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Make Social Media Work For You: How To Promote Your Crafty Business Online

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Social media is a wonderful marketing tool. It's also pretty crucial in this day and age. Most customers use social media as a way to connect with the businesses they love, so it's important to have a presence across at least some of the platforms available out there. We'll show you how to do that in this handy article.

I've compiled some mini guides to using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, three platforms that I personally have found useful in promoting my own brand. Most companies have a presence across all of the major social media platforms, but as there are so many different options out there, exploring them and giving them all a try is the best way to figure out if they're going to work for you. Hopefully these guides will help you get started!

Mini Guide To Facebook

WHAT

  • Keep your Facebook content fresh and interesting. Take note of the kinds of things that are posted on pages that you admire and try to emulate that.
  • Variation is key! Yes, do post about your latest item listings, shop updates etc, but don’t limit it to that. Include behind-the-scenes photos of your studio or works-in-progress shots. This will help personalise your brand. Share links to things that are currently inspiring you, or something you’ve found online that could be helpful or useful to your readers. Let your readers know when you’ve updated your blog by sharing a link to your post.
  • Create some Facebook-specific promos to keep people coming back to your page and to entice new fans. You could try offering shop discounts to page likers, or ask buyers to post photos of themselves with your wares for a chance to win something special.

WHEN

  • Keep your posts consistent and regular. Try experimenting to figure out when your readers might be tuning in and give yourself the best chance of being seen. Try posting 3-4 times a day across the whole day (before work, lunchtime, in the evening) and take note of where your readers interact with you the most.
  • Don’t spam! Endless posting can clog up peoples’ feeds and get annoying.
  • Try your hand at scheduling your updates. Sites like TweetdeckHootsuite, and Sendible allow you to pre-write updates for Facebook and Twitter and schedule them to post at certain times. This leaves you free to keep crafting!

WHO

  • If you’re struggling to get readers to ‘like’ your page, don’t despair! We think the key is quality over quantity. ‘Likes’ don’t neccessarily translate to interaction, or sales for that matter. Focus on fostering quality relationships with the fans you do have so that they’re regularly interacting with you, commenting, and sharing your updates. This is more valuable than someone clicking once to like your page and never looking at it again.
  • Respond promptly to comments left on your page and ask your fans questions (about what they’re making, what they’re up to, or about your products) to get them talking. This is also a great way of being able to tell what your customers like and don’t like about your products!
  • Use the ‘Mention’ function to tag other pages so they know you’ve been talking about them, it’s a great netwoorking tool. They might in turn mention you, sending more readers your way.
  • Whenever you meet someone, collect a new business card, find a blog or shop you like, look for their Facebook address and add them! They may add you back and before you know it, you’ll have formed your very own network of like-minded creatives (and potential customers!). Also, put yourself in the spotlight: include a link to all your Social Media accounts on your business card, shop welcome message, profile, blog, email signature etc.
  • Use your analytics! The ‘Insights’ feature on your Facebook page provides absolutely invaluable information about who is looking at your site, how old they are, where they are coming from, and when they’re reading. This is great for figuring out who your demographic is.
Alice Oehr instagramPapercraft Zoo Animals via Alice Oehr's Instagram

Mini Guide To Twitter

WHAT

  • Twitter is great because it’s almost like a stream of thoughts. You don’t need to (and can’t) go into much detail about things so keep your updates short and snappy, relaying essential information in an easy-to-read and to-the-point way.
  • Tweet an update when you post a new product listing or have a sale or special promo in your store, it will keep fans in the loop about new product additions, but watch out, you don’t want to make every single tweet about what’s going on in your store as it could seem spammy and maybe even turn people off.
  • To combat this, include behind-the-scenes photos of your works in progress, or of inspirational things you’ve seen in your travels (consider connecting Twitter to your phone for updating on-the-go).
  • Maybe you could try a Twitter campaign or competition to promote your brand. For example, you could offer discounts to people that re-tweet your update to their followers, or ask customers to tweet photos of themselves with your products for a chance to win a prize.
  • Use hash tags! They are a great way to be found in searches on Twitter. A lot of tweeters do a #followfriday or #FF post which showcases Twitter accounts or blogs they admire each week.
  • Twitter is a great way to find out information from your customers. Ask for people’s opinions on new product ideas, run a poll, or ask questions to get a conversation started.
  • Consider using a handy tool like Bitly which shortens your links into neat little urls and also gives you the ability to track how many people have clicked on that link.
  • You can choose to have your Twitter and Facebook accounts linked so they post the exact same thing which is a great time saver, though you may want to provide readers with different content for each instead, it’s up to you.

