Marketing

How to Build a Community (& Increase Sales!) With a Facebook Group

You probably belong to at least one Facebook group, right? They’re a great gathering place for people to discuss and engage with each other over a shared topic. There’s a Facebook group for everything these days it seems.

There’s political groups, mom groups, yardsale groups, crafters groups, business groups, and the list goes on and on.

But have you ever thought about starting a Facebook group specifically for your business? If you haven’t, then you really should consider it. This could be a great component to your social media strategy.

This can be a great way to connect with your audience, grow your brand, extend your community and in the long run, help increase your sales!

They do take a lot of time and attention and aren’t for the faint of heart, but if set up and managed correctly, can be so worth it!

How to Build a Community (& Increase Sales!) With a Facebook Group-Handmade Journey.com

Why should I start a Facebook group when I already have a business page?

Facebook groups are different from your business page, in one key area. They promote interaction and engagement with other members, not just with you!

Obviously, you want to show up and post and chat with your members as often as possible, but promoting a sense of community is what a Facebook group’s ultimate goal is.

Here are a few angles you can take when starting your own group.

1. Exclusive VIP Treatment. Everyone loves feeling like they are part of an exclusive crowd. Starting a Facebook group specifically for customers that have bought from you in the past, or are part of your email list could be a great place to start.

When you run a sale or come out with a new product, share it in your Facebook group first and stress that they’re getting first dibs on that new product.

2. Current Happenings in Your Niche–Using your Facebook group to discuss the latest news, updates, and changes in your niche is another great way to utilize your group.

You could make your Facebook group a place to discuss the latest trends in jewelry with the customers who have bought your earrings. Or how about a mom’s group to discuss their toddlers’ antics for customers who have bought your baby hair bows? The possibilities in this area are truly endless!

3. Communicate With Brand Ambassadors–If you are a business that has a few brand ambassadors, and want a place to gather your team together, this would be the perfect place to do that!

Your brand reps can come together and collaborate on ideas, social media hashtags, or just to simply talk about your awesome products with each other. This would also be a great place to have some loyal fans available for product testing if you needed a warm test audience.

Okay, I’m ready to start a group, but how do I get people to join?

The biggest struggle we face when starting a new Facebook group is how to let people know it’s there. You can’t have an active, engaged community if you only have two members.

Ideas on how to grow your group could include:

  • Add an invitation to join your Facebook group in your email signature. Just add a link at the bottom and a call to action.
  • On all your pages where you’re linking to Facebook (Your Etsy store, Website, etc) add the link to join your Facebook group instead of directing people to your business page.
  • Link your business page and your Facebook group, and use the CTA (Call to Action) button on your business page to send people to your group.
  • Make a fun Facebook cover photo that highlights your brand and encourages people to come to check out your group.
  • Join other Facebook groups that allow self-promotions and use these groups to bring people to yours. (Be very careful to read the rules of these groups to make sure that this is something that’s allowed!)

I’ve got some people in my group, now what?

Another challenge faced by Facebook group owners is how to get your members to engage with each other. This can be tricky because no one likes to be the first to comment on a post.

Some fun ideas you could use to get the ball rolling could be:

  • Use polls/challenges/contests to get your members engaged and excited. Consider giving away a shop credit, or an E-Gift card as prizes to the winners. (everyone loves Target!)
  • Ask fun questions and require replies to be a GIF or picture, people love answering questions in quirky unique ways.
  • Make sure you’re commenting and posting the most so that people can get to know you and feel more comfortable participating.
  • Give everyone an opportunity to share wins, making sure to encourage and celebrate with them!

The unfortunate truth is that a regular post on your business page is a fleeting thing. We can post something today and only a handful of our fans or customers will see it, thanks to algorithms and time of day.

And then a few days later you can post an update, and an entirely new group of people will see the update without ever having seen the first post.

There’s a real disconnect from one post to the next. Within a Facebook group, however, this isn’t as much of an issue. This fact makes it easier to connect with other people, and have real connections form between you and your audience.

