Navigating Social Media
Written By Sophie.
Nowadays, it feels like pretty much everything we do is online; its how we get our news, keep in touch with people and even do our shopping. It a world saturated with online content, it is essential that the posts you put out there leave a lasting impression on your customers. It is true that social media can feel a little overwhelming, especially when your just getting started – so we thought we would share some tips on how to navigate all this online terrain successfully.
As a maker broadcasting your work online, you will come across many different outlets to do so. The main three: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the ones that it would probably be a good idea to have a presence on. Arguably the most suitable form of Social Media for any craft and design based company is Instagram as its the most visual and easy to tailor to suit your brand colours and aesthetic. Facebook is also ideal for tapping into a large range of target audiences (and aside from a website it is often the first place people think of when wanting to connect with your business online). Finally, there is Twitter – which while some makers do not see this as essential is a great way to interact with your customers, to follow up orders and make sure they are happy with the product they have received.
Facebook is probably the ‘backbone’ of all social media – this could be a good one to start off with. Begin with adding an eye catching logo and cover photo (dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels) that fits in visually with your brand colours. When beginning to post use a mixture of high quality photos and videos complete with engaging captions – make sure you share finished products in addition to images showing the process of making you making your products. Remember that your page should not just be about ‘making the hard sell’ but also engaging and building relationships with your customers. You can pin important posts to the top of your page by clicking the grey arrow at the top right corner of each post (use this for product announcements, major achievements or business anniversaries.
Its important to encourage people to like and share your content (begin with friends and family and then allow your circle to expand). You can also invite potential customers to like your page and ask them to share your work with their family and friends too! You can pay to boost posts through Facebook, in order for your content to reach a wider audience – this needs to be used sparingly and only on the best quality posts (highest quality pictures). Don’t forget the link your website, blog, or other social medias through your Facebook page.
Top Tip! Measure your growth using page insights to see what type of audience your are reaching and who is interacting with your page. This will keep you self aware in terms of the target market you are actually interacting with.
Instagram is becoming increasingly popular, mainly due to the fact that it is extremely visual. With less text that the likes of Twitter or Facebook this is really the platform where images of your work can take centre stage. Treat Instagram as a digital portfolio and use it to share your work in all stages of development, your followers will love to see images showing the process of making (these often get more likes than the finished product as it shows how you work). Its a good idea not to over edit your pictures, in order to let your actual products shine. In addition, make sure you keep your captions short and sweet, using hashtags sparingly (only use relevant ones and don’t just make them up).
Instagram stories is a slightly newer feature that allow you to post a image or short video to your profile that only appears for 24hrs. This is a perfect addition to any makers feed and will give you the ability to bring your profile to life – try and show snippets of how you make your work, your studio space or footage from exhibitions or fairs you are a part of. All of this aim to give your work context and give your pieces a story behind them – encouraging people to invest in you and your work.
Top Tip! Try and keep up regular posts in order to keep your followers interested (every 1 or 2 days) and pay attention to the time of day when you are getting the most interactions with your pictures – try and post then.
Twitter is great for networking and interacting with your customers. Try and use the same profile and cover photo as you have done for your other social media sites to keep everything universal and easy to access. Its a good idea to link this up with your Instagram so that every time you post a photo your followers get a notification on Twitter as well. On this sight you are limited to a 240 character count on each post, meaning you have to be savvy with your text. Remember to get your tone right and strike a balance between being too chatty and then on the other end of the scale appearing cold and impersonal. As way to combat this try and keep you feed exclusively related to your work but also let your personality through (don’t saturate your your account with retweets that aren’t relevant).
Top Tip! Twitter has a ‘Craft Power Hour’ between 7-8pm every sunday – try and be active between the times using the hashtag #CraftHour to interact with your customers.
3 things to do right now to transform your Social Media:
- Exclusively use beautiful high quality photographs – use natural lighting with none-fussy backgrounds that compliment your work.
- Be consistent with your posting – try scheduling posts to go up each day to engage your audience.
- Get your tone right – cut the waffle and take a professional approach (but don’t be afraid to let a little bit of your personality shine through).
How has social media impacted your craft business? What could you do differently to make it more engaging? Continue to discussion and join our Makers Network Group on Facebook.