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Online R Us #4: You're Never Too Old for Facebook

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Blog entry by closetguy posted 04-13-2011 02:26 AM 1469 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Tweet, Tweet Part 4 of Online R Us series Part 5: Promoting With Etsy and Others »

I have to confess, being an older guy, I would have never had anything to do with Facebook if it wasn’t for my kids and family. Since they are scattered all over the place, Facebook is the only way I can keep in touch, see Nephews and Nieces as they grow up, and socialize with people I grew up with. It amazes me how much activity goes on with just the people in my friend and family list. I’m also bad about taking a picture of snow outside our house and posting it on Facebook my everyone to see.

Facebook has multiple page types. You can have a personal page, fan page, or business page. According to Facebook, it is a violation of their TOS to have more than one account. What this means is that if you already have a personal account, you cannot create a business account. However, you can create a “Fan Page” with the name of your business that is administered under your personal account, but is completely separate from your personal page. This is all done under one account so it falls within the TOS. I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me either, but we have to play by their rules.

Facebook presents a huge dilemma. The most annoying thing is that they make constant changes to the way pages work, or change the name of certain function to something else. I have had a lot of problems with my RSS feeds where they just quit working or updating Facebook which makes me have to go in and screw around with it to get it working.

Another challenge is how to promote. The marketing goal is to drive traffic to my Etsy store. So how do I get traffic to my Facebook page so they will go to my Etsy store? I don’t want to spend time promoting Facebook. The only way to do this is to purchase a Facebook ad so my Fan Page will be plastered on the right hand column of other personal pages. I just didn’t want to do this, so I have the dgmwoodworks page out there with links to Etsy and people tend to stumble across it from time to time. Last year, I sold a 30” walnut lazy susan because a guy saw my fan page and sent me an email request. Had I not created this page, I would have one less large sale. So yes, it is free and it is worth the time to do it.

Where I promote my items is on my friends and family page. I have about 200 F&F. They in turn have hundreds of their own F&F scattered all over the country. My Etsy and dgmwoodworks blog updates my wall. When my family members click on “Like” (they have standing orders to do so), all of their F&F see the post. So like the Twitter concept, lots of people see my stuff without me having to do anything. This has generated quite a few sales. It goes like this:

1. My Sister-in-law marks “Like” on a Twitterfeed update from Etsy.
2. One of her friends sees it and buys the product on Etsy.
3. She receives the product and makes a comment about how much she likes it.
4. All her friends and family see the comment and go looking at my Etsy store.
5. Some of them buy one for themselves or a gift.

There’s that perpetual motion thing again. By the way, when setting up Twitterfeed, you have the option of updating just Twitter or both Twitter and Facebook. I had a problem last year with Twitterfeed updating Facebook from my Wordpress blog. It just quit working so I switched to Feedburner for that one feed from my blog. Twitterfeed gets the Etsy stuff out there, but not the blog. Fortunately, there are a lot of choices out there to try of one doesn’t work. I still feel like there is more to learn about the Facebook angle, but I just haven’t had the time to research other possibilities.

The first place that started generating traffic to my site was Flickr because that is where I first started posting pictures. It’s pretty simple to do this. I installed their upload utility so I could do batch uploads and dumped pictures into my account. In fact, before Martin finally gave us use the ability to upload pictures directly to LumberJocks, we had to point links to picture sharing sites when posting. Flickr was where I chose to store my pictures for LJ posts. I sure am glad that Martin changed this.

The great thing about Flickr is all the active categories, or groups, where you can post your items. For example, if you make wine racks, there are numerous wine groups that you can post you pictures in with comments. Beware of Flickr’s TOS. You cannot reference Etsy or any other marketing link in the comments of the picture. Flickr will kill your account in a heartbeat. A lot of Etsy sellers had this happen to them because they didn’t read the TOS. What you do is put your URL in your profile page. This way if someone is interested in your products, they can find you. I have products listed in the appropriate groups, as well as craft groups, Etsy groups (there are many), and anywhere else I think will work. There is no promotion involved and I get a lot of people selecting my pictures as favorites. Flickr sends you an email when this happens. There are a lot of picture sharing sites out there, and if you use a different one that has similar functions, by all means use it. Again, the goal here is to spread the love.

