You have your Etsy shop all set up and now you’re waiting for the orders to pour in right? I understand the feeling. Three years ago I opened my shop and expected Etsy to provide all my views and lead my target audience right to me. But here’s the thing, if you really want to be an established business owner and NOT just an Etsy shop, you need to market and brand yourself using social media, specifically instagram marketing.
Why? Why use Social Media to Market your Shop when Etsy Search Does it all Right?
- Build relationships with your previous and future customers.
The unique benefit of social media marketing for small business is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers. You can build relationships over time, rather than asking for a sale upfront. More than 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. Part of that discovery is getting to know who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
- You’re reaching an audience beyond Etsy
Let’s face it, not everyone when looking for your product goes straight to Etsy. Also, can we just say that Etsy is very saturated with the same types of businesses and products. You need to use social media to reach a broader and untouched audience for your business.
- Reputation Builder
By keeping up with a strong and consistent social media presence, you can help to maintain the good reputation and strong image of your business.
- Market Research
Because social media is such an efficient way of connecting with people, you can use social media to conduct marketing research. You can conduct surveys or polls and you can ask people to offer reviews about your products or services.
Why use Instagram to Market your Etsy Shop?
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and more than 500 million using the platform everyday.
- If your target audience is under 35, YOU’RE in luck! 71% of the billion users are under the age of 35!
- An estimated 71% of US businesses are using instagram.
- Instagram can generate over 4x more interactions compared to Facebook.
- Instagram has a strong impact on people’s shopping journeys. Instagram helps over 80% of instagrammers decide whether to purchase a product or service.
- We are visual creatures and when your audience can scroll through and see multiple images of your product they are more likely to purchase.
First things first, Create your Account
Easy enough right? When creating your Instagram profile make sure you are creating a business account.
- You get insights and statistics about your followers. You also get data on impressions, reach, website clicks and can see viewer trends without leaving the app. You also receive additional information about your posts and your stories and how they perform for free.
- You have a contact button on your profile so people can get in touch easily. And when you’re a local business, you might also have the option to add your address or phone number.
- You can schedule your posts with a tool like for example later.com and it posts automatically on Instagram for you.
- Ad creation is seamless with the promote feature and you can set up promotions directly in the app, similar to a boost on Facebook. If you have a personal account you can still set up ads, but you need a Facebook business page.
- When you have more than 10k followers you can user the “swipe up” feature in stories and directly link your viewers to your website, for example to sign up.
Identifying your Target Audience
What is a target audience? A target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message. They are the people who are most likely to buy your products or services, and they are united by some common characteristics, like demographics and behaviors.
Why do I need a target audience for my instagram account? You specifically need to know who your audience is for your shop. Who are you selling to? Millennials? Single Moms? Moms with Girls? Generation X? Who the heck are you selling to and how the heck are you going to reach them with the content on your instagram? THAT is why you define a target audience and why you need one before you even begin posting!
Everything is set up, now time to post random photos of your product and hope and pray someone buys it right? Wrong, lets break it down.
With instagram being a visual app, photos are literally EVERYTHING. Here are some tips to posting great photos that your audience is sure to engage with.
- Use natural light. Take photos outside or near of window of your products!
- Invest in preparations. Consider buying props, backgrounds, etc.
- Consider your Viewpoint. When you take a photo on your phone, you probably hold it up around eye level and snap, right? That’s what everyone else does, too. Resist this natural tendency if you want to take interesting, unexpected photos. Taking photos from a different vantage point will provide fresh perspectives, even when it comes to a familiar place or subject. Try shooting from above or below, crouching low to the ground.
- Filters and Presets. My advice is to purchase a preset you like (you can do this on Etsy) or a filter and stick with that filter/preset for every post. You want your branding to be consistent throughout your profile.
You’ve caught there attention with a killer photo, now what? Use your caption to get your audience to engage! How?
- Front load the important stuff. The important thing to note about your caption is that in users’ feeds after about three or four lines your text cuts off and your audience has to click the “more” tab to continue reading. Therefor those first 2-3 sentences NEED to entice your audience to click “more” and continue reading.
- Use emojis Why? They add personality and catch your audience’s eyes when they are scrolling through their feeds.
- A call to action Examples:
- “Click the link in our bio”
- “Double tap if you agree”
- “Comment your favorite summer activity below”
- Don’t be SO FORMAL! Examples:
- Instead of assist –> help
- Utilize –> Use
- In the event of —> if
- Include blank lines in between lines and paragraphs for better reading. You can type out your caption in the notes of your phone and then copy and paste into your post.
You’ve created your post with an amazing photo and an engaging caption, now what? Time to optimize your post so you can get your content in front of as many people as possible!
Why are they important? They enable others to find you and signal to instagram what your account is about to show it to your potential followers.
Hashtag Best Practices
- Add hashtags in the bottom of your caption OR in the first comment on your post.
- Add hashtags to your instagram story to extend your reach.
- Be intentional with your tags. Think about your target audience, what they are searching for and what they would like to see.
- Don’t use the same chunk of hashtags over and over again.
- Use up to 30 hashtags in your post but according to social sprout in 2020, posts with 9 hashtags vs. 30 ranked higher.
- Use a mix of popular hashtags vs. niched down hashtags. If you are only using hashtags with millions of views, it’s very likely your post won’t be found by your target audience.
How to Find Hashtags
- Add # and begin to type your hashtag in instagram’s search bar. You will see a list pop up of similar and popular hashtags with that keyword. You can also see how popular it is and how many posts with that particular hashtag.
- Use hashtag generators: All Hashtag, Ingramer, Sistrix
At the top of your posts, you can choose to add a location. Why is this important? When you add a location to your post it helps your engagement rate and it will give you more exposure and attract customers with minimal effort. According to social reports study in 2019, posts with a tagged location resulted in 79% higher engagement than posts without a location.
Running out of ideas for things to post? Consider some of these:
- Your Business Values
- Your Business Goals
- Motivational Quotes
- Your “Why” for your business
- Work with me Wednesday
- Sneak peaks of new products
- Consumer photos of your products
- Features of older products
- Testimonial Tuesday | Reviews your consumers leave in your Etsy shop
- Before and After | Materials and then your finished product
Increase your Engagement and Followers
You have your profile set up, you’ve posted your engaging content, now what? Time to increase your engagement and followers and grow your instagram account! The more photos of your product you can get in front of your audience the more likely you are going to convert your audience to customers.
- Consider doing a giveaway
- Consider adding brand reps to your business
- Collaborate with other businesses in your niche
- Engage with your audience, comment back always
- Find a competitor in your niche, look at their followers and begin to engage with them!
Hopefully this makes you less overwhelmed and more empowered to start your instagram for your business and start engaging with your audience.
If you need more help and you are ready to expedite your growth further, take a look at our 115 page Instagram Planner + Guide here!
Do you have additional questions after reading this? Drop them below and I will answer them! ⬇️