Here at IndieMade, we know that social media provides a variety of options to get the word out about our art and online stores. Many of us have personal Facebook profiles, but a business page is helpful as well. When it comes to social media, a Facebook business page is probably going to give you a good payback for your time and effort. It gives your readers the opportunity to interact with you and feel that they are getting a behind the scenes view of your workshop or studio and an opportunity to get to know you personally. This can set you apart from other sellers in a very competitive art and craft market. For another article on the topic, with in-depth explanations of Facebook terms, you can view this article.
Your Facebook business page should be linked to your online store. Be sure to invite your friends and relatives to “like” your page. Facebook makes it easy by leaving suggestions who to invite in the upper right hand corner of your business page.
How to Boost Engagement on Your Facebook Business Page
We want people to visit our Facebook business page, but not just stop by there and leave. Our goal is to get them “engaged," which means we want them to “like” (click the “like” button on our posts); comment on the post; or share the post. So what should you keep in mind when posting on your Facebook business page with increased engagement in mind? Here are some tips:
When you list a new item in your shop, you can post it on Facebook, but don’t overdo it. Aim for a mix of shop listings and more personal posts. Facebook fans want interaction and personal posts, not view a repeat of shop listings. There are hundreds of software applications available to help Facebook users manage their business pages. Shortstack is a free program that will help you customize your Facebook Page with promotions, contests, videos, custom forms, and drive traffic from Facebook to your shop. Contests in particular are an effective way to engage visitors on your business page. Be sure to follow Facebook guidelines for holding contests, as they have strict guidelines regarding them.
Aim to keep things visually interesting on your Facebook business page. Posts with images get much more attention than those with just text. Consider sharing mini-“photo-albums” such as “My Studio”; “Our Thanksgiving”; “My Pets”; “My Garden”; and other such personal images that will allow your readers to get to know you better as a person and step into your personal life a little.
According to TechCrunch, 78% of Facebook users are accessing their Facebook account via mobile devices. It’s a good idea to view your posts through a mobile device so you can see what your fans are seeing and make changes accordingly. The administrative view and fan view can differ, as many of us know already.
Your business page is a great place for customer appreciation. You can welcome new “likers” by mentioning them by name (their names appear in the upper left hand corner of the Facebook page); and you might consider taking pictures of customers wearing your designs if you are a jewelry maker and posting them from time to time if you do shows.
One of the easiest ways to encourage interaction is to ask readers a question. According to Hubspot, readers respond to “where”, “when” and “should” better than “why”. They have actually researched this! One easy question related to an upcoming holiday, like Halloween, would be “What do you think the cut-off age should be for trick or treaters?” And of course you would post a picture of kids in costumes. This question should generate some opinions, don’t you think? Or make it more personal by posting a picture of yourself as a child in your favorite costume, and ask readers to send you their own favorite images of Halloween years ago. Another option would be asking readers what costumes their kids or grandkids will be wearing this year, and asking them to send in pictures you can post.
A good example of content that might be shared is a special family recipe. Your grandmother’s banana bread recipe with a beautiful picture posted on your business page could very well get shared by several of your readers. You could also invite others to share their own special family recipes. This is an easy way to encourage interaction. Because Facebook fans love seeing their names, be sure to rename the submitted recipes such as “Brenda’s Aunt’s Goulash” and so on.
If you are an animal lover, a great way to encourage engagement is to post a picture of your pet and ask readers to show off their pets by submitting a picture of their little furry or feathered friend. Use your creativity with Facebook questions, and your readers will have fun! These questions don’t have anything to do with your art, but they are inviting readers to engage with your brand and become a part of your world.
Posting a video increases reader engagement almost as much as pictures do, so if you learn to take short videos this could be an interesting way to add content and variety to your Facebook page. For video editing software, here is a list of helpful programs.
Humor is always a good way to go, and humorous posts often get shared, so try to create posts with clever sayings and comical images.
Being Present is Key to Facebook Marketing Success
When there is a national tragedy, like the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, it’s a good idea to acknowledge this on your Facebook page and express condolences.
Check your business page regularly, and respond to any questions in a timely manner.
A couple “don’ts” to keep in mind: Don’t ever post complaints about customers on your Facebook business page.
Avoid complaints about the economy, lack of sales, and other negative topics. Keep things positive at all times.
And if anyone writes a negative comment, remember, it can be deleted! It’s better to delete a negative comment than respond to it most of the time.
No matter what you do, always be yourself. You want readers to get to know you as a person, and you want to get to know them. You want to encourage a back and forth communication and sharing on your Facebook page which results in loyalty to your brand. This is what “engagement” is all about, and what will set you apart from other artists that sell online.