Choosing social media networks: Marketing the #PhillyMakerFaire

Marketing the Faire 

In late March I took on a volunteer position as Head of Marketing for the first ever Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire "a volunteer-organized, family-friendly celebration featuring local do-it-yourself science, art, robots, crafts, tech, music, hands-on-activities, and more. It’s an event where people show what they are making and share what they are learning" says the official site. My first goal was to extend our reach through social networking.

When I first took on this role, we had a Twitter account and a Facebook page. 

Seems good enough, why do more? My answer always is that your online presence should be where your customers are, and we want to reach everyone! Well not really, but since the event is brand new, building a community and a brand is a huge part of the task. 

Of course, not all platforms are appropriate for everyone, but I do encourage you to use any that are appropriate for your business. For #PhillyMakerFaire I have set up a comprehensive, cohesive social network presence.

Inserting a shameless plug for the Faire on June 24th at Pennovation Works! Buy tickets. Follow us. Share it. Like it. Pin it. Re-tweet. Love it.

Just. Do. It!

8 social network icons arranged around 3 centered questions marks.

How do you pick which social networks are best for you?

Facebook: Facebook is still the king of the social networks, in spite of recent controversies. If you only make one social network, Facebook would be a good option.
If there can be only one. Choose Facebook.

Instagram: If you make anything physical, you should definitely get on Instagram and share beautiful photos of your work. Every photo tells a story, and Instagram is perfect to tell yours. 
Best for visual creators: artists, photographers, builders, crafters, makers, architects, designers

Pinterest: Another visual social network, but with an emphasis on collections. If you craft or DIY, consider a Pinterest account.
Best for gathering and sharing visual information: DIY, crafters, makers, builders

Twitter: It's a great all around network for visual and written content, but if writing's your thing, you should be on Twitter.
Best for wordsmiths: writers, bloggers, comedians, poets

G+: Google plus hasn't lived up to it's potential, but if you have a physical location, you should claim your Business and set up the corresponding brand page on Google. Help your customers find you and make sure your contact information and hours are always up-to-date.
Best for business: brick-and-mortar, eCommerce, B2B, service providers

YouTube: Video is an engaging way to reach your audience and YouTube is the more social video hosting platform. Choose YouTube for video unless you're a filmmaker or animator, Vimeo would be the better choice.
Best for: DIY, vloggers, social video

Yelp: Yelp is the modern day BBB, you should definitely take the steps to claim your Yelp page and interact with the reviews -- both positive and negative. Another place to keep your hours and contact information up-to-date.
Best for business: brick-and-mortar, service providers, B2B, hospitality

NextDoor: After G+ and Yelp, I would claim your NextDoor business page so that neighbors can recommend you,  and tag you in network. 
Best for business: brick-and-mortar, service providers - especially home improvement, B2B 

LinkedIn: B2B and other service providers should be on LinkedIn. It's an excellent network for connecting with other business as well as for finding great candidates for your team.
Best for business: B2B, freelance, professional services

All the social networks could fill a small book, so I'll stop here. Vimeo is great for filmmakers, Flickr for photographers, Houzz for architects, GitHub for programmers, and there are a huge range of industry specific social networks.

Next Steps

Building a cohesive brand; look your best online.

Follow this blog over the next few weeks and I'll share what I'm learning about reaching out to the press, social media automation, managing a project with dozens of volunteers, and working with an amazing design team, two passionate founders, and marketing partners who have provided excellent guidance and structure. 

Expand your social presence today!