Social media and e-commerce go hand in hand.
As an online retailer, you are able to interact with potential buyers, increase traffic to your store and of course…generate more income.
Believe me, the potential to build a very successful online store using social media is there. Just check the numbers. According to Statistca.com, in 2016, there was an estimated 1.61 billion people who purchased goods online. Which amounted to 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars and 12.1percent of these sales were in Asia Pacific.
Right now, social media is used quite effectively by such popular brands on Etsy as LayeredAndLong. To advertise, increase presence and of course the key factor to keeping customers coming back. Delivering superior customer service!
So you’re probably wondering, “How did these brands do it?” Keep reading and I will let you in on the secrets of using social media to promote your Etsy store.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace that focuses on handmade, vintage or uniquely manufactured items. Such as art, clothing, jewellery, photography, beauty products, and toys just to name a few.
What makes Etsy so great is the fact it makes it easy to sell your goods because it provides your store with a shopping cart, payment processor and most importantly it has a ready-made market looking for such handmade items, just like yours!
How To Make A Social Media Ready Etsy Store
Are your images telling your Etsy shop story? If you make handmade goods, this can give your store a visual boost over other Etsy retailers. Visual content connects with buyers by showing them how much time and love goes into creating each item. By doing this greatly increases your market value and also puts a “face to the product.”
But first things first, let’s create your stores cover photo.
How To Create a Cover Photo:
This photo covers the entire width of your shop. Your cover photo is the first image(s) that engages first time or returning shopper(s) in your product. It literally is a billboard for your company. You can easily use Canva to create your cover photo.
Open Canva and select the Etsy template.
Upload your own photo or choose from Canvas library of templates. I would suggest highlighting your best image. For example, a cover photo that converts is one that highlights your product(s) and brings them all together just how Long and Layered did in the below photo.
They use high-quality images of their necklaces, bracelets and rings that appeal to their audience (women).
All the pictures have a dainty, feminine quality to them. When you see this image you automatically know this store sells beautiful jewellery. If that’s what you’re looking for you are going to scroll down to see more.
Adjust your images with filters and text.
NOTE: Use text sparingly. Make text big enough to it can be viewed on mobile devices.
Save and download your design, and head back to Etsy to upload. A cover photo can truly make or break your branding. It could either inspire customers to come and purchase or have them scrolling past looking for the next best thing.
Your cover visuals (i.e. font, logo and images) should be simple, clear and consistent throughout your store. This makes for branding consistency and makes it easier for you to be known and recognised when shared socially.
Social Tip: This cover image size is 1200 x 300 pixels; try shooting for 3360 pixels x 840 pixels. It’s also a wide image so make sure your image is shot horizontally!
Which Social Media Platform Should I Use?
This is a question I get asked a lot in our social media marketing class. First, thing a business must do is think the following:
For example, let’s say your Etsy store sales women’s fitness gear. Your typical customer(s) are between the ages of 30-45. Sounds like you probably would want to promote your Etsy store on Pinterest.
According to the latest statistics, 81% of Pinterest audiences are female and the median age is 40. Moreover, the majority of active pinners are below 40. Thus making it a goldmine for businesses that are targeting women.
Pin it on Pinterest
Everything about Pinterest works perfectly for Etsy retailers. According to RJMetrics, Etsy, by far, gets the most re-pins of any other online retailer. That’s because the Etsy brand aligns with the inspirational Pinterest user.
Social Tip: Pinterest users like to buy. The average amount per order is higher than any other social media platform!
Creating Your Pinterest Account
When using interest to generate traffic to your Etsy store, via Pinterest. Your main marketing strategy is to get clicks from your Pinterest that lead to your Etsy store.
Let’s start out by creating your Pinterest account:
The first and most important step is to create a Pinterest business account. For consistency in your branding, use the same name as your Etsy store.
Don’t forget to add a location, link to your Etsy store, branding image and links to your other social profiles.
