Thursday, June 1, 2017

Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page: A Case Study


Let me be honest here. Facebook pages have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I frequently see people with thousands and thousands of Facebook fans, but I've never been able to figure out the key to bringing people to my own page. Which is a big deal if you want to promote your business, your blog, or any major endeavor you have in your life, like I want to promote my shop, KFPrints.

Instagram, Pinterest, even Twitter, to an extent, have been easier for me to build, and though my personal Facebook page is easy peasy, getting my business page to flourish has always succeeded as well as any garden I've tended. (Hint: Not well. I have a black thumb of death.)

But I'm determined to change that.

Let's start with a shameless plug for my Facebook page! (Wink.)

Building a Facebook Following: A Case Study

I really like doing case studies. They help me focus my energies on specific tips and tricks from other bloggers and experts in the field and in most cases, have helped me break the barriers I'd never been able to cross as well as gain an understanding of how certain areas of the internet really work. Or don't work, in some cases.

And the fun part for you is that I do all the heavy duty work, and let you know at the end what will help YOU get the most out of your endeavors!

So let's figure out this Facebook Page conundrum together and build our brands!

This case study was started on June 1st, 2017 and will wrap up on June 30, 2017. One month. I'll post my ending stats in July, with the tips and tricks that I found worked and the ones that were big dull duds.

My current stats:

71 followers isn't bad, I'll admit. But I'll admit all but a few of mine are friends who have just been sweet and threw me a bone. You want your followers to be people who legitimately like what you have to offer, whether that's a product, a blog, or whatever you might be offering.

Now, don't get me wrong, my friends are great, and I so appreciate them for supporting me! But they aren't all my target audience, though they are a fantastic start! Thanks friends!

So if you're just starting your Facebook page, I do still recommend inviting your friends to like your page. It is a great place to begin. And let's face it. People follow pages that people are following. So if you have some likes on your page from your lovely friends, it WILL help.

Here's what I plan to do this month:
  • I will log in as my page daily and comment and like the pages and posts made by other Facebook pages, especially pages that are created by shops similar to my own! This will help make connections with those other shops (which is always fun! I love shop friends!) but will also help their fans find my page!
  • I will make sure I'm posting the very best on my page. I will follow the 80/20 rule when posting. 80% value / 20% business. I'll also post polls, questions, and the like to increase engagement with my audience.
  • I will reply to comments given my others on my page.
  • I will host a couple giveaways that are Facebook specific, as well as offer special deals that can only be found on Facebook.
  • I will promote my Facebook page across my other social media platforms.
  • I will take advantage of Facebook's very own free advice content on Facebook Blueprint. I will try to do one online coarse daily. There are a lot to choose from and all written by Facebook themselves to help you succeed. You can check these out as well by clicking this link!
I feel like this is a great list to start and I'm excited to see how things progress. Check back after June is over to see the results!

Halfway through June, I'd love to give you a list of my favorite Facebook Blueprint tips, as well, so stay tuned for more awesome advice and things that you could try!

Do you have any advice that has really helped you build your Facebook following? I'd love to hear it in the comments below! Have any of these tips helped you, or hindered you? I'd love to know! Please comment!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How to Pinterest Optimize Your Etsy Shop Images

Creating long images that are Pinterest optimized is a huge factor in gaining more engagement! HUGE! 

Pinterest is a vertically inclined platform. If you have horizontal images, they're going to disappear in the feeds. If you go to your Pinterest feed, you'll notice that most images are long and tall. I call these "Big Boy" images. (Get it? Big Boy? Long and Tall?)  

Why Use Big Boys?

Using Big Boys are the staple of getting more clicks on Pinterest. A wimpy, short guy isn't as likely to catch someone's eye as they're scrolling, even if it's a beautiful image. This is simply because when people scroll, it's easy to pass it by. But a Big Boy is going to stay in that scroll longer, and have a better chance of getting noticed. 