WHEN

  • Like Facebook, it’s helpful to figure out when people are more likely to read your tweets, so you can ensure that your messages are getting top exposure.
  • Experiment with post times, try doing them at the same time every day for a little while and see how much interaction you get. You can tweet at other people or reply to tweets on a regular basis on top of that.
  • You can use sites like Hootsuite (mentioned above) and Gremln to schedule your tweets so you can go to work or get your tasks done without worrying about missing out on tweeting. There are many different scheduling sites for Twitter (and Facebook) so find one that works best for you.
  • Use the list function to organise your followers into certain groups so you can easily speak to them specifically if needed.

WHO

  • Who will you follow, and who will follow you? Find the Twitter accounts of people you admire and emulate in your creative field and follow them. These could be crafty bloggers, fellow shop owners, artists, designers, etc. Reply to their tweets and start a conversation, you’ll be surprised at how many follow you back and want to talk to you too.
  • Tap into your Facebook followers, they could have Twitter accounts as well.
  • The people you follow should be relevant to your business so that word about your brand is reaching the right people - following a car company when you make knitted tea cosies will most likely not help you!
  • If you're on Etsy, make sure to connect your shop to Twitter and Facebook so customers can easily find your social media accounts.
  • Use a site like WeFollow to catergorise your Twitter account and give you more of a chance to be found.
  • Always include your Twitter handle on any promotional material you send out.
Hollie Martin instagram
Painted Panels via Hollie Martin's Instagram

Mini Guide To Instagram

WHAT

  • Instagram is such a successful online marketing tool because it is purely visual, and for a creative person with a crafty business, the visuals are what sell your brand.
  • What kinds of Instagram posts will appeal to your audience? Like Facebook and Twitter, posting behind-the-scenes shots of works in progress is a great way to entice customers and attract new ones. It keeps people coming back for more.
  • Instagram is a great way to bring out your personality, which helps customers to get a feel for who you and your brand are. Try posting photos of your travels, favourite things, colours, shapes and objects that inspire you. Your photo feed will build up a story about yourself and show the person behind the brand.
  • I have found that the most successful photos on my Instagram feed were the ones that were bright, colourful, and vibrant. But that's my thing. Work out what your style is and emulate it in Instagram.
  • Hashtags (#) are a super way to find things you're interested in on Instagram. Consider hash-tagging photos of your work and business to make sure your work comes up in searches.
  • You can share your Instagram photos on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which is a great way to let other contacts you have know that you're using Instagram.

WHEN

  • Instagram is great because you can share photos of what you're seeing in real time, as you are seeing it. Much like other social media platforms, over posting could be considered spamming, so if you've seen a whole bunch of great stuff you could always post some of it on another day as a “#latergram”.
  • I love scrolling through my Instagram feed in the morning because I know that all my friends and contacts in the Northern Hemisphere have probably been posting while I've been asleep. I get more likes from these friends overnight too. It might be worth considering posting something before you go to bed, so any overseas customers you have in different timezones can stay up to date with your brand.

WHO

  • You'll find that most brands have Instagram these days, it's such a good promotional tool! Like Twitter and Facebook pages, search for your favourite brands, companies, and creatives and follow them. The more photos you like, the more your name will pop up on Instagram. Commenting on the photos of people and brands you admire, or maybe even creatives you want to collaborate with one day is a great way to get on their radar.
Harvest Workroom instagram
Work In Progress via Harvest Workroom Instagram

Other Great Social Media Platforms

  • Pinterest: Great for visual promotion. Pin the things you love and make a pin board just for your own work. Pins are easy to share and sharing will help your work get some wider exposure.
  • Vine: A mobile app that allows you to promote your brand through videos. You can make sweet little snippets of behind-the-scenes action, market stall days, you at work, and even fun messages to your clientele.
  • Bloglovin': A tool for bookmarking your favourite blogs, much like Google Reader, but prettier. You'll find lots of amazing creative blogs here. You can download Bloglovin' tiles to put on your blog so people with accounts can easily click and add you to their lists.

We hope that these little guides have given you an idea about how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market your brand online. Give them a go and see what you think. And let us know your favourite ones!

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