1. Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all begin?
I’m Anna Reed, aka the Social Media & Marketing Strategist at betsy & iya, a handcrafted jewelry line and retail shop in NW Portland, OR. I like to say that my job is part storyteller, part documentarian, part brand ambassador. Simply, I manage all of our social media outlets including our blog, create copy for email newsletters & other promotions, take photos, and work with our team to plan events.
It all began for betsy & iya when Betsy Cross founded the company after taking up jewelry making in 2008. Her designs took off, both in Portland and in other boutiques around the country, and in 2010, her husband Will Cervarich joined Betsy as her business partner & Director of Development. Together, they opened the flagship store and production studio in 2011, while continuing to build a far-reaching wholesale business. Last year, we completed an expansion project that doubled the size of our space (and is beautiful- come visit!).
It all began for me here in August 2013. I first met Betsy & Will through a freelance writing gig in 2010, and became a superfan not only of Betsy’s killer jewelry, but of the two of them as individuals and partners. betsy & iya is now a team of 16 people & 2 pups.
2. Where can we find you on social media?
3. What is your favorite hashtag?
#MakerMonday is my favorite because we started using it about a year and a half ago for our videos on Instagram that show our followers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of betsy & iya jewelry. Now, the hashtag has several other makers involved in posting things each week related to their products & processes, and I think the community created by that maker bond is really special.
My second favorite is #betsyandiyalife, because that’s what we tag all of our photos of us having fun at work (which often involve dogs & sweet treats- not together, though ;-) )
4. Why do you use social media?
Connection. My bosses encourage me to tell a story in the majority of what I post, and that makes people feel more like they care about us and what we do. People are bombarded by ads all day long; we want to give our followers a reason to love us & keep following us by posting quality content that connects them to us & our brand. We want people to feel like they can just be themselves when interacting with us because they know who we are as b&i and also a bit as individuals, too.
5. Which tools do you use for creating or posting content?
This is going to read like an Apple ad, but my iPhone, work iPad, and iMovie are the tools I use the most.
6. What effect does social media have on your business?
Definitely a positive one. It’s broadened our reach and given us the ability to add even more value to our products. By that I mean when someone purchases betsy & iya jewelry or something from our shop, it’s more than just a retail expenditure; it’s buying from people they know & trust.
7. How do you measure success on social media?
That’s tough sometimes, especially on Facebook where it’s nearly impossible to reach people without paying for visibility. That said, success is when we see not only a lot of likes on a post, but also several comments. The times I read really enthusiastic comments or see people tagging their friends so they’ll see something we’ve posted, that’s when I know I’ve done something right.
8. What aspect of social media do you find most challenging?
Remaining at the top of people’s minds. There’s SO MUCH noise out there and we want to make sure we’re offering something different, in a good way.
9. What makes you follow another brand back?
Consistent and frequent posting. Colorful and diverse subject matter.
10. Which brands have social media you admire?
11. Any advice for other brands just getting started on social media?
Build a library of content so you always have something waiting to push out. Develop a schedule, but don’t always stick to it. Many of our most popular posts are off the cuff, “in the moment” glimpses into what we do. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things! I am lucky to feel supported by my bosses and like I have the freedom to learn from my mistakes (because those happen, no matter what!). Above all, trust your gut. That comes from Betsy, who always reminds me that if something doesn’t feel like us, or if I’m just posting for the sake of posting, it’s not worth the time.