Seriously, go to Pinterest. It doesn't matter if it's on the web or on the app. You'll notice that the majority of the images are Big Boys. That's because most people have realized that Big Boys will get them more engagement. 

Imagine the above image is your Pinterest feed. Which image would be more likely to catch your attention? The long one, correct? A shorty like the image on the left would easily get lost in the feeds. So, do you have multiple products that you could pair together like I did these custom paint splatter names from my shop? Then do so! Link them to your shop as a whole, or to a specific listing or category. 

But shouldn't you always pin each of your listings individually?

YES! Absolutely you should.

I know that Etsy's search images are horizontal. But that doesn't mean you have to use a horizontal image! I figured this out during March 2017 as I was trying to boost my own engagement on Pinterest. Check out this awesome case study I did on how to gain a following on Pinterest!

You can still use a vertical image on Etsy for your display photos, just make sure that your item is featured right in the center of that image so that when your image is cropped for Etsy's searches and your store front, it looks lovely and nothing is cropped in a way that doesn't show off your product. 

Below is one of my original photos that was only optimized for Etsy's searches and one of my new images that is optimized for both Etsy and Pinterest.

See the difference? While the frame and print are the same size in both images, with the help of some props, the longer image definitely grabs more attention. So while in Etsy searches, the images look nearly identical with just the frame and print displayed, I've now got Pinterest feed worthy images as well. 

While these images are not as long as the multiple listing image Big Boy I showed above, but they will definitely help your individual listings show up better in Pinterest. 

As a bonus, this entire image will show up when someone clicks on your Etsy listing, and will help the customer get a better idea of how they can use your product. Like in my new images, you can see the top of a crib peeking out of the bottom of the image, to show that this print is perfect for nurseries.

Pin ALL The Images!

Another tip that is great for both Etsy and Pinterest, is use as many images as you can. You are allowed five images to show your product off in each listing on Etsy. Not only will this help your potential customers see different sides of your print or how to use it, it gives you more images to pin for each product, which means more chances to be found on Pinterest!

While it's the same print, there are now multiple images of how this print could be displayed, which could potentially bring in different customers as well as show up in more searches because there are more pins spread across Pinterest. 

Using the "Pin It" Button:

Now to get those images on Pinterest! You can do them all individually, which can be crazy time consuming. Or you can download the "Pin It" button on your browser. It will make things so much easier. When you're in a specific listing, you can simply click the "Pin It" button and it will bring up every available image for your listing as well as the title and descriptions, making pinning every listing a piece of cake!

Have you optimized your images to be Pinterest worthy "Big Boys?" How has it helped you with your shop?

Do you have any other tips and tricks that I didn't list in this post? I'd love to hear what you've done to boost your traffic from Pinterest!

A Special Offer:

Did you love any of the nursery prints that I shared in this post? As a thank you for stopping by Busy Mom Shenanikens, you can get 20% OFF any of our prints for kids using this coupon code that is exclusive to this blog! 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Print of the Week from KFPrints - Sweet Mother's Day Card

Let your mom know just how much you love her with this sweet Mother's Day card from KFPrints! It reads "Mom, I know you have loved me as long as I've lived, but I've loved you my entire life." Done in both calligraphy script and a lovely and simple serif font, this beautiful card is going to make your mom smile this Mother's Day!

And for this week only, you can get it for HALF OFF! Instead of the regularly priced $3.50, you can get it from April 17-23 for only $1.75!

Don't miss the chance to tell your mother how much she means to you with this amazing card that is on sale for an amazing deal!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Growing a Pinterest Following: Case Study Results

At the beginning of March 2017, I started a case study (check out the original post here) in hopes that I'd be able to organically grow my Pinterest following and expand my reach. With a little to do list in my mind, I set out to build my brand on Pinterest so that I might be able to increase my engagement on this blog, but also my small business, KFPrints.

Ultimately, this case study was a HUGE success.

