The Holidays are Coming! Your Social Media Checklist
The biggest shopping days of the year are almost upon us, so it’s time to make sure that your Etsy shop is social media ready—don’t let your potential buyers pass you up because they don’t know you’re there! If you go through this checklist, you should be well-prepared for the onslaught of shopping season.
Got any extra tips to add? Please share them with other readers in the comments!
1. Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts with your shop
This is a simple step, but one that many people have not taken advantage of since the feature was added about a year ago. How can the people that love your stuff follow you if they don’t know they can? Present them with the opportunity by connecting your social accounts. If you don’t know how, follow this guide in Etsy’s help section. Once connected, you can easily post your new listings.
2. You don’t need to be everywhere, but you need to be active
Isn’t it lame when you find a social profile for a brand you like, but they haven’t used it in forever? Social media thrives on activity, so if you don’t update, your base of followers will dwindle. You need to be on Facebook, and you should probably at least try Twitter, but exercise caution getting into too many platforms – you’ll still want time to actually make things! This earlier post has some more to say on this.
3. Be engaging and social in your social media
Don’t let every update consist of a new listing and a link to your shop. That’s not social at all, is it? Instead, focus on engaging your audience. Play the role of content curator – share other sellers’ items that you enjoyed. (They might do the same to you!) Talk to your followers by asking and answering questions and retweeting compliments that people give you! There are still creative ways to plug your shop, though, and you should definitely take advantage of them: show your handmade items in-progress, share thoughtful testimonials others have given, and show your products in use. Want to read more? Here’s some more advice on getting the most out of Twitter and on building a likeable reputation on Facebook.
4. Foster a community with follower-only promotions
As you’re building up a following on Twitter, Facebook, and other social services, promote the idea that it is a community. One of the best ways to do that is to advertise promotions to your followers. If someone likes what you make, it will be easy for them to find out about sales through Facebook or Twitter. You can try to break into the Black Friday shopping frenzy by having a Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) sale of your own!
5. Give stuff away
People love free stuff. If you want to build up a large base of loyal followers, consider hosting a drawing on Twitter for a gift certificate. The winner would be randomly selected (you can use a random number generator like random.org or another related piece of software) from everyone who retweets the announcement. This is a great way to spread the word about your shop using the “viral” qualities of social media, while rewarding your followers and gaining new ones.
6. Optimize your listing titles and descriptions
This isn’t strictly social media-related, but it will help your shop be easier to find, and will also be useful later when you share your goods on Facebook and elsewhere. Imagine the person buying your products, your ideal consumer. What are they like? What do they need? What are they searching for? When you are writing your listing for an item, you need to keep these questions in mind. The words that your ideal consumer types into Google are keywords that could lead them to your item. Be sure that some of these words are in the title and description of the listing! At the same time, don’t go crazy – no one wants to read an overly wordy, keyword-clogged listing title. Try to find the happy medium. For more information, read Handmadeology’s own SEO Made Easy series.
7. Take good pictures, and share them with Pinterest
Pinterest, with its huge audience of shoppers and DIYers, is a natural extension for your Etsy shop. If you don’t have a Pinterest, get one! Not only is it a great place to promote your items (and get others to keep promoting them for you!), but it’s also a great place to get photography ideas. Amazing imagery is what thrives best on Pinterest, so if you’ve been hesitant, maybe now’s the time to ask Santa for a better camera. Handmadeology has tons of Etsy product photography tips for you!
When you pin your items, be sure to pin the most captivating image you have (encouraging viewers to click through) and give the image a nice description containing keywords. If you sell mittens and someone searches Pinterest for “mittens,” your pin will only show up if the description has the word “mittens” in it!
8. If you have a blog, leverage it!
Do you have an Etsy portfolio website or a blog? They’re not absolutely necessary, and they can take up a ton of your time, but if used well they can also drive interested shoppers to your shop. At a bare minimum, be sure that the text on your website is actual highlightable text, not part of an image. Also be sure to link to your shop (and probably your social media profiles) on every page – an easy step but not one to be missed.
9. If you don’t, leverage it anyway!
If you don’t have the time to keep your own blog, consider either guest blogging for blogs related to your products, or asking people to review or write about your items. Every little bit helps! Writing for different audiences can get new types of people interested in the items you make.
10. Consider Facebook ads
Facebook’s advertising system is unique in that it allows you to target an extremely specific demographic. Use this to your advantage around the holidays! For a very small amount of money you can get ads on the side of Facebook that tell people a little about your product, show them a great picture, and invite them to check it out. Read this post for more info on Facebook advertising.
11. Balance your time
Set a limit for the amount of time you will spend on social media in advance. You don’t want to tweet the night away and then realize you’re behind on actually making things! Though everyone is different and has different needs and restraints on their time, it may work for you to spend half an hour each in the morning and evening replying to comments and posting to your various profiles. You can use a tool like Promotesy to line up tweets in advance, so that you don’t need to interrupt your work all day to tweet. Remember, time is money, so try to focus your efforts as best as you can!
About the writer: Adrienne is a crafty writer and blogger for Pongra. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.