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How to Leverage Social Media for Etsy

Social media can be a simple and effective form of marketing, but how can you leverage social media for Etsy? Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest; your buyer is only a swipe and a tap away. Today, we’re giving you some easy tips to turn your social media pages into a sales funnel for your Etsy shop. 

Social media for Etsy starts with real data

Today, we’re talking about using social media to market your Etsy shop. Let’s just jump right into some numbers! Using market research, you should target social media channels that your buyers are most likely to use. Not surprisingly, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are the big ones. 

% of U.S. adults in each demographic group who say they ever use…

DemographicFacebookInstagramPinterest
Total69%40%31%
Men61%36%16%
Women77%44%46%
Ages 18-2970%71%32%
30-4977%48%34%
50-6473%29%38%
65+50%13%18%
Data collected from Pew Research Center

Of the people that have said they’ve ever used social media, 69% are using Facebook, 40% using Instagram, and 31% using Pinterest. And some of the biggest changes are between the social media platforms men and women use. For instance (this is probably not a big surprise), only 16% of men say they use Pinterest, whereas 46% of women say they use Pinterest.

How does this data help with social media for Etsy?

It’s a great place to start! By finding out which social media platform your buyers are most likely to use, you can start to create a profile of your buyer’s persona. This can really help you choose which platform you want to target because let’s face it if you’re trying to hit all of them at once, you’re going to have a hard time. 

You don’t have to conquer them all at once. You’re probably not going to be able to learn all of them at the same time and do all of them very well. It would make a whole lot more sense to pick the one your customers line up with and target that one. Learn about it and figure out how to hit it the best.

Not only are we giving you permission to not be on all the social platforms, we’re recommending that you aren’t

Social media for Etsy across platforms

Let’s jump into some of the tips we have for you guys across social platforms! One important thing to do is to make sure that whatever you’re doing on social media, matches the branding of your Etsy shop. You want to make sure that when people are moving from your Etsy shop to your social media (and from your social media to your Etsy shop) it seems fluid. Customers should feel like it makes sense and is a natural transition.  

Your branding should not be completely different on the two platforms. When customers click the link to go to your Etsy shop, you don’t want them wondering if they clicked the right link. Customers shouldn’t be thinking that this doesn’t look at all like where they just were. 

What do I post? 

You might be wondering, “Hey, what do I post?” Well, a great thing to post on social media is lifestyle photos of your products in use. What you want to aim to do is create beautiful posts about what it’s like to live with your products. You don’t just want product photos with a generic white background. This is where you can really show off what you’re creating!  

Think REI

A great example of a company doing this is REI. You might hop on their website to check out their products or flip through their catalog and what you’re seeing isn’t just product photography. You’re being show that backpack in action! Those hiking boots you’ve been eyeing are right there on the model walking through the Rocky Mountains. And boom! You can’t live without that particular product because you can totally envision yourself in that same space using that same product. This is the space you want to recreate on social media as well!

Via REI

But what does Etsy think?

Etsy says go for it! Etsy encourages sellers to share lifestyle photos in their product listings. And (side note) social media could be a great way of trying to figure out what lifestyle photos work best for your products. Put it out there. How much engagement do you see on these things? The ones that give you the most likes and comments are the ones you should be using inside your Etsy shop.

You heard us right, social media can be a really good way of trying out content and figuring out what’s going to resonate best with your customers. Take your most popular social media posts and use them effectively in your shop.  

Get personal

Some other things you can post are personal stories and reviews from some of your customers. People love behind-the-scenes stuff about how you’re making your products and how your personal life is intertwined with your business. 

Etsy’s also encouraged you to share these sorts of things in shop updates in the past. This sort of content is fantastic on social media. Social is meant to be social. We’re on there because we want to share other experiences with people.

Social media for Etsy, BUT for your followers only

Another great thing to post is occasional promotions and discounts that only your followers can utilize. This is going to keep people engaged and will keep them curious about you having something exciting or fun coming up on your account.  

We’re big fans of the “with bonus” kind of promotion. Now, before you @ us in the comments if you’ve listened to our other content, we’re not suggesting that you heavily discount your products. If you do, then people are looking for discounts which can devalue your products a little bit.

We are big fans of throwing in bonuses that are just adding more value and building up your brand. 

