:: shine online ::
liene stevens of splendid communications

We have a fantastic Shine Online interview today - the lovely Liene Stevens of Splendid Communications, an online media consultancy serving the wedding and lifestyle event industries. We discovered Liene through our twitter community and have been a fan ever since. Constantly offering resourceful + relevant + smart content, Liene's blog, Think Splendid, is a go-to for any level social media enthusiast. Let's hear what Liene has to say about her own inspiration, finding time and the importance of getting online in 2010.
You are the owner and the creative vision behind Splendid Communications, an online media consulting company for the wedding and event industry. What inspired you to start your company and how have you seen it evolve as the online world is evolving?

 I have been blogging personally since 1999 and blogging for my business since 2006, so the platform was very familiar to me. I learned early on that I could market my offline business through social media much more effectively and at a lower cost than through traditional means (magazine advertisements, publicists, etc).  I started receiving requests from other professionals in the wedding industry to help them with their online strategies, but it wasn't until a friend and colleague called and gave me a push in this direction that I took the leap of faith and started the consulting company.

Many creative companies are small and don't always have the time to blog or tweet with a thousand other things happening each day. How do you suggest setting up a stick-to-it editorial schedule?

If a company is going to blog or tweet, my number one piece of advice is to really know why they are jumping onto those platforms and to understand how they work. Social media is about engagement not a one-way monologue, so I really encourage people to also budget time to respond and interact with the people who follow them on those sites. For a calendar, it can be as simple as using Google Calendar or iCal and setting up a content topic for the different days a company is going to blog. For example, if a real estate agent were to blog three times a week, Mondays might be new trends in housing, Wednesdays might be things going on around the neighborhoods they sell in, and Fridays might be a round up of links form the various home decor blogs in order to inspire new home buyers.  The content plan would stay the same each week, and it makes it easier to write entries once the outline is there. Most of these posts can also all be written on the same day but scheduled to update at different times throughout the week.

Many companies want to blog and use social media to get the word out about their own products, sales, events, etc. but don't want to come off as sales-y. What would you recommend to people to keep it real while promoting their own business in the social media world?

Engage and interact with your followers. Social media is not self-promotion, yet most companies make the mistake of treating it as push-marketing. Be personal without crossing the line into TMI (too much information). 

What would you say to creative wedding brands that haven't embraced the importance of an online presence in 2010?

If your competitors aren't online yet, they will be soon. If you want to protect, or establish, your reputation as an industry leader, then be the first to engage in social media. A website is a business card; social media is the conversation.

{thanks, Liene!}

Check out Liene's truly resourceful blog - Think Splendid - right here and follow her on twitter @thinksplendid

Check back every Friday for a new Shine Online interview that will inspire your online presence.
Up next | Meredith Barnett, the Editorial Director of fab online design magazine, eBay's The Inside Source.


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