At any given moment, hundreds of millions of people are logging onto Facebook and browsing their News Feeds. With a Facebook Page, you can tap into that captive audience and make it easier for people to find and spread the word about your shop. The key with Facebook (and all social media) is that it is less about explicitly trying to promote things, and more about forging connections, sharing interesting tid-bits, and having fun!
So now that you have a Facebook Page, what do you say? You might be tempted to post every new listing to Facebook but that’s not going to win you any sales or fans.
Getting to know you: I like learning about an artist as a person. I am interested in seeing new work and hearing about events such as sales, shows, and blog posts. What I don’t like is spam. New listings one after another clutter my feed. — Cindy Steiler from MarysGranddaughter
Spam I am (not): If all I get in my stream are advertisements for your product, I hide you. If, on the other hand, you inform and entertain me I’ll keep you in my stream and visit your page now and then. — Vicky Bell from FreshUrbanVintage
So while the occasional listing is necessary, our community has suggestions on ways to keep your Facebook Page fresh, engaging, and relevant:
Working on it: Sharing work-in-progress with fans seems to work out very well. This allows your fans to see your creative process. Once a piece is completed I then blog about it, linking to that post from Facebook and list it for sale on Etsy. — Jessica Doyle
Be an inspiration: Every couple weeks I write an ‘article’ on something that inspires me, ‘jewels in history’ or something like that. They aren’t completely random. They all have something to do with what I make. — velvetotterhound
Personal effects: My most popular posts on my shop’s Facebook Page are always the ones about my cats or my family. I think it’s good to include a personal touch on your Page (without over-sharing), and not just promote your business in every post. — oldworldprimitives
Share the knowledge: Since I sell camera straps I try to post interesting articles and such about photography. I keep my fans engaged by asking them questions about photography, since most of my fans are professional photographers. — RhyahPapaya
The human touch: Most importantly, my fans like to see that I’m a human being. It’s like any other conversation — they like it when I ask about them, and when I do talk about myself, it’s best to talk about things that they can relate to whether it regards to something that I like to do, or what my future might hold. They also like it when I post pictures of my studio, or sneak peeks of what’s to come. Adding a little mystery always gets the fan’s interest! — Mary Recchia from megashark
Experiment and find what frequency of posting works for your content, audience, and voice.
Save it for later: Sometimes I have a ton of stuff I want to post about. What I end up doing is writing ideas for posts down as they occur to me and then space them out over a period of time. I really don’t like to post more than 3-4 times per week. — Angela from ShopSomethingBlue
Keep it consistent: A lot of people are saying “don’t over-post,” which I agree with, but I’ve also found that it’s very important to be a regular and consistent poster. The more consistent I am, the more Likes I get. I suppose it makes me appear serious and reliable as a business owner. — Mary Recchia from megashark
Social media isn’t a one-way channel. You can make your Page more effective by focusing on connecting, rather than broadcasting.
Ask for feedback: Make the effort to include your customers in your design process. They are, after all, the ones who will or won’t buy from you. Listen to them and ask open-ended questions — and stay away from the yes or no, like-this-if-you-agree kind. — PhanieMarie
Be responsive: When someone asks a question or has feedback, definitely respond to it in a timely manner. It will make your shop even more approachable to potential customers. — inediblejewelry
Niceness counts: Definitely be nice to people and get to know your followers. If they like you, they will look at your stuff. If they look at your stuff, they are more apt to buy. So always be super kind (genuine, but kind) to all followers. I had one girl who really likes to message me and tell me what is wrong with each inidividual painting (“I don’t like your style in that one…” “The background is too dark…” “I don’t even get that — what are you trying to get at?”), and it makes me want to scream. But, I accept her views and always reply carefully and kindly. As a result, despite the constant criticism, she has bought a decent amount of my work! So you never know! — Loki Ryeland from PaintingsbyLoki
Build relationships: Interaction with others is a wonderful source of inspiration and drive. That is the goal of my Facebook Page, not sales (not directly anyway). Through building relationships with your followers you will gain sales, emotion-based sales (those are the ones that turn into word of mouth advertising). — Rebecca from Athenianaire
Gaining an Audience
How do you connect with potential fans? Here are top tips from sellers:
Automate it: In your auto-response to your buyers, put a blurb about liking your shop on Facebook to be the first to hear about promotions. — GeekGirlVintage
Invitation enclosed: For getting “quality” fans, and not just playing the “Like my page and I’ll like yours” game, when I send a thank-you after an item has shipped, I include an invitation for them to join my Page and sign up for my newsletter. — Mary from FrayedFuzzies
A little help from your friends: To those with just one or two likes, make sure to check the right-hand column of your Page where you’ll see an “invite friends” link. That will send an invitation to your page to your whole friends list on Facebook. It will get you a nice jump start. — maryannfarley
Climb the networking ladder: Networking ladders (such as The Craft Show, and Addicted to Networking on Facebook) are a great way for those who start at ground zero. It may not bring you ‘true’ fans, but when you have nowhere to start, it gets your product out there fast. — Crystal from WhimsicalMai
Slow and steady: Accumulate true fans little by little. Having 2,000 fans that are not interested in what you have to say isn’t as effective as having 200 who love hearing from you. — Cordelia J. Smith from sweetpetula
The occasional promotion can be a great way to reward your fans and drive traffic to your shop. Here are some ideas:
Members only: Give your fans exclusive perks. We occasionally will throw out a % off coupon code, or a free shipping code on our page only for our Facebook fans. — SerenityInChains
Bring ‘em over: When I first started my Facebook Page, I went to my LinkedIn account and invited everyone over, not just to “like” the page, but to enter my first contest giveaway! It really worked in those early days in gaining likes. — maryannfarley
Seller beware: Giveaways (hosted by popular blogs or Facebook Pages) increase “likes” very quickly but I have noticed those are very often not quality likes. — PBlossomBoutique
Your Page Look
Here are some ideas for making your Page look enticing to your fans:
Cream at the top: I always make sure my best items/images are in the top 5 thumbnails on the Page. You can easily tick the little ‘X’ in the corner and make your recent uploads vanish. — missbelluk
Create your own world: To get fans to like my Page, I created a landing page that gives my fans an idea of what my page has to offer, such as coupon codes, sneak peeks and giveaways. Once they like, they’re taken to a welcome page with an ongoing coupon code for fans only. I also created a custom profile picture that is much taller than a standard photo and acts more like a banner with information than just an avatar. — RhyahPapaya
Safe place to land: Make a Facebook landing page that non-fans will automatically be directed to that literally tells them to “like” your page, and why (mine says “Click ‘like’ above to keep informed about shop news, updates, and sales”). Google “Facebook landing page” for instructions on how to do so. Made a huge difference for me! — Julie Morris from BuffaloLucy
And finally, make time for making things. The best piece of advice:
Keep a balance: Don’t sit on Facebook all day. — LonesomeRoadStudio
What are your Facebook tips? Share in the comments below!