Future Implications

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Humans have been creating with clay as early as 24,000 BC and functional pottery such as vessels for storing food and water has been noted as being present since 10,000 BC. This ability to create plates, bowls, and cups to use, trade, and sell makes ceramics one of the most ancient industries. The core of pottery: sculptural forms, decorative pieces, and functional ware have been re-invented time again. Even how potters have promoted their works, through traditional marketing tactics including word of mouth, trade, pictures, books, galleries, museums, have been consistent and one-sided. Today, digital marketing through a potter website, his or her blog, and social media channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, has widened exposure instantaneously and globally as well as a two-way form of communication. With changes in human behavior and technology, the ceramic industry will have move towards future trends such as mobile brand messaging, social media real life integration, and co-creating with brand advocates. These changes will generate financial and physical growth for company brands willing to evolve and participate.

Mobile Brand Messaging

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Just as industrial revolution ignited the forward movement for ceramics with the creation of electricity for safer and faster kiln firings increasing production drastically, the growth of smartphones is driving consumers into the hands of brands. Mobile brand messaging will enable personal interactions between brands and consumers. A new study about retail mobile messaging was released by OtherLevels documenting that messaging frequently, especially through a brand mobile application, can provoke the consumer to engage more with the brand. For instance, a potter can send a message announcing a holiday oriented promotion or offer app features such as list generation, product finder, and real time in stock inventory. By 2017, it is projected that over 50 percent of commerce will be conducted on mobile devices. This will result in the more a brand send messages, the more it will sell. As technology changes, options such as mobile wallet will take brand messaging one step further enabling the consumer to instantly by a product from a push message before he or she arrives at the brand store.

Real Life Integration

In the process of eliminating the gap between “technology” and “life”, social media will launch the opportunity to connect the consumer with the brand seamlessly. As advancements in technology rise, QR codes will Qr-2become more visually product enhanced. This means the QR code could launch product information instantly including features like product history, product reviews, social media friends and family members who have used the product, and suggested related products. This feature could boost brand transparency and consumer trust. BUY IT buttons will become more embedded in social media promotional ads on networks like Facebook. This would allow, for instance, a potter to collect revenue from social media channels, blog, e-commerce store, and mobile messaging.

Co-Creating with Brand Advocates

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In the ceramics industry, niche markets will excel. In a world where there is a plethora of product to choose from, potters, like brands, will need to stand out from each. By evaluating data from social media tools such as Google Analytics, and listening to consumer chatter with a dashboard monitor like Hootsuite, a brand will embrace co-creation. An example of co-creating is a potter makes a bowl. He or she evaluates keywords, search terms, and other data extracted from Google Analytics to design content to be used to promote the bowl on the social media landscape. Since about 25 percent of all branded search results are user-generated content, listening to and engaging with the consumer develops a partnership directly with the potter to co-create. This user generated content can lead the potter to develop product to fit exactly what the consumer needs, happier buyers, brand loyalty, and the potential of financial growth for the potter.

Ancient Concept

Personalization and brand experience are an ancient concept stemming back to the beginning of the ceramic industry. Traditional marketing strategies have reinvented themselves to a newer, more efficient, and engaging level with social media marketing. The change in human behavior to instantly connect with others and brands and the constant evolution of technology to accommodate consumer needs will allow for brands, like potters, to capitalize on trends including mobile brand messaging, social media real life integration, and co-creating with brand advocates. In the future, with a swipe of a finer across a smartphone, a buy-web-buttonconsumer can connect on the social media landscape, search for a bowl, learn about one he or she likes, press the BUY IT button, pay from his or her mobile wallet, and boast about the purchase on a social network in less time than it took for the potter to make, fire, and package the bowl.

Getting Dirty With Social Media Tools

Getting Dirty With Social Media Tools

I spend eight hours a day five days a week talking ceramics. After work, I come home and walk in the countryside of Florida a mile and a half with my toy fox terrier, Puppup. As eight o’clock rolls around, I crack open the laptop and start my Master’s Program term homework. On the weekends during the day, when my hands are not covered in moist clay, I might be packing up an order, designing new plates, or blending glazes to provoke that exclamation “Wow!” from the next group of wedding registry millennials on Etsy.

