Kieffer Ceramics

An Advanced Ceramics Studio: Keiffer Ceramics 

Kristen Kieffer is a full-time studio potter and sole-proprietor of Kieffer Ceramics based in Massachusetts. Ms. Kieffer’s primary form is functional pottery with a Victorian modern twist. Kristen Kieffer is influenced by the 18th Century service pieces, Nouveau illustrations, and even contemporary cakes. The Kieffer Ceramics on-line gallery showcase displays the same quality as her Etsy Shop (exhibit 1) and museum pieces (exhibit 2) seen below:

Exhibit One

KiefferGallery 1
Image Provided by Kieffer Ceramics

 

Exhibit Two

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Image Provided by Kieffer Ceramics

Cross Channel Promotion on Social Media Platforms

Kristen Kieffer is not a typical potter. Most concentrate on only the production side of their profession and not the social side of ceramics. Within the ceramic industry, Ms. Kieffer is known not only for her quality pieces but for the remarkable way she has been able to promote herself as a brand in social media. Ms. Kieffer maintains an extensive website, a monthly blog, an e-newsletter, and postings on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Ms. Kieffer has made it easy for the consumer to connect with her through cross-promotions of these digital platforms which also increases her discoverability. The consumer and fans of Kieffer Ceramics can see that within Facebook and Twitter, Ms. Kieffer is posting the same type of material such as announcements with reciprocal links between both channels. A Kieffer Ceramic’s blog viewer and follower can read within a blog about a ceramic topic, which then links this person to Kristen Kieffer Ceramic Etsy store.

Ceramic Branding

Ms. Kieffer has been able to provide some of the best social media practices such as the expansive social media presence mention above; additional practices which impact her social media efforts include consistent branding, relevant content, and building social relationships through engagement. Whether on her blog, her social media channels, or in her Etsy store, Ms. Kieffer has been able to visually and consistently represent her brand with the same type of photographs emphasizing her style of work and personality as seen above. Her content is relevant to the ceramic industry as well as collectors of the style of pottery she offers. Ms. Kieffer explains ceramic processes she uses, new techniques she brings to the studio, and valuable tips which provides a value added to consumers and fellow potters when visiting her digitally. Ms. Kieffer responds to mentions, questions, and comments encouraging on-going engagement. Her blogs are often of current ceramic topics which demonstrates she is listening to what the social media community is talking about.

Ms. Kieffer presents the same clear headers and backgrounds across the different digital media channels building a consistent brand image. Within the digital platforms, Ms. Kieffer offers relevant ceramic content, which she creates as well as shares from other notable potter or ceramic industry companies. Ms. Kieffer maintains up-to-date conversations with followers and consumers as well as demonstrates listening and observing on the social landscape. Ms. Kieffer has established how maintaining an expansive social media presence through cross-channel promotion has a direct impact on discoverability, engagement, brand awareness, and return on investment. Click here to own on of Ms. Kieffers ceramic pieces.

 

Clay, Blog, Tweet

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            Clay flows naturally. The feel of moist de-aired stoneware being manipulated by my fingers, awakens me. The smell of wet earth saturates my soul and elicits me to listen to the clay body. As I slowly pull the malleable form from the left lower bottom, the energy between my fingers and the clay gently guides me along the inner thigh, over the slightly curved belly, and finally gliding up to the neck of a now ceramic berry bowl. Clay seduces me. So do words. My traditional approach of using a medium blue ball point pen embracing the white writing paper engenders fluidly with a soothing current rushing with salacious content. Words impassion me when my fingers frolic across the laptop keyboard with a click chasing echo, enticing readers with the slightest familiar visual touch, the breeze of a seasoned woman’s inflection, and the well-crafted sound of strong punctuation. Taking clay and transposing it into words is like developing a blog for me with a ceramic twist. Clay blogging implores tweeting. And Twitter, a micro blog (Rogers, 2012), puts my clay in the hands of the reader.

