Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Simple Steps for Building your Facebook Audience

A Facebook fan page is all but mandatory for a handmade business. It gives you a way to interact with those who like your products easily and show them the face of your business every day (nearly a quarter of Facebook users check Facebook 5 or more times a day). However to do this you have to build up the number of people who like your page. Here are 5 easy ways to do this, they won't immediately rocket your page to thousands of likes but they give a consistent trickle of new likes and those snowball. You might also notice that only two of these suggestion actually involve doing anything outside of your page. That's because getting people to view your page is easy, you want people to press that like button and for that your page needs to be engaging.

1) Pictures. This is a big one, share photos of your work in progress, events, people modeling your creations, funny or inspiring quotes, your own lolcats (or lolcephalopods). Make sure they are relevant to your business or what you make but have fun with them. Photos on facebook get 39% more interaction than other posts, and that includes being shared and shared photos often lead to new likes. Also on the subject of pictures, make sure you have a good cover image and profile picture that represents your business and products, that's the first thing a new visitor to your page sees.

2) Invite your friends and share your page posts on your timeline. Don't share every post you make on your page and don't invite your friends over and over, you don't want to annoy them. However they are your friends and family and they probably want to see your succeed so invite them to like your page and share your posts with their friends.

3) Get the word out about your page other places on the web. Etsy offers a way to link your facebook page to your shop so take advantage of that, include it in your email signature, invite peopel to like you in transaction or shipping notifications, post a link or button on your blog, add it to your YouTube Channel, post it on your own website, link to it on Twitter/Google+/Tumblr/Squidoo/Pinterest/DeviantArt/etc. Make it as easy for people to find as possible.

4) Post frequently, and post at all times of day. This can be difficult when you're just one person running a page but there are ways to make it easier. First take advantage of Facebook's scheduling feature to write a bunch of posts at once and schedule them to post throughout the day. You can also use an app like RSSGraffiti so automatically share new items from your Etsy shop RSS feed (or the rss feed from any other selling venue, most offer one). You can also use Networked blogs to share your new blog posts to your page as well. If you have a smart phone I really recommend getting the Facebook Pages app so you can post or reply to comments when you aren't at your computer (this is especially useful at events like craft shows so you can share photos of what's going on). What's the ideal balance between enough posts and too many? I don't know, the estimates from social media experts vary widely so you need to experiment to find the sweet spot for your own page. I will say that posting several times a day (as opposed to once) is more effective as is posting at different times of day instead of only int eh afternoon for example, because you reach people who have different patterns for when they check facebook (almost no one looks at everything that's been posted since they were last on).

5) Tone matters. Don't be overly professional and formal. You're a creative business, let that come through. Let your personality come through on your page. Let people know that they are interacting with a real person who is passionate about what they make. Some of my most successful posts ever in terms of likes and share is when I've shared the process of developing a new jewelry line including pictures of the prototypes and asked for feedback on what to use for the name.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah Pictures is absolutely #1. I agree! Images get your attention when you are scrolling, and that is how people consume facebook. As they engage with your images, they will keep running into you more and more as they scroll


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