On nights that are raining and we are not walking, I am select Etsy shops for my next Treasury on Etsy. This shopping gallery of 16 featured Etsy stores pulls in viewers, favorites, and orders to my Etsy shop Extrudergirl. Once the Treasury is designed, I post a link to it on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. At the end of the month, I run a traffic source report to see which social media network is working for me as seen below*:

trafficsourceetsy

* (Etsy, 2015)

In trying to expand my marketing for Extrudergirl, I have started delve into Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Trying to maintain the different social media networks is time consuming even when I am not balancing work, home, a small business and school.  A month ago, I was introduced to a free social media management site called Hootsuite.  This program allows me to schedule my posts to a variety of social media networks. I can check daily, weekly and monthly scheduled posts making appropriate adjustments with one click.  I have new insight to my posts, followers and content with Twitter, Google Analytics and Ow.ly.  The reports created helped me make better decisions on content I was posting based on what my followers have been responding to (Hootsuite). The dashboard gives me a quick snap shot of my Twitter account when @Extrudergirl has been mentioned in a post, or I have been retweeted or liked as well as any current activity of those I am following.

A few days after Hootsuite, I came upon Klout. The Klout is tool that measures your presence on the social media landscape. When I first signed on my Klout score was an 18.94. I was disappointed. I had read that the average score is 40 and wanted to know how to achieve such notary (Klout, 2013). After following some very simple instructions on post content, time and volume, my Klout score increased within days. I held a new steady score of 48. Combining the results of Klout with Hootsuite helped me to decide to use Facebook for my personal use only and not my Extrudergirl ceramic business.

Using Hootsuite and Klout as my new social media tools for posting to my Twitter and Google+ account, I thought about an article I read by Cindy King where she talked about Social Mention (King, 2011) which tracks “and measures what people are saying about your company” (socialmention). This search reports specific keywords related to your company or products. This unique tool will help me be more conscious of words I wanted related to my Etsy store Extrudergirl when people do searches. I did a search of Extrudergirl. My name was linked to my blog, Extrudergirl, and the word ceramic as seen below.

socialmention

                This result was startling. I am new to the Hashtag world. Almost everyone has seen and a good handful of you have used the pound sign (#) with a word after it. I thought I would at least have something linked to #extrudergirl since I have been using that to tag pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In an article I recently read by Cindy King, she recommended Tagbound (King C. , 2015). Tagboard lets you see what is being said related to your hashtag across the social media landscape. I am hoping in the next three months as I expand my Twitter usage and remain consistent with blogging, that the hashtags will be measurable.

My Extrudergirl social media goal over the next three months is to increase my Klout Twitter Score, adding posts to my Google+, and use hashtags and keywords to drive followers, fans and buyers to Extrudergirl. As my blogging grows and tweeting content improves, I am hoping to increase my retweets, tweet likes and Google+1 volume as well. For now, I am heading back to the studio to get dirty.

Resources:

Extrudergirl Stats (2015). Shop Stats 2009-2015 Traffic Source. Etsy. Retrieved from: https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/Extrudergirl/stats?ref=seller_platform_hdr

Hootsuite Platform (n.d.). Everything You Need In One Place. Hoostsuite. Retrieved from: https://hootsuite.com/products/platform

Keath, J. (2015) Ultimate Recap: Top New Social Media Tools for 2014. Socialfresh. Retrieved from: http://www.socialfresh.com/ultimate-recap-top-new-social-media-tools-of-2014/

King, C. (2011). 12 Social Media Tools Recommended by the Pros. Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/12-social-media-tools-recommended-by-the-pros/

King. C, (2015). 44 Social Media Tools Recommended By The Pros. Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/44-social-media-tools-recommended-pros/

Measure (2015). Mesaure Page Extrudergirl Account. Klout. Retrieved from: https://klout.com/#/measure

The Klout Score (2013). What is the Average Klout Score? Klout. Retreived from: http://support.klout.com/customer/portal/articles/679109-what-is-the-average-klout-score-