Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 3: Part 2

       I am creating a knit and crochet design label of my own currently, and it is self-titled. My wife already has an established business in the same area so I decided to focus on knit and crochet designers. I come across a lot of knitting and crocheting businesses when I am on social media sites, and they are all so different. They all really only have one thing in common, yarn. Some design an array of items, others stick to just a few select things. Each business is as unique as its owner. It is my goal to create a brand that reflects my individuality, and create a booming social media presence.
       Of the five businesses I’ve selected, four are knit and/or crochet designers, and one (Our Maker Life) is a hub for various knitting and crocheting activities, events, blogs, vlogs, and designers. Our Maker Life is active on just about every form of social media platform. In my opinion, they are using social media the way it’s meant to be used. They are very interactive with their fan base and they are consistent with their posts. Practically every single day they post pictures and status updates on various platforms. Based on what I see, they use Instagram the most. Our maker life reposts pictures that were posted by the designers and artists they partner with. The pictures, although they come from many different people, flow nicely to create a very inspiring gallery.
       The next business I would like to highlight is Repeat Crafter Me. Repeat Crafter Me (RCM) is owned by a crochet and knit pattern designer. This business is also very active on various social media platforms. I wasn’t able to access a few of the crafting social media sites without an account, but RCM has their hand in just about every inch of the online social world. RCM uses Instagram a lot, but also posts often on YouTube. RCM is responsive and easy to get in touch with. I would say that RCM is using social media very well. The pictures posted are of professional quality and RCM has a refreshing vibrant color scheme on Instagram.
       Lunar Knits by Lori is another great knitting and crochet business that I come across often when I am online. On the main website, there is a simple layout with links to Instagram, YouTube, the WordPress blog, and the Etsy shop associated with the business. I really like the simple and easy to navigate website. Although the other businesses were on various platforms, Lunar Knits by Lori was the only one with a website that displays all of the important links. This made it easy for me to explore the feeds and view the videos. Instagram is once again the main platform used by this business, and it is being used well. The Instagram feed is bright and simple, just like the rest of her social media presence.
       Noorvana is a cutting-edge crochet design business. The social media presence of Noorvana is subtle, but it suits the type of business. Because there is one designer, and she creates full pieces of clothing from scratch, I’m assuming she doesn’t have much time to spend online. Noorvana still manages to post pictures on Instagram and engage minimally with potential customers. The pictures she posts are usually either models or herself wearing the items. They all look like they’ve been clipped from a magazine. Noorvana does social media very differently, but it works for the type of business.
       Lastly, I found a business called DeBrosse NYC. They use Instagram more than any other site. Their items are sold on Etsy and there is a blog linked to the page but it isn’t directly related to the business. It is more of a lifestyle blog. The pictures on all the platforms related to DeBrosse are sleek and minimalistic. This company also has a subtle social media presence but because they post such great quality images they have a huge following and I can tell from the Etsy that sales are rolling in often. Etsy has a feature that shows how many sales a shop has made.
       From spending years on social media, I’ve come to learn that each site is very different. They each attract a different crowd, and they are all used differently. The last couple of years, I have been helping my wife with her business. She has inspired me to begin designing as well. My wife’s website is currently in restock mode, otherwise I would have used hers. Collectively, I discovered that social media is a great tool to get noticed, generate sales, and interact with customers. Some of these businesses will be my competition in the near future, but I believe that since every target customer group is different, I will fare well.

I’ve listed the information about each business below.

1. The business name: DeBrosse NYC
2. Their website url: ecommerce Etsy website, last updated Jan 2, 2018
3. The social media they are visibly using [links on their website]:
       a. Last post Feb 9, 2018
       b. Not dated but has posts related to the new year

1. The business name: Our Maker Life
2. Their website url:
3. The social media they are visibly using [links on their website]:
       a. Last post Feb 12, 2018
       b. Last post Feb 12, 2018
       c. Last post Feb 12, 2018

1. The business name: Repeat Crafter Me
2. Their website url:
3. The social media they are visibly using [links on their website]:
       a. Last post Feb 12, 2018
       b. Last post Feb 10, 2018
       c. Last post Feb 12, 2018
       d. Last post Feb 9, 2018
       e. Last post Feb 11, 2018
       f. Last post Feb 12, 2018

1. The business name: Noorvana
2. Their website url:
3. The social media they are visibly using [links on their website]:
       a. Last post Feb 11, 2018
       b. Last post Feb 12, 2018

1. The business name: Lunar Knits by Lori
2. Their website url:
3. The social media they are visibly using [links on their website]:
       a. Last post Feb 9, 2018
       b. Last post Feb 8, 2018
       c. No dates other than the policies last updated on 10/24/2016
       d. Last post Feb 11, 2018

Week 3: Responses

I replied to Chad M, Blair P, and Michele W.

