Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 tips on using social media for your indie biz

I wanted to compile a list of pointers of how to use social media effectively for your business. This can be handmade, commercial, restaurant, small scale local...any kind of business. Granted, a lot of these ideas will be through the lens of a handmade business, but they can easily be applicable to any venture. 

These are all my opinions from personal experience, so take them with a grain of salt, or a whole salt shaker, for that matter. It's just a guide to help some of you who are wanting to grow your business, but are on the fence about marketing your indie biz via social media. 


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1. Tweet often. 
Don't let people forget about you. The more your brand is in your customers' minds, the more likely they will make purchases from you regularly. I tend to see a dramatic lull or rise in sales depending on when I've tweeted or not tweeted. 


2.  Promote, but don't spam. 
Scheduling "new blog post!" tweets can be tricky because a. not everyone is "online" the same time you are, but b. tweeting the same thing every hour on the hour is obnoxious. Also, when you've sold a few things and you tweet "sold & re-listed" about 6 times in a row with a link for different products, it's totally overkill. A general rule of thumb that I personally follow is tweeting something 3 times in one day is the absolute maximum. 


3. Keep Things Positive, but BE REAL.
It's ok to say that you aren't having a good day, but when most of your tweets are about how tired you are, etc., it gets exhausting! We also know everything isn't always "sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows" all the time, so don't act like it is. Your fans/followers/customers want to see that you're normal and that you aren't perfect. 


4. The Golden Rule. 
I tend to abuse this one because I am sometimes a bit snarky. One, I feel like I want to be "real" with my followers. Sure, I could easily be a happy go lucky tweeter, but then are my followers getting a false sense of who I am and what my business is about? You be the judge. I think only tweeting positive things tends to trap you in a fake facade. Bottom line, be nice. 


5. Free is Fun!
Free things go a LONG way for sales. "Free Earring Friday" was always well received for me, personally. Make a minimum purchase or allow a certain item purchased to be paired with a free gift. Promote it via social media and watch sales come in that you AND your customers are excited about!


6. Offer Exclusive Discounts/Sales. 
Reward your followers! Sometimes I put exclusive "friends & family" discount codes on my personal Facebook page for just that, friends and family. Other times, I promote a discount code exclusively to twitter..same with Facebook. Discount codes are a great way for people to make impulse buys AND are great ways for your customers to feel "treated" to one of your new products! Who doesn't like a sale?! 


7. Be Inspiring & Helpful.
Encourage others, tweet/blog pretty things, and don't just be about you. Put someone else in the spotlight and feature people who are inspiring to you! Retweet someone's giveaway, fun blog post, or new item. What goes around, comes around!


Along with that, 


8. Don't Be Too Exclusive
I learned this lesson the hard way and tried to "de-clutter" who I followed on twitter. I learned that if I'm truly trying to be a "light" to the handmade network, then I can't be exclusive and I should return the favor and follow people. You never know, you may just find some new blogs to follow and inspiring people to interact with! This also goes for using twitter as a chat room for you and three of your "tweeps." I promise it's annoying as the word "tweeps."


((photo source))
9. Be Interactive.
Twitter and Facebook can be great conversation tools. Don't just "blab," respond and encourage community on your pages! Involve your customers in decisions on colors, future items, fabrics, etc. 


10. Behind the Scenes. 
I know that I love to see behind the scenes work from my favorite bloggers, designers, crafters, etc. People are interested in what you do all day ((or else they wouldn't be following you on twitter/facebook)), so show a sneak peek of a new product, snippets in to your studio, or a fun personal project you're working on. It gets people excited about your work and can potentially lead to quick sales when you release those new products!


((Bonus)) Real Life Balance. 
Again, people want to see you being REAL. They want to see that you have friends in real life, and that you love your husband/family. I think this also helps in being able to switch out of "business mode" when your "work day" is done. Also? Get off the computer/iphone every once and a while. Your friends & family will appreciate it. 




What helpful tips have you learned by using social media for your business? What pointers would you have for using social media effectively? 
Discuss  in the comments section below :)


love.

17 comments:

  1. Great tips! I especially like the idea about offering a discount on your personal FB page-- think I'll have to implement that this week!

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  2. Thanks for the great tips! Always good to learn from a pro ;)

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  3. I love reading these types of posts. I am new to all of this and I always feel so inspired when I see that other people are thinking about this stuff. Thanks!

    besitos,
    rebecca
    www.rebeccacaridad.com

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  4. Great tips! I am going to try the friends and family discount!

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  5. Thanks for the great tips, Kim. I'm bookmarking this post & will keep it in mind as I continue this new business expereince!

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  6. Love these tips! thanks for sharing them.

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  7. Great tips! I'm really starting to think I need to join twitter... but I'm not sure that I want to.

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  8. What a fabulous post, Kim. And I too hate the word "tweeps."

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  9. Your comment about using Twitter as a chat room cracked me up-there's nothing I hate more!

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  10. What great tips!! Don't have a business yet, but I'm working on the plans :D

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  11. thank you thank you thank you so much for this. new things are happening for me and this definitely eases the nerves. so again... thank you!

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  12. Thanks for the tips!

    _______________________________
    http://mustbeliberating.blogspot.com/

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  13. these are some great tips girl!! love the ideas about being real and the free earring fridays!!

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  14. Kim, this is awesome! Thank you for all of the wisdom. I'm going to link this in my post tomorrow for Tipsy Tuesday (it's a linky party I created) along with some other blog/handmade business wisdom I've found.

    -Mandy :)

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