Have you felt frustrated and tired trying to market your handmade shop online?
Here’s an honest fact about marketing: you have to try so many things without a lot of idea of what will work and what won’t. And yet, despite the uncertainty involved, you have to market your shop if you want to sell your beautiful products.
Facebook, despite the recent bad rap about social reach, is one of the most popular marketing channels for online shops. Especially, handmade sellers. (Ninja note: but our first recommendation goes to Pinterest!)
If you want to get Facebook marketing to work for you, you have to put in a bit of effort every day. And it’s worth it because Facebook drives a lot of traffic to online shops and is instrumental in building your handmade business.
Promoting your online shop on Facebook doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, with the right goal, the right plan and the right tool (optionally), you will start getting a lot of traffic to your shop through Facebook!
That’s exactly what this guide is all about.
It will help you get started with promoting your shop on Facebook as easily as possible.
Here’s what we’ll cover briefly:
- Setting a goal
- Optimizing your profile
- Creating the daily schedule plan
- Creating your outreach plan
- Measuring the results + optimizing smartly
Let’s get started.
1. Setting a Goal
Without a goal, it will be very hard to crack Facebook marketing. A lot of sellers start promoting their shops / items on Facebook without a specific goal and that leads to exhaustion (when you don’t get a desired result) and disillusionment.
You should set a goal for Facebook marketing that aligns with your goal for your shop.
Here’s a few:
- Get 1000 visits from Facebook in a month
- Make 10 sales from Facebook in a month
- Get 300 Facebook fans (page likes) in 30 days (that’s an average of 10 per day)
If you go a little deeper into fan page analytics, you could come up with goals like:
- increase the reach by +10%
- increase engagement by +5%
…and so on.
Pick a goal that you think is achievable and at the same time takes a bit of an effort (and hustle).
For instance, a long-term goal would be increasing your Facebook page likes to 1000 / 2000 in as span of 3-6 months. The more people that like your page, the more people your posts reach (increasing traffic / sales). A short-term goal would be to get more traffic and sales from each of your posts on Facebook (get 1000 visits from Facebook in a month).
It is very important to have a goal before you proceed to the next step.
2. Optimize your Facebook fan page
Once you’ve setup your Facebook page, it is time to optimize it.
The reason we’re doing this is to make sure anyone visiting your Facebook page either “likes” the page or heads over to your shop. These are the two things that should happen.
Think of the Facebook page as a landing page. Typically, very few people come to check out your Facebook page but those that come should click. Either they click and like the page or they click and go check out your shop.
Optimizing the page gives you more chances of making those two things happen.
(Aside: If you do not have a separate Facebook fan page (for your shop), this is the time to create one. Do not promote your items just through your personal profile. Having a fan page helps you get fans – which is similar to having a list of interested people who might turn into customers. Every marketing guru will tell you that having a list is extremely important. Creating a Facebook fan page is simple. Here’s how you can do that.)
Here’s how to achieve that:
- Optimize your cover photo design
- Add a call-to-action button to your page
- Include links to your shop in the “About” section
- Pin a post
- Add link to your shop in the description of the cover photo
i) Optimize your cover photo design
The cover photo is the first thing a visitor notices when they land on your Facebook fan page. If you can convey a couple of things right through your cover photo, you’ve scored a few points on Facebook Marketing.
Some of the ways in which you can optimize your cover photo are:
- Include your shop’s link in the cover photo (embed text in the image; this way, people checking out your fan page know where your shop is immediately)
- Include a discount code in the header image with a call-to-action (a discount coupon works because people are more inclined to check out a product when there’s a discount!)
- Make the cover photo a collage of your products (the visitor knows what your shop is all about instantly and the variety of products is a catalyst in getting people to check out your shop)
ii) Add a call-to-action button to your page
Call-to-action buttons are a new Facebook fan page feature that you should make use of.
They look like these:
You can pick from a few pre-defined set of action buttons that can be embedded on your page. Typically, since we’re talking about a shop, you should pick “Shop Now” and enter the link to your Etsy shop.
iii) Include links to your shop in the “About” section
The “About” section is where you can do a few things including add a physical address, include a video, briefly describe your page / shop / work, and most importantly, add a link.
