Handmade Canberra is an active business on social media. It’s taken a few years for us to get the hang of what platforms to be on, what our content should be and how often we should post, and of course, we’re learning more every day. We recently put together some facts and figures about handmade’s own social media activity. Our following is growing every day and we’re right up there with the best of Canberra organisations.
If you’re starting out online and aren’t sure where you’re going, our first advice to you, in social media as with all branding is this:
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
All of your social media activity needs to stem from this information. A financial adviser probably needs to focus on reports read, the markets and investments – dry, but relevant. A handmade and creative business needs to chat about product, talk about the industry and markets attended (and maybe even publish a few cat photos for good measure). But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, why should you even be on social media in the first place?
1. It’s the best way to connect with your customer. With 12 million Australian Facebook users alone, this is where your customer spends time.
2. It’s a great way to get feedback on your business and products. Likes, comments and shares will tell you exactly how you’re doing.
3. It’s current. On social media, you can talk about what’s happening today in a few words and a click.
4. It’s a great way to communicate with your customers, respond to comments and even run promotions to get people involved.
But which platform do you use? Do you really need to be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Our opinion is that you don’t, but it’s really important to understand who your customer is (yes, we’ve said it before, we know!) before deciding where to speak from.
Facebook is where you talk to consumers. It’s an easy place to share links to information and photographs, and possibly the best platform from which to get feedback.
Instagram is more visual and is the best platform for talking to other like-minded creative businesses. It’s very quick and easy to post a photo, but less easy to link to websites and the images have to come from your mobile device, not your desktop.
Twitter is good for receiving relevant news and updates and connecting with commercial contacts. Photos and links are possible, but not easy to see at a glance.
It’s not necessary to be on all of these social media outlets, but if you are, be careful to try and post different information on each – someone following you on all three doesn’t want the same photo in each feed, and it’s also advisable to target the audience for each platform with different content.
Aaah, content. What on earth do you say on social media?
Everyone is different, and of course, you need to tailor your content to the people viewing it, but our advice is to start by getting some inspiration and researching. Find a few people you want to follow on each platform and watch what they do. What words are they using, how long are their posts, what sort of photography are they including, how often are they posting and at what times? It’s only by studying similar businesses that you will get to know the sort of content you need to create. Pick a model that you like and make it work for you. And trial & error are inevitable. Our advice is to start by mixing news, images and links. For example, do you have any new products you want to share? Do you want to tell people what you’ve been working on today? Put up photographs of your office or workshop. Share an article about Canberra or something that interests you. Talk about the markets you’re attending and review them when you’ve been. Of course, a quirky handmade business will also benefit from posts that have humour (more cats) but remember, your business’ social media pages are not really the place to post photos of your kids.
The best rule to stick to is ask yourself: Can a visitor to your feed see, in the space of one scroll/six posts, what your business is and who you are?
The next thing to consider is how often you should post. Our advice is to start with once or twice a day. Sit down and come up with seven things you think your customer will want to know about your business and seven things that you find interesting and relevant. Write them down and decide on one of each of these per day. A weekly calendar will help to keep you focused and inspiration will strike as you read other people’s posts along the way.
Finally, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it takes some time to establish what works for you and the sort of content that you get good responses from. Make sure you reply to peoples’ comments – even if it’s just to say thank you for a compliment – and see where it takes you.
For inspiration, here are some posts that Handmade has run on Facebook in the last few months with details on how many people saw them. Good luck and we’ll see you online!