A rubber band snuggly keeps the clay bag sealed from the Florida humidity. Before I take to a 2” wedge of clay, I determine the goal of its form. Like blogging, I focus on what I want to announce or produce. I research and listen to what my competitors are creating (Li & Bernoff, 2011). I etch out a plan targeting a season, a celebration, a purpose for the consumer to purchase perhaps my berry bowls in various colors. Like in blogging, I “ask for participation” (Jantsch) on the style, are they too short or too wide? I invite feedback on color combinations, are they too bright or too dull? I organize my space, my time allotted for the project, and then, I begin. I construct the berry bowl. After glazing and firing the bowls in the kiln, I list them on my Extrudergirl shop. Just like in my blog, I give the reader a visual focal point to accompany my words (Egan, 2015). I display the completed piece with a crisp eye catching photo to lure the Etsy viewer to buy it.  Like the personalization of content in a blog (Sprung, 2015), the mark of the potter can be seen and felt. The Etsy buyer can appreciate the quality of the craftsmanship as they unpack the berry bowl from the box and it is in their hands.

I often hear quality is better than quantity (Schaefer, 2012). This is especially true when it comes to clay and tweets. I could cheaply mass produce my ceramic pieces but it would diminish the level of expertise it takes to create the bowl, choose the correct color combination, and dazzling presentation on the Extrudergirl shop. This focus on quality starts with the name for a berry bowl or a headline for a tweet. The description of the ceramic piece or the main topic keywords of a tweet should be in the first three to five words (Schaefer, 2012); “red berry bowl” doesn’t capture an audience like my “Handmade Fifth Avenue Christmas Red Ceramic Berry Bowl”. Engaging content can capture a buyer or lose the viewer. With a 140 characters for a tweet on Twitter (Jantsch), it is a little harder and exemplifies the craft of listening to what followers like and want. I recently tweeted the following which achieved 67 Twitter Impressions:

TopTweet

This meant that 67 people were interactive or engaged with the Tweet (Doctor, 2013). On the listing page of my berry bowl, I am not as limited to specific characters. However, I want to swiftly engage the consumer with clever wordage and provide a purpose for them to buy the bowl as noted below:

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If  “tweeps” (Schaefer, 2012), fellow twitters, send me a direct message on Twitter or  a consumer starts a conversation with me on my Etsy account about the berry bowl, it is imperative to have a “timely response” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Good communication delivers authenticity and demonstrates that you are listening to the consumer and your tweeps.

            Clay, blog, tweet is a powerful combination that has helped me and fellow potters build our personal professional brand identity and acknowledgement of expertise. Potters can reach an audience with not just their ceramic pieces but words about clay production, life as a potter, and ceramic technical information (Schwartz, 2015). The ceramic world has a vast presence on Twitter. With the use of hashtags, Twitter networking, lead generation, and a platform for quick product development feedback, Twitter can get the potter back in the studio and not consumed by the social media landscape. A consumer can look at my berry bowl and recognize the quality once they own it. A reader can read my blog and become engrossed with the craft of my words; and Twitter followers can retweet my context that they like. I implore . . . clay, blog, tweet, repeat. It works.

Works Cited

Doctor, V. (2013, July 13). Understanding Twitter Impressions: Why Are They Important? Retrieved from Hashtags.org: https://www.hashtags.org/platforms/twitter/understanding-twitter-impressions-why-are-they-important/

Egan, J. (2015, 1 6). 9 Tips for Making Your Blog Better in 2015. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-egan/9-tips-for-making-your-bl_b_6397640.html

Herzog, A. (2014, 2 24). 10 Best Practices for Tweeting in 2014. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-herzog/10-best-practices-for-twitter_b_4834232.html

Jantsch, J. (n.d.). Let’s Talk Social Media for Small Business. Retrieved from Duct Tape Marketing: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/socialmediaforbusiness.pdf

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Rogers, J. (2012, April 5). The Social Media MBS: Part 3: Social Media Landscape. Retrieved from Maximize Social Business: http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/social-media-mba-part-3-social-media-landscape-6443/

Schaefer, M. (2012). The Tao of Twitter. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schwartz, B. (2015, Jan 3). Top Pottery Blogs 2014. Retrieved from Pottery Making Info: http://www.potterymakinginfo.com/news/top-pottery-blogs-2014/

Sprung, R. (2015, 1 15). 4 Ways to Create an Engaging Blog Experience. Retrieved from Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/create-engaging-blog-experience/#more-76151