Building Relationships on Twitter with Stacy Garcia

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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!”

“At first, it was crickets,” Garcia laughed. “It took a lot of time to get going. The only ones talking were the companies: Hafele, Formica and some of the appliance people.”

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.

Content Marketing Insights | Social Marketing Insights | The OR-DP POV

8 comments… add one

  • Jon Olson March 19, 2012 — 1:28 pm edit

    Stacy,your a superstar

  • jb @BuildingMoxie March 19, 2012 — 1:29 pm edit

    gotta say first that I am not really a big “chat” participant, but do see the value in them. I’ll admit also that I do often silently stalk #kbtribechat if only to glean a few “who to follow” s. Great feature O’D and Stacy makes a great subject. cheers both! ~jb

  • Bridget Willard March 19, 2012 — 1:40 pm edit

    That is awesome. Way to go, Stacy.

  • Bill Buyok March 19, 2012 — 6:39 pm edit

    Kudos to Stacy! I am not a regular ‘kbtribechater’; but, there is a lot of value learning and sharing and Stacy is amazing! Your efforts are appreciated.

  • Jeremy Parcels March 20, 2012 — 3:00 pm edit

    Stacy has done a fantastic job with KBtribechat. It has been a great place for us pros to share information, inspiration, and learn about new products. I hope her business continues to prosper from it’s sucess!

  • Rob Ainbinder March 20, 2012 — 4:30 pm edit

    Nora! I am honored by the mention, the link to my now DIY blog and to see KBTribe Chat grow into the resource it has become. What started as a modest idea on my part has taken wonderful flight! The truth is I didn’t think it wise to have a brand sponsor an industry chat perse which is why I encouraged Stacy to take the helm. Stacy is a great force behind the chat! The topics are stellar.

  • Nora DePalma March 22, 2012 — 6:42 am edit

    Love all these shoutouts to Stacy! And Rob, very astute on your part to have the brand stand down. Not too many folks would have taken that position. It’s slowly taking root in our industry that social media isn’t another channel for brands to control, but rather, a new option for collaboration and relationship-building. I have learned a ton on KB Tribe Chat, so it was a pleasure to meet Stacy.

  • Stacy Garcia September 13, 2012 — 11:46 am edit

    I stumbled upon this again after all these months…and am blown away by all the nice comments! Thank you Nora for visiting me when you were in Southern California earlier this year and for writing about it….and for being so supportive of our kbtribechat community. It has been a pleasure organizing the chats and getting to know everyone.

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