*This post has been updated in March 2018*
How To Promote Your Etsy Shop For Free
I have been using social media for a while now (years) since moving to Corfu, Greece and working on my Etsy shop full time. Then I applied for a job in Corfu Town and was hired to be the social media manager for a marketing company with a focus on interior design. I am learning more every day and really enjoy working on the client's social media accounts. They are mainly interior designers and I love being able to write content about their beautiful work and drool-worthy photographs.
As a huge bonus to my new role, I have been able to apply my newly improved skills to my own social media accounts.
I want to share with you my top 5 tips for using social media to promote your business, I'm not trying to sell you anything or say how to earn $20,000 a month blogging, but here are a few ways in which you can promote and get yourself out there >>
1. Do You Have A Blog or Website?
This is crucial for spreading the word about your business. Your blog/website must be mobile friendly as most traffic comes from mobiles. You can use your blog/website to drive traffic to your social media accounts and vice versa. Add the social icons and share buttons to your blog/website (Take a look at SUMO). You should also sign up for Bloglovin' which can drive traffic to your website and grow your followers. I have been using Bloglovin' for a while now and I really love it.
With good design and a host, you can rely on you want your visitors to get what they are looking for when they visit and want to see more of your work. I use Squarespace and have had experience using WordPress with clients sites and I can honestly say I much prefer using Squarespace. It just feels easier. Like using a mac rather than a PC.
It's also a lot of hard work to get eyes on your website, you need to implement good design, CTA (call to actions), SEO and of course really great content. You also need to have links to your Etsy shop on your site, so that it's clear that you are selling your crafts etc. There is so much to learn about and once you start, you will see it grow and grow until you are happy with the results. Social media is tied to this too, with your social accounts helping to drive traffic to your site. Regularly posting on Facebook or Instagram or pinning on Pinterest every day can send visitors to your site.
2. Share and Promote Peer Content
This is important because you want to share quality content your followers will be interested in. If you just self-promote, they will lose interest. You also want to try and build a community and encourage people to like, comment and share. Share crafts from other Etsy sellers and think about what your audience would be interested in. Obviously share your own stuff too, but self-promotion can be a little boring if it is all of the time. Sharing others content is a great way to be social.
For example, I regularly promote new blog posts or patterns on Facebook, Twitter and G+ but on Pinterest, I am way more active. You have to find the social account you like best and really stick with that. Plus whichever one drives the most traffic to your site is the one that should be cultivated. I also use Instagram but I am not exactly winning at that yet, or I don't feel like I am, so this is the one I am putting the most work into this year.
Sharing peer content is much easier on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, you can easily search for content you think your audience would be interested in.
3. Be Consistent
You can post content every day, at particular times of the day by using the scheduling feature for Facebook and Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for Twitter. There are a number of apps and sites out there for different social platforms. If you are too busy to post regularly through the week, then scheduling is a great thing to use.
I have recently started to use Tailwind for Pinterest, but I mainly do manual pinning, just because I actually enjoy it and I find it quite relaxing to look through Pinterest and pin away at night. There are so many platforms out there to help you with scheduling, that it can really help to give them a try.
4. 'Like' Peers Pages
You have a community of makers and creatives through Etsy, who all have social media accounts too. Start liking, sharing and commenting on their pages. This will help to build traffic and boost your online presence.
On all platforms this is useful and on Instagram can even get your work seen by brands you want to work with. For instance, I have been reaching out to yarn companies and other brands to look for collaborations. This has been successful and really helpful for my work to progress.
5. Be Visual
Add images to your content so people will be drawn to it. Your chosen image can communicate a lot about you and your brand. You also need to try and stand out from all of the other posts and with an eye-catching image, you have a better chance. It doesn't have to be an image of what you are selling, as long as it is something you think others will want to see and share.
This is especially true on Pinterest, where your visuals have to stand out from the crowd. To have a successful pin, you need to use the recommended size - 735px x 1102px with a stunningly clear image and text that you can read. Be careful of using any script fonts as they can be difficult to read on mobiles. Also, think about the colours you are using, are they easy to read? Use bold text that is easy to read in a colour you can see. You can use Photoshop or Canva to create pins. I have heard that others use picmonkey and other platforms, but I have never tried those.
As for Instagram, this is the platform where images are everything! Using flat lays or other interesting setups can really work. When I look at knitting posts I have noticed that most of the images have a feeling of being cosy with the maker holding a cup of tea and their knitting beside them. I am experimenting more and more with Instagram, but I do find that this is the most work out of all of my social accounts. Setting up photo shoots and experimenting can take up a lot of my time and sometimes I think is it even worth it when Instagram hardly brings any traffic to my site. I focus more on the social accounts that bring in the traffic, so it's a more productive use of my time.
This platform can really work for some Etsy sellers who gain most of their Etsy sales and shop traffic from Instagram. Use the right hashtags and with stellar images, you will see your own shop sales grow. You will have to get into it and experiment with what works to see how to take it forward and grow it.
How To Promote Your Etsy Shop
So what are the best social media platforms to use?
That depends on you. I use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as my main three, but also have Instagram, Youtube and Google+. I mainly use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest because they are the ones I enjoy the most and because of that they are the most popular.
I have Instagram and use it occasionally, Youtube I just created this month (and it needs some work!) and I don't really use Google+ at all. You have to find the right social media accounts for you, that you really enjoy using. It is also hard to keep up to date with more than three main social media accounts.
If you want to read more about using social media to promote your business/Etsy shop, please see my other posts here >
Do you have any tips to share?
Let me know in the comments. xoxo
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