It's time again for the Jewelry Artisans Community monthly blog carnival. This month we're discussing using social media.
I don't use social media socially so when I hear the term, my thoughts turn to how to use social media to promote my fledgling jewelry business. And, when I hear the word "promote" I can't help but cringe. It brings to mind images of aggressive sales people who refuse to take "no" for an answer. Spamming my friends isn't tops on my list of things to do. Neither is spamming strangers.
Yet, we're told over and over that in order to be successful at selling online we have to use social media to promote our businesses. Some people are naturals at self promotion; I'm not a member of that club.
When I started selling online in 2010, I had a "build it and they will come" mentality. I thought I could list my items, people would find them and buy my jewelry. Sadly, that has not been the case. The internet is huge and there are millions of people selling online. In order to be successful, one has to get their name out there and make potential customers aware of their business.
One way to do this is through social media. There are so many social media outlets available. Twitter,
Facebook, Pinterest, Wanelo, Instagram, Tmblr and Google+ are just a few
that come to mind. It's overwhelming to even decide where to start! Deciding which ones to use is a job all of it's own.
Over the last couple of years, I have made half hearted attempts at social media. I opened a Twitter account, began pinning at Pinterest, joined Wanelo and started a Facebook business page. Last year, I began blogging on a blogger account (this one actually!). Now and then I'd post something, but more often than not, after a little flurry of activity, I'd forget about my social media accounts and go back to what I love - creating and designing.
Not surprisingly, this approach didn't work. In order for social media to be successful, one has to constantly post fresh content, follow others, engage their fans/followers and maintain an active presence. I failed miserably at all of those things.
Just recently, discouraged by my lack of online sales success, I've decided to really and truly commit to using social media to get my shop noticed which will hopefully lead to sales eventually. My first step was to re-examine my social media accounts and decide what I thought would work best for me.
Of all the things I've tried, there are three of them that I actually understand and enjoy to some extent and where I will concentrate my energies: Pinterest, Facebook and my blog.
Pinterest is wildly popular with people, so I plan to continue pinning my own work, but to also create additional boards that have nothing to do with my jewelry. It is my hope that these other boards will reach people that the jewelry ones would not. I will also make an effort to follow other pinners in an effort to increase the number who are following me. Because this post is about using social media, here is a link to my Jewelry Art by Dawn Pinterest page.
After almost a year of no activity, I started posting to my Jewelry Art by Dawn Facebook page a few weeks ago. I'm trying to mix jewelry postings with other things that might interest others, such as photos of the twin fawns that were born in my yard a week ago. I'd like it to be more than just one big page of advertisements of my jewelry listings and I hope the people who follow my page will like that approach.
To my surprise, I have found that I love blogging. Many people have trouble coming up with topic ideas to write about, but that hasn't been a problem for me. What I do need to do is post to my blog on a more regular basis. Again, it's all about fresh and new content.
It's too soon in this experiment to see results, but I hope that by consistently keeping these three accounts active and up to date, traffic will start to pick up in my etsy shop resulting in an increase in sales. I have seen quite a jump in traffic to my Facebook page in the last week and hope that is an indication that I'm on the right track.
Believe me, none of this comes easy for me. In a way, this plan feels like a cold, calculated move to entice people into my shop so they'll buy things. I suppose in one sense it is, because it's definitely a business strategy and I am trying to run a business. But, I hope that when people look at my pins, check out my Facebook page or read my blog, they'll also feel like there's a personal touch and that I care about more than selling them something.
All of this is a huge step for one who is too shy to hand out her business cards when someone compliments the jewelry she is wearing because she doesn't want to be pushy. I swear it's hopeless, but I will try - maybe it will become easier and feel more natural over time. One can only hope.
To read what the other Jewelry Artisans Community June Blog Carnival participants have to say about social media, please click on the links below: