The Social Life: Working the Network by Grace Dobush

Social Networking Tips

social networking

Use social media to show off your latest projects.

You may well be engaged on various social media platforms, but do you know how to use these outlets to network and promote your art? If not, you’re not alone, and social media guru Grace Dobush is here to help! In her article “The Social Life: Working the Network,” Grace offers do’s and don’ts for using social media for sales and networking. You can read an excerpt from the social networking article below or read the complete article in the 2016 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market or on ArtistsMarketOnline.com.

Keep creating and good luck!

Mary

The Social Life: Working the Network by Grace Dobush

The business of handmade has changed immensely in the last decade. Along with the amazing e-commerce options available, it’s easier than ever for makers to reach their audiences. A well-crafted social media presence has the potential to reach customers around the world and blow up your sales. But using social media for sales or networking is quite different from personal pursuits. Not fluent in Facebook, trending on Twitter, or #instafamous on Instagram yet where your business is concerned? With these do’s and don’ts, you can be.

Be Authentic

Although platforms such as Facebook have been around for years, I still get questions from creative entrepreneurs about how to share aspects of their lives on social media. Makers put themselves into every product they create, so by default we are our own brands. It’s generally a good idea to keep your professional accounts separate from your personal accounts, but you still want to let your personality shine in everything you post. . . .

Don’t Just Sell

The most common mistake I see newbies make is using social media networks as the T-shirt cannons of shop promos. While you certainly should tell your fans about new items and hot sales, those pure marketing posts aren’t what create loyalty and inspire repeat customers. Your fans want to see your personality, what inspires you, and what you’re working on. . . .

Do Let Photos Do the Talking

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a well-done Instagram post is definitely worth at least 140 characters. Most humans are visual creatures; when it comes down to it, we just want to look at appealing things. . . .

Don’t Market Just to Other Creatives

Unless your whole jam is selling to creative types, you need to reach beyond a realm like the Etsy bubble for your marketing efforts to get real results. . . .

Do Focus on the Networks Where Your Fans Are

Whenever someone asks me which social networks are the best for artists and makers to be on, my answer is always this: wherever your target market is. For someone who peddles geeky plush, that could be Reddit. For a fashion-forward accessories maker, it’d be Instagram for sure. . . .

Don’t Let Your Accounts Languish

How frequently you should post is determined by many factors: how many fans you have, what platforms they’re using, what kind of work you do, and how much time you have. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t let a week go by without a new post to each network you’re on. . . .

Do Work Smarter, Not Harder

Many tools exist to make managing your business’s social media accounts easier. My personal favorite is Hootsuite (hootsuite.com), which lets you schedule posts, set up custom searches, and manage multiple accounts. . . .

Use analytics in Hootsuite, Google, WordPress, or Etsy to gauge the results of your efforts, and give yourself a hand for a job well done.


Grace Dobush is the author of The Crafty Superstar craft business books and organizes Cincinnati’s Crafty Supermarket. She has written for publications including Wired, Print, HOW, and Cincinnati Magazine.

Excerpted from the winter 2015 issue of Artists & Makers. Used with the kind permission of Artist’s & Makers, a publication of F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company.

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