Hello everyone, it’s Jen from Caffeinated Papercuts! I’m back to kick off a new mini-series here on the CIJ blog; Using Social Media to Drive Business. We all know as shop owners that we’re supposed to be using everything possible to keep our customers engaged and, hopefully, generate new ones. But how? What works? What doesn’t work? Those are the questions we’re going to be answering one social media outlet at a time!
Today we’re starting with one of the most popular sites out there – Facebook. Most if not all of us have gone through the motions to set up a business page, keep our content fresh, engaging, and not too spammy, but it is anything but easy. I reached out to my fellow CIJ teammates to see what has and hasn’t worked for them.
Tisha from QuiltyTherapy has found that she’s had a few sales by using Facebook as a promotional tool. “Photos or a link really engage people versus just an wordy update.” So true, yet how many of us actually stop to think about it before posting? When we’re scrolling through our news feeds, do we take a moment to look at the pretty pictures more or do we stop to read the missive of an updated someone posted? Let’s face it, we like the funny cat pictures, so one of our favorite shops posting a photo of new earrings vs. typing all about what they did today is going to attract our attention more…and maybe we’ll just click through and buy them!
Turns out Tisha uses Facebook the same way I do; “Once I have a custom item sale it’s great to be able to show others what I’m creating for someone see their excitement along the way. I also like to do sneak peeks of new items, giving my followers first chance to buy an item before I list it. “ Who doesn’t love sneak peeks?? Photo teasers of what’s coming are fabulous and make the reader want to come back for more. Get your customer’s imagination going with those custom order shots; someone may not know you could order that in purple instead of green just by asking!
Amy from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy brought up what we all feel like at times: “I feel like I am not using Facebook to its full potential. I post new items as they become available, share treasuries that I make or am featured in, blogs I find interesting, and a few household tips. I try not to flood my followers with just “new items”. The most successful posts I have made are for the two giveaways I have done on my website.
I do have several followers (I am up to 136 likes as of today), and several of my posts have made their way around Facebook with likes and shares, and I do have a steady stream of views from Facebook to my Etsy shop. I do enjoy clicking on the “Share with Facebook” link when I am featured in a particularly lovely treasury or list a lovely new item. I have had the best success with Facebook for local sales. Friends and family have been huge supporters of my small business.”
Never forget your local customers! Going to be in a craft show? Create an event then post it to your page; how else will people know to come looking for you? I’m also jealous of her success with giveaways, mine have never gone well (hmm, future blog topic?). Sharing treasuries, blog posts that are not your own, and tips ‘n tricks are wonderful ways to diversify your posts as well. After all, it gets boring fast if all you ever post are pictures of what you’re trying to sell; let your customers learn more about YOU as well!
I typically post a mix of products, blog posts (both my own and others), sneak peeks and funny cat pictures. What, everyone loves funny cat pictures! To help me schedule everything, I’ve actually started using an app called StoreWoot – you just schedule your material for the week and it does the rest. That way I’m only sitting down once a week to plan my posts, not trying to find time every day to do so. More time for creating!
As for what hasn’t work, both Tisha and I have tried the Facebook ads to no avail. Tisha explains she did get some new ‘likes’ from it, but they are not a truly engaged audience.
So what has and hasn’t worked for YOU on Facebook? I’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comments! Thanks for stopping by today, and happy crafting!