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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Let's Talk About Facebook

According to recent statistics, there are more than 200 million active users on Facebook, half of which log on to Facebook every day. An average user has approximately 120 friends and more than 4 million users become fans of pages every day! Rather staggering numbers! I know what you are saying...I said the same thing a few years ago...how does knowing that my friend Jason has joined the group "I Love Bacon" help me market my indie handmade business? The answer of course is setting up a Facebook Fan Page and then utilizing that page in conjunction with your personal Facebook page to connect with your customers, and form a solid community with other handmade artisans.

I decided to use Facebook for my business to accomplish the following goals:

1. Gain exposure to people who are searching for my products
2. Connect and engage with current and potential customers
3. Create a community around my business
4. Ultimately be able to promote other content that I create whether it be my blog, tutorials, webinars, etc

Some of the great features built in to Facebook are you can use third party applications to launch your Etsy mini or Artfire Kiosk on your fan page for instance. You can post all the links where fans can find you on Twitter, your personal blog, and at your Etsy shop. You can post topics to your own personal Discussion Board that will help link users together. Topics can include: share your Etsy Shop link, do you have a Twitter channel, do you have a blog...this can generate a value to your fan page for the readers within the handmade community and help them further their efforts to receive more traffic to their online selling site.

First things first...they way Facebook is set up, everything evolves around an individual Facebook profile. The profile represents the individual and is held under your individual name. Around this profile, you can create a Facebook Fan Page to represent your business. Here are some resources that help you set up your Facebook Profile:

Some resources to help you set up your Facebook Fan Page:
Okay, your profile and fan page is all set up...now what? Well, for your personal profile...go out and get some friends! Here's a few tips on how to go about it:
  • Start with your center of influence--your friends, family, colleagues
  • Join some groups on Facebook and make friend requests of members who share same interests--Etsy groups for instance are a great way to connect with fellow artisans and buyers too!
  • Once you begin to get friend confirmations Facebook with send you an email that the person has confirmed you as a friend and will give a list of some of the friends they have that you might be interested in. That has a snowballing affect and you end up with a nice group of targeted friends within your interest group.
Now you need to get followers for your fan page! A nifty way to start is to invite all of your friends and family to become a fan. There is a quick and easy way to make this request right on the fan page on the far left; there's a link that's called "Suggest to Friends" that will pull up a list of all your profile friends and send invitations to become a fan of your fan page. This is a wonderful way to start getting fans to your page. Other ways include:
  • Join a thread (or start one) in Etsy forums requesting Facebook Fans
  • Join one of the groups within Facebook such as "Etsy" and post to the Discussion Page all topics concerning Facebook Fan Pages
  • Tweet about your Fan Page on Twitter
  • Post it on you blog--encourage people to join using a giveaway or some special incentive for Facebook Fans
  • Put a Facebook Fan Page Badge on your blog--readers can quickly get to your fan page and become a fan in a few easy steps
Once you have established your fan page, you owe it to yourself to begin using the wonderful analytics option that you can access right from your page called Insights. As we all know, a key component to any marketing activity is measuring and analyzing the results of your efforts. Utilizing Facebook Insights as well as Google Analytics for measurements outside your page, here are a few metrics to consider:
  • Reach--total number of fans, group members, or friends
  • Engagement--the level of engagement and number of conversations with potential and current customers and fans. Insights, lets you track valuable metrics such as page views, wall posts, discussion threads, and photo views.
  • Impact on Sales Funnel--the number of visitors from Facebook to your website that convert into customers and sales. Use a marketing analytics program such as Google Analytics to track the impact on your sales directly related to your Facebook Fan Page.
You can also use Facebook Insights to monitor the demographics of your fans and use this to tailor both your fan page content and your business products themselves to suit your target market.

Facebook is a tool for connecting people with those around them. And, as with any social media tool, handmade indie business owners have an opportunity to use Facebook to expand their online footprint and engage with customers directly. The end result is increased traffic to their online selling venue and ultimately increased sales. More than that, it can promote the feeling of collaboration and community which is such a vital part of the handmade industry itself!

So my Facebook Fan Page is here...how about yours? Post yours in the comments following this entry and I'll be sure to become your next fan!

5 comments:

lisa said...

Your blog was very useful, I've been thinking for sometime of creating a 'Become a Fan' page, but am unsure how to do this and still keep my original facebook page for me and setting up a Facebook Fan Page for my handmade jewelry designs. Are you able to do this?

lunarbelle said...

Thanks for all the info Deb - I've been thinking about facebook for a while now and after reading your blog I've decided to give it a go!

deb said...

Lisa, that's what I did...I had a FB personal page for awhile and then I created a fan page. Hopefully some of the resources I provided can help walk you through that process. I did it by trial and error and finally put it all together and I provide a link on my personal page that takes you to the fan page. There are resources out there to link the two pages more closely together but I haven't had a chance to sift through them yet...maybe a future post! :)

Thanks Lunarbelle! Glad it helped!

john said...

Great idea! We are going to create one! We're also on twitter now too...

deb said...

Following you on Twitter, John! http://twitter.com/nwknitwear What a beautiful shop and gorgeous products!

Everyone, let me know when you are up and running so I can follow you! You can post your information: blog, Twitter Channel, Facebook page, and if you have an Etsy Shop on my Discussion Page of Zur Designs Fan Page...meet some really great people!

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    About Me

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.