Add your Etsy shop link to your Facebook page’s “About” section. Anyone checking out your profile will be able to visit your shop.
Optionally, feature a video in your About. Here’s how to do that.
iv) Pin a post
A pinned post stay on top of your Facebook page no matter how many other posts you put there. A pinned post is sort of a promotional post for your Facebook page.
Pinned posts are typically used by pages when there is a seasonal promotion going on, or when the page is promoting something exclusively. Or, in other times, a pinned post may have a discount on it.
v) Link the cover photo to your shop
The cover photo is just another photo (where you can add a description). You can use this space to add a link to your shop.
Add your shop’s link in the cover photo’s description like this.
Anyone checking out the cover photo (by clicking on it) will see the link and be interested in checking out your shop. (or at least, having a link is better than not having a link because you give the visitor a link to click on).
These are only some of the many optimization options that you can do to your Facebook page.
3. Creating the daily schedule plan: what to share & how to share
The second hardest part of Facebook marketing is keeping up a daily posting schedule. And we’re going to make it the easiest thing ever.
In order to make Facebook marketing work, your Facebook page has to be active. You do this by posting daily. And we’re not talking about 1-2 posts per day; you should post a lot of times day. (this number varies and there’s no rulebook here but you can start with 10 posts per day).
Let’s say your plan is to post 10 times on your Facebook page.
What will you post?
You can’t post all your products throughout the day – that would make your page look spammy. You want to make your page as interesting as your products and there’s just one way to do this: share things that are interesting (and of course somehow related to your business).
Here’s a simple rule that most successful marketers follow (and which makes your Facebook page interesting to your fans): it’s the 80/20 rule.
If you share 10 posts a day, 8 posts (80%) should be stuff that is NOT your from your shop. Only 2 (20%) should be promotions from your shop.
But that’s very stupid right? After all, you are marketing on Facebook to get more traffic to your shop / make more sales and the 80/20 rule seems to do the exact opposite of it!
We know that people become fans of a Facebook page because the content it shares is interesting. People dislike pages that constantly post products and nothing else. So, in order to win fans and keep them engaged, you should post content that is interesting while also keeping your product promotion posts to the minimum.
That’s where the 80/20 rule helps. (you can modify this depending on your fans – in some cases, you can make it 70/30 or 60/40; just make sure you don’t spam your page with your products).
Here’s a breakdown of the kind of posts you can share:
- inspiring quotes (photo quotes work best)
- links to interesting articles/posts
- a product from some other shop
- funny GIFs / videos
- inspiring/informative videos
- photos that are interesting
- status messages (something that you want to say / share)
For instance, here’s a plan for 10 posts (daily):
- 2 inspiring quotes
- 2 links to interesting posts
- 1 interesting video
- 1 funny GIF
- 1 funny video
- 1 product / item from someone’s shop
- 2 of your own products
Of course, this is just a sample. You can mix-n-match and come up with your own set of 10 posts. Make sure it is an interesting mixture with a variety of things.
Coming up with a daily plan is one of the best things you can do for your Facebook marketing goal. The next best thing is sticking to it.
But how do you stick to it unless you find such interesting content regularly?
A lot of such interesting content can be found on Facebook itself. But having your own source list can be very helpful:
- a list of all the blogs you like (and which produce interesting content)
- a list of popular websites like buzzfeed, viralnova etc.
- a list of gif websites (imgur, giphy)
- a list of social media accounts that post inspiring quotes / photos
- popular YouTube video channels
You can make a lot of lists like these and subscribe / bookmark to feeds. That way, you’ll have a perennial flow of content.
Within Around.io, we built three features that help handmade sellers find all these interesting contents to share on Facebook.
The “Content” tab allows you to search for popular content based on any keyword.
The “GIF” tab lets you pick funny gifs to share.
And the “RSS” tab lets you subscribe to all the blogs that you want to follow. That way, there is never a need to go out there and look for interesting content. It’s all within the app.
Once you’ve got your sources, you will have quick access to interesting content to share every day. This helps you focus on scheduling the daily posts.
Spread out your 10 posts across the day. You can use a tool like Around.io to schedule posts so that your entire day’s Facebook posting is over in 5-10 minutes.
