Felt is here to support creative New Zealanders to get their items into more places, more often. A big part of this is empowering individuals to market themselves in a way where we all benefit – one plus one can equal four! We all benefit from any traffic to each other’s Felt shops, so tying our individual promotional work back to our Felt shops gives each of us a much better chance of success that any of us going it alone.
This blog post is part of our Ten tips to promote your Felt shop, and covers Felt’s top tips on making the best use of social media, with some general pointers as well as specific pointers for Facebook and Instagram. See our first post here, and stay tuned for our next post on easy ways to keep your Felt shop up to date!
2. Optimise your social media accounts
Often the best way to drive sales is not to wait for customers to find you, but to go and hang out where they are. Social media is a powerful way of connecting with prospective customers, and there are a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of success.
Tips for all platforms:
Managing many platforms can be time-consuming and difficult, so pointing all social media platforms at your Felt shop address lets you do lots of different marketing and promotional approaches, but keeps all sales in one place. Many of us have the tendency to post the same photos of the same products in many different places and do the same work many times. It doesn’t have to be that hard! Consider using a social media management platform like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Socialbakers (there are more!).
Social media works well with momentum, in that you’re more likely to get traction doing a little bit regularly than doing a lot every once in a while. Consider scheduling posts to drip out across a week or a month if you’re not a frequent user. Always tag Felt and use any other relevant hashtags you can find. Use hashtags that other people are using – that’s the point of them!
Posts with photos and good stories are necessary. You might make the most excellent items, but if they aren’t captured well in photos or people don’t understand WHY the item is excellent then they’re less likely to buy it. There’s a huge difference between good photos and bad photos, but it’s worth the time of taking good photos and then using them in lots of places! Have a look at the Felt newsletters for examples of lots of great photos taken by other sellers. If you can easily make short videos that showcase your skill, do that!
For all platforms, make sure you:
- Take excellent photos of your items. Team with others in the Felt Sellers community Facebook group if you need help!
- Tell the stories that your items deserve
- Point all marketing/shop now buttons at your Felt shop address
- Tag Felt, use hashtags, and engage with other people and pages from your relevant account/page.
Felt will always try to share any of your posts that we are tagged in, BUT it’s only fair to all sellers that we only do this for accounts that are linked to your Felt shop – i.e. where profile links and “Shop now” buttons link to your Felt shop address.
Tips for Facebook:
Be clear about whether you want to use your own personal account, or set up a page. We recommend setting up a page that shares the same name with your Felt shop. There are great free tools like Canva that can help you make profile pictures and banners for use on Facebook pages and as your Felt shop avatar.
Facebook pages allow you to very easily add a “Shop now” button to the top of your page, under your banner image. Any “Shop now” type buttons should point people straight to your Felt shop to make it as easy as possible for your customers to buy your items. You can also add your Felt shop address in the descriptions of photos and on your posts.
Tag @Felt in your posts and comment on our posts. We currently have 40,000 followers, and they are looking for high-quality NZ-made products. Share Felt posts, especially big promotional pages like Felt.co.nz/christmas when we release them, and we’ll do our best to share your posts when we can!
Consider using Facebook advertising and promotional tools. There are comprehensive supports available through Facebook directly, that move and change with Facebook itself. Use them! Link your Facebook promotions to your Felt shop anywhere you can.
Tips for Instagram:
Instagram also has Business Accounts, which might be worth looking into if you’re wanting to take it seriously. Similar to Facebook you can very easily add a “Shop now” button, and any “Shop now” type buttons should point people straight to your Felt shop!
Selling your items is an inherently visual thing, so Instagram (and cross-sharing to other social media platforms) can be hugely valuable for you. If you’re completely new to Instagram then have a wee google around for ‘Instagram 101’ – there is a lot of information out there!
Use your photos as a way of telling stories that your potential customers can buy into. There are many stories that we take for granted for ourselves that can often be what is so appealing about our items! The making process, what making means for you, the story of your materials, the end-uses of your items… there is no shortage of things to cover. When it comes to high quality, interesting images, more is more, so having themes and stories that you cycle through or spread over large timelines keeps people engaged and coming back for more.
Some themes and ideas of stories you can tell through a series of photos:
- Your inspirations for the items you make
- Finding or selecting materials
- The making process – work in progress and your workspace
- Failures or epic mistakes – you are only human, after all!
- Finished products
- Gift wrapped items
- Items being used in the real world
- Feedback you receive
Be sure to, again, make use of hashtags. Find hashtags that you really like or that you think you will fit well in and start experimenting. Often we can be inclined to NOT do something in case it goes wrong, but what’s the worst that can happen!? Don’t be afraid to try things out and keep an eye on traffic – you can always remove an image or edit a description if need be.
There is no shortage of ways to promote your items through social media, and heaps of other help and support out there. The best thing we can each do is to try new things, take notice of what gets traction (and increases your sales), and try to do more of that. Most of all have fun, and keep going!