Doing just these 7 things, I was able to grow my following by leaps and bounds and increase engagement by a ton!

Here's The Plan I Followed:
  1. I will pin every Etsy listing and blog post I have. This is a pretty standard tip across the board. Whether you are trying to promote your products, small business, or blog! Pin everything! Don't let a post or product slip under the radar. 
  2. I will follow at least five new accounts every day. Why is this important? To extend your reach, at least in the beginning, it is important to make connections!
  3. In addition to pinning my own pins, I will pin at least 5 pins that aren't my own daily. Just like on other social media platforms, it is important to share other's work and engage with the community. 
  4. I will attempt to join a collaboration board. Some of these boards can be pretty exclusive, but by joining a collaboration board, you not only make community connections, you also promote yourself to the other members followers.
  5. I will daily spend some time in my home feed. Just like you would on Instagram or Twitter, engage with the people you are following! Comment on their posts. Like their pins. And repin their pins if they are relevant to you!
  6. Weekly, I will search my new followers! I will follow the good ones that pin things I am interested in.
  7. I will design images that are Pinterest friendly and schedule them to post frequently. Longer images that are more visible in the vertical feeds, and keep my images relevant.
Those 7 steps helped me so much. Just check out my before and after stats!

That's a giant increase, if you ask me! Especially after just one month! 

If I'm honest, I'd never understood how people get such huge followings on Pinterest before this study. But after doing this experiment, I am going to tell you that Pinterest is one of the easiest social media platforms to grow! People on Pinterest are there to engage. It's just how the platform is designed. If you like something, you pin it. And if you like something enough, you follow that person's pins because, well, they're awesome. It's so simple.

I can definitely see why people use this awesome site to promote their blogs and shops! For example, Pinterest went from my 8th highest traffic source on Etsy to my 4th highest with only Etsy and Etsy App searches, and direct traffic above it! That's fantastic!

Here Are My Favorite Tips:

1. Pin EVERYTHING! I mean it. If you have a new product in your shop, or a new post on your blog. PIN IT! Pin every pinable image. It will help you increase your reach because more people will see you in searches because you'll have more images to show up in searches. It helps.

2. Try to show your brand on your Pinterest. Make sure every pin has a cohesive look. Just like you would on your blog or in your shop, you want to have that same lovely look on Pinterest. You can do this by designing your images with a similar feel or style. Choosing cover images for your boards is very important as well because it will help tie in your brand. 

See mine below? I've made sure to match my blog's style to my shop style, and that helped me to have a cohesive look on Pinterest as well. Now when people come to my profile, it looks clean and pretty, but it also helps when people are in searches to recognize your style when they see it!

You don't have to have a specific background like I do to create a style. Using a similar color, or all bright colors, or all pastels, or similarly styled graphics, or fonts can all help you create eye catching and branded images. Maybe your products look great outdoors, make that your brand! Maybe everything you do is black and white, so make your brand monochrome! Do what fits your style and your brand! I use the bricks because I sell prints. They are how I show off the wide array of prints I've created, and it's a brand I've been able duplicate in my blog. 

3. Following others helps a bunch. Pinterest isn't a one way street. If you want people to engage, then you best be engaging! Pinning other people's pins, liking their items, commenting (yes, you can and should comment on Pinterest), and following other users is one of the best ways to increase your own following and boost engagement. 

4. I created my own collaboration board and invited similar users to post to it. I was also invited to join two other group boards. Now the pins that I share to those boards are not only seen by my followers, but to the followers of those other board contributors! This is an awesome way to get your pins seen! I have really enjoyed being part of the group boards and would love to join others in the future! 

5. Creating long images that are Pinterest optimized is a huge factor in gaining more engagement! HUGE! Pinterest is a vertically inclined platform. If you have horizontal images, they're going to disappear in the feeds. If you go to your Pinterest feed, you'll notice that most images are long and tall. I call these "Big Boy" images. I always made sure each blog post had at least one long image, and I took a lot of time in March to update my images on Etsy to make them longer. See the difference below?

