Etsy doesn’t come up all that often when talking about social media, and the reason for that is the nature of the site. Etsy isn’t really a social network at all; it’s just a large, conglomerated set of online storefronts for anyone who has something crafty to sell. For businesses that choose to use an Etsy storefront over a hosted solution, it’s a great place to be.
However, like all forms of web storefront, there are methods you can use to improve your chances of success. There’s Etsy-based SEO, there are advertising tricks, and much more.
Leverage Social Media
Etsy itself doesn’t have a social component, so if you want to build your audience into a community, you need to build a presence on some other related social network. Facebook is the one many people turn to, but with Etsy, the clientele is a little different. You’re not necessarily going to gain the following you want just from Facebook.
The best social networks to use in conjunction with Etsy are Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. All three of them are quick and easy to use, particularly due to the nature of an Etsy business. You’re already taking a lot of product pictures for your store, and you’ve likely developed a business aesthetic. That means most of the work in creating pins and Instagram posts is done for you.
Twitter should be used primarily for three purposes. These purposes are customer service, audience building and content curation.
- Customer service through Etsy is fine, but some people will want more direct, faster responses. When this is the case, you can quickly and easily correspond with customers through Twitter direct messages.
- Audience building involves all of the public posts you make, about your business, your products, your industry and your interests. Your goal is much the same as it would be on Facebook; to gather like-minded and interested people in a circle around you.
- Content curation is the key to running a good social media profile. If all you do on Twitter is post new products or sales, what reason does the average user have to follow your Twitter? They can just follow your Etsy page instead. The problem is, Etsy isn’t the sort of page a user checks every day, so your messages would end up ignored. Curate content to keep users interested, and sprinkle in your posts as necessary.
Instagram allows you to post pictures of the items you create, as well as pictures of the process of creating them, displaying them or any other behind the scenes look to humanize your brand. Etsy is unique in that the default outlook is not that the average seller is a corporation, but that a real human is behind the work. You have that starting advantage, but you want to roll with it. Instagram is great for this.
Pinterest can be used in much the same way, but comes with one significant advantage; rich pins. Rich pins are pins that include additional product information, pulled directly from your storefront rather than input manually. Implement rich pins for your products for that extra boost of a secondary storefront.
If the items you sell might appeal to an audience of game and anime fans, particularly in their teens and twenties, Tumblr might be an ideal place to establish a presence as well.
Maintain a Blog
Just because you don’t have your own hosted storefront, doesn’t mean you can get away with not having a blog. A blog that ties in to your Etsy shop is a great idea.
When running a blog, you need to keep SEO in mind. This includes everything from basic keyword emphasis and formatting to meta information and social integration. It’s a lot to learn.
As for content, you’ll always be able to find something to write about. It might be something about how you source your supplies. It might be a post about how you create individual items. It might be a post about some development in your industry. You can also curate content, in a sense, by writing posts about what other interesting sellers are doing.
Optimize Etsy SEO
Etsy itself has text and images, which means it has plenty of opportunities for SEO. SEO, in turn, helps your storefront show up in Google searches related to your products. How can you optimize each part of your Etsy page?
- Create a robust title that uses a keyword relevant to the item being sold. Emphasize that the first word in the title is the most important for visibility. Remember, Etsy listing titles can be as long as Tweets; 140 characters.
- Implement descriptive image alt tags for your product images. Think of these as opportunities for an extra little description. You might also find your product images ranking in Google Image searches as well.
- Make sure your primary product image is attractive. Additionally, try to make it fit with the rest of the products on your page. You don’t want wildly inconsistent quality across your products.
- Work hard to optimize your product listing information, or overview. This overview includes all of the relevant information about your product; anything the user might need to know, and even a story behind the item, if such a story exists.
- Add in your social sharing buttons. You can add Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and more buttons all directly under the add to cart button.
- Brand your shop name. “Laura’s Shop” isn’t a very good brand name. “Irate Frog” might be more interesting. The idea is to have something that’s unique as far as your store goes.
- Add in tags to your product listings. You can add quite a few of them, and Etsy doesn’t penalize you for using a bunch of them. Neither will Google. As long as you’re adding tags to the right place, and not trying to shoehorn them into your description, you’ll be fine.
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