Keep it fun

Another thing you can do on your social media is some fun stuff! Have some contests and some games that help incentivize your followers to share your shop with other people and help that discovery. We see these things all the time on social media where people will say, “Hey, to win this contest for this free thing (or this upgrade on my product) share this with five people and add a comment and you’ll be entered to win this contest.” It’s a fun thing to do, and it happens all the time on social media because it’s successful and it works. 

What do your friends and family think?

You can have both a personal and business account, and we recommend having both! Friends and family will know you as whatever person you are on your personal account. If you sell gnome houses, they’ll know you as the gnome house person and will think of you if they’re ever in the market for what you sell. This is great because personally, we like to do business with people that we know and try to help their business.  

Help from the community when you use social media for Etsy

Elon Musk said, “Instead of baby showers, let’s host Business showers.” So basically, when somebody you know starts a business, their friends and family would gather to help them get off the ground. They would give them some business and other things they might need. Starting a business can be hard, but usually, if your community knows what you’re doing, they’ll be willing to support your small, local business and help how they can. 

Social media for Etsy sounds great! So… what’s the catch?

So there are some tips for you guys for getting your social media platforms running out of the gate. There are also some potential downsides that we want to talk about too just so you can be aware of them and make sure you’re avoiding them as much as possible. 

Catch #1. It’s a time suck

Obviously, the big one is time. If you’re feeling like you’re behind the wheel and you’re not able to get orders out on time (or you’re spending all your time on photos and keywords) you might not actually have time to run into a whole new space of social media accounts and learn to do well with it.

Catch #2. You’ll be starting at ground zero

Also, like we mentioned earlier, if you already have a personal account on social media, but you’re creating a brand-new business account, you have to keep in mind that you’re going to be starting from ground zero with it. You’re going to have to build up your following from nothing at that point, which is ok if that’s what you choose to do.

If your personal brand (your personal identity) and your business don’t mix, that’s totally fine. Just be aware that if you’re starting a whole new persona online for your business, you’re going to have to start building that account from the ground up. Remember that momentum will eventually kick in though, so don’t let it be too daunting! You can definitely do it and succeed at it! 

Catch #3. It’s Extra work on your plate

Managing separate business and personal social media accounts is extra work. There’s no way around that. But, if you had to dial back on your personal, that’s probably ok to give some extra energy to your business. Or you can keep both accounts linked and just have one account. That’s totally fine as well.

Catch #4. You’ll be a small fish in a big pond

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re jumping into social media is that you’re going to be a small fish in a big pond. This is kind of like that conversation of “Should I leave Etsy and start my own website to sell things on my own?” Absolutely, you can do that and it’s something to consider. But, keep in mind that when you do, you are no longer a fish in the Etsy pond. You’re a fish in the ocean of the internet. 

Same thing with social media. You’re a new account out there. Even if you’re changing your personal account into a business account you’re still a fish (albeit, maybe a little bit bigger than if you were starting from scratch) in a giant pond of all kinds of brands and products that are competing for people’s attention. 

Catch #5. You’re doing it to sell, but you can’t ALWAYS sell

Something else to be careful of is you don’t always want to be selling. You don’t want to be that person that people need to avoid. You might come off one of those horror stories you hear of multi-level marketing businesses. And to be fair, there are lots of people that do MLM really well and are successful. But it’s gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly because a lot of us have been invited to do something socially only to find out that it was a pitch to buy into something. 

Catch #6. I’m your follower don’t burn me out, man

Just be aware that people can get burned out on posts that are always sales-related. Everything you do doesn’t have to be about your business. Now, if it’s your business page-only, that’s different. If someone follows a business page, they’ll be aware that they’re going to get business stuff. Which is hopefully fun and mixed with lifestyle posts as well. But if it is your personal page, make sure not to just completely tank it with business-only posts 24/7.  

There’s that’s not as many catches as you thought, right?

Now, how should you actually use social media for Etsy?

Step #1. You need to be consistent

To us, gaining followers on social media is a lot like wellness and fitness. If you’ve ever dieted or wanted to get in better shape, it’s easy to want those results asap. 

Everyone wants to get 100,000 followers or even 1,000 followers overnight, and if you’ve tried it, you know you can’t do it. That’s just not how it works. It’s something that you have to do over time and you need to be repetitive about it. Create a routine around it. It will grow over time. Just make sure you’re consistent.

Step #2. Don’t fall for schemes

You’re going to see all kinds of little schemes online for social media followers. Stuff like, pay $500 and we’ll give you 500,000 followers. But these aren’t going to be quality followers if it even works. It’s not going to give you success so don’t fall into this trap. 

If people are promising you those numbers (just like in SEO on Etsy) and that you’re going to have overnight success, don’t believe them. That’s just not how it works. They’re giving you a story. It’s human nature to want to believe these things because it seems so tempting.

Step #3. Be engaging

The best way to gain followers organically and keep your social media going and active is by posting engaging content because everything is an algorithm. Whether it be search or discovery of stuff on social media. Everything is going to be an algorithm, and the algorithm absolutely knows when people are engaging with your content or if people are just scrolling past it.

If people aren’t really interested and they’re not liking it or commenting and sharing, you’re just not going to get shown as much. Focus on quality and engaging content to spread further and faster.

Step #4. Take it one step at a time

Keep in mind that the different platforms have different algorithms. So what they’re each looking for could look a little bit different from platform to platform. That’s one of the reasons why you shouldn’t jump into all of them at once. We recommend you find the one that fits your demographic the best and really start to learn that platform. Learn that algorithm and what works well there. 

Step #5. Create a schedule

Now, something that is sort of the same across all platforms is that they want consistent posts. They all want you to be posting regularly and not just jumping in with a bunch of content and then not post anything for the next two months. And simply posting sporadically isn’t going to work either. No matter where you’re headed, you should make sure that the content you’re going to be posting comes in regularly.

Pro Tip: Be aware of fads

Social media fads will come and go. While it sounds fun and exciting to jump onto a new platform, be sure that whatever platform you’re jumping into is worth the time and investment you’re putting into it for your business. Some new platforms might be suited better for personal accounts only, with business not really mixing. Sticking to the tried and true platforms for your business is always smart (at least until a new platform comes along and truly shows value for your business).  

That’s not to say you should dismiss new platforms altogether because, hey, Instagram was new at one point. It’s just always a good idea to be mindful of where you’re spending your time when something is new. Put your valuable business time and money where there’s a good chance of getting a return on the investment. Monitor your risk and be aware of fads. Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it’s right for your business right away. 

But WHY should I use social media for Etsy?

Why should you pursue social media? It’s important to remember that as you’re jumping into social media, the entire goal of this as an Ecommerce shop owner,  is getting buyers into your shop. Yes, each of these platforms has its own currency of likes, faves, followers, shares, etc. Don’t get too caught up in that. 

The Ultimate Goal

Obviously, likes and shares are going to drive more engagement and help you out, but the ultimate goal is getting people back into your shop to make the purchase. To build that audience into a set of customers. If you’re doing fantastic on social media and you’ve got a whole slew of followers and some great engaging content out there, but none of that is translating to sales in your shop, your whole point of being there for your business isn’t being realized yet. 

Don’t forget this about social media for Etsy

Make sure you include links to your shop or specific listings that you want to promote in your social media bio. It’s always a good idea to have some listings that have a more broad appeal to social media and then get them in your shop so customers can start browsing around and picking up other things that go well with them.

It’s also fun to switch those up! Not just for testing, but to keep things fresh and seasonal. You need to go with what people are looking for seasonally and social is actually a great place to see what people are currently looking for.

But wait, there’s more!

Keep in mind that your social media channels should be an extension of all the fun parts of your Etsy shop. All the stuff that you love about selling on Etsy. If that’s product development or if that’s just crafting in general, or if it’s finding cool things at yard or estate sales for your vintage shop, show that! 

Those positive reviews, the things that sellers love about Etsy, those should be the things that you get to share back on social media, so it should really help you breathe life into your shop.

It’s easy to get bogged down by things that people don’t enjoy so much like taxes or inventory management, and maybe for some people SEO. So don’t focus on this too much when setting out to market on social media.  

Final thoughts

The fun stuff that you really love about your shop can be the things that you’re sharing all over social media and that helps build your brand even more! Show your customers and your audience that you love doing what you do and it should complete the picture and breathe life into you as an online seller. There are huge benefits to being on social media! 

So, there you guys go! There’s a pretty good high-level overview of social media and some tips to get you started in that space.

Do you already know what platform is best for your Etsy shop? Are you already using these platforms to market your shop? If so, let us know your favorite thing about using social media to leverage your Etsy shop in the comments below.

Happy selling, everyone!

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