Chances are if you are currently reading this post – you are a fan of Little Pea’s Facebook page or perhaps follow @LittlePeaTweets so I can only assume you are on the up and up in the realm of social networking. A year ago, these concepts were relatively unknown to me (shock, gasp!). Of course, I had heard of them, dabbled with Facebook to stay in touch with friends but never really thought these outlets would become a part of my daily routine. However, as I embarked on the all encompassing journey that is Little Pea I found that these tools were a necessary and extremely useful component of my marketing strategy. Hence I dove right in – set up the accounts, daily updating, linking to press, posting current news, and befriending like minded businesses. I can honestly say that under this regime the business has flourished. Greater hits to the site, purchases on the online store, and the nurturing of business relationships. All a gradual progression of course (it takes time and energy!!) but a successful one and I couldn’t be more excited about the business results.
The slightly unexpected result of entering the realm of virtual networking are the friendships and connections I have made. You see, I have always been a people person. In my past life (before Little Pea) part of what motivated me to go to work every morning was the interaction I had with other people. I have always worked in sourcing and development for design and manufacturing companies. Creative environments, full of savvy, smart, and assertive individuals and I loved it. I really, really loved it – my peers were often women, some became mentors, and many became friends. I have seen these women progress in their careers, start businesses, get married, have children. To this day, I still foster these relationships.
When I made the decision to start Little Pea, I severely underestimated how much I would miss those daily interactions. You see, for me being a business owner is a little like being on an island. I work from a home office, often just me and my computer, surrounded by sketches and fabric swatches and to be quite frank I miss having people around. I miss the daily interaction and the immediate feedback you get from working in an office (with other people). That is where Facebook and Twitter come into play. I have been so fortunate to have befriended so many wonderful and talented people on these social networking platforms. Many of the individuals who I have connected with, like me are business owners – we share experiences, provide feedback, and serve as each other cheerleaders. At first, it was all about building the business, making the right connections but as I have gotten to know some of these individuals I strongly feel these “virtual” relationships become more than a business function. I check out their fan pages and tweets, read their blog posts and do what I can to provide useful commentary, promote their successes, and provide general encouragement and support. In using these platforms, I do feel I’ve reclaimed some of the social dynamic which I thought I had lost when starting my owne company.
So in closing, dear readers – am I totally off base in this? How do you feel your personal life has been enriched by Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear your thoughts!!