Is it cold where you are? It's been unusually cold here in Tennessee this week, and I've found myself checking in with social medial more often than usual because I don't want to go outside in the cold to interact with folks! So this week I thought I'd work on the section of the book dealing with social media.
If you've watched Wheel of Fortune recently, you've probably seen this category - What Are You Doing? With the advent of social media, it seems like there are lots of ways to let others know what you are doing - and it's a great tool to share your charity quilting efforts with others!
Obviously, Facebook is a simple and easy way to share. Most people have a personal account and friends already - so posting about what you are working on is a simple way to share. You can also set up a group page to share the efforts of your charity quilting group, too. When others like, share or comment on your post, word will spread quickly! (Tips here about how to post to get the widest spread on your posts)
Blogging is a little more complicated, but a very rewarding way to share a longer story. There are many platforms available where you can build your blog for free, so it can be accomplished with minimal monetary investment. It does require a good bit of time to maintain a blog properly, though. Networking with other blogs is essential to build your readership, through blog hops, linky parties, and other activities. Regular posts will bring regular readers. Responding to comments that readers leave is a great way to make new friends and contacts, too, along with being simple good manners. As a newbie blogger, I was very fortunate to have a good example in my friend Kelley. I became acquainted with the world of blogging when I started reading her blog. Every time I left a comment, she would write me back, even though we would probably see each other in a day or two. I loved the extra dimension the emails gave our friendship, so when I started my own blog, I followed her example and responded to every comment left on my blog. Because of that, I have developed wonderful relationships with fellow bloggers from around the world. I may never meet these people in person, but I certainly count them among my friends! (Links to great tutorials on how to start blogging here)
Instagram is an amazing way to share your efforts through pictures. Linking it to your Twitter or Facebook account allows you to spread the word even further! (Boy do I need more info about this - I think I need to pick my daughter's brain!)
Twitter allows you to send quick, short messages to those who follow you. Start trends with #hashtags that connect your messages with others using the same #hashtag. (I need more info on this one, too - can you tell which platforms I don't use routinely? LOL!)
And never forget Pinterest! What originally started as a great way to keep track of things seen on the Internet has became a huge social media platform. You can search for pins on almost anything, follow people whose pinning appeals to you, and promote your business or cause through the pins you add to your own boards.
At this point, you may be overwhelmed, and wondering why you need all these social platforms. What benefit are they to me? Well, I can tell you from personal experience that people who read about the quilt ministry on our blog have donated enough fabric, blocks, unfinished projects (more commonly known as UFOs), quilt tops and finished quilts to keep our ministry running with minimal outside funding. We purchase batting, thread, minor amounts of fabric, and other expendable supplies such as rotary cutter blades, but seldom make large purchases of fabric. It's almost as if we have a two-fold ministry - quilts for those in need, and a place for unwanted or unneeded fabric to live, relieving the UFO guilt and over-stuffed stashes of fellow quilters! Spreading the word about what you do allows others to receive the blessing of participating in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Our ministry is so much more than the forty or so active members in our church. It also encompasses quilters around the world who have joined in our efforts through their donations and encouragement!
Wow, it feels good to get that down in writing! It's just bare-bones and needs to be expanded, but it's a start. Obviously, though, I need to take my own advice and brush up on some of these skills myself. Fortunately, my daughter is much more tech-savvy than I am, so I will pick her brain and put the info to good use.
Is there anything you would add to this section? What other social media platforms do you use? Do you have a special technique for getting your information out there? I'd love to hear about it!
Thanks for letting me share with you - it's wonderful to hear what you all have to say, and so very helpful!
PS Here's the gratuitous quilt picture - just because it's fun and no post is complete without the picture of a quilt!