Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Social Media for Retailers

I often think I stumble my way through life, tripping and falling by accident into some of the best things that have happened to me. My mother would probably say that it's no accident; the things, and more importantly the people, that we need present themselves to us as we need them. Or maybe she'd say we draw them to us. Or that we are guided to them. I'm not sure. Anyway. The course of my life does not follow the straight line of someone who knows where they're going and how to get there; it follows the meandering course of someone blindly blundering along, tripping over obstacles and falling face first into opportunities.

Take copywriting, for instance. I started this blog because I was bored out of my skull at my last job. I killed a lot of time playing online games. Eventually I became bored with those and began looking for other ways to fill my day. One of those ways was reading blogs. The more I read, the more I wanted to start my own. So I did.

Over the same period of time, my on-again, off-again relationship with my sister turned on again. She works for an online retailer of children's furniture and toys. The company had its product descriptions and other copywriting needs met by another company that, as I recall, was using Pakistani contractors. As non-native English speakers, their work was... Well, anyway, my sister's bosses began to gather together their own stable of copywriters, and my sister suggested that I might be a good addition. She pointed them to my blog, and they contacted me.

I was shocked. I had no experience with copywriting. I knew nothing (and know very little) about Search Engine Optimization or keyword placement. I have no background in any kind of marketing or advertising or in otherwise trying to convince people to buy something. But they began sending me work anyway. And I guess I'm giving them what they want, because they continue to send me work. I'm still stunned when I stop and think, "Huh. I'm a copywriter. I'll be damned..."

Recently, they expressed an interest in using Twitter and Facebook to enhance their operations, and they asked me if I was interested in doing it for them. They asked me to write a proposal on how to implement it.

Huh? Me? OK, I'm interested. I use Twitter and Facebook. But a proposal? I was thinking more along the lines of you tell me what you want, and I do it. I don't know nothin' 'bout no Social Media for Retailers. I can't imagine why someone who just purchased some nursery furniture would want to follow on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook of the company that sold it to him, which makes it hard to write a proposal.

So I asked the one person that I could think of that would know something about it, the brilliant suttonhoo from detritus. I knew she was some kind of big wheel in some company that did something about online retailing. More importantly, I knew she was much smarter than me. Or I. Or whatever.

stumble trip, it turns out that when she's jetting all over the country like she does, one of the things she's doing, when she's not living well and writing thought-provoking and sometimes heart-rending poetry and prose and taking beautiful pictures, is giving presentations on just this very subject. She gets quoted in Internet Retailer in articles titled "Going Social." This is, like, what she does. And she's helping me out, just because she's nice like that, with all kinds of info of which I've only just begun to scratch the surface.

So, very many big thanks, Ms. Hoo. I just scrabble for whatever revenue streams I can find to help support this at-home dad gig that I love so much. I appreciate you trying to help me look like maybe I know what the hell I'm talking about.


suttonhoo said...

you goof -- thanks for making me look so good. ;) we still need to talk! so sorry -- I've been a wreck with deadlines and tomorrow I'm daytripping -- expect a call freighted with background airport noises and feel free to give me a shout when you have a minute free.

talk to you soon!

Purelight said...

Yes, you've got it right there in paragraph one. You've paid more attention to me than I thought! And thank you for the link, every little bit helps.

anniemcq said...

I love that you get to do this! And I love that through the quirks and twists and turns of the internet, our Ms. Hoo is providing some insight. Perfect.

I, Rodius said...

Ms. Hoo - I'm a little intimidated to call you because I'm still trying to read and re-read what you sent me. I don't think I'm qualified to have a conversation with you on this yet!

Anytime, Ma!

Ms. McQ, it would be fun if I got to do it. Better than writing product descriptions. Maybe I can get some free sample products out of it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails