You may be surprised to hear that what the social media platform that is great at getting you lots of traffic to your handmade business, is terrible at bringing you sales.
Keep reading to find out which social media platform is best for bringing you sales.
Hi! My name is Mei Pak and I help makers, artists and creatives make a consistent income selling their handmade products online.
There are so many social media platforms these days. How do you know which one to pick and focus your time on? It may not be what you think, so let's break this down.
First, we have Facebook. Everyone knows Facebook. It's the biggest social media platform in the world.
From what I've seen with my businesses (as well as data from other people's businesses) Facebook traffic converts into sales the best out of all the social media platforms.
I would say Facebook is good for anyone in business, regardless of what you sell, who you sell to, how much your product is, or where you're located.
It has, however, been said that younger people don't really use Facebook. They seem to be hanging out on Instagram instead. So if you sell a product that is targeted more for younger people, you might want to consider Instagram as opposed to Facebook.
Just keep in mind that when you're targeting a younger crowd, they don't necessarily have the money to pay for certain products.
I've seen that Instagram converts to sales second best after Facebook.
It's definitely a great social platform, but a huge disadvantage with Instagram is there's only one clickable link.
So if anyone's on one of your Instagram posts, it's harder for them to easily click out to visit your website. They first have to click on your profile, then there's the one link in your bio that they can click on to check out your shop.
This makes it a bit tricky! If you're talking about a specific product in your latest post, it's good practice to link directly to that product page rather than just generically to your website's home page and make the person go through the trouble of finding the product they saw.
There are apps that can turn your link in bio into a list of links and people can follow the specific link to that specific product they saw, but it's still one extra step that we're making the potential customer take.
For every step we make someone take, the lower the chances of that person actually buying your product.
It's more cumbersome than Facebook in that way.
So Instagram is really, truly more of a social media, where the intention is to be more social and community-driven, and less about sales or promos.
That's what Instagram wants you to do anyway.
Instagram is good for a lot of different types of businesses.
If I had to choose between Instagram and Facebook, I would do Facebook because it's just easier to convert followers into traffic, and traffic into sales.
Whereas with Instagram, it's difficult getting your followers to turn into traffic to your shop.
If you have the capacity to do it, you can totally do both. You can post the same content on both platforms so it saves you time.
It's ok to do this because most likely you're talking to a different audience and group of followers on each platform.
So don't be worried that you're using duplicate content.
This is worth talking about because I know people can get great traffic from Pinterest.
Pinterest is more of a search engine than it is a social media platform.
It's great for getting people to click over to come to your website, however, one HUGE thing I really want you to take away from this post is if you sell a physical product, you may want to steer clear of Pinterest.
Pinterest traffic doesn't convert into sales very well at all.
It makes sense because people on Pinterest are in research mode. They're there to bookmark articles, recipes, and wedding inspiration ideas.
Pinterest is great for bloggers, service providers, people who sell courses or whose business model is selling information. But it's not great for handmade shops.
Now, if I haven't mentioned any other social media platform like Snapchat or Tik Tok, it's only because there's not enough data or evidence that the newer platforms are any more efficient at converting followers into sales.
You might have seen some case studies about how so-and-so did really well on this really new platform, and I do believe there is a benefit to being an early adopter to some platforms, but there's also a big risk of these platforms going away after a few short years.
I'd hate for your efforts that you've put into the platform of your choosing go to waste.
At one point, everyone was super into Periscope and entire businesses were built on Periscope. Then it just stopped getting traction and now no one cares about Periscope anymore.
If you use a new platform, there's also the challenge of there not being that many people on it. It's really like the wild wild west. You're gonna have to figure out how to make it work well for you on your own. You have to carve your own path because there isn't one that someone else has come up with for you to follow.
So my general strategy when a new platform comes out is to wait until it becomes more developed.
My last, bonus tip for you that I want to share is the difference between a personal Facebook profile, Facebook business page, and a Facebook group.
Personal Facebook Profile
Generally speaking I'm not a fan of using a personal profile for business for a few reasons.
You can only friend 5,000 max. You have a limit and you can't grow beyond that.
I always like to encourage you to think about the long term. Don't make decisions today that aren't going to serve you long term.
It's not ideal to use a personal profile for your business.
Facebook groups are great for building communities where you can talk about a certain topic.
If you sell a product that's for new parents, like baby clothes, then you can create a Facebook group all about parenting.
It's more for people to talk to each other, whereas a Facebook page is more like a bulletin board for you to share your own posts, primarily.
While you can definitely make your group public where everyone can see the comments inside (like a Facebook page) usually people use groups privately so you have to join first before you can see anything.
Most people make the mistake of thinking groups are better than pages, but I really want to caution you there.
Facebook groups are as much work to manage as Facebook pages.
When you first start a group, you have to be the one that's starting all the conversations, creating posts for people to comment on and engaging and responding to questions and comments.
It won't be until you get to thousands of members that people start talking amongst themselves without you initiating it.
In the beginning it's just as hard to get people to join your group as it is to follow your Facebook page. So only start a group if you feel like you want to host a community around your business.
Not all businesses can do this.
My jewelry business only has a page, not a group, but Creative Hive has both a page and a group.
If you had to choose between a group and a page, I recommend starting with a page first.
It's just as much work as a group and you can do more with pages than with groups, like doing paid ads or getting your posts to be seen by people who don't already follow you.
With groups, no one can see posts in a group unless you're a part of that group.
Just a few things to keep in mind while you make your decision.
- If you're not sure, go with Facebook.
- If you have the capacity, do both Facebook and Instagram.
- Skip Pinterest, and skip Facebook groups (at least in the beginning. )
I'm curious, what social media are you using now? What do you like about it? What do you not like about it? Do you have any questions about it? Drop your questions in the comments below.