4. Creating your outreach plan: getting others to notice you without being salesy
A daily schedule for your Facebook page is only 50% job done.
Just because you’re sharing new content every day on Facebook does not guarantee you fans and followers. You have to reach out to people, groups, admins and engage in order to grow your fan-base quickly.
But wait. Why are we growing our fans/followers?
The more fans you have for your page, the more people get to see your posts – which in turns means more traffic to your shop. That’s the first step in making Facebook marketing worthwhile.
There are three ways to get people to notice your Facebook page:
- Engaging with people
- Engaging in groups
- Engaging with other fan pages
If you create a plan that encompasses these three, you will be setting yourself up for Facebook marketing success.
Here’s what you can do on a daily basis:
i) Interact with 1 Facebook group
Comment on a few posts, show your love for a few posts by liking / sharing them through your profile / page, offer suggestions / critique.
ii) Reach out to other similar Fan pages
Reach out to page admins of other related pages and see if you can work out a promotional exchange (you share their page on yours, and they do the same for you). This works only with pages that have approximately the same number of fans as you do.
iii) Promote your product-post in 1 Facebook group
Where it’s allowed, you should promote your product. But here’s a hack: instead of directly posting your product and link to the group, first promote them on your Facebook page and then share that post in the group.
This way, you’re promoting your product as well as your fan page.
iv) Post a DIY / helpful post on 1 Facebook group
Giving away useful information builds your reputation. “Useful information” can be anything – from a simple one-line tip from your experience to a multi-paragraph post filled with actionable ideas.
You can post this exclusively within a group and plug your Facebook page in the last line.
v) Engage – comment, like, share other people’s posts
A big part of getting other people to notice you is by engaging with other people’s content.
Set aside 10-15 minutes of your day to engage with other people’s posts:
- like other posts made by people and fan pages
- share posts that are really interesting / useful / worthy
- comment on posts that you find interesting
Remember that you cannot create a page and start seeing results. You need fans in order to maximize reach and that’s how you start seeing traffic come from Facebook.
Many sellers have no business/fan page but get traffic to their shops through promoting in groups but you won’t be able to scale it up (do more of it to get more traffic as groups will consider that spammy) and if the group locks down, that would be a problem too.
Instead, focus on building your Facebook page with a simple daily plan and you’ll always have a marketing channel ready.
But this is not where you stop. You need to measure if your plan works or not.
And that brings us to the last section.
5. Measure the results + optimize smartly
The best thing about marketing in general is that you can try a hundred different things, find out what works and what doesn’t and then do more of what works.
Facebook marketing can get a little mechanical and boring if you do it without measuring the impact of your efforts. Not to forget, Einstein’s quote:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
At the end of every week, open your shop dashboard (or your Analytics) and check out how much traffic has come through Facebook. If you did all the things I mentioned above correctly, you should see an increase in Facebook traffic.
Not just that but you should also check your Facebook page and posts to see how well they are doing (in terms of engagement):
There are a lot of things that you should note here:
- how many likes do your shares get?
- how many people does your post reach (this has to increase)
- how many people comment/share on your posts (both as a page and in groups)
- how many people click on your CTA (on your fan page)
- how many new people like your page on a daily basis
- when are your fans most engaged and active? (very useful metric to schedule your posts at the optimal time)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you take a look at Page Insights, you’ll see a lot more data (like which of your posts gets maximum likes/shares etc.)
Measuring the results of your efforts gives you more ideas on what to do to make your Facebook marketing campaigns work wonders for you. Realistically, this will also tell you if it’s worth spending time and effort on Facebook for your shop.
Pro-tip: always try to automate repetitive tasks (like scheduling posts) or hiring someone to do that for you (to engage with other pages and people on a daily basis).
Resources you should check out:
- Shopify’s stat on how much traffic and sales Facebook generates for online sellers
- How to create a Facebook business page for your shop
- How to feature a video in your Facebook page “About”
- Which metrics tell you your Facebook page is doing great
Social media marketing works wonders for sellers who develop a consistent schedule and stick to it. That, and a bit of smart maneuvers where you engage with other fans, pages, groups and your followers will ensure that you have a lot of engagement with your own page.
And that’s how you make sales through social media.
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