles and the list can go on, well the fact of the matter is if I go away from social media, so does my business. So for me, it’s absolutely a must. And now that basically everybody is on social media, I feel my husband, family and friends are understanding more of what my job entails. There’s so much more than to “just post on instagram” or to “go live on Facebook”. It all takes a lot of bravery, transparency, conistency and the list cab go on.
The internet isn’t going away and people are only spending more and more time on social media. So if you’re wanting to utilize it to grow a business, build your brand, share your story or any type of design skill or service, hope to it. It’s only going to get more and more competitive to be seen as the time goes on. Start somewhere or start to go more in the direction that you wish you could.
I could go on and on about this topic and if you’re interested in speaking to me further, please comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want it to only be viewed by me. But now it’s time for me to share the BIGGEST giveaway I’ve ever done!
$700 Value of all things that Scream Randa Carrabba that can be seen in this video:
Biggest Giveaway To Date! $700 Value! And there will be 3 lucky winners! 1st prize $400 2nd $200 3rd $100. All prizes are shown and mentioned in this video. To enter you must do the following: SHARE…
To enter you must do the following before August 12, because that’s the day I’ll announce the winner!
1. SHARE this video on your personal Facebook page.
2. Follow Southern Jewlz on Instagram and like the 3 most recent posts as well as tag a friend on each of those posts as well.
3. Follow me on Instagram and like the 3 most recent posts as well as tag a friend on each of those posts as well.
4. Like the Southern Jewlz Facebook Page.
5. Like the Randa Carrabba Facebook Page.
6. Add me on Snapchat! (This is def worth it, I promise!)
7. Follow me on Pinterest
And leave me a comment on any of my blog posts here on RandaCarrabba.com!
Good luck to everybody!