I read an amazing blog post today on Etsy's Blog that got me thinking. It was all about social media and marketing, especially for the small business. (In case you were wondering, I'm a tiny business. It's me and my laptop- plus a doting husband who does some programming for me. So, needless to say, I was all over this particular blog entry.) So anyway, it referred to the biggest social networking sites- namely Facebook, Twitter, and blogging tools, and discussed how to use them effectively for business.
The author mentioned two forms of marketing on these types of sites- there's either Broadcast Marketing- which is something like what I've been doing- listing your new items and shouting out quick blurbs of information specifically about your store. Then there's Engagement Marketing- which is less about your store and more about relationships. The idea is that more sales will be born from genuine relationships than loudspeaker announcements. And for the most part, I agree.
But come on! Broadcast Marketing is so much easier! It's fast! It's loud! It gets views on my Etsy page! It's everything I've ever wanted!
Although I must admit, it's missing the key ingredient: sales. Granted, I've only been plugging at it for a week, but seriously, one of my items (it's priced at a buck fifty) has gotten over 200 views but no sales. At the risk of sounding cocky, I can assure you that this phenomenon is not because the item is ugly. (I've shown it here before- look here if you need to.) But for the life of me, I can't figure out why it's not selling. Except for the point that the author of this blog makes- commercials don't necessarily make customers. They definitely make spectators, but not game players. And that's what I need, right? A whole world full of ShellinaScrap gamers.
And now to the second part of this entry's title: The Trouble with Engagement
It requires engagement. How can I make this happen in this fast-paced, full-of-commercials-and-advertisements, "in your face" world? Are people really interested in the girl behind the shop?
The blog I read on Etsy finished up by challenging Etsy sellers to share their weaknesses and struggles in business with their followers (all 7 of ya, God bless each of you). So here's mine: honestly, it's totally more scary to share myself rather than my work. I'd much rather you critique and view my art than my life. Being an open book is well... open.
But I'm not unwilling. If ShellinaScrap had a traditional storefront, I'd be the girl who knew my customers by name, and always ended the chat with a handshake or a hug. We'd know each other's kid's names, and share recipes for homemade chicken noodle soup. We might even see each other at church. THAT'S business. THAT'S effective marketing.
And THAT'S what this blog is going to be. A handshake. A hug.
It's going to be me.