I can’t remember when I first learned about Google Alerts, but I know I started using them right away.
Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web.
I first set up an alert for my art business, Pine Tree Designs. I was looking at my blog stats quite regularly back then and whenever I had a spike in views, I wanted to see who was blogging about me. (We were calling them online journals back then.)
Except I didn’t put Pine Tree Designs in quotes so I sometimes got alerts about pine tree designs on curtains, for example. Since then, I’ve tightened up my critera, using the tips provided by Google.
Then I set up alerts for my name, then for all of my family members, just for fun. It turns out no one is really talking about me, darn it! But I’ve received two alerts for my sister, Gretchen Stahlman. Except it was another Gretchen Stahlman! Isn’t that wild? That’s a fairly uncommon name! My sister, a writer, emailed her Doppelganger – they both got a kick out of it.
Then I got carried away. My favorite musical artists, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, were coming to town in the near future so I wanted to catch anything being said about the upcoming show. Except I wasn’t specific enough. Do you have any idea how many times Bruce is mentioned on the Internet per day? Like a katrillion! Oops. I always set the alert rate to send me one email per day, thank goodness. It only took me one day to realize that wasn’t such a hot idea after all. (And I didn’t care enough to refine the alert criteria.)
Now my favorite thing is to set an alert for upcoming shows that I’m in, so I can track publicity. That could influence the decision for next year, if I want to apply or not.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting many results, but I’m still very interested in this concept. Today I received an alert that a mention of Holidays in the Vineyard appeared on the WHEC.com website, in the Fairport/East Rochester/Perinton section.
So I tweeted that article, from @RocArtisans, editing it to include more info – and my name @StefaniTadio and hand stitched paper art. I then tweeted it directly to the venue, @CasaLargaWinery. And then, under my own @StefaniTadio Twitter account, I retweeted it to my personal followers. Imagine if all artists with Twitter accounts that are doing that show did that! And their friends and family retweeted it, etc. Boom! A publicity explosion.
I’m not nearly as familiar with Twitter as I am Facebook but I’m trying to up my game there. I had actually just about written Twitter off as one big billboard of advertising. But a conference on social media that I attended a couple of years ago, shined a new light on Twitter for me. As is true for many of us these days, it fits my short attention span.
Returning to familiar ground, Facebook – I posted a note on the event page that our event was mentioned on the WHEC.com site. I wish everyone would do that (not repeating, of course) so we could all get a better idea of the advertising being done for these shows. That’s such a hot topic among art & craft show participants, of course.
The funny thing is, the organizer of Holidays in the Vineyard, Sharon Kahler, has always included a page in the vendor welcome packet that includes copies of all the ads that have run. I like that and wish every show did that. It builds confidence in the artists that show organizers are doing everything possible to bring traffic to their shows.
Shameless plug again for the spreadsheet of PR suggestions for show organizers found on our Biz page of this website.
— Rochester Artisans (@RocArtisans) October 23, 2013