You're a creative person. You have an Etsy shop or a website or maybe both. You want to promote your work online, but you can't afford advertising. Where do you go from here? Facebook is an EXCELLENT marketing tool that you can use to interact with your customers, network with other creative friends and, of course, promote your business. As the administrator of several fan pages on Facebook, I have five tips I'd like to share ...
1. "Drive by" advertising is not your friend. DBA is when you post on a site as your fan page saying something like "New fan here from (insert fan page)" or "Come check out my Etsy shop (with a link)". Most large fan pages will simply delete or hide your post and my even block you. Not to mention that Facebook has a filter and will automatically hide posts it sees as spam*. DBA's never come back and interact with the members of the Fan page, they simply leave a link to their page or Etsy shop. Or they do come back several times with the same message or advertising post. Can you see how this is problematic for the Fan page owner? If you have 10 people DBA ing every day, you'll end up with a wall full of advertising that you are hosting on your page. Your legitimate fans are annoyed because when they come to your page, it's full of advertising, not exciting content or information they can use. What do you do? You just want to get your name out and everyone has to start somewhere ... Right?
So how can you legitimately (and nicely!) advertise your brand on Facebook without spending money?
Read on my friends:
2. Follow (as your fan page) other creative pages and interact (again, as your fan page) with these pages. Get to know them. Participate in their posts. Tag them (using the @ sign) in posts that you think may be relevant to their page and yours. For example, say I own a fabric store on Etsy and have just completed a project using Patty Young's fabric and my Accuquilt cutter. I would write a post saying "Hey look at this great project using (@) Modkids new fabric line, Lush and flowers cut from my (@) accuquilt GO!Baby." The tagged fan pages will show up on their walls as well as in your post. Tagging is a great tool with one caveat ... Keep it GENUINE and don't over-use it. Use your best judgement on when it is relevant.
3. CONTESTS are a NO-NO on Facebook unless you run it through an app, which costs money. I was going to type up a big post about it, but then my friend Cheryl found this post. Please read it. Whatever you do, PLEASE don't run a contest on your Facebook wall. It is against their rules and they will shut you down. Plus, it makes the playing field unfair for those who follow the rules.
4. Consider having a "Share" day on your fan page. Make it clear that this day is for your fans to post their shops, fan pages and websites. This is a WONDERFUL way to interact with your fans, PLUS you're introducing new shops/companies/fan pages to your page AND your fans!
5. Get to know your fans by posting relevant content. Interact with them by posting thought-provoking and INTERESTING comments at least five times per week. Also, make sure you answer questions and respond to comments in a timely manner. It is VERY frustrating to fans when a page doesn't respond, especially to a direct question or comment. Make it a habit to check your page a few times a day, maybe every time you check your email. Your customers and fans are important. Show them that they are by responding to them!
It takes time to build a fan base, but don't focus on the number and get discouraged. In my opinion, it's better to have a smaller number of fans that actually interact with you than 20,000 fans who never respond. I would much rather feel like a member of a community than just a number!
I hope these tips are valuable to you and your business. If you have any comments, please leave them here and I will respond. This is a WONDERFUL creative community and I am more than happy to share what I have learned!
*NOTE: The "Hidden Post" tab is located directly under your wall tab on the left hand side of your page. Get in the habit of checking it daily. Sometimes posts you DON'T want hidden will end up there and you don't want to hide important posts.