Once you hit ‘publish’ on your Etsy listings, you are NOT done. So don’t expect sales to start pouring in. You gotta promote, promote, promote and take advantage of every free marketing opportunity the internet has to offer. This is Part 3 of the Your Shop, Your Way series and we’re gonna talk all about how to promote your Etsy shop on social media.
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You can’t rely on Etsy to draw all of your customers in for you. You need to use every tool at your disposal to attract customers for yourself. I touch on this in Part 4 where we discuss Etsy stats and how to use them to grow your shop. Etsy brings in about 58% of my visitors, I bring in the other 42% myself.
You need to know how to promote your Etsy shop, in a way that isn’t going to eat up all your time or drive you insane!
I’m not talking about ads, or paid promotions. I have not yet cracked those codes.
I’m just talking about all the free ways to promote your shop that you should be taking advantage of.
There’s a social media checklist in the printable workbook that accompanies this series. The workbook contains 9 gorgeous printables to help you create the thriving shop of your dreams! And it’s only $7 (cad), total steal! There’s a pricing worksheet to go with Part 1 of the series, and a tags worksheet to go with Part 2. Plus lots of other goodies. 🙂
Here are some tactics you should be trying in order to get customers into your shop.
How to Promote Your Etsy Shop
Pinterest brings in a lot of my shop’s traffic. Pinterest is awesome because pins last forever, unlike FB or IG posts, they can keep cycling around.
I wrote a huge massive post all about how to create pins for your Etsy listings. So I’m not going to repeat it all here, because you REALLY should go read that post. It tells you exactly what I do to create pins and how and where I pin them.
To sum up very briefly:
DON’T just pin directly from your Etsy listing. Instead you should be creating unique pins with some text overlays that explain in a few words why someone needs your product.
You should be pinning these unique pins to multiple boards, including group boards. (I wrote a whole other post on Pinterest group boards, you should read that one too!)
And this process does not need to be a huge time suck either. I spend about 10 minutes a day on Pinterest, and I wrote all about my pinning strategy in this post.
Pinterest is vital for getting traffic to your online space. There’s no reason why you can’t be taking full advantage of this platform.
Through the Sell on Etsy app, you can post shop updates.
Shop updates are kind of like an Instagram post that only shows up on Etsy. It’s just a captioned photo that you can link a listing to.
They jury’s still out on how effective these are. I would imagine that if you’re really consistent with posting them that you should see a small boost in traffic. I may do a little experiment to see if this is true.
The point is though, that as a small business owner, you need to be taking advantage of every free marketing opportunity that comes your way. Shop updates are free, so give them a try and see what happens!
Shop updates are a good way to show what ‘behind the scenes’ looks like for your shop. Customers loooove seeing behind the scenes. But don’t share your super messy work space. Try to keep your pictures pretty and styled. No one wants to see your mess. lol
Here’s a quick rundown of how to post a shop update:
Open the Sell on Etsy app.
Tap the three lines/’more’ button in the bottom right corner.
Tap the ‘Marketing’ button in the menu.
Tap the ‘Social Media’ button in the drop down menu.
Scroll all the way to the bottom to Shop Updates.
Select either to share ‘Your Workspace’, ‘You Process’, or ‘Your Item in the Wild’.
Click the little camera icon in the top right to add a new pic.
Either take a new pic or choose one from your files.
Adjust and click ‘next’.
Now you can tap the photo to tag a listing from your shop. Click ‘next’.
Now add a caption in 255 characters or less. Click ‘done’.
Click ‘Share on Etsy’.
Your business needs a Facebook page. Often it’s the first place people go to look for info about your business.
It’s a great place to really engage with your audience, ask questions and tell customers what they can expect from your shop.
Also you’re less likely to get spammy troll followers on FB as you are on Instagram. Which is kinda nice. I get a bit tired of trying to determine which of my IG followers are genuine. 😛
On FB, you can encourage your friends to share your posts. Friends want to support you, but they can’t buy everything you make, so let them know how they can help. Likes, comments, tags and shares are super helpful for getting your work in front of new eyes.
You can invite people to like your page too. Not everyone you meet of course, but people who have liked your posts but somehow aren’t following your page. Here’s how:
Click on a photo you’ve shared and click on the number of people who have interacted with it.