A Facebook group can, and definitely should be, a place where all different kinds of people come together to spend time sharing thoughts and ideas. People are joining Facebook groups because they’re a safe place to have real interactions and share parts of their lives.

By starting a Facebook group for your business, and making sure to engage with your members, you can promote your brand in a completely non-salesy fashion.

And hopefully, you’ll have a little fun while you’re at it!

If you would like to join a community of other like-minded handmade sellers in a Facebook group setting, I’d love for you to join us in the Handmade Journey Academy Facebook group!

This is a place where we answer questions, share wins, troubleshoot problems and have a lot of fun! All while we’re crushing our business goals. How cool is that?

What’s your take on starting a Facebook group for your business? Is it something you think would be a good fit?

Why or why not? Let’s talk about it below.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

3 Keys to a Profitable Pinterest Strategy

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know how much I adore Pinterest. It’s my happy place, where I go to look at pretty things & find amazing advice.

I also think it’s a great place to be for your handmade biz. Because it’s such a visual medium, and our handmade products are gorgeous, the two fit together like peanut butter and jelly.

So where do you even begin to start when creating your Pinterest account for your handmade biz? It’s overwhelming to be sure, but I also think that if you break it down into small chunks, it will be so much easier!

I’m going to share with you, my top three keys to a successful, profitable Pinterest strategy and where I think you need to focus the most attention when creating content. So let’s dive in!

A Profitable Pinterest Strategy

3 Keys to a Profitable Pinterest Strategy-Handmade Journey.com

#1. Keywords

You hear this all the time, right? “Use some good keywords” “Keywords are key to great SEO!” “Have great keywords and you’ll make millions!” (Okay maybe not that last one, but you get the picture)

While that sounds intimidating, it’s actually very simple. You’re just using words that your audience will be using to find your products. For example, imagine you’re searching for a coffee lovers sign to hang in your kitchen.

What words would you use to search for that on Etsy or Google? Something like “Coffee Lover Wood Sign” I’d imagine, right? That is your keyword phrase, and those are the keywords that you want to include in your pin descriptions on Pinterest.

A profitable Pinterest strategy begins with good SEO and you can’t make that happen without some great keywords that describe your products.

Some Questions to Ask Yourself for Good Keywords Could Be:

  • What color is it?
  • How is it used?
  • What’s the shape?
  • How tall is it?
  • What occasions would you be using this with?
  • Is it a good gift?
  • Who will be using this product?

Keep these in mind when coming up with keywords to use in your pin descriptions!

#2. Consistency

This seems pretty self-explanatory, but cannot be stressed enough. Pinterest loves accounts that are consistently using their platform. They give top ranking in their algorithms to the accounts that are producing high quality, consistent content.

To maintain a profitable Pinterest strategy you will need to have consistent content circulating on Pinterest. While you can do this manually, there are a ton of scheduling tools out there that you can utilize to help free up some time.

I recommend Tailwind to get started. If you’re not familiar with this awesome scheduling tool, check out this blog post where I go more in depth about the power of this program, and what it can do for your biz.

Making sure you’re consistently using Pinterest will get your pins out in front of other eyes, different accounts, and can explode your traffic to your shop or website with very minimal effort.

#3. Group Boards

Group boards on Pinterest are key to expanding your reach and influence. These little secret weapons are very underrated, and not talked about very often, so if you haven’t heard about them don’t worry, I’m about to!

Group boards are just what the title suggests. They are boards on Pinterest that have more than one contributor. Someone starts a board (let’s say for coffee lovers!) and invites two or three friends to pin to it as well.

Those friends can then invite other friends, and so on and so forth. (Depending on the rules set up by the board creator.) Joining a group board is one of the best ways I know of to get your products in front of new eyes, and introduced into a new niche as well.

Maybe you haven’t thought about a certain angle for your products, but a pinner on your group board sees your awesome stuff, and pins to her board. This is not necessarily your target market, but they are fresh eyes that might just click over to your shop.

 

*Sneak Peek- You can tell if you’re looking at a group board by the number of contributors it shows in the top right-hand corner of the board. (Check out the graphic below).

