In today’s digital world, using social media for your business cannot be ignored. A crucial free marketing tool to get your lampshades noticed, social media allows you to engage with customers directly about your products, build a community and increase your revenue. In this BEAM post, we’ll share pointers and ideas for creating social media content and how you can make it work for your lampshade making business, however big or small.
Why use social media for your business?
The most instant of all marketing tools, social media can importantly direct sales to your business, but also help your raise awareness of your brand, your skills, services and products in an informal and engaging way. Potentially a daunting prospect for time-poor business owners, by understanding what to post and using tools that make social media more efficient, this can easily become a fruitful way of reaching new audiences.
Which platforms should I use?
Not all social media platforms are created equal and each one has a different appeal. Researching what Dannells lampshade makers use, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube are all popular, with the recent increased in the use of TikTok.
Fiona Pullen says in her book Making and Marketing a Successful Art and Craft Business:
You do not need to have a presence on all platforms. I would suggest identifying two or three platforms which you feel would best reach your target audience and which are most suited to the form of content you want to present.
What kind of content should I put on social media?
Finding the time and energy to create content as a small business owner is tough, but consistently (not continuously) posting to your chosen social media audience can bring real benefits to your business and revenue.
Here are a few content ideas to help pique your customer's interest and build your social media profiles:
Images and copy about new product ranges
Images and copy about bespoke lampshades
Meet the maker – profile of yourself every few months to introduce you to new followers
Behind-the-scenes images, workshop images, work in progress, before and after
Sharing your inspiration for your lampshade making, fabric choices and trims
Customer testimonials or sharing images of your lampshade in customer’s homes, including tagging them where appropriate
Showing customers how to use your products
Asking questions and getting customer opinions
Sharing final makes from your workshops
Promoting other makers with complementary products, including tagging them in the post
Liking and sharing other's handmade work
Advertising blog posts or website features
Sales or discounts
Reels or videos of your processes or your lampshades
How can I get the most from Social Media?
Promoting your lampshades on Social media platforms needs thought and advanced planning, as the possibilities are endless! Before you fall down a social media rabbit hole, consider the following priorities, to make every post count.
Quality, not quantity - it’s better to post 3 quality posts a week than 7 average ones. By having an objective for every post, including accompanying images and a mix of content, you can ensure that your posts are interesting and engaging, and not repetitive.
Scheduling tools – Use a scheduling tool that can post across a number of platforms at the same time, to save time. Some of the leading social media reschedulers are Tailwind, Loomly, Hootsuite and Sprout Social. By creating a calendar of posts you can ensure a consistent approach to your social media output.
Hashtags and keywords – Research popular keywords, that relate to lampshades and use the most relevant on your posts. Having a spreadsheet or word document where these are stored means you can simply cut and paste the generic hashtags into your scheduling tool, adding specific hashtags for each post.
The principles of keywords are explained in our post BEAM – How to use keywords for your online shop and once you have made a list, test them on each of your social media platforms to check the results.
Responding and commenting - By engaging your customers in social media you are essentially opening your business doors for longer and having a set response time in mind and sticking to it, is important, particularly with direct messages. Any comments on your post also need a timely response even if it’s just a simple thank you.
Following others - See your social media accounts as a digital business network and follow, like and support local shops, national businesses, makers of similar products and those in and within similar industries. Not only does this create a community for your business, but it also encourages collaborations and partnerships.
Links – If you have a website, make sure you link to your social media, as a physical link. Check regularly to make sure links haven’t been broken or better still bring in a visual feed such as Instagram, onto your website. Most website builder programmes have an add-on plugin software to do this.
Video, stories, reels – moving images have become of heightened importance in the world of social media, so consider making short videos of making a lampshade or a tour of your workshop, known as reels or you could even offer online workshops on either IGTV (Instagram), Facebook or YouTube. Check out our post on How to run your own virtual lampshade making workshop
Want more business ideas and advice?
Check out our BEAM - Business Expertise and Advice for Makers - posts on the blog, which has over 25 posts, covering everything from Lighting Safety Regulations to Search Engine Optimisation to help your lampshade making business grow.
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