Meet Shelby Lawson: Social media expert and founder of BloomSocial and BloomFit Training. Shelby works with female entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and small businesses to build their online presence and connect with their audience through engaging content.
Social media has become a key part of almost every business’ marketing strategy in 2019. With nearly half the world’s population on at least one social networking site, it has transformed how we interact with friends, family, and brands. Evolving technology has played a big role in the integration of social media into our everyday lives; the average person spends nearly four hours a day on their smartphone and around two of those hours scrolling social media.
In addition to her role as a social media strategist, Shelby is also working to advance diversity and inclusion in the fitness and wellness space. She educates fitness professionals and gym owners on body positivity and consults with fitness companies on their D&I initiatives – including how they represent those values online.
Tell us more about what you do and how you moved into your space
I never (ever) thought that I would become an entrepreneur.
I studied international relations with the goal of going into government work and becoming a foreign officer. But when I got out of school, politics were beginning to get particularly crazy. So instead, I started my D&I education business, BloomFit, and asked a friend of mine who was a freelance digital marketer how I could get into the social media space.
It just so happened that this friend was looking for someone to take over her clients so that she could start a new business. She gave me a one-month crash course on everything social media and passed her clients on to me. From there I started taking on new clients and eventually founded BloomSocial.
Now I work mainly with female entrepreneurs and small businesses on building their online presence and connecting with their audience. I help them understand their unique message, we co-create quality content, and then I make sure it reaches the right people.
What role do you play in the tech ecosystem and why is that role important?
Social media has become essential for almost every business and brand.
With the average person spending almost 2 hours on social media per day, it’s a low-cost advertising option with the potential to reach millions of people. A strong social presence helps businesses (tech and otherwise) build brand awareness, establish themselves as experts, and even get feedback from customers.
It’s also one of the most effective ways to reach people with announcements considering 1 in 5 U.S. adults get their news from social media.
And personally, if I search for a business and I don’t find them on social media, it makes it me a liiiittle suspicious.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2019?
Something I have my eye on is Instagram’s new move to remove like counts from posts.
It’s part of this bigger conversation we’re having about the effects of social media and tech on our mental health.
Although I think that social media can be a force for good – making it easier and faster for us to connect with one another and share information – I’ve also experienced firsthand how it can also be damaging to mental wellbeing. Whether that’s cancel culture, FOMO, or worrying about how many likes your last post got… it can feel like a lot of pressure. I’m interested to see if the removal of like counts will help people interact with Instagram in a healthier way. I’m also curious about the effect it will have on marketers and if other social media platforms will follow suit.
Who is a person that inspires you in the space and why?
Scarlett Sieber! But really – promise I’m not just sucking up. My favorite people on social media are those who use their platform to create real human connections and elevate the voices of others, which is exactly the goal of Tech Tuesday.
In terms of social media professionals… I honestly don’t know enough of them. So if you are one please send me a message!
What advice would you give for someone who wants to get into your space?
One of the best things about the time we live in is that you can teach yourself anything with a quick google search.
My first piece of advice would be to start reading! There are a TON of free resources out there on social media marketing. Some of my favorite blogs are Buffer (they also have an awesome podcast), SproutSocial, and Social Media Examiner.
My second piece of advice is to start experimenting. All of us have an aunt or family friend who needs help with social media; start applying some of what you’re learning on the web. Social media and digital marketing in general are learned best by doing.
Anything else we should know?
Don’t stress too much about likes and followers. A good friend once told me, “Don’t worry about how many people show up to your party, focus on treating every one of them like they’re the most important person there.”
I apply the same idea to social media. Worry less about how to get a million followers and more about how to take care of and bring value to the lives of the followers you do have. Once you do that, your following will start to grow organically.
If you have any other questions about social media, I’d love to answer them! You can contact me here.