I’ve been trying to work out how to engage with my audience on social media to grow my customer base and generate sales.

The problem is, I can’t even engage myself. I’m trawling through Facebook and Twitter and seeing the same self absorbed image conscious selfies, holiday snaps of exotic food and inspirational memes that offer little but hope and I just go into lock down.

I am hash-tagging like a pro on Instagram. And boy does it make a difference to followers and response rates! My engagement rate is growing. I know this thanks to Iconosquare. I love statistics. But is it going to turn into sales? Steady on! I’ve only been doing this a few weeks.

I am reminded though, that these are just surface social media outlets. As soon as I started tagging on Instagram I noticed an influx of spammers – the kind who offer you 300 new followers if you follow back.

Then there are the ones who unfollow you if you don’t follow them back after a couple of days. These are not customers. Not every customer gets a return follow from a company they like. It doesn’t make sense to.

But thanks to some of the other engagement apps, I’ve had confirmed to me something I already knew – Facebook is useless as a sales tool. My Facebook page engagement is dead. And it’s all down to Facebook wanting you to pay for your airtime. I feel tempted to shut it down but I still think it’s important to have a presence even if it’s not giving you anything back. It’s easy to link other accounts to Facebook pages and not even have to access it though I am told this is a bad thing to get into the habit of doing. Posts should be fresh, not reposts. But I have noticed my page follow list increasing too. Maybe there’s a connection. Maybe not.

Finding out how to tag effectively on Instagram and Etsy is really important. A recent crash course in tagging at an event run by the EtsyMcr team at Madlab in Edge St in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was very revealing and incredibly useful.

Of course, using the tags on Etsy is one thing. Promoting on sites like Instagram is quite another. You need to be pretty intense, keep at it and do a fair amount of reciprocal activity to keep interest up.

I am sticking at it though because I feel that things are heading in the right direction. I am just waiting for that first sale which results from the extra work!


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