A box will pop up with everyone’s name and whether they’ve liked your page or not. Now you can click ‘invite’ to those who haven’t!
Often, what I post on Instagram is exactly what I post on FB. The audiences are mostly different, but it doesn’t hurt for people to see your post more than once anyway. I get easily overwhelmed by all this social stuff, so I gotta keep things as simple and streamlined as possible!
But it’s really important to have a FB page to make it easy for people to share your work with others. You can participate in giveaways and connect with other small business owners. A FB page is a must-have.
There are loads of fb groups for online entrepreneurs. The rules in these groups all vary depending on who’s running them. Generally though, no spamming allowed. lol
Some groups are just for connecting with other business owners and learning from each other. Some will have opportunities to share your work. And some set up threads where in exchange for sharing someone else’s social post, they will share yours.
These kinds of threads can be time consuming. But they can also be really helpful when you’re just starting out or need a boost in traffic!
FB groups are a great place to ask questions and learn new things to help you grow your business.
The best way I’ve discovered to find good FB groups is to search for and join one or two, even if they’re mediocre. (You can leave them later.) Then scroll down the right sidebar inside those groups to find similar groups that FB recommends for you.
Don’t go crazy and join a ton of groups though. Your feed will get clogged up in a hurry and you’ll be so overwhelmed. If you can find 2-3 high quality groups then you’re all set!
Instagram is a complicated beast. But it does bring me sales.
There’s a lot of existing articles out there on how to be effective on Insta, so I’m not going to dive into it here.
The main thing is DO post consistently, have amazing photos, use relevant hashtags and speak like a real person to your target audience.
And DON’T mix your personal and business. Don’t post random pictures of your cat in between beautifully styled photos of your work. People will unfollow you. Keep your feed branded.
I mix in some amusing quotes about motherhood into my feed so that it doesn’t just feel like one huge sales pitch. I write captions that relate to my real life and try to ask a question to get people to engage. The key is to try to connect with your target audience.
IG stories are a big thing that I have not mastered yet. But based on how I ALWAYS check out new stories before scrolling the feed, I’d say they’re pretty effective! I have serious reservations about appearing on video, so I don’t share much on stories, and never my face. But if you’re not camera-shy, then get out there! Video is king right now!
I’ll be honest, I can’t speak much to other social media platforms. I’m just not on them. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are the star team for handmade items.
Twitter and snapchat might be worth your time, but they might not. I imagine it’s pretty hard to turn scrollers into buyers in 140 characters or less. I suppose if you are a blogger as well you could make use of twitter. But being a maker is all about the visuals and pretty pictures. So I dunno.
I don’t know anything about snapchat and less than anything about Tik Tok. lol
But I’ll say it again: as a small business owner, you must take advantage of any free marketing opportunity you can to promote your Etsy shop! Try things out, if they don’t bring the results you’re looking for, then no harm done.
You should consider having a website for your business. Even if it’s just a landing page with some basic information.
I believe it’s important to have a little corner of the internet that you own and that won’t be affected by algorithm changes. You can post a photo gallery of your work, links to all your social accounts and shop, some basic information and contact info.
You’d be surprised how many people will search for your business. Store owners, prospective customers, local bloggers and craft market organizers. Having all your info on a website will be really helpful to your business.
With a standalone website you have the option to add a blog or start an email list. You could add a woocommerce shop to your site or other methods of diversifying your income.
You’ll have lots of opportunities to SEO your photos and up your chances of getting found in Google search.
Basically I think it’s really important for all online shop owners to have their own websites. Whether you add a shop to it or not. It just provides a great jumping off point for other options and opportunities.
Not strictly a social media approach, but any way to get your work in front of more eyes is good. And the great thing about email signatures is that once you set it up you can just forget about it!
I use the free version of Wisestamp and I’m really happy with it. It’s pretty easy to set up and then a lovely email signature appears at the bottom of your emails with all your links to social media and website. The paid version has lots more options, but the free version works great for me!
Here’s what my signature looks like:
Social Media Checklist
Use the social media checklist included in the printable workbook to help keep all of this stuff organized. I know social media and maintaining an online presence can feel super overwhelming.
Don’t get bogged down by trying to do it all! Start with a couple of platforms until you get the hang of it and a feel for what your audience is interested in.
Your shop, your way, remember?! You got this!
Ask any questions below!