Sunday, 2 March 2014

Etsy School Archive: Week 4

Etsy School Archive: Week 4

 This is an archive of Etsy School run on February 2014, from the Ontario, Canada team. Hopefully you find this useful reading through and doing the assignments for yourself!

Week 4 Assignment & Discussion Questions

Week 4 Assignment

Class is in session!
Congratulations you've made it to the final week. This week is all about social media, and promoting your business. This is going to be a long post-but an important one.

First let's start with Etsy, even though it is an e-commerce site, it isn't without its social aspects!
If you didn't know about these features-now is a great time to look at them:
> Treasuries - These are like mini collections or curated lists you can build and be featured in. If your treasuries is picked by an admin, you may have it featured on the home page.

> Pages - Is a new feature. I still haven't even got to try it out yet! Similar to a pinterest board or collection you can feature items and embed them in your website:

> Success Newsletter: The success newsletter is a place where Etsy features talented shop owners and posts some neat tips. You can easily get inspired just by looking through it. Sign up here:

> Seller Handbook: Cannot stress how great the Seller Handbook is. You can find virtually anything you could want to know about selling a shop on Etsy. As well they also post blogs on how to improve all aspects of your store and even branding. Read it here:

> Teams: Obviously!! You probably already know about teams if you are reading this. You can join all sorts of teams: By location, By what you sell, For pure promoting, For Weddings, or general interest. So join a team or two :)

Now that you know about some of the things within Etsy to promote your business let's talk about off the site. There are a ton of social media sites you can use to accomplish this. Here is my list of social media sites with a brief description of them. You should keep in mind that you don't need to be on EVERY single one, you will need to pick ones that work for you and your products.
One of the most popular social media sites out there right now, you can create a fan page for people to LIKE, and post new products or things you find on Etsy. Don't forget you can also use hashtags #LIKETHIS to make your items easier to find.
Our Team has a GROUP which is different than pages, it is a more intimate way to interact with your fellow teammates:

Google Plus:
Very much like Facebook but not quite as popular! You can create a business page that people can follow, post status updates, photos and use hashtags #LIKETHIS to make your items easier to find.
In 140 characters or less you can promote your products, post about events and share your thoughts! Twitter is probably the second most popular social media site and shouldn't be ignored. You can use hashtags #LIKETHIS to allow people to find your items better. And you can RETWEET other people's posts that interest you.
This one is dangerously addictive-you can curate your own boards or collections of things. They don't necessarily have to be related to your business, you can find lots of DIY posts and home decor ideas. People can 'Repin' your 'Pinned' items, and there are group boards that you can post things to. Our team has a group board you can join just Convo me: Don't forget you can also use hashtags #LIKETHIS to make your items easier to find.
Similar to Pinterest, but instead of pinning you can HEART things. I've found this site is good for more visual photos, and tends to be a younger crowd. This site has keywords that can help your HEARTS be found.
Like Pinterest but completely focused on buy-able products. You can add your products to Wanelo, create lists and follow other stores. /
It can be really useful to have a blog, you can easily reach an audience who likes to sit down and read blogs. Making posts about new products, how-tos or even just treasuries you've been featured in can be a good way to extend your reach!
This is one of my MUST HAVES, you can sign up and add your products into the StumbleUpon verse. Basically people can STUMBLE their interest, and it takes them to thousands of different web pages. I think you'll find that once you start adding your product pages to this website you will see an increase in traffic and hopefully sales too. This site uses keywords so people can find your pages easier.
If you have a phone or tablet you can join Instagram, the idea is to take photos or really short videos and use neat photo filters. This site is very visual, and is good if you want to show people products and behind the scenes of your store. Using Hastags #LIKETHIS can allow people to find your items when they search.
Tumblr is a similar format to blogspot / wordpress and pinterest. I say that because you can use it as a blog and do mostly written posts. But you can also use it as a visual way to promote your products. As well you can reblog other posts you find interesting and curate your own blog in a very unique way. This site has keywords that can help your posts be found by people.
Everyone should have heard of YouTube by now, it is a very popular video site. If you find that you are better at communicating orally you'll want to sign up and start making videos. You can do short How-Tos, previews of new products and vlogs, which are like blog posts but in a video format!

