March 16, 2012

From Solo Artist to Social Media Sensation

by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

The toilet would not stop running. Certain my husband would be proud of my prudence, I shut off the water. Hours later I forgot and used that commode. Rather than congratulations, I received a lesson in plumbing maintenance. Despite my best efforts, I had done the opposite of what was needed.

Social media can be like that. You work and work certain you're on the right path but see no real results of your efforts. One of the most effective and underutilized social media techniques is to forge a group. With extra voices singing in your choir, your message is more likely to be heard.

For the last two Fridays, we've been exploring the value of teaming up with others for Social Media promotion. The first week we determined what qualities make an effective group. Last Friday we learned some places to find your fellow teammates. Today I have the privilege of interviewing the founder of one of the most dynamic social media sites. Please help me welcome Lexie Lane of VoiceBoks.

Shannon: Where did you come up with the idea for VoiceBoks?

Lexie: I purchased the domain name for another website idea I had. Then one day, I thought of The Voice of Motherhood and it just fit! 

Shannon: How many members did you start with? How did you solicit them? Did you know them prior?
Lexie: I started with three who were members of my pregnancy blog. Then I joined Mom Bloggers Club, Bloggy Moms, and Social Moms, and realized that there were a few things missing in those communities. So I applied the gaps to voiceBoks.
Shannon: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a social media tribe?

Lexie: Get to know that social media really well and stick to it. There are so many networks out there that it can get really overwhelming, especially if you're a one man (or woman) band. Most of us are, so we need to make the best use of our time by concentrating on one area until we become experts of that area. "Jack of all trades, but expert of none" will make anyone crazy, especially after you realize you're doing a lot of work for nothing.  Stick to 2, 3, or 4 tops. Anymore than that and your family time suffers.
Shannon: What is your top social media tip for groups?

Lexie: Reciprocate. People will listen and pay attention when they know you're doing the same. If you ignore them, they will start to ignore you as well. 

Shannon: What has been the most gratifying part of leading your own tribe?

Lexie: The response I get. My testimonials are only a small part of why I do what I do. Being able to help others and them know that I do, makes it all worth it.
Shannon: What has been the biggest challenge?

Lexie: So many. I have learned a lot about SEO, Social Media, Web design, etc. on my own. When my site suffers from loss of data, lack of sufficient information, loss of traffic, etc., it makes me question what and why exactly I'm doing everything I'm doing.  

Shannon: What has been the #1 stimulant for the growth of your site?

Lexie: The members. I have been extremely blessed to have such a wonderful group of members who actually participate and do as they promise. They are also very loyal to the community.
In addition, certain events such as those that help teach members about social media, SEO, backlinks, etc. Group events such as Members to Remember, Twitter Face Share Time, and many others are also very helpful.
Shannon: Share anything else you think someone starting a group would find useful. :)

Lexie: It's hard work and dedication. You will go through ups and downs just as anything in life, but anyone who truly succeeds will tell you that the only honest way you can get to the top is if you never give up. 

Thank you, Lexie, for all this great insight into how to develop and grow and social media group. Whether you're looking for a few close friends or a whole posse, implement Lexie's wisdom and you'll be on your way from solo artist to social media sensation!

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