Aug 5, 2011


How a thirty minute social media marketing consultation with Joanna and Kathleen led me from ‘like’ to ‘love’.

I’ll admit it. I want to be liked.

‘Like’ in the facebook sense of the word, of course. But not just for validation. Because I’ve experienced the Power of Like.  

Actually, if it weren’t for social media, my project, Boy Sees Hearts wouldn’t exist.   My heart collecting mission started a year ago when I began photographing hearts in nature, food and garbage. When I shared them on facebook, I started seeing more, posting more and making art.

And then others started seeing hearts.

The response blew me away: Features on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Aha Life, Beliefnet and others inspired Boy Sees Hearts to grow from something interesting to something that impacts lives: Charitable giving, meaningful elementary school visits and a children’s book project repped by the inimitable Joanna Stampfel-Volpe.

Recently--when my social media platform started to plateau--Joanna suggested we enlist the expertise of social media empress (and Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Sub-Rights Director and Agent), Kathleen Ortiz.

That brainstorming conference call thirty days ago jolted me from social media stagnation to new levels of Tweet Cred:

First a church.
Then a Real Housewife of New Jersey.
Then, the Mommies. 

(Hearts discovered by Boy Sees Hearts facebook fans)

My revamped social media outreach inspired a connection with Marie, a new facebook fan who informed me that her pastor recently led a Boy Sees Hearts-themed sermon at First Lutheran of Blooming Prairie in Minnesota.

Soon after that, a twitter shout-out from Real Housewife of New Jersey, Fabulicious Theresa Guidice:

Then, two prominent Mom-Blogs, Design Mom and Cool Mom Picks featured Boy Sees Hearts in a twenty four-hour period.

Oh, and my stats skyrocketed. Within thirty days of our brainstorming session my facebook ‘likes’ increased two thousand percent and my twitter followers more than doubled.

By no means am I a social media guru, but here are five tips I’d love to share from my thirty day Extreme Makeover: Social Media Edition:

1.     Talk to people.

Tell your friends what you want to do. Brainstorm with them.  Implement the best ideas.

2.     Do what you’re doing, better.

Are you truly connecting with your audience? Kathleen made a really insightful comment: ‘You’re replying with one-word answers.’ Start a dialogue.

3.     Do what you’re doing, elsewhere.

Joanna liked what I was doing on tumblr and urged me to do more. “Why not try flickr?”  Awesome tip. Kathleen suggested foursquare, where I could post hearts for others to discover. Another great idea.

4.     Step out of your comfort zone.

Find small ways to reach new audiences. I discovered that a slight expansion of my sphere of influence paid off big time.

Have you resisted contests and giveaways because they seemed tacky? Maybe there’s a way you can do them elegantly.

5.     Give your fans a reason to like you.

Create compelling content.…and give away free stuff.

The Boy Sees Hearts Sweepstakes generated a significant number of likes and followers. I found that Wildfire is a great contest app that can be incorporated into facebook and twitter.

Aside from escalating likes, steadily-increasing followers and housewives (Real and otherwise)--for me--the best thing about social media is how it encourages collaboration. If executed well, social media can not only create dialogue, but foster the creative process.

What are some social media practices that have worked well for your platform? I’d love to hear your ideas.

After all, I don’t just want to be liked.

…I want to be loved!

Enter the Boy Sees Hearts Sweepstakes

UPDATE NOTE: In the week since this was written, he is gained another 1000 followers!!! - JoSV


Christina Lee said...

Wowee, very cool (and you got me thinking)! I am now a follower on Twitter!

Take care!

Ninetwelve said...

This is an excellent post- I use the same common sense approach to social media management with my clients. No one joined Twitter (or any social network) to be marketed to. They joined to socialize.

Your time has a value. If you are putting any time into your social media make sure you're getting the best return on investment possible.

Tiffany Garner said...

That's very cool :) Thanks for all the great tips! Congratulations on your success!

Boy Sees Hearts said...

So nice to hear from you guys! I love how this blog post re: social media facilitated the introduction. I shall follow you, too. -Eric

Boy Sees Hearts said...

PS: Theresa loved blogpost...

@Teresa_Guidice: If you haven't seen this site, it's amazing: Love that he looks for ♥s everywhere. Now I'm doing it too!

Sally said...

Thanks for the social media tips. I found Boy Sees Hearts through the social media pipeline and immediately shared with my Facebook friends and Etsy friends.

Boy Sees Hearts said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Sally.

Sally Lotz Spratt shared Boy Sees Hearts with her followers via a heart-themed Etsy page, compiling a collection of artists using hearts:

This could be a great idea for authors to connect with like-minded groups. If you write about sharks, do a round-up of cool shark creations! Shark pillows. Shark posters. Shark-tooth jewelry. (Can you tell I've been Shark Weeked?)

(Flickr allows you to join groups as well).

Thanks again, Sally for sharing the love and inspiring this great idea.

storyqueen said...

I really liked Kathleen's comment to you about creating a conversation. That is what I most appreciate about the internet--the interaction and conversations.

And I found a heart on the way to Yosemite, in the shadows of the mountains, and I thought of all you are doing to make the world a better place.


Boy Sees Hearts said...

Shelly - That's so incredibly kind of you to say.

Wasn't that a great tip from Kathleen? I didn't realize I was broadcasting rather than engaging. Her simple observation made a big difference.

...I have a feeling you'll see lots more hearts, so please snap some pics and share!


Rebecca Bany said...

Found ya on fb & twitter! Liked/follwing!

Anne R. Allen said...

Great tips. I just checked out Wildfire and tried to join, but you have to list your "company." Does that mean your publisher, your book title, your name, or do they not want you if you don't work in a cube?

Livia said...

Wow, this is fantastic, creative, and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing!