Etsy and social media

Etsy is the largest marketplace of its kind online, but it’s not perfect. Something it fails at is in helping crafters create community, or send out content marketing. In other words, its social media  tools are weak. Here are some tools you can use to augment your Etsy shop and help people discover you.

  • Facebook: An enormous user base, but we’re getting less and less for free. On the other hand, their ad system has powerful targeting.
  • Instagram: Quickly growing and loyal user base. Instagram has new merchandising tools like the ad carousel. Drawback: you can’t group similar images into albums. Plus: your potential reach is not filtered like Facebook; currently, nothing is hidden from your followers.
  • Pinterest: People come to Pinterest to shop and be inspired so it has a terrific demographic for artisans. Increasingly powerful selling tools, too. Pinterest allows you to sort your online portfolio into categories ("boards").
  • Tumblr: this platform is increasingly popular and has a relatively young, creative userbase.
  • Blogging, YouTube, LinkedIn and SlideShare: useful if you are building a case for your authority

    or teaching expertise in a specific field.

Social media tips and best practices
Social media is best-used to build loyalty, trust, reputation, and real connections. Unlike most traditional forms of advertising, there are few filters between you and your fans so your own voice and personality can shine through.

Learning a little about who you are and how you work (and not just getting bargains) is a big reason for following an artisan. No, really. People are fascinated by glimpses into what is probably a different way of life; fans of your work will appreciate advance notice of new artwork as well as insight into how you work.

  • Link to your shop when and where possible; make it easy to find
  • It’s not all sell sell sell; be helpful, delight your viewers, be gorgeous, be irresistibly shareable
  • Elizabeth Frank posts new works, and shares scenes from her workshop
  • Write like you speak; “professional,” bland tone is not an advantage on social media

  • Share your passion for your art and craft
  • Share your process and what inspires you, and be inspiring to others
  • Share your best self
  • Seek out and follow your peers, your trade organizations, and bloggers who cover your medium, for ideas and networking
  • Respond when people comment and talk to you
  • Ask your following what they want you to post, what they enjoy most
  • Post consistently
    • a minimum of 3 times a week for Facebook and Instagram
    • Pinterest is not time-sensitive but rewards activity
  • Be consistent in topic too: your main medium and perhaps 2-3 related subtopics
  • Promote other artists too; be generous
  • Pay attention to what people share, to learn what works with your following (hint: it may not be what the gurus say)
  • Don’t expect it all to be free

  • Leverage hashtags as a discovery tool
  • Consider hashtag games and challenges to keep people engaged (see #InstaKors on Instagram)

Super-helpful articles [Editor's note: link currently dead, sorry! You may want to Google it later in case they repost it. 7/11/16]

Created by Lisa Bunker for the Idea+Space class on Etsy, held May 18, 2015.