Social media is a great way to reach out to potential customers and there are many great tools from facebook to twitter and pinterest that are at your disposal. But it’s not just about the number of ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ you get, it’s about a new way of marketing, of turning these people who engage with you into loyal customers. People are continuously bombarded with advertisements and traditional marketing, social media offers an opportunity for a different, more effective kind of marketing, that is; engaging with people and building a community around your business. It is about gaining the trust of people, creating relationships and communicating with potential customers.
Experiment! Social media allows you to test and experiment with people; it can provide the perfect infrastructure for you to create your own ‘tribe’ of fans. By building a tribe of people you can create a true loyal following of fans. It is important that you plan how you are going to use your social media, for example, facebook-what you are going to post? How often and when? Use good content and experiment with different methods to see what works best for you. You will need to truly engage with your followers, doing the bare minimum simply won’t work, treat your customers right and they will reward you over the coming weeks, months and years. You will only win true and loyal fans by being social and interacting. If you have a blog, concentrate on writing good content, quality over quantity, tweet about your blog posts once and if they like it they will come. Don’t focus only on your own brand or business, to engage people you need to start a conversation about your industry, your lifestyle, and offer solutions to the issues and problems that affect you and people in your industry.
There are many tools out there from you to choose from; Twitter, wordpress, facebook, pinterest, linkdin etc, are you using them to their full potential? Are you engaging with people? Building a following of loyal fans takes time, effort and commitment. Build your following by leading them, providing helpful advice, rewarding them and most of all with interesting content and engaging with people. The main mistakes people make with social media is to turn it into advertisements for their business, this will lose trust and make people feel like you don’t care about them.
For example: being and artist or craft-seller means that you have something much more valuable to share with people, the story of you as an artist. You will need to think about what would be useful to your readers or followers, any helpful advice or tips on your industry will be much more effective than bombarding them with product shots. It is the story behind the product that people care about. The arts and crafts industry is at a distinct advantage in that each piece is unique and interesting. When you do post products make sure they are good quality pictures and say something different and interesting about them for example; ‘these is a necklace inspired by an Irish legend my Mother used to read for me as a child’, just something anecdotal. Always remember to respond to people who comment, even a simple ‘thank you’ will do. Reach out to people, interact and offer them advice when they need it and they will reward you tenfold.