a thrift store lesson in social
Real story: I love shopping at Goodwill. Some people (mostly me) refer to me as the Thrift Store Queen. It’s not about money. It’s about the experience. It’s about the thrill of finding the perfect turquoise members only–style pleather jacket in perfect condition or a beautiful London Fog trench coat.
It’s about wandering the aisles and wondering why someone thought it would be a good idea to make a latch hook rug wall decoration with a scene of the desert in neutral beige. I’m fascinated by why something was manufactured and then purchased. Made and gifted. How did that item come to be in existence, come to a person’s home, and then be donated to an organization?
You can learn a lot about social media in a thrift store.
You might not think about used books and CDs in the same category as marketing. After all, if there’s a place that’s more low rent in terms of atmosphere, it’s hard to imagine what that would be. Not exactly the type of branded, beautiful, and impactful social media profiles we’re trying to build, correct? I wouldn’t dismiss the analogy quite yet. Here are a few key marketing lessons you can find right next to the 7/8ths complete table settings and suitcases from the 1970s.
Get your process in place.
If you are a thrift store connoisseur, you know there’s a process to finding the best “one man’s trash.” For example, my thrift friends and I have our routes mapped out depending on what we’re looking for. Know which sources you can use for the best guides, eBooks, videos, blog posts, and quotes. It never hurts to get some technology involved, from ITTT to Buffer. There are a lot of content-sharing resources available for every social media site. If you start your curation plan now, it will soon be second nature and a great way to continue to build social profiles that provide continual value.
Then It’s Time to Up-Cycle!
Once you find content that you feel your end user will find valuable, it’s time to share away. I cannot stress this enough: YOU NEED TO GIVE CREDIT TO THE ORIGNAL SOURCES. It’s appropriate to tag and hashtag the author and business. For example, if I find a great eBook, I will say:
“Check out this awesome guide on XYZ by @JohnDoe via @BrandThatPublishedTheInfo. #JohnDoe #BrandThatPublishedTheInfo”
This does a couple of things. First, it’s the ethical choice to make for work that’s not yours. Period. Second, it actually helps get you in front of their target market. Followers of their tag and people who search for their hashtag have a better opportunity for finding your pages, AND the author/brand might give you a share, a like, a comment, or a retweet. If they are a thought-leading entity, this could mean amazing exposure for you. See?!? Being a good person can lead to awesome things!
Here’s a step that’s often overlooked in the whole curation process: add your own twist.
- Pull out a great quote or stat from the article
- Disagree or add an important thought to the piece
- Agree with the author and reinforce their points
This should happen in the body of your social post and follow all the other best practices for creating engaging social media. It forces you to actually read the entire article (something that’s easy to skip if you’re pressed for time), and it allows you to showcase your value as an expert in your field.
So that’s it.
This is how we learn important lessons about creating a social media plan at your local thrift store. Like every part of marketing, it takes a lot of trial and error before you get this process down pat. But it’s so worth it because it’s a way to find a lot of value for your target market.