I met Ariel Lev when I was helping my husband with a project he was working that involved the CoLab in the Grandin Village section of Roanoke, Virginia. I will never forget being introduced to Ariel….she said, “I know you from social media!” I had to catch my breath. I’d never had anyone say that to me.
Ariel is a wonderfully talented and enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurs in the Roanoke area. Our area is so fortunate to have people like her helping to nurture the budding projects that take root at the CoLab. I’m so pleased she agreed to guest blog!
What social media platforms are you on? And how do you use social media?
I am a contributor or the lead social media human for a hand full of accounts, but I mainly use social media for myself and for CoLab, the coworking space I run in Roanoke, VA. Personally, I mainly use Instagram for sharing (@a_lev_) and Facebook for keeping up with old friends or discovering new articles to read (also known as: wasting time on the Internet).
For CoLab, I use Facebook Pages, a Facebook group (this one is members only!), Instagram (@CoLab_Roanoke) and Twitter (@grandinCoLab). I tend to do most of my work-related social media-ing during the work day or when I’m particularly moved, and I don’t do a lot of scheduled posts. This is helpful in keeping the content fresh when I’m not at my computer or thinking about social media.
Mostly, I use social media to provide an engaging voice for people who are listening. Social media expands our network and worth to those who are outside of our direct client base and keeps us on the minds of those who might one day become clients. These digital touch-points are endlessly rewarding, though hard to track.
What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?
I find that, for CoLab, Twitter is helpful in engaging the local business clientele. When I post on Twitter, I am speaking to an audience of people like me: marketing executives, media specialists, entrepreneurs who do it all. There are some individuals tweeting personally, but since the shelf life of a tweet is about 30 seconds or less, I don’t rely on it.
Our Facebook page is the only social media outlet I pay to use. At times, I’ll boost a particularly well-crafted post that shows off something special about CoLab for $5.00. Or, if there’s an event coming up, I’ll spend $3.00 on a quick boost, ensuring that people outside of our immediate followership are given a chance to check it out.
The Facebook group is a convenient way to get in touch with members, if they choose to engage with the platform. I send out a weekly email newsletter, but I’ll frequently duplicate content in this group so members have a better chance of seeing it.
Instagram is my ideal way to engage clients, but it takes a lot of work. I love this app and the networks that grow because of it — I have a huge soft spot and appreciation for strong aesthetics and put a lot of effort into my personal account, and have let that bleed over into the CoLab’s account. Entrepreneurs and millennials use Instagram to showcase their business, and I hope to one day be among the coworking giants with a feed that touches and inspires innovators around the globe. As you can tell, I have lofty goals!
Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.
I think the most surprising social media lesson I learned was the afore-mentioned realization about Twitter being more of a B2B network than a B2C network. Though there is still worth to this network, I do sometimes feel like all of the accounts in my network are screaming from a podium into a room of empty seats. More possibly, I just have a lot to learn.
I’m the director of CoLab, Roanoke’s largest coworking space. As a millennial, I’ve grown up with social media: it helped shape me, and in some ways, I helped shape it.
A little history: I am from North Carolina originally and fell in love with the mountains when I attended Appalachian State University, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting / Communications. Shortly after, I tried my hand at city living while attending Graduate school in D.C. at Georgetown University. I earned an M.A. in Communication, Culture and Technology – and promptly left for more mountainous pastures. My husband and I chose Roanoke because it checked all our boxes: mountains, opportunity, low cost of living and proximity to parents. Little did we know that Roanoke is also home to people who care very much about the future of their home and who work relentlessly to make it the best it can be. We are excited to be a part of this culture!
Colab Instagram: @CoLab_Roanoke
CoLab Twitter: @grandinCoLab
Ariel’s Instagram: @a_lev
Ariel, thank you for taking time out of your super busy schedule to help collaborate (pun intended!) with me for this blog. I love seeing how you use social media as a communication tool in so many ways.
Connect with me:
Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com.