Social media is a great way to market your handmade crafts online. After all if you look at the internet as a whole, it is all about expressing creativity. From the programmers who develop our favorite networks to the entertainers we engage with on twitter, the creative industry is the thread that holds it all together.
As part of this creative industry, crafters should take advantage of social channels that will help them showcase their creativity. While there are many outlets on the Internet today, not all will provide the ultimate results. Today I am going to share a few must have channels I use in my own craft business.
There are many outlets available to set up an online shop. Sites like Shopify, Volusion, BigCommerce and Wix offers a complete package to get you started quickly. With these platforms you can create a website from a selection of templates in which they will host, register a domain, provide payment gateways and allow you to add from 100 to unlimited products all for a monthly fee. While these are great for most businesses, I recommend Etsy for your craft shop platform.
Etsy is an ecommerce platform created specifically for crafters. All items must be either handmade (or are supplies needed to create projects). Being a topic specific site, Etsy is able to market more effectively to that specific market. In this case, those who have an interest in handmade goods. Setting up a store and selling items on Etsy is both easy and cost effective. With a listing fee of only $.20, you could list a nice collection of products in your store. In addition, Etsy offers the capability of processing payments directly through their payment gateway allowing crafters to spend more time on creating great products. With built in tools to help you optimize and promote your shop, Etsy makes opening your online shop easy.
Although Esty provides some great tools to market your new shop both online and off, Pinterest is another must have tool for crafters. What could be easier than creating an album full of your wonderful products and then sharing that album with others? Not only is Pinterest one of the easiest marketing tools I have used, it is the most fun. The image based platform of Pinterest makes it a unique promoting tool for just about any product or service. Pinterest’s marketing manager, Kevin Knight, has some great tips on How to Promote Your Etsy Shop with Pinterest. I not only read it once, I bookmarked it as a priority reference sheet.
The last two must have tools I want to share is Facebook and Twitter. Social networking has become an intricate part of our lives and if you’re like me the most convenient way to keep in touch with others. I chose these two networks over any other for two reasons, because they are the most popular and because they are the most useful. These two networks allow you to communicate directly with your customers to encourage participation and sharing. Each platform is unique in the way you can use it to promote your online craft shop.
Facebook offers the ability to create a dedicated page for your shop and ways to promote it from within that page. Promoting with Facebook ads is economical and has helped me build a continual flow of traffic to my website. I also found that participating in groups that are craft oriented has enabled me to share with other people who enjoy crafting.
Twitter is the platform I choose to talk about everything crafty. It is especially useful for building a buzz around events and products I am promoting on my website. Unlike Facebook that provides users the ability to filter the information they receive, Twitter posts (known as tweets) is received by all your followers. Therefore, when you “tweet” a picture or a link to your website, article or event, it is seen by all your followers.
These tools have helped me build and promote my craft business online and obtain a steady increase of web traffic. The best thing is that I can manage it based on my available funds. This method may take a little longer to gain a return on investment, but I’m a firm believer in the phrase “slow and steady wins the race”.
To your success!
Do you have some tips and techniques you found useful in building your business, craft or otherwise? Please feel free to share, there is no greater feeling than helping another succeed.
Social Media Signs: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/social-networks.png
Pinterest image: http://bigeyeagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/using-pinterest-for-business.jpg
Etsy Image: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-mages/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/7/15/1373911003993/etsy-008.jpg