Now that your store has been created. It’s time to fill up your page with boards that are relevant to your store and brand. The top row is a prime real estate. It must showcase what your store is all about.
Your first board should contain all your Etsy store merchandise. This way people can easily access your retail and don’t have to go clicking through various boards to find what they want.
Now, it’s time to add your description. Pinterest boards are very SEO friendly. Just follow the same SEO practices as you would do for a blog entry.
Find keyword(s) that are highly searched, have low competition, and relate to your product.
Using this Pinterest SEO technique can increase your chances of your board(s) being ranked on Yahoo, Google and Bing.Thus, increasing your chances of more exposure and sales.
You only have 140 characters in your pin/board description. Not only do you have to include your keyword(s). But, you also have to include the following:
Everyone loves a little personality. Use your own voice when describing your product!
Social Tip: Go beyond your products. Let’s say you sell swimwear. Pin ideas on how to wear it, which colors look best or what swimwear looks good for your body type. So many pining possibilities so your pins aren’t so “purchase now” heavy.
Designing Your Pins:
When designing your pins. Rule of thumb is to make your images skinny and vertical, never short and fat. Long, vertical images are optimized for Pinterest and have a higher re-pin and click-through rate than any other image.
Create Rich Pins:
There are four categories of Rich pins: recipes, products, movies and articles. These pins answer all your customer questions within that pin.
For example, where to find a product, price, and even ingredients for recipe pins. Rich pins are an awesome way to promote your other products. When you create a rich pin. You’ll see other pins from your Etsy store to the right of your product pin.
Pinterest is not a faceless advertising platform. Showcase quality content including blogs (from your website and others) and even video (second highest conversion rate on Pinterest).
Pinterest is all about fun, sharing and inspiration. So give that to your audience!
Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Ads?
What about Pinterest ads? I’m so glad you asked.
When most people think of paid ads. Their minds automatically go to Facebook, Google Adwords and Instagram (more on that later).
Here are my Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to Pinterest advertising.
Don’t Use redirect links. A promoted pin that sends your customer to a landing page won’t be approved. Pinterest advertising is more natural.
It doesn’t go in for the hard sell like most forms of paid advertising. According to Pinterest advertising guidelines, they want a Pinterest user to click on a promoted pin to find the information they are looking for without having to opt in.
Do Use a website or blog (Tumblr, WordPress, etc) in conjunction with your Etsy store when promoting on Pinterest. You don’t want to always send them back to your Etsy store. Send them to a blog article that might offer more information.
For example, using swimwear as an example again, “10 ways to make your swimsuit look fab this summer.” By taking them to a more informative article. This shows Pinterest and your potential customer that you are not going in for that hard sell. But giving information that nudges your customer in the purchasing direction.
Don’t Use Hashtags: Hashtags, are allowed on Pinterest. But, not in conjunction with ads. They make your ad look spammy. Thus, turning the educated Pinterest user away. You are allowed to add your keywords to a campaign. So hashtags are not needed for promoted pins.
Do Use call-to-action in the description: “Sign up today” “Download now” “Join free for a month” are great examples of a CTA that Pinterest would allow in your Pinterest campaign.
Remember, Pinterest users are educated, accomplished women. Don’t try to over sale. You have to give her pertinent information in relation to what she wants to buy.
Is it Working?
Let’s keep it real. There is a possibility that you won’t go viral…and that’s ok. When you are building a REAL following. It may take a little time. Check your Pinterest Analytics to see how your account is fairing.
Your Pinterest analytics are broken up into 3 sections:
You want to look at these metrics in 30, 60, or 90-day blocks. Check out:
Next, check your Re-pins. Checking your re-pins lets you know which pin are getting the most likes and shares. This lets you know what kind of content resonates with your audience. Thus, making it easy for you to create more of that in-demand content.
