How important is social media to handmade goods?

Do you Facebook? Tweet? LinkedIn? There are more ways to utilize social media than there are hours in the day. As a small business owner, I have to run my business and drive traffic to it. As a full-time marketing professional, I’m always looking for ways to bump up the visibility of my company’s website, capture and convert leads, etc.

So what works? Oh, there’s a million answers to that one. I follow one person on Twitter who seems to tweet her every thought – I find this exhausting. However I really like her work – if she just tweeted that, I’d be mesmerized. Instead she bores me to death with tiny comments about feeling sleepy or wanting a snack.

But isn’t that the whole idea of social media? Our every thought blasted out into the universe?

Nope. The point is to get people’s attention. Get them interested in you, your stuff, your product, your business. And get them to pull the trigger and buy. So far, to my knowledge, Twitter has not netted me a single sale. Neither, to my knowledge, has Facebook, although I’ll be the first to admit that my page there is woefully stale. So what’s the use?

Facebook is a free photo album. You can take one bazillion photos of your hand-knitted finger puppets and post them there for people to see. And if you tag them with the right keywords, Google may turn them up in a search. And your Twitter followers might find them cute and re-tweet them.

But if you don’t do any of that social media stuff, how the hell will anyone ever see them? You could have the best knitted finger puppets this side of Punch and Judy, but those things are not getting a single view if they’re not online. And tagged. And tweeted. Keep in mind what your audience wants to know, and tell them (minus the “feeling sleepy” updates, please). Make offers (25% off if you type “tweet” in the note to seller). Think about how people use Facebook and Twitter. Tweets become invisible quickly – are you ready with a strategy for more? Tag the hell out of your products, wherever you can. Use Google Analytics – don’t be afraid, get in there and see how you’re doing.

All this marketing can be exhausting when all you want to do is create and be artistic and commune with your muse. But if you’re in the business of making money – and who doesn’t want some of that? – then you need eyeballs.

Now I gotta go tweet this blog post.

Tweet it, baby.

This entry was published on February 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm. It’s filed under Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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