Thursday, December 4, 2014

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Singing it with me?

I absolutely adore the passion in artists, we feel strongly about almost everything. It shows in what we do, in what we make, and how we express ourselves. As such there is a tendency in the Etsy/Art world to panic loudly and leave en masse any time a change happens that isn’t immediately understood. Take for instance the newest FB revelation that spammy posts will no longer be allowed. OMG the sky is falling, they’re trying to destroy MY small business, why oh why!!! <<<  exaggerated to make my point, but it is the same reaction every time a change is made. People as a whole dislike change, artists as it turns out are no exception. 

For the last several years I’ve tried to advise my fellow artists to NOT do the copy/paste/run thing. It’s spammy, it shows in the newsfeed several times over, buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff!!!! People DON’T like that. They want kittens and funny stories and updates of what’s going on. Yes, they want to see what you’re working on but they don’t want you screaming BUY MY STUFF all over their feeds. 

 FB has been running surveys for the past several months, Guess what they discovered……. read the above. That’s right. So the spammy content is being filtered.

But you know what? “I" don’t want to see ads in my newsfeed either. I want stories from my favorite pages, the pages I clicked "Receive Notifications" from. The stories I’m NOT getting now because of the spammy ads. This filter is “supposed” to keep spammy ads out so you CAN get the stories you want. Time will tell if that’s the way it actually works. We’ve all seen the decline in organic reach right?

So what’s an artist supposed to do? Ever hear the old adage Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket? Don’t put all your marketing effort into FB. And don’t use a singular campaign of BUY MY STUFF. I’ve been saying this for several years now, if you’re on Social Media BE SOCIAL, be yourself. I read an analogy once and I really wish I could remember where to give proper attribution but it went something like this: 

Social media marketing is like being at a party.  
 Would you walk in, head straight to the middle of the room and yell BUY MY STUFF and leave? 
 No, at least I hope you wouldn’t. 
 You’d walk in, mingle, talk to people, share stories, laugh, listen. 
 You’d be wearing your jewelry, you’d respond to compliments with Thank You I made this to wear tonight, or I sell on Etsy or however it is that YOU TALK to people when at a SOCIAL event.

Now even if you aren’t the Party Girl type you have been to more than one person’s party. You go to your Parent's for one holiday, your Relatives for another and your In-Laws for yet another. You go to Birthday Parties, Retirement parties, Moving parties, Paint parties. Think of them as FB, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Wanelo, Polyvore, Blogs, Tumblr, Google +, Flickr, you get the idea. You don’t have to go to every one just as you don’t have to hit every social media site. Choose the ones you like best, the ones that fit you. Don’t forget to Mingle, SMILE, laugh, and share stories, don’t just run in and yell BUY MY STUFF.

And don’t forget the power of an old fashioned piece of paper called a business card. Make it a point to eat out at a restaurant or diner that encourages pinning your card to their wall or placing under the glass at check out. Check in on it every once in awhile to see if someone has taken it and replace it if they have. Most of all Don’t forget the most important accessory you own - a SMILE. That smile makes people want to get to know you, and then you can say Buy my Stuff. Or you can be social and tell them with the passion I know you have about this wonderful thing you do.

Til next time when I hopefully actually share the cookie recipe I promised!

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