You can also check Google Analytics to see:
Pinterest Page views: How many pages views you received from Pinterest
Pinterest Traffic: For example, Google drives 40% of your traffic, Facebook 30% and Pinterest 20%. Just make sure you’re seeing an increase in your social media statistics.
More gains, follows and shares opposed to people unfollowing you and little to no engagement.
It’s best to step back and ask yourself the following questions.
Don’t get frustrated. Real social success takes time. Just keep posting fresh and relevant content; engaging your audience and the word will spread organically!
With the explosion of mobile marketing. It’s a no-brainer to turn your Instagram account into an e-commerce marketplace.
According to emarketer.com, 84% of mobile users, search, browse and compare products on their smartphones.
I know you’re thinking about Instagram’s lack of clickable URL links. The only one is in the bio. But, when you advertise on Instagram you can add CTA’s to your sponsored posts, that are clickable.
Unlike Pinterest, you can send them to a landing page.
This is where this visual platforms really shines when it comes to paid advertising for your Etsy store.
You can collect that potential customer(s) email address for further marketing. I understand you probably don’t have the budget to promote each and every post on IG. Don’t worry…you’re not supposed to. You can use this platform to further solidify your branding.
What Should I Post? Just like Pinterest. Inspiration and motivation always get engagement in the way of comments, likes and shares on IG. Show us what inspires you, what gives you the motivation to create your beautiful handmade products.
Your Instagram posts should have a mixture of:
Promotional posts: Your merchandise, discounts/special events
Non-Promotional: Videos or photos of you creating merchandise. Also, pictures that allow your audience to get to know you, the creator.
Try to post 1-2 posts daily and post one promotional post per week. DON’T OVER SELL!!!!
Another great way to build a loyal following is to utilizing Instagram Stories. If you don’t know, Instagram stories allow users to view what is going on at the moment with you.
These images are life for only 24 hours. Then they are gone off “Your Story.”
Instagram has changed its algorithm again. Now, favoring it’s Insta Stories over traditional posts.
But, it’s still a double whammy when it comes to exposure and branding via Instagram. As an Etsy store owner, you can use “your story” as a behind the scenes of your operation.
When creating content for Insta Stories showcase:
Social Tip: You can now use hashtags on your Instastory! Find relevant Etsy hashtags via http://all-hashtag.com/. Don’t go hashtag crazy on your story. Limit it to 1-2 hashtags per post.
Since you are selling handmade items. One effective way to promote your Etsy store is to send influencers in your niche some of your merchandise. Who doesn’t love a beautiful handmade gift?
Have them post a picture of your merchandise. Make sure to ask them to tag you in the post and give you a social shout out to all their fans and followers.
I guarantee you will get tons of traffic and new followers by doing this!
Lastly, promote within your Etsy community. Spread the word via forums/boards (if allowed) and their social media. You can even also ask your customers to do the same. Offer them an incentive, like a discount off their next purchase for doing so!
Automate, Automate…did I say Automate??? I know you’re probably getting overwhelmed by posting on 2-3 different platforms, multiple times a day. Who has the time??
But, let me tell you. There are some kick-ass softwares out there that can do it all for you! One of my favorites for scheduling, posting and boosting my online presence is Viral Woot.
Seriously, it does everything from scheduling your posts, increasing reach engaging, connects with the right influencers and creates Pinterest and Instagram campaigns for you!
I really love Viralwoots analytics feature for Instagram. Since IG is a mobile-based platform I find IG analytics lackluster when trying to measure your post/page performance. And it’s just downright hard to see on your smartphone’s screen.
Automation really helps you get back to doing what you love to do the most. Creating products for your Etsy store. Promoting your store via social media is a necessary for your Etsy stores success.
The more time you devote to these platforms the more sales you will generate. The key is to be consistent and patient. There are many stores/brands who have hit hard and faded away just as fast.
Remind yourself you are in it for the long run and it all part of how to become a digital marketer. So, continue to post that inspirational and informative content that your audience loves.