Next up, promoting on Etsy…

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com



10 comments so far

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2122 posts in 2577 days


#1 posted 04-13-2011 02:31 AM

And its free…

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1417 posts in 2149 days


#2 posted 04-13-2011 03:11 AM

Thanks again Dennis, this is great stuff!!!!
I am getting up the nerve to get onto Facebook…...

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2101 posts in 2381 days


#3 posted 04-13-2011 07:21 PM

Are you sure you can’t have a personal account AND a business account? I think that when they say you can’t have multiple accounts, they just don’t want you to have two personal accounts (for example, one to communicate with friends and family and a SEPARATE account to sign up for free offers and become a fan of all your favorite TV shows and bands that is essentially a SPAM account).

I could be wrong, but that was my interpretation.

I think your blogs are excellent by the way.

View Maveric777's profile

Maveric777

2690 posts in 1730 days


#4 posted 04-13-2011 07:22 PM

Good stuff! I will be flat out honest… Facebook has been such a wonderful resource for myself and my work. I have a “Fan” page that links to my web site and so forth (although I never thought about adding the like button on my pages… Good info). I have generated commissions and tons of acknowledgements through it. I soooo recommend folks to use it. Of course it takes a little to get use to, but once you do… Well its an incredibly useful tool…

What I finds works well for me is the updates. Take for instance my current project. I am building a step stool for a young friend of mine. He has a birthday coming up and I wanted to do something special for him. So while I was hand cutting the wolfs tooth dovetails I post a picture up on my Facebook page (which can be done even with a text from your cell… That’s how I normally do it). When I was laying out the curly maple for the inlay I snapped a picture of it and posted it. Once the inlay was in and cleaned up some… Yep you guessed it… I posted it up again. Long story short I now have two more paying commissions from those updates and folks didn’t even balk when I told them the price. They been watching and can see what in fact goes into building one of these stools. So not only am I showing what i have and can create… I’m also educating folks as to what it really takes. My only advice is don’t go nuts with it…. You don’t want to bombard folks so much they automatically start ignoring you.

The other thing I really like is it believe it or not… It makes it more personal for folks. If you where going to spend $300 on a jewelery box for the woman you love would rather purchase it from a guy you know is friendly and is crazy passionate about what he does… Or just spend that money through a site where you really know nothing about the creator? For me personally… I’m buying from the guy I like.

Just my 2 cents worth… And that’s probably the value of it as well….lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View degoose's profile

degoose

7012 posts in 2008 days


#5 posted 04-13-2011 11:02 PM

Thanks once again Dennis… mighty fine information and insight… also a big thanks to Maverick77 [Dan] who also has great input…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View john's profile

john

2293 posts in 3035 days


#6 posted 04-13-2011 11:16 PM

I have a facebook group with 750 members and i get orders on there just like i do anywhere else . It is also nice for my friends and family to see what i am up to .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) http://www.extremebirdhouse.com , http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112698715866

View closetguy's profile

closetguy

744 posts in 2545 days


#7 posted 04-14-2011 12:12 AM

Hokiemojo: Look at this Facebook link. It is very specific about only having one Facebook account.

Maveric777: Good information. I’m always glad to hear others having similar success from these avenues. You are right that having a presence on social network sites tend to legitimize the small shop, especially if there is public fan or customer feedback.

Don’t sell yourself short, I would give you at least 5 cents. I can print off every blog I have written, take them to Starbucks, and still not walk out with a free cup of coffee.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com

View Old54Woodworks's profile

Old54Woodworks

42 posts in 1345 days


#8 posted 04-21-2011 06:51 PM

Thanks for the information. I’ve been thinking of doing the Facebook and Etsy thing. Your insight and knowledge will help me out. Now I just need to learn Twitter, Flicker, RSS feeds and all the other computer stuff.

-- Al Hart

View EnchantedAcresDesign's profile

EnchantedAcresDesign

40 posts in 1273 days


#9 posted 04-22-2011 12:37 AM

Great Info :) I do enjoy hearing of other people’s successes and methods in generating additional income online, as well as the stories of working with a customer so that they have a finished product they truly cherish. I am just starting out and have enjoyed making items as gifts for family and friends. Definitely will check into Flickr and other avenues, we have an Etsy store (my wife and I) and I’m sure my wife has it linked to her FaceBook account. Thanks for this!

Chris

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1114 posts in 1713 days


#10 posted 05-04-2011 04:56 AM

I got banned from facebook because I haven’t been online for couple of months.

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