Arts & Crafts Magazine

4 Social Networks You Need To Be Using To Promote Your Handmade Business

By Alison_wood @midnight_eden

If you have a creative business, a blog, a website or an Etsy store for example, then you are going to be looking for ways to get more traffic to your site.

One of the ways to reach as large an audience as possible, for no money, is through social media. Here are my top four recommendations for where to start, but first up a caveat. Although the title of my post says that you need to be using these, you don’t have to use them all at once or get panicky and overwhelmed and end up using none (and yes I am taking to myself here!)  Just take your time, start with one, learn to use it consistently and well, and then move on to the next.

You might find that some social networks you love and some you hate (for my UK readers, yes they are like marmite!) so go with your instincts and use what works best for you. Yes you are building a business, but it doesn’t have to be torture. Don’t force yourself to use something you hate, just use the ones you love, more consistently. In each outline below I have linked to my relevant profile, so you can see them in action. If you would like to, please feel free to follow me and leave a comment on any of them, and then I will follow you right back  –  I’m nice that way

;-)

1. Facebook

facebook
Ok so first up, probably the big Daddy of them all is Facebook. When it comes to promoting your business you need a Facebook page, not a profile. This is because you can brand it as your business and ultimately you can have as many followers or ‘Likes’ as you can get, whereas Facebook profiles limit your amount of friends. Also by using a page you can separate it from your profile, which you might use for family matters etc.

When you are starting out with Facebook you need to reach out to others in related niches, so find other crafter’s pages that you like and maybe also join some Facebook groups which are in your field. To find these just do a search in the bar at the top of Facebook and then you can narrow it down to pages and groups and choose some you would like to be involved with.

2. Twitter

twitter
Twitter is good for networking, having conversations with other crafters and for getting word out about what you offer. The nice thing with this site is that you can keep your updates short and snappy and you don’t have to spend hours writing content. The drawback is that you can easily get sucked in, as with any social network site, so set yourself some time constraints and only work on social networking for a fixed amount of time per day.

Twitter along with many of the networking sites, particularly Instagram, makes use of hashtags. So if you want to search or tag your item as, for example ‘handmade’, you just add #handmade at the end of the tweet – this will help you get found. You can be pretty creative with these but the aim is to be quite succinct – don’t add #awesomehandmadebraceletwithpinkstones, as believe me no-one will be searching for that hashtag

;-)

Have a look around and see some of the other hashtags that people are using and you will soon get the hang of it.

3. Pinterest

pinterest
OK now we move on to the first of two very highly visual mediums and because of this, these sites are perfect for promoting your beautiful handmade items. With Pinterest you create a range of boards and to those you can pin both your own items, say from Folksy or Etsy or your own site, and you can repin the work of others.

As you will see from my Pinterest profile, although I concentrate on crafts I also have a range of other interests (um yes I do like a picture of a cute bunny or two) and I therefore group these together in content specific niche  boards. You can also ♥ other people’s work and leave comments, both of which increase the probability of others checking you out.

4. Instagram

instagram
The next site is Instagram and here visuals and hashtags rule. It is important on this site I feel to add images of a number of different elements of your life, and not to just add image after image of what you make. I look at Instagram as very much ‘lifestyle’, and while I am not advocating sharing too much of your life if you don’t wish to, at least offer up a variety of images. If you don’t feel comfortable adding photos of your family or home that is fine, but maybe a picture of somewhere that you have visited or a photo taken when you are out and about will add a great deal – it can’t just be about the sell.

With Instagram, hashtags rock, so feel free to experiment and to even add multiple ones to your photo (within reason of course!), they really will help you to get found.

OK so there are my 4 recommendations. As I said at the start, don’t rush, don’t panic, don’t do 127 things all at once, but do consider trying each of the social networks out and seeing what you like.

If you would like to learn a lot more about identifying your ideal customers and marketing to them across social media then you may want to check out my 8 week online course the ‘Social Media Marketing Bootcamp’. Click this link for a further details on all the benefits it can offer your handmade business.

Above all remember these are social networking sites, with the emphasis on SOCIAL. Don’t always go out to sell, but to add value, to answer questions and to maybe, just maybe have a little fun. Enjoy

:-)

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