{Business Tips} Got Followers? Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool

Getting Acquainted

First let me give a Big Thanks to the owner of the opening photo! They are not a member of Team EcoEtsy but interesting social media pics are somewhat difficult to come by, so thank you Bri at Rotated Designs on Etsy.

I’m very excited to be a new member of the EcoEtsy Editing Team! I’m looking forward to receiving your ideas (and possibly articles) related to the Business Tips section of our terrific and informative Blog!! Visit my little Fan Page on Facebook and leave a little hello!!!

Many of us use Facebook on a daily (if not hourly) basis. LIKE and SHARE buttons are everywhere. . . even ETSY! So if you have yet to delve into the addicting world of Facebook, you’re missing out on some wonderful marketing opportunities. This Business Tips article will help to highlight some of the benefits to using Facebook as a marketing tool, as well as offer a few tips for creating a successful Facebook Business Fan Page. But let’s not kid ourselves on this one, this article is only the tip of the iceberg. Social Media is the perfect chameleon. Right when you think you’ve figured out how to use it. . . it changes. The beautiful thing about social media, is that it gives you (the business owner) the chance to relax a bit! The key to Facebook success is to not take yourself too seriously, have fun and remember to be Genuine.

If you Build it, They Will Come?!

This may have been true for baseball fields in movies but unfortunately this is not the case with the world wide web. Anyone can create a site, but it’s only with some dedication in terms of time and effort that you will gain the fan base you’re really craving! Look at you Facebook fan page as simply an extension of your Etsy shop. All of the same options are available, as with your personal page but you will be using them differently. Your Friends become your “Page Likes” and your Photos become your “Etsy Shop” (or whatever photos you choose to post related to your business). There is the option to link your Etsy shop directly to your Facebook page using “My Etsy” on Facebook. You can create a Facebook Badge to embed in your Blog or website. This will allow your Blog followers easier access to additional info and more frequent updates. You can even Network your blog through Facebook to automatically post a status update for each new blog post. Twice the marketing for 1/2 the work is always a good thing!

The Art of Making Connections

Finding your followers can be a bit challenging at first. Consider the “status updates” on Facebook that cause you to respond with excitement. Is it the random warning of the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse that makes a post absolutely necessary to “Share” (yes this was a real article shared on Facebook)?! Or maybe it’s the delightful bowl of Organic Hawthorne Berries featured in an image that makes the shop impossible not to click that “Like” button! Either way, the person has made some sort of emotional connection with You. Followers & customers are no different. They want to know that you understand them. The most important thing you can give them is attention. Make sure your responses to your followers comments are authentic and not generic. Ignoring followers is a surefire way to lose customers. Making genuine and honest connections with your followers can result in future sales and lifelong customers.If you offer them a personal experience, along with interesting content, they’ll keep coming back for more!

Timing is Everything

Much like the timing involved in the Renewal of Etsy listings, the time that you post status updates is something to consider. Who are your customers? Are they stay-at-home-moms/dads, checking Facebook between nap times (yes moms and dads are on there too)? Do most of your purchasers surf the web only during their lunch break? Or are they Twittering on their Sprint EcoEtsy App all day long?! These are all things that will help you identify the perfect timing for your status updates. Thursday and Friday have been identified by Buddy Media as the highest traffic days and I would have to agree. In general, most social networking takes place outside of the 9-5 hours. Especially since access to these sites are blocked by most employers. The more you learn about your target market audience the more likely you’ll be to understand their schedules. Check out your followers pages. Take a peak at their likes and dislikes. Use these resources to your advantage. Don’t think of it as customer stalking but rather market research!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

When it comes to posting status updates, remember to K.I.S.S. your customers! Keep it Short and Sweet. If they want to read a full article they can visit your blog. Facebook readers want quick-witted updates and sometimes a little cheaky humor thrown in for good measure. Photos are always good too of course. . . that is unless they are bad. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, your photos are everything. In the case of Facebook, most of your photos (unless expanded) will only be seen as an itty bitty thumbnail image. When you upload your images, make sure that they are readable as a thumbnail before posting. Sit back in your desk chair (or armchair), relax and take a look at your computer screen. Can you tell what the image is? If you can’t, then your followers won’t be able to either. If the image IS readable, post it with a short and to the point but engaging comment. Make sure that the actual size of the picture is larger, so that if your followers want to take a closer look, they are not faced with a photo the exact same size as the thumbnail. Easy Access and visual appeal are very important. Follow the lead of The Wooden Bee, One Shade Greener and Manila Extract. Their images are clear, descriptive and readable both literally and visually.

