To find out how piercers can use social media effectively, we interviewed several social media savvy piercers: Jesse Villemaire from Thrive Studios, April Berardi from Born This Way Body Arts, AJ Goldman from 12 Ounce Studios, Derek Lowe from Saint Sabrina’s, Courtney Jane (CJ) from Saint Sabrina’s, Christina Shull from High Priestess, and Crystal Sims from Evolution.
But first a word of caution from Jesse:
“Be careful about signing up for all social media and trying to manage them all. This alone could be very stressful and may require more hours in your day than you are willing to give. People want answers in a timely fashion, mainly within a 24 to 48 hour timeline is sufficient for email responses; however, some people expect less of a response time from Facebook messages or Twitter.
Only take on what you can handle!
It can become quite overwhelming once you realize you’re constantly trying to keep up with replying to emails and the numerous social networks you have joined. If you can’t dedicate the time to monitor all these accounts then you should really question why you have them in the first place? It looks worse on you and/or your business if you do not reply to a message, so make sure you have the time to keep an eye on all the different sites you’ve joined.”
Jesse himself fell victim to trying to keep up with too many social media outlets. He has since scaled back to the networks that are best suited to his business needs.
The piercers we interviewed spend anywhere from an hour to several hours a day monitoring their social media sites. Some, like AJ, spend all of their time between clients online whereas Chrissy and Derek may only spend an hour or so a day. (Crystal admits to going in cycles of spending more and less time.) The important thing is to figure out what commitment you can make and what fits into your own schedule.
With Jesse’s words in mind, let’s look at some tips for establishing a routine to keep up with the social media networks you have chosen to participate in.
- You will want to check for comments and questions from your networks at least once a day. Ideally, you will upload something to them daily as well. The more you put in, the more you will get out.
- Consider checking your social media sites as part of your opening and closing duties, or delegate the task to your fellow studio members, counter staff, or apprentices as part of their daily assigned work duties.
- Disable questions/comments on social media sites, such as Tumblr or Facebook, if you are having problems overseeing your them. (You can always turn these functions back on when you have the time to maintain them.)
- Instagram doesn’t really encourage questions so it needs less maintenance. What’s more, since it works primarily from smart phones, it can be as easy as uploading a picture on a lunch break.
- Generate content by taking lots of photos of jewelry and your studio so that you have things to upload when you need them.
- Use the Tumblr queue and Facebook activity log to schedule posts. These tools could enable you to generate a whole month’s worth of posts in a single afternoon.
All this media can be overwhelming to learn and to use. In order to help studio owners and piercers get ahead, below are some simple “How-To’s”— complete with diagrams to help you utilize these time management features.
To see your recent and scheduled posts: Select “Edit Page” from the Page Admin panel. A expanded text box will appear. Select “Use Activity Log” to see all posts—past, present, and future.
To schedule a post: Type content, link an article, or upload an image in your status bar. Instead of clicking “Post,” select the clock icon in the bottom left-hand corner. This will allow you to select the year, month, date, hour, and minute you want your post to go live. Once you have entered all of this information, click “Schedule.”
To use Tumblr’s Queue function: First create a post. By default, your post will publish immediately. Selecting the dropdown menu will reveal options to “Add to queue”, or to schedule your post for a specific date & time.
Once you add your first post to your queue, you will see an added feature on your home page. Use this feature to edit, delete, or reorganize your queued posts.
From your Queue menu, you can edit how often Tumblr posts the items in your queue.
Finding a routine may be challenging at first, but don’t be discouraged. It takes time, as well as trial and error to find what works best for you and your studio. Some find it helpful to keep a journal to track their progress; others find networking groups helpful when they are stuck on ideas or just want to compare notes. Once you do establish your routine not only will you be saving time, you will be helping to make safe piercing viral!
And remember: You can also provide content for the APP’s social media sites. The APP has committee of volunteers dedicated to posting members’ safe and successful piercing pictures to their network of over 15,000 followers. Along with other health & safety related information, photos are a very integral part of the safe piercing experience we want to provide on our media pages. After all a picture speaks a thousand words.
Please join us next issue where we will share some more “Do’s and Don’ts” for managing your social media sites. Until then, be sure to continue (or start) uploading content to your own page, and send your beautiful piercing photos—with your name, studio name, and a little bit about you—to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: Due to the time sensitive nature of the information provided—and the constantly changing state of the internet itself—some the content and/or screencaps in these articles may become outdated very quickly. For up-to-date information on each of these sites, please view their individual FAQs, tutorial or training pages.