The Run Down:

This case study was an awesome success, if you ask me. Pinterest is quickly growing into my biggest traffic bringer and I couldn't be more happy with the results of this experiment. I encourage you all to try this study for yourselves! I'm sure you'll see great improvements in your own engagement! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Print of the Week from KFPrints - Pink Lips Print

This beautiful print is the number one seller in my shop, KFPrints! And this week only, you can get it for HALF OFF! Woo hoo! This lovely pink lips print makes a great gift for anniversaries, weddings, engagements, and Valentine's day. It has been used as decor for Lipsense parties, and decor for someone's living room!

Instead of paying $5.00, you can get it this week for $2.50! This sale runs from April 10th to the 16th of 2017! Don't miss out!

This print also looks incredible on canvas! Get yours printed here!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Do Etsy Promoted Listings Really Boost Sales: A Case Study

I've been trying several different things this year to try to bring in more traffic and ultimately have more sales in my Esty shop, KFPrints. Some things I've been working on in 2017:
  • Expanding my presence on Social Media, with a focus, so far, on Instagram and Pinterest, though I've also created business profiles for Facebook and Twitter where I also post. (I posted case studies on "How to Grow your Instagram Following" and "How to Grow a Pinterest Following" as well. Pinterest results will be posted next week!)
  • I printed business cards, and created other promotional things such as car stickers and packaging with my logo to help promote my business. 
  • I started this blog to help others find success in business as well as help cross promote my business. 
  • I made sure to list or renew an item in my shop. Every. Single. Day. This helps to keep me relevant in the Etsy searches. 
All of these things have definitely helped to boost my sales. You can see how I've been progressing in my business so far in these posts:
But if you're not up to seeing such specific stats, here's a quick run down of how this year has gone doing the things that I've listed above. 

I've been seeing a steady increase doing those marketing techniques that I've been trying to steadily use and grow, actively listing in my shop, and blogging. I'm happy with my success as a start, but I have large goals for my shop, and so I'm eager to see more progression. 

So here's the question:

Do Etsy's Promoted Listings really help to boost sales?

And another important question. Is it worth the money you put into it?

These are the things that I'm going to find out! 

The great thing about the promoted listing program is that you can stop using it at any time. So if it doesn't seem to be beneficial, and you feel you're just wasting your money, you can opt out whenever you feel you need to. That was a big comfort to me.

A lot of blogs you might read are shops that have already made it big and are making 5-6 figure incomes with their shops and have plenty of extra money to invest in their shop, which includes ads. Spending upwards of $10.00 a day on promoted listings isn't a big deal when they are bring in much more than that daily. 

My marketing budget is much smaller, which is why I've focused my time on social media platforms up until this point. 

But after doing a little bit of research, I've decided to start my own experiment with Etsy's Promoted Listings program. 

The program let's you choose your daily spending limit. So I'm going to start with just $1.00 a day. If I reach that spending limit daily, which you won't always, I'll only spend $30.00 this month, and if I have another month exactly like March, I'll still come out ahead. That seems like a doable risk for an experiment that might ultimately help me make a lot more money than I did in March.

Here's how the Promoted Listings program works:

Head to this website to start. 

Or go to "Promote" in the "Your Shop" drop down menu. Then head to "Advertising Options." Then scroll to "Etsy Promoted Listings" and click "Start Advertising on Etsy."

First: Set a spending limit. This can vary depending on your shop's needs, but you have to spend at least $1.00 a day, which is what I'll be doing this month. You can change this spending limit at any time. The maximum you can spend depends on your shop, and can change over time.

Second: Decide which of your listings you would like to promote. You can promote all of them, or only a handful if you wish. There are pluses and minuses to both. By only choosing a few, you can hand pick your best products and make sure they get the most exposure. Or you can promote all or most of them. This can be really helpful especially if you have multiple categories of items with varying titles because it can help more of your promoted listings find their way in front of shoppers.