Keep Business and Pleasure Separate

Last but not least. . .  the ever-important question. . . What is T.M.I? There are very blurry lines between business, pleasure and posting. While everyone loves a status update with a random photo of Newt Gingrich Getting Glittered (even if it’s just because Glitter is Awesome!) not all of your customers will be interested in your political views. Also, unless it’s Mary’s Buttermilk Chocolate Cake and including a recipe, we don’t want to know what you ate for dinner last night. There are separate account settings for your Personal Facebook Profile and your Facebook Fan page Profile. Use them. They are your Friend! They allow you to better control who can see what. Think of a wall post as an informal email. Only in this case, it’s posted for all the world to see and read (or whomever you allow to read). While the computer can be a fun and adventurous tool, it’s also a very powerful one. It allows millions of people from all over the world instant access to one other. I have to refer to my Mother on this one. . . “Don’t talk to strangers”! Translation: “Be aware of the personal connections you make, limit the amount of information shared by controlling your account settings and keep the T.M.I’s to a minimum!

A few additional links that are especially helpful in the area of social media marketing include Design Sponge, Social Media Examiner and  The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. There happens to also be a current Facebook Contest called Help Me Launch that is offering a chance to help you launch your business on Facebook! Don’t forget to visit EcoEtsy on Facebook as well!

I do not profess to know everything there is to know about social media. It’s an area that I enjoy dabbling in. I love the idea of learning new and exciting things about interacting and creating relationships with others through this nifty little device we like to call a computer! I could go on and on about social media and the huge role that it plays in online marketing today. If there are any specific topics related to social media that you would like to see in future articles, I’m open to any and all ideas and suggestions. Feel free to posts ideas in the comment section! All feedback is good feedback.

Comments

  1. Great post Nichole! I feel like I’m constantly working on the right balance of content and timing for my page. Your article has given me several ideas on things I want to try.

    • Thanks for the compliments Lori! It’s definitely a difficult thing to gauge when to post things. I’m constantly struggling with this myself. . . sometimes it’s a matter of just getting it posted altogether!! Too many things to post and too little time:)

  2. Great article!!! Very encouraging for me to continue to use & strengthen by FB presence. Thanks.

  3. I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and you article has been very encouraging to me. Thanks very much for sharing your ideas.

    • I think we all have this sort of relatonship with Facebook?! Just the other day, it kicked me out of Networked Blogs and I had to go back in and reupdate the link. . . Ugh! Just take it all in strride. Thanks for the comment and support!

  4. Great post! :) Just liked you on fbook~

  5. Did someone mention glitter?
    This post was grand and touched on some things I was happy to learn about. Beautifully, comprehensive writing, Nichole. Welcome and thank you so very much for your care to share the words of birds.

    • HaHa GLitter!! glad you enjoyed the article! If you have any additional thoughts for future topics feel free to send them my way! Thanks for the thoughtful words Under The Root!

  6. Thank you Nikki for the love! Also, I agree wholeheartedly about the TMI’s on facebook pages. If there is irrelevant info or I feel like i’m getting spammed, I always “hide” the page. This means I can miss out on a lot unless I check it. Bummer, but it helps keep fb from running rampant.

    • You gotta love the option to delete comments! It’s unfortunate to have to do so, but it’s important to keep your facebook page clean and Customer friendly. . . which you do beautifully:)

  7. This was a very helpful article. You made some good points to think about! Thanks for taking the time to write!