Week 3: Part 1

I have certainly experienced difficulty when communicating with a business. Automated phone systems, or auto-generated email responses are the first two that come to my mind. I prefer not to call companies, especially when I know I will have to jump through hoops to get a real person on the phone. I tend to resort to email communication or trying to resolve issues through online accounts when available. The only downsides I've experienced with email communication are the delays in response, and impersonal generic responses. Social media has helped improve the customer to business communication over the years. I have actually gone to sites like Facebook and Instagram and found the comments sections very helpful. At times, other customers have voiced their complaints or issues, and that provided me with resolve for my issue or prevented me from having to deal with the same thing. 

I have had a lot of positive experiences online when communicating with businesses. For example, I once ordered a shelving unit for my guest bathroom but when I put it together as per the instructions, it was not stable. I messaged the company thru their Facebook page and they replied within hours! They had me send a picture of my shelf and they noticed I was missing some parts. They sent out the missing parts and I received them a few days later. I'm not sure what happened, maybe I accidentally threw away some pieces, or maybe they were never in my box. Regardless, they were quick to resolve the issue and very nice about it. I can imagine that many other people have had similar experiences with companies through social media because you get to send photos and show rather than just trying to explain. 

Another positive experience I had with an online company was after making a purchase, I was contacted via email to make sure that the battery worked properly with my laptop. After I replied and left a good review, they were so thrilled that I left a review that they requested to send me a free mobile power bank. Not all companies will give out free stuff, and most can't, but I really appreciate a freebie that is something I can really benefit from. The thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and them ensuring customer satisfaction made my experience positive. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 2: Responses

I commented on the blogs of Michele W, Blair P, and Chad M.

Week 2: Overview of Social Media

I believe that we live in a time that personal use and business use is intertwined in all of the social media platforms. I feel like Facebook began with being geared toward personal use. Now, with ads, the marketplace, and algorithms, I see how businesses can really benefit from the use of it. I would have to say that I think twitter is the most personal-use platform out there. Since the messages are short and the timelines are mostly people tweeting each other, it has a much more personal-use feel. Tumblr is another platform that I feel is geared toward personal use. I don't have much experience on the site, but I do know that there aren't any dates on the posts, and I haven't seen many ads on that site.

Depending on the type of business, one platform may be better for you than others. The target market is also a huge thing to consider. For example, if I run a bakery and I create photo-worthy sweets, I would benefit from using Instagram. Especially if my customer base is full of people that love to take pics of their food and post about it. My Instagram could be full of professional pictures of my pastries; and I could share customers' photos as well, with their permission. With the use of hashtags and location I could drive more customers to my business after they see what I have to offer. On the other hand, if I owned a law firm and I wanted to use social media, I don’t think Instagram would be much help for attracting potential clientele. I believe Facebook would be the best option because with paid ads, and being able to choose the demographics, I could get my ads directly in front of the right crowd.

Ultimately, the type of business and its target market will decide which platform is best. As far as personal use goes, the way you like to share will help decide which platform is best for you. If you like to share photos, Instagram is great. From what I see, people don’t pay attention to the captions there. It’s all about the pictures. If you like to post longer videos and vlogs, YouTube is the place to be. It is a good idea to be available on many different platforms if you have a business. Since they all work differently and attract different types of people, you will have a wider reach if you utilize multiple platforms.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 1: Responses

I responded to the blogs of Wendee, Rodriguez, and Particelli.

Week 1

I chose my theme fairly quickly because it caught my eye instantly. My favorite color is brown and I like the look of the old watermarked map in the background. The color scheme of light lettering on a dark background is easy to read in pretty much any light setting. I did make some adjustments to the layout of this theme. I centered my blog title and made the overall width of the blog slightly more narrow than it was.  The font that I chose is aesthetically pleasing and it complements the background because it has a vintage style.

I normally don't visit personal blogs, but this assignment prompted me to pay close attention to the detail of other's blogs. In my opinion, less is more. It is easy to navigate through a blog that doesn't have a cluttered layout. I like simplicity and I wanted that to show in my blog.

My posts will be easy to access for viewers because they are centered. I'm assuming we will not have photos to post so I picked a blog theme that goes well with text.