This post is the first in a new, semi-regular series of entries called Social Media in Action. My goal with the series is to share my favorite examples of organizations using social media effectively. To start, I wanted to highlight local monster creators Belua Designs.
Sarah Bourque makes handmade monsters from new socks and recycled wool sweaters, scrap buttons and felt. Each monster is unique, and sells for between $20 and $50. Sarah makes up to about 50 monsters per week and in addition to selling via Etsy, usually has a table at the many local Farmers’ Markets and craft fairs.
For the last few months, she’s also been writing a blog. Writing about sewing probably isn’t the most fascinating topic in the world, and Sarah seems to understand that. Instead, she tells a story with almost every post, and generally keeps the blog focused on the monsters. It’s engaging, and it keeps me subscribed. Many readers look forward to Fremly’s Friday Favorites – a weekly series of posts highlighting Sarah’s mascot monster and other local designers (here’s my favorite entry).
Sharon and I are both big fans of the blog (she gets so excited to find out what Fremly is up to – she loves her own monster too), so I asked Sarah a few questions about it.
How long have you been blogging, and why did you decide to start a blog?
I started my blog just after Christmas last year. I always wanted a website but kept putting it off because I felt it would be expensive and time consuming. After doing a bit of research into the blog world I realized it was the perfect way for me to go. It was very easy to set-up, it had all the elements I was looking for and it was free (which is always a bonus!).
How do you decide when and what to post?
I try to post 3 times a week. I’ve been pretty good about it although I must admit when things get really busy I don’t post as often. I keep my blog monster related so I usually feature a monster a week and talk about upcoming shows.
What kind of feedback have you received? Do you think the blog is effective?
I think the blog is very effective and the feedback has been great. I really noticed it after I injured my finger after a sewing accident (yes, that can happen!). I was at a craft show and a few different people came up and asked me how my finger was doing. It caught me off guard until I realized that my blog was actually being read. It’s always nice when people can feel a more personable connection with the creator of something they just purchased.
Do you use Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media services to promote your business – why or why not?
I take advantage of as many social media services as possible. My blog has a link to my Twitter, business Facebook fan page, Fremly’s personal Facebook page, Flickr and my shop on Etsy. I think it’s really important to have everything connected from one main source otherwise it could get a bit confusing. I have found them all to be really effective and a great way to stay in touch with customers.
I think Sarah has done a number of things really well with the blog. She posts regularly, and consistently. She has a good mix of updates on the business and stories about the monsters. Most importantly, she’s gotten creative with the personalities of the monsters. You can tell when you read the blog that she’s having fun!
Check out Belua Designs if you haven’t already – it’ll put a smile on your face!