It’s all about exponential growth! Facebook has the ability to bring huge quantities of traffic to your shop. Imagine each person on Facebook has 100 friends, if you had just ten of your friends share one of your listings it could be seen by 1000 people… it’s mind boggling when you start looking at the numbers!
That’s why recently we added a button for visitors to your shops to ‘like’ your items and also enable you to instantly share your handmade goods and supplies with your own Facebook friends at the end of the listing process. Folksy is also on the verge of releasing a brand new store front application on Facebook (***update – this is now live – add yours today!***)
We thought it would be good to help you all get up to speed with facebook and how you can use it to promote your Folksy shop.
Getting Started on Facebook
It’s very simple to open an account, and create a Facebook profile. You need a name, an email address and a password. For the majority of Facebook users in the world they connect with real life friends and family, sharing their news and adding online photo albums for them all to enjoy and catch up. When you click into Facebook it automatically shows you a live stream of all the activity of your friends. Facebook has set up various privacy controls, so you needn’t share everything with all of your friends / virtual friends. To simplify matters you could set up a separate profile for using with your craft business, but you will need a separate email address.
Facebook Page / Group
Setting up a Facebook page or group is a simple way of attracting extra traffic to your Folksy shop, allowing anyone on the internet to become a fan of your work. You will need a Facebook profile in order to set up a page or group. You can post images, links and updates to keep people informed about your shop and you have complete control over who and what other people can post to your page. If a user ‘likes’ your page or joins your group then all of your updates will appear in their timeline alongside that of their friends. That is the goal of a Facebook page, to spread the word and keep people up to date with all of your new products. Facebook pages are often marketed as the friendly more informal face of a business (see the list of helpful links below to decide whether to choose a page or a group)
Promoting your Folksy Shop on Facebook
Status Updates – Quickly let people know about new listings, blog posts and work in progress by adding links, images or video to your updates. Be mindful of how often you are posting and how relevant and interesting your links and updates are. It is very easy for someone who ‘likes’ your page to click a button to permanently hide your updates. Ask questions to encourage people to comment, remember the activity of all of your fans will show up in their profile and the live activity stream of all of their friends.
Comments and Wall Posts – Facebook is a social networking site – so be prepared to network! Add comments and interact with other peoples profiles and pages. When you become a fan or ‘Like’ a new page, say hello and if it seems appropriate add a link back to your own page so the page owner can reciprocate. When you comment and post on other people;s walls it will be from your profile, so don’t assume someone will be able to find your fan page or recognise who you are from your name alone. Don’t use other people;s walls as somewhere to daub masses of random links, but do add relevant, appropriate links in moderation.
Liking – You will see the little blue thumbs up everywhere on the internet. Click any Facebook ‘like’ button anywhere on the internet and it will send a little link back to your profile page (not your fan page/group). This link is visible in the live Facebook feeds of all of your friends. It should really be called ‘recommend’ as you want people to ‘like’ your shop fan page or links so that their Facebook friends will see this and take a look at the link. Post links to sources that your fans will find interesting as well as linking to your own work to encourage the thumbs up!
Sharing – Sharing is different to liking! Sharing is more powerful and allows you to add your own comment to the link. The link with a thumbnail image is then shown on your own Facebook profile.
@ Tagging – Twitter users have been using @ as a way of mentioning another user for some time. Using @ tagging on facebook is a really effective way of getting your links seen by lots of people. When you are writing an update type the @ symbol and a box will appear, as you type the first few letters of a name, page, group or event it will appear. Click on it to hyperlink your update to that page. Your update will be seen on your own page and that of any Facebook user you have tagged. Try it with @folksy!
Invite / Suggest to Friends – Just beneath the profile picture of every page on Facebook is a link to ‘suggest to friends’. Ask everyone you know on Facebook to help you out by suggesting your page to friends of theirs – this is a really quick way of growing your fans. If you have a group you can use the ‘invite people to join link’.
Tell people you have a page! – If you are connected to any other network, Twitter, nings, forums then be sure to let people know about your Facebook page. Link to it in your email signature, forum signatures and on your business cards.
Your Facebook page can act as a hub for all of your promotional activity online. The following is a list of useful links, followed by some Facebook applications that help connect various social media sites together and save you time.
Open a Facebook Account – If you haven’t already then do it now, it only takes a few minutes!
Set up a Facebook page – The FAQ’s from the Facebook help centre
Set up a Facebook group – The FAQ’s from the Facebook help centre
Facebook username – Change your Facebook url address to a short one, that’s easy to remember. You will need 25 fans or more to do this.
Networked Blogs – An application that automatically posts your blogposts to Facebook and Twitter.
RSS Graffiti – Add feeds from all sorts of social media activity, flickr, blogs, nings, Folksy (anything at all with a feed!) Your Folksy feed looks like this http://folksy.com/shops/name/rss This is great for auto posting your listings to your fan page. Beware of getting carried away and making your fan page look like it’s managed by a robot.
The Folksy Facebook Page – If you have found this post useful please visit our fan page and suggest the Folksy page to your friends – we want Folksy to be a really powerful tool for promoting all of your handmade goods and we need your mouse clicks to help us get the word out there. You are welcome to post links to your new listings to our FB page and let us know your crafty news here too!
We would love to hear your tips on using Facebook and any links to useful resources you have stumbled across – please add your comments below! All images / artwork in this post are available on Folksy – just click for more details.
***Update – We now have a new application for adding your Folksy Shop to a facebook fan page!***