Each month I interview an inspiring lady boss about she uses social media to grow her business. This month I am happy to welcome my friend and talented ceramicist, Lindsay Emery of Suite One Studio, to share her Social Media Maven story. Over the past few years, I have been a witness to her hard work and watched her business flourish and grow to where it is today. If you are not familiar with Lindsay’s work, I’m excited to share it with you today.
Tell us about your biz, Suite One Studio.
My business, Suite One Studio, is a handmade ceramics company focused on porcelain tableware with bright, watercolor glazes and genuine gold, bringing a feminine aesthetic to handmade pottery. I started Suite One Studio in 2009 while in college, and full disclosure I didn’t have a clear plan but I worked hard. My business has grown tremendously over the past few years and social media has been central to that growth. I now restock the Suite One Studio shop weekly, every Tuesday at 7 PM EST, with the latest batch of handmade porcelain fresh from the kiln. The inventory quickly sells out each week. Partnering with Anthropologie, we just released a new exclusive collection of commercially produced items that I designed collaboratively with their team, an exciting extension of the Suite One Studio vision.
What 3 words would you use to describe the your business?
Growing, Modern, Feminine.
What social media accounts do you use for business and what are your favorite platforms?
Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat (@suiteonestudio), as well as a newsletter and blog. Instagram is my favorite because of the fantastic community and the visual nature of this sharing platform. These two factors work to my strengths and I’ve worked to grow a strong following of interested and engaged people through my colorful tableware images.
What is your social media strategy? How do you use social media?
I’ve always loved social media for the visibility it can offer an independent business. Without an advertising budget, even brand-new companies can find followers and interact with potential customers simply by showing up on social media. My primary strategy is to be present. I love looking for new accounts to follow, and learning about better ways to share my interests, promote follows and sales, and utilizing multiple social media channels helps me achieve these goals. I use each platform in a slightly different way, rather than sharing the same thing over and over again.
Here’s my general breakdown: Instagram is my outreach for beautifully styled photos, little behind the scenes thoughts about running a business, and being a person working to achieve some sort of work life balance with this business that has incredibly grown (in large parts thanks to social media). Twitter is primarily a stream of our favorite links on the web related to tableware, food and entertaining, which fall under the Suite One Studio mantra: Making Mealtimes Beautiful. Pinterest is all inspiration, all day. I pin tons of dining and entertaining pins, but home decor is a major source of inspiration for me, so there’s plenty of interior design pinning too. Facebook isn’t a very dynamic source for me, so I simply use that as a place to share my Instagram photos and blog updates. Snapchat is a mix of everything that happens in my life, so you’ll definitely see my pets, places I’m traveling, studio mishaps and whatever else I feel like sharing. I keep Snapchat low pressure and less structured than my other accounts, which has been really fun!
What social media accounts do you love?
I have so many and they’re all on Instagram. I’m super visual so striking imagery grabs me more than words ever do. These are a few of my favorites: @rebeccaatwood, @karinevanasse (you may recognize her from TV, but she has a distinctive skill for black and white photography. I love a hidden talent! ), @amaryllistruth, @iamlaurajackson, @eddieross and @libbiesummers.
What are you proud of? What do you wish you did better?
I’m very proud of my Instagram following and really feel connected to the images I post and the people I engage with there. I’m not very interested in my Facebook account, partly because I’ve watched that site change so much over the years and it has become a place where the more you pay the more you’re rewarded and I don’t jive with that sort of thinking when it comes to social media. I prefer the free accessibility of direct connection for my social media, thank you very much. So while I don’t know if I wish I did that better, I do wish I felt better about that platform, which would probably enable me to do better there.
What tools do you use to help schedule and plan social media?
I use IFTT to share my Instagram images automatically on Twitter and Pinterest, and Lauren, a recent addition to the Suite One Studio team is great about preloading tweets into Buffer to help that run more effortlessly for us.
What advice would you share with other lady bosses?
You don’t have to be on every platform, and you don’t have to use them all the same way, but you should definitely snag your business name on all the channels so that you have the same handle throughout the social world. Find out which platforms you most enjoy, and work to develop a clear voice and style there. People are drawn to authenticity. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it shows, and why put yourself through that anyways? It’s much better to find the enjoyment and then cultivate community there.