Sunday, 18 March 2012

Promoting Handmade Crafts on Facebook

A Facebook business page is an effective way of not only meeting potential customers of our crafts, it can also be used as a tool for keeping in contact with past customers. The use of Facebook business pages as a marketing tool for promoting handmade crafts can be extremely valuable and I hope the following will help to show how effective it can be.

Facebook business page for handmade crafts

I started my Shpangle Jewellery Facebook page for my jewellery business about a year ago, and to be honest I didn’t realise how effective it could be and pretty much left it alone. Within a very short period of time I noticed my customers were starting to follow the page and after a while this number grew to the level it is today; almost 550 followers, the majority of which are my customers.

Promoting handmade crafts on Facebook

I strongly believe that all forms of social media have their place in the marketing of our handmade crafts. In fishing terms, it isn’t necessarily the rod that you use, but the type of bait and of course, patience. I relate the likes of Twitter to fly-fishing; you whip your line in and out of the stream with the attempt of catching that Salmon. Whilst Facebook on the other hand, is a bit like being a Trawlerman; you cast your net into the deep ocean and over time it begins to fill.

The Benefits of Promoting Handmade Crafts on Facebook

In my mind the use of Facebook as a marketing tool for promoting crafts has the following benefits over other forms of social media marketing.

1) It is extremely visual. Pretty much all of our crafts are visual and often a photograph speaks a thousand words. With Facebook and the use of product photographs and related text it is fairly easy to build up a pictorial story of your work and portfolio of your handmade goods. Generally, people like to see photographs rather than short snippets of text.

2) It has longevity. A product photograph or announcement posted onto the wall stays there and remains there for all to see for days, months and years! Quite often I have discovered comments made on photographs and other announcements made many weeks after the initial event.

3) Communicating to the masses. Rather than having a conversation with just one person it is clear and easy to communicate to several people simultaneously. It is very much like having a newsletter with which the recipients can give instant feedback. For example, I often post details about new product releases and quite often get immediate feedback from people asking for further information.

4) Other business pages. It only takes one happy customer to recommend your product or services on another popular business/organisation Facebook page and before you know it your page has become popular amongst people who have a genuine interest in your product.

5) My customers are there. With over 30 million UK Facebook users (half of the UK population) and the majority of them using it every day, Facebook has a huge reach! The other great thing about Facebook, is that it covers such a wide spectrum of people, ages and interests.

6) It is dynamic. A Facebook business page is similar to a website; it says a lot about you and your products, but has the benefit of forever changing. I often receive customer testimonials left on my Facebook page rather than my website.

How to get more followers to your Facebook Page

Personally I would focus on natural likes for a Facebook business page rather than just likes for the sake of having numbers. I would rather have a few people who engage with my content than hundreds that don’t and these natural followers will have an interest in what I have to say!

Getting more Facebook followers

Yes, there are plenty of methods out there for enticing followers but there is no point if they do not have any interest; you really want people who have an interest in your business and share your content with others, and generally spread the word!

Some methods of making it easier for people who have an interest in your business to find you on Facebook include:

1) Add Facebook buttons to your website and blog.
2) Connect your twitter and Facebook feeds together so that they are updated simultaneously.
3) Specify your Facebook page link on emails, business cards and related forum signatures.
4) Post fresh informative content regularly to your page.
5) Post a signature to your Facebook page on other related Facebook walls.
6) Always interact with your audience and acknowledge comments etc.

I hope you find that useful and for anybody considering setting up a Facebook business page; please give it a go, as like me you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

If you have any other comments or suggestions on how best to utilise Facebook for promoting our crafts please let me know.

Mick

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Mick, if/when I eventually get back in the saddle so to speak I really must do more on Facebook.
    Will follow with interest for any further useful comments..

    One I would like to add though is not forgetting to be professional if you use your Facebook page for business, I did stop following some for that reason, perhaps its easy to forget when typing away perhaps after a night out? your customers may well be reading what they wished they had not.

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    1. That is a very good and important point and I have often seen this happen as well. I think maybe people (especially those with Facebook personal accounts as well) forget to keep their personal things away from their business page.

      Hope you get back in the saddle soon!

      Mick

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  2. Great post, Mick. I agree - Facebook is a wonderful place to promote your work. And it's a wonderful place to meet other artists and exchange ideas and help each other along, too.

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