What We Learned: No 1

Today (out of absolutely nowhere and just because) I decided to start a new running blog series where I share a few of the fun things I've learned each week while perusing the internet. Cue the background story.... Earlier this week I was super excited to meet with a local college student for an informational interview. The interviewee, Katie, found our company on Instagram (yay! social happy dance — we're doing something right!) and reached out to me over email. Katie wanted to sit down to discuss what I do for a living and hear more what our company is all about. Of course, I said yes — I love talking all things social!

During the interview, Katie asked me what a typical day in the life of "me" looks like. (Full post to come.... stay tuned!) After giggling to myself, I said "well each day is always a little different", then I attempted to sum up in general what a normal day consists of. Basically, it all comes down to this — I spend an absurd amount of time on the internet! Like really, obnoxious amounts. 80% of my day is spent browsing social media blogs, creeping on brand campaigns, and Googling things like "the best social sharing plugins".

During our interview, Katie also asked me what it takes to be successful in this industry and I said.... "Never stop learning". Social media (like most industries) is ever-changing. If you want to be someone that others look to as a resource or a thought leader, you need to educate yourself — constantly! So that, in a since, is what I do most days!

Fast forward to now, and here are my top three things I learned this week...

photo c/o Ashley Kelemen

Graphic Overlays Work

Previously, I have lived off the notion that graphics don't always do the best on Instagram. As of this week, I have changed my mind! Well, at least in terms of catching someone's attention. Using graphic overlays can be a great way to alert your followers to an important post while they're mindlessly scrolling through feeds faster then you can say "Giveaway time!" If you want your audience to notice a promotion you're offering, maybe a giveaway, contest, poll, or anything else super urgent — be obvious! Toss a graphic on there that screams, "hey look at me!", just make sure it aligns with your over all voice.

Hashtag "Stuffing" Isn't All Bad

Okay, here's another misconception that I've previously lived off of — hashtag stuffing is bad. This week, I've come to terms with this technique and realized that it isn't all bad, and when used strategically can actually increase your reach. Now when I say "stuffing", I don't actually mean using twenty irrelevant popular tags — I mean industry related tags and sticking to just a few. For instance, earlier this week, we shared about our social planners.

Because I wanted to purposefully include an industry related hashtag to potentially increase the reach of that post, I decided to include #socialmedia in the caption. Maybe I could have even included #blogger, #blogging, or #smallbiz because those are the specific people that our planners help. Successfully, this post saw engagement from several people who weren't' already following us and we also made some sales! Hurray!

Workshops Are EVERYWHERE

Seriously, it's beginning to feel like this is the year of the workshops — ha! Elana and I have noticed at least ten new shops popping up all over the country just this week. The fun thing about these other shops is that they too focus on catering to creatives. There's calligraphy, stamp-making, blogging, and everything in between! This week, we delighted and super thrilled to be featured the She Owns It list of Upcoming Conferences & Events for Women, Entrepreneurs & Bloggers.

What new things did you learn this week?