People who think Twitter is nothing more than giant time suck probably don’t know about Twitter chats.
Stacy Garcia, on the other hand, knows that using Twitter chats is a good way to build community and awareness.
Stacy has been hosting KBTribeChat on Twitter since April 2011, bringing together designers, architects, brands and media people for a fast-paced one-hour online chat every Wed. at 2 pm ET/11 am PT.
Although a sales rep recently called her a “pioneer in social media,” the Garcia Cabinetmakers co-owner said she spent nearly a year on Twitter just meeting new people and learning the ropes. “I liked it a lot, so I just kept wondering, ‘How do I make this useful?’”
She was inspired to start the chat after former Hafele social media manager Rob Ainbinder suggested it and told her she should “just do it!”
Stacy and Michael Garcia of Garcia Cabinetmakers, Huntington Beach, CA. Stacy runs KBTribeChat on Twitter. Michael says he isn’t sure about social media, but after 33 years of marriage, he’ll admit he’s been wrong before.
More recently, KBTribeChat has averaged 35 to 40 participants per week on topics such as The Vision House at Epcot, Lighting Styles and Strategies for Kitchens & Baths, Kitchen Islands, and my own turn at hosting on Steamy Shower Thoughts last week, sponsored by Mr. Steam.
A Return on Relationships AND A Return on Investment
Garcia says of social media, “Sure, it’s mostly about relationships. But you have to think about the bottom line. I think we’re all there to sell something. You put your personality out there and you hope there would be some sales.”
So has Garcia Cabinetmakers landed business from social media?
“Yes, today!” Garcia replied. A custom cabinet contract signed, sealed and delivered from someone who found the Huntington Beach, CA, firm from Stacy’s online activities, which include:
• Garcia Cabinetmakers website with a photo gallery of their custom cabinetry craftsmanship.
• Garcia Cabinetmakers on Twitter
• Stacy_Garcia on Twitter
• The Garcia Cabinetmakers Facebook page
• The KBTribeChat blog
• The KBTribeChat Facebook page
Garcia’s husband and business partner Michael admits he isn’t quite so sure about the whole social media thing.
“To me, business is one-to-one. It’s a handshake. This is…well, I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head.
“But isn’t social media like a digital handshake?” I asked “A one-to-many way to network efficiently?
“Besides,” I added. “Your wife just said you got business from it.”
“OK, so I’m wrong! I’ve been married for 33 years. It’s happened before,” Michael said.
The March 21, 2011, kbtribechat will be hosted by blogger, builder and social media specialist Todd Vendituoli talking about Blogging for Business. Not sure where to start? Learn how to join a Twitter chat on Stacy’s blog.