Third: Decide on a bidding price. 

What is bidding? It's the price per click you are going to pay for each of your listings. So, if someone clicks on your promoted listing, you have a fee that you will owe Etsy for that click. This is paid in your shop's bill just like any listing or transaction fees. But you only pay IF someone clicks on that item. 

A higher bid will help your listing be seen on the top pages of the related searches for that item. A lower bid will still get you seen, and allow you more clicks for your buck, but might put you much lower in the searches.

Automatic Bids: You can let Etsy decide your bid per promotion. This price changes depending on the competition and other factors for each listing. Some listings might only be $0.05 per click, while others could be $1.00 per click. Obviously, if your budget is only $1.00, a listing bid of $1.00 could cost you your entire day's worth of ads, so choose wisely. 

Custom Bids: You can decide your own bids. You can do a simple price for all of your listings. You could make them all $0.10 per click. However, this could be detrimental for some listings, such as that one of mine that costs $1.00. It will drastically lower the ranking of that listing or any that Etsy suggests be higher than $0.10. 

Or you could individually price your bids. It can get a little bit time consuming, doing this, but depending on your strategy, it could be very helpful.

When paired with good Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a competitive bid can help your ad be placed high in the searches that match your listing. Because there are thousands and thousands of listings out there in the searches for items like yours this could be the push that helps your wonderful listing be seen. And while there are still a lot of people who have promoted listings that you need to compete with, that number is drastically lower than the people who are just relying on search. This gives you a real chance of getting seen by more customers.

Another cool thing is that it is ranked differently than the real search. This makes it very possible for you to have two listings on the front page of a search if your SEO is rocking it!

A cool fact: If someone who clicked on one your promoted listings buys something, ANYTHING in your shop, within 24 hours of that click, it will translate into a SALE! It doesn't have to be the specific item they clicked on. 

Another cool fact: If someone clicks on a promoted listing, and they buy that item 30 days later, it will count as a sale! They have an entire month to buy the listing they clicked on for it to count towards coming from your ads.

Here's my strategy for this case study:

I've decided on a daily budget of $1.00.

I have picked the majority of my listings to be promoted listings. The only ones that I decided not to promote were the ones that were over $0.30 per click. This might be risky to even use those listings, as I could potentially use my entire budget with three clicks, but there are many many more that are a lot less per click. Ultimately, of my current 260+ listings, only maybe 10 weren't promoted. 

I also went through and added $0.03 to each listing above Etsy's suggested bid for that listing to help bump my ads higher in the rankings. I've already done several searches for multiple listings and multiple searches for a specific listing, and I'm regularly seeing my items on the first page, which is exactly what I want!

I'm also working on a case study that will be posted in May about SEO for both Etsy and Google. It will be studied over the course of several months, which I've currently started. In short, I'm trying to spruce up all of my listings with fancy, more relevant titles, descriptions, and tags. I'm also currently making sure all of my five available display images are being used. 

Using good SEO is critical for having success with your promoted listings! Just like if you wanted someone to find your listing in search, those same searches are where your ads are going to show up. Which is great cause those are your potential customers!

Here's to a good start!

I'm pretty excited to see how things go with this new adventure. I've already had my first promoted listing sale on the first day of the trial. I'd love to have an order every single day this month, and how wonderful would it be to have more than that thanks to the other marketing strategies I've already got in place.

Stay tuned for the results of this case study! The results will be posted in May!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Print of the Week from KFPrints - Cracked Easter Egg

Ha! How hilarious is this card? Seriously, it might just be my favorite thing I've ever made! And for this week only, you can get this funny Easter card for 50% OFF!

Woo Hoo! You read that right! Get this cracked egg for only $1.75 instead of $3.50 for this week only! And guess what? Once you buy, you get to print as many as you want to send to family and friends!

Act quickly! This deal runs from April 3 - April 9, 2017!