We had the pleasure to speak with Megan Thomas, a wife and mother, who blogs about her picks for stylish living on the eastside of Seattle. She gave us great insight into her success at blogging and her social media business and what she is doing personally in the space. Her site is www.425mom.com. Here is an excerpt from our talk with her.

MT: First, thanks so much to Pia and the Fingerprint Marketing team for having me. As a social media enthusiast and serial blogger I love chatting about this stuff. So here we go, bring on the fun questions!

FM: Fantastic! Well let’s start with hearing what it is you like about social media and blogging?
MT: Oh gosh, where to start. I guess the biggest thing I love about blogging and social media is the connections and relationships I’ve built through this outlet. I started blogging and really diving into the social media space in early 2007 when I was a new stay-at-home mom. Blogging was a phenomenal way for me to connect with other like-minded women and fellow moms and I’ve built some pretty remarkable relationships since. Not only have these relationships been personally rewarding, but they’ve also helped me to carve out a business and a lifestyle that I love. For this I’m incredibly grateful.

FM: Agreed, social media is such a great tool for relationship building. So when looking at the social media landscape, what do you see as the hot new trends for 2012?
MT: Great question! I think 2012 is shaping up to be the year of the photo. Between Pinterest, Instragram, and Facebook’s new favoritism toward photos, it really has become all about using images to tell/share your story. Personally, I’m a huge fan of this new trend. As much as I love writing and reading blogs, these activities can be time consuming. How cool that you can build your online presence and genuinely connect with others simply through photo sharing!

FM: So on that note, what are your thoughts on Pinterest and how did you build up your following?
MT: I love Pinterest! I was an early adapter of the site and have garnered so much inspiration from it – it’s awesome. I haven’t used it so much for business purposes (although I do manage a few clients’ accounts that are more business driven) but more so as a personal vision board of sorts. My following has just grown organically over time and my consistent use of the site. I generally pin a few images every day, usually from the iPhone app while I’m relaxing in the evening. It’s a fun little ritual for me and seems to be working; my following continues to grow daily.

FM: Let’s talk about another relatively new site to the social media sphere, Google+. Where do you think Google+ is going to go for businesses and is it vital for everyone to be on there now?
MT: Hmmm, that’s something I’ve been trying to figure out myself for some time now. I met with the Google+ team a few months back about building a community for mom bloggers on the Google+ platform. While I can’t say I’ve put a lot of time and energy into doing so, I’ve been finding it difficult to get things going on Google+ quite simply because no one is there! But I’m certainly not counting it out of the game, it is Google after all! I see a lot of benefits to being an early adaptor of Google+ and who knows…it might just be the next BIG thing!

FM: So let’s get back to blogging. I’d love to know, when you started your blog how did you start to build out your online presence?
MT: When I started my first “mommy” blog back in early 2007 it was before there were a million mom blogs. In fact, the space seemed relatively small and easy to get established in at the time. My approach was pretty simple. I researched who the influential blogs, businesses, and people were in the mom space and then started reaching out and building relationships. I’ve also always been quick to jump on new social media platforms too. Getting on Twitter early was probably one of the best things I’ve done to grow my online presence.

FM: So for those that are just getting started with a blog, what is the number one thing you can part with to new bloggers?
MT: Because the blogging space is so crowded these days, I suggest really drilling down and focusing on a niche. For example, instead of just starting a mommy blog, try getting more specific (i.e. a working mom blog, a local mom blog, a mom of multiples blog, etc.) Also, make sure whatever you choose to blog about that it’s something you’re truly passionate about. It’s so easy to lose steam when it comes to blogging, so do yourself a favor and make your blog about something that you really enjoy!

FM: Great! Okay, last question. What are a few tips and tricks you can offer businesses for generating buzz in the social media space?
MT: For businesses I think it all comes down to creating quality content CONSISTENTLY. This is the number one thing I focus on with my clients – creating a social media strategy and then working it daily. In my opinion, buzz is not something that just happens overnight. Buzz is what results when people and businesses are dedicated to their online marketing strategy. What’s that saying? Plan your work and work your plan. That’s what I believe it takes to build buzz.

Thank you so much Megan for your wonderful insights. We agree with you too. Photos/Images are the hot trend with Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook’s link to them. You’ve given us and our readers great advice on blogging and how to set the niche for this space. Consistent content is crucial. Look forward to talking with you again. In the meantime, catch our updates and news at www.fingerprintmarketing.net.