There are even more-these are just my favourites that I thought I should share. If you have one that isn't on the list share it! In your workbook you'll find a chart of tips about being sociable on social media like: being yourself, knowing your audience, be confident, tell a story, and interact with your buyer. Make sure you give it a good read as it includes some important tips.

This week's assignment is with your partner check your workbook. Ask your partner 3 things that they would like to know about yourself and/or your business, you will do the same for them. Now take those questions and expand on how you might answer them while using social media. For instance if they ask, what is your process to create your buttons. I would answer simply by using my button maker, but you could turn that into a post on one of your social media sites by explaining the button making process in detail or making a video on how it is done.

Finally the last part is just for you to do, but if you need help you can certainly ask your partner! Plan out an entire week of social media posts, in your workbook you'll find a chart which has some suggestions on what to post about, where to post it and what social media site.

And as you are filling out your worksheet, keep in mind that you don't have to post everyday on social media sites to be successful. It is more about the quality of your posts than the quantity. There is nothing worse than LIKING a Facebook page that posts stuff 5x a day every day-it becomes overwhelming. Spread your posts across different social media sites and be frequent, but also find what works for you.

I had no idea Etsy had so many resources for promoting-fantastic!
Etsy's How to Create a Facebook Fan Page:
Etsy's Tips for Promotion (Like Blogging, Pinterest & Tumblr): <-- multiple articles you can look at.
Branding & Promotion 101 (Video & Articles):

=BONUS Etsy School Interaction=
Since this week's assignment is all about being social, lets be social! Post your 2-3 social media sites Ex. Facebook, Twitter, your Blog.
And the person who posts next should make sure to follow at least ONE of those sites.
I'll start us off! Pick one to follow and post your social media sites.

Week 4 Discussion

Congratulations on finishing Etsy School! I hope you've learned a lot in the course and will keep applying those teachings to make your store more successful. Not to mention hopefully you've gotten to know your fellow teammates better through discussion and partner work!

>>>So Let's discuss this week!
Did you find some of the resources I posted useful? I know there is a lot of content but you can easily start small- pick one or two social media sites to start with and go for quality over quantity.

Did your partner help you figure out some new content to posts on your current sites? Like your business background or perhaps more about your process to make your items? -- If you've posted something from that, share it! We wanna see!

Were my little blurbs about the different social media sites helpful?-Did you discover a new site that is ideal for your products-share the link we want to follow it!

Finally here are some closing tips I can offer for Facebook and Twitter in regards to getting more LIKES/FOLLOWERS. With Facebook this is probably one of the most difficult things to do is gaining more LIKES. You can do this by including in your orders a little piece of paper that shows people you are on Facebook. Or you can hold a small giveaway which can stretch out onto your other social media sites, this will help grow your likes (I like to use, to setup my giveaways).
For twitter, the art of the 'follow back' is a really good way to mutually gain more followers. Follow people who are like you other Etsy users, or have the same interests as you. You can use to see who is actively following you, who is following you that you aren't following and finally see users you follow who don't follow you back. Just keep in mind of Twitter's rules about mass following etc. Oh and don't forget to RETWEET things that interest you, give your current followers variety rather than sales pitches all the time.

If you are a busy person and social media isn't really your thing you should consider making up a planner or some kind of scheduling system. So that way once a week you can pre-make a bunch of posts on various sites and have them post throughout the course of a week or two. For myself I made an 'Etsy Social Media & Tasks Planner' to keep me organized, Here's a preview:
Etsy School Completion Buttons Made for Participants


And for everyone who has joined in the Etsy School this month, I've got a little something for you. I wish we could all get together at a pub or something but we are across Ontario. So instead I made up some Etsy School Completion Badges for you to wear with pride!

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