3 Keys to a Profitable Pinterest Strategy-Handmade Journey.com

 

Coming up with your profitable Pinterest strategy won’t be too difficult if you can just start small and do a little bit every day.

Just make sure you’re always adding keywords to the descriptions of your pins, pin consistently, and join some group boards, and your profile will be getting tons of traffic in no time flat!

Have you put your business up on Pinterest yet? What areas have you struggled with while using it for business? Let’s talk about it below, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions!

   

6 Reasons Why Your Etsy Products Should Be on Pinterest

So we’ve started talking about why it’s important to be on social media. And in this post, I gave you some tips on how to kick off your social media strategy. Well today I’m going to go a little more in depth into one my my favorite social media platforms of all time. Pinterest!

Pinterest is classified as a social media platform, but honestly it’s just a visual search engine. It’s like Google with magazine cutouts. Pinterest is a fun place to kick back and brainstorm ideas, to get a feel for new products, and trends, and I personally use it to unwind when I just want to zone out. It’s seriously really fun!

The benefits of using Pinterest in your Etsy biz cannot be overstated. I also could go on and on (and on and on and on…) about why I love it. But I’m going to try to whittle it down to my top six reasons why I think it’s a good idea to use Pinterest in your marketing strategy.

Etsy Products on Pinterest

1. Increased Brand Awareness

As a small business owner you know the struggle all too well of competing with the “big guys”. You say something like “Target” or “JcPenny” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. As a small business owner you don’t have that name recognition for your biz.

While Pinterest isn’t the “be-all/end-all” to get your brand noticed, it can seriously make a dent in that for you. The more you use it, the more the pins start to get out there, and the more eyeballs are on your brand.

2. Additional Traffic to Your Shop

The more you use Pinterest, the more potential you have for additional traffic. This traffic could lead to increased sales, which is kind of the point, right? Everyone on Pinterest is searching for something, and when they find a pin they like, it gets pinned. Then someone else pins that pin, and two more pin it, and on it goes.

Eventually someone will click on that pin because they adore what they see and cannot live without it. (Obviously, because you have the cutest stuff!) If only two or three people out of 100 click through to your shop, and they turn into sales, I’d call that a success!

3. Pinterest Ties in With All Your Social Media

What’s the big deal about this? The big deal is that if someone sees an image that you’ve posted on Instagram and wants to save it for later for reference, Pinterest is a great way to do that! They even have a browser extension that you can install to pin images directly from the webpage that you’re viewing. (Which is super cool!)

Pinterest Chrome Extension

This makes it so much easier for people who love your content to click and save to their boards right away. Once they do that, #2 comes into play, and that’s what we want!

4. Staying on Trend is So Easy!

One of the easiest and fastest ways to stay on trend these days is to check out what people on Pinterest are pinning. I love following people that inspire me, and seeing what kinds of things they’re pinning. This gives me a great idea of what kinds of things are trending.

I’ve also found this to be a great way to come up with new product ideas for my own business. I can best serve my audience when I know what it is that they’re looking for, and Pinterest affords me this opportunity.

5. Cross-Promote Your Business Locally

Pinterest Place Pins are a special type of pins that allow certain pins to have metadata included such as location, and phone number. If you do in person sales, or even doing a craft fair or event, these kinds of pins could come in super handy!

Get your pins out there circulating a few weeks before your event, and watch as the traffic to your shop comes in. (It might even be a good way to promote the show or shop for other vendors!)

6. Investing in Pinterest Pays Off Long-Term:

Your pins on Pinterest last forever. And as a result of that, your quality content has a longer shelf life than any other social media add or boost. Feeds drive other digital channels, which means recency reigns supreme.

Since discovery and search are what Pinterest is made of, content has evergreen value. So when you create high quality, relevant Pins and optimize your Etsy shop or standalone website, you’ll see results.

I hope this has gotten you super excited about bringing Pinterest into your business life. Creating pins for your products, and surfing through other people’s beautiful products and services are one of the perks of all the computer work that goes along with running a business!

 Have you joined Pinterest yet? Why or why not? Let’s chat about it in the comments!