|Facebook Icon Pillow by Craftsquatch on Etsy|
How do you hear about new stores in your area? I'm always on the lookout for a hidden gem.. a funky little shop with cool printed t-shirts and unique accessories and gifts for my friends. Do I have time to walk into every shop in town to hope to find something neat? Not a chance.
As soon as I hear about a new shop, I google them and check for a Facebook page. Sadly, most of the time, they don't have a social media presence.
Are you on Facebook? Yes. Are your friends, family, and worst enemies on Facebook? You bet. Why shouldn't your business be there, as well?
When I find a shop on Facebook or Twitter, I love it. I can see pictures of their store, see what kind of merchandise they have, and interact with them... at any time of the day. I can find out about sales, when they have extended or limited hours, and when they get in new items I've been wanting.
Online businesses are no different. Your shoppers are already on Facebook, so connect with them! It's easy to get your own Facebook page for your business, plus it's free. Facebook can walk you through it here.
I'd like to go in depth in future posts about ways to make your Facebook page the best it can be.. so until then.. here's a couple things to note:
- Don't over-post. If you have a number of things you'd like to tell your fans about, post them over time. Blogs let you schedule posts, but Facebook does not (that I know of.. yet.) Keep a word document of posts you'd like to make if you think you will forget, and post them sporadically. Also plan to post them at times your readers will read them. If you are an online-only business (not a brick and mortar shop), limit your posts to 2-3 daily.
- Communicate! Social media is all about interacting with your fans. Answer their questions, ask for their advice on new items, reply to their posts, and be friendly!
- Get personal. Your customers aren't just buying from a company.. they are buying from a person.. and they'd love to know more about you. Isn't your handmade business a huge part of your life anyway? Not every post needs to be about your new products.. but share little snippets of your world. I love seeing what others are doing.. and how other crafters spend their time.
Casey Maute is a contributor to the OkEtsy blog and lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She has worked under the name Lollywood from 2008-2010 and recently opened a new Etsy shop called OSO handmade. She loves craft shows, eating from food trucks, finding cool local shops, and working with PR and social media.