Which is the right social media channel for you?
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Snapchat… which one is the best social media platform to help you promote your brand and get your work seen? Should you be on them all? In this post we look at the different social media channels and offer tips on how to choose the right one for you.
Social media is an integral part of every business, especially when you’re an independent maker with only a very small budget for marketing and advertising. There are numerous different platforms to get your head around – from Facebook to the self-destructing mayhem of Snapchat and now Instagram Stories – and each has its pros and cons. So which is the best one to help spread the word about your small craft business? How do you choose?
Scroll down to see our infographic showing the pros and cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
How to choose your social media channel
How much time do you have?
Keeping up with social media can be time consuming and although it’s a brilliant (and free!) marketing tool, for social media to work well you need to build up your fanbase on that platform, which can take time. You’ll need to post interesting content regularly and have great photos to share, but you’ll also need to engage with other users by liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s posts, as well as replying to comments on your own posts.
So be realistic about the time you have. It’s going to be tricky to get the engagement you need if you’re spread too thinly. How many channels can you actually handle? If you’re busy making and short of time, you’ll probably be better off focusing on one channel and doing it right. Once you’re established on that channel, you can always add another platform to your social media portfolio, and encourage your existing fans to follow you on there too.
If you have a little more time, you could make one platform your primary channel but still have a presence on the others and use your time on those well by taking part in Twitter hours like #folksyhour or taking part in social sharing events like #folksyfriday where you can connect with lots of other makers, and researching the best Instagram hashtags to use to maximise your exposure and engagement.
You can also save time by scheduling content across the week (try Social Sprout or Buffer or Hootsuite) and then spending a little time every day on your favourite channels, responding and commenting in real time. Try splitting it, so you do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening when most people are online. You could even set an alarm, so you don’t get dragged into the social media abyss.
Tip: If you choose to focus on one channel, register with the same name on all the others too, so you can keep your identity consistent across all the platforms.
Which social media platforms do your customers use?
The biggest social media platform in the world is Facebook, followed by YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest (in that order). But each platform has its own fans and users, so as well as finding a platform you feel comfortable with, you also need to consider who your customers are and which platforms they’re likely to use most frequently. Think about where your customers are based in real life too and which channel will help you reach them.
For example, someone interested in crochet might spend a lot of time on YouTube looking for tutorials, so if that’s something you can offer, you could catch their attention there. Facebook is the most popular platform for women aged 55 and over, so if that’s your audience then Facebook might be a more effective way of reaching them than spending your time on Instagram, which is most popular with 16-34 year olds.
Pinterest is a brilliant platform for makers and is one of the fastest-rising social media channels, but most of its users (around 55%) are still in the US. This means that although Pinterest can be a great way to get your work seen and shared, if you don’t ship to America it might not lead to as many direct sales as other platforms. Or you might want to target international customers, in which case it could be perfect.
Think about the type of interactions you’re after too. Twitter is great for building relationships with journalists, bloggers, and is a fantastic way to find interesting news and stories to share. Instagram, on the other hand, is where many makers choose to hang out and share snippets of their everyday lives, so it’s a wonderful way to ‘find your tribe’ and connect with other creative people who are making and selling. Don’t write off Snapchat either. Although currently populated by teenagers and celebrities, it’s being hailed as the future by many in the know.
Infographic showing the pros and cons of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest…
We haven’t included Snapchat, YouTube, Google+ or LinkedIn in this infographic, but have a look at the links below for more info and stats about each of those.
Social Sprout – Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy
Brandwatch – 96 amazing social Media Statistics and Facts for 2016 – Brandwatch
Buffer – The Science of Pinterest Scheduling: Finding Your Best Consistency, Frequency and Timing
Sproutworth – 61+ social media facts and statistics you should know in 2016
Fast Company – How Much Is A Pinterest Pin Worth?
Iconosquare – Are Instagram Stories Killing Your Engagement on Traditional Posts?
Adweek – Facebook Pages Paid for 31.68% of Total Reach in April (Report)
Locowise – Facebook page growth and engagement study July 2016
More social media tips from Folksy
What are Instagram Stories and how do I use them?
10 Super Useful Twitter Tips
How to find great content to share
How to use Facebook adverts to boost your reach
The best craft and handmade Instagram hashtags
How to use hashtags on Instagram
Tell us about yourself on the #wearefolksyhashtag
Instagram tips for designers and makers by And Smile Studio
Craft your Social Media – Facebook
How one designer used Facebook to become a bestseller
How Pinterest can help your online craft business
Top 10 Tips for Pinterest