Okay Etsy fans, let’s get real about how to promote your Etsy shop.
You already know that there are plenty of options out there ⬇️
By now, you've come across those expensive Etsy marketing guides, courses, and programs that GUARANTEE you’ll boost your sales with social...
But what if you don't even know WHERE to start? How can you get results if your shit is ALL over the place to begin with??? 😱
So let's calm the chaos a bit.
Today we're gonna decide – right here, right now – which social media platform is the RIGHT option for your Etsy shop.
Today I’m giving you the skinny on which platform WILL work best for you - Instagram, or Pinterest.
And make sure you read to the end, because the results might really surprise you!
The TRUTH about Instagram: Let's Talk Numbers
Since 2012, Instagram is THE site where (everyone and their mother) posts pictures of your pets, your lunch, your products, and your brand.
Instagram is so successful that it’s led to the Age of the Influencer - I know you've heard about people making millions through the platform.
It probably won’t surprise you that Instagram is Facebook’s younger, cooler sibling.
More than half of Instagram users are under 34, and they’re on Instagram for almost an hour a day.
Instagram has around 1.15 billion monthly active users as of October 2020.
That means that 69% of ALL internet users are sitting in the palm of your hand.
And the bit that has to do with promoting your Etsy biz?
90% of accounts follow at least one business on Instagram, and around 51% of the audience are women.
So if you’re thinking that Instagram is the ultimate way to promote your business, you’re definitely not wrong. The numbers are there...And they're looking MIGHTY FINE.
Oh, and Instagram has been playing with shop-able posts...
Eighty-three percent of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform.
- Best time to post: Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
- Best day to post: Wednesday
- Worst day to post: Sunday
But (spoiler alert!!!!) there’s an even better option out there.
Haaaaave you met Pinterest?
If you’re not already Pinning everything under the sun... Chances are you’ve come across Pinterest when doing an image search.
I just want to STOP this Etsy train for a sec and point something out...
The fact that Pinterest posts ALWAYS come up in image searches, but Instagram (a PICTURE-based PLATFORM!!) posts almost NEVER come up in image searches...
Is hella revealing about how search and PURCHASE friendly Pinterest is compared to Instagram!! ⬇️
Alright, now that I've hit on the hypocrisy of Instagram for you, let's return to our regularly scheduled Pinterest programming...
Pinterest is a social search engine that has around 367 million active users.
Instead of posts, users view and save ‘pins’. If you're a damn good marketer, those pins people are saving should point to your website. (Or Etsy shop).
Research shows that Pinterest reaches an amazing 83% of US women aged 25-54.
So while Instagram might have more PEOPLE, what’s super important to remember is that you want to get to the RIGHT people.
Promoting an Etsy shop: Which Platform takes LESS time?
If you really want the ULTIMATE cheat sheet for picking the RIGHT social platform for your Etsy biz, all you need to know is ONE THING:
What is the social platform FOR??
Instagram has always been a social media site - with photographs as the primary means of communication.
But in order to drive traffic and sales on Instagram, you need to do these things...SEVERAL times a week:
😑 Make time to like, comment, message, and engage with your followers (DAILY)
😑 Take AMAZING photos that people want to see in the first place
😑 Now it's becoming increasingly important to do VIDEO on Instagram
And you need to do all those things ⬆️ WEEKLY in order to see any kind of benefit on Instagram.
Notice I said you'll see "benefits" – not SALES.
Benefits might mean 10 new people follow you each week. That DOES NOT a successful Etsy shop make.
What you need to know about social platforms is this: until you figure out what works for YOUR followers, you are just sending posts into the void for a while.
When you use ANY social network to promote your Etsy shop, it's a matter of COMMITMENT.
You are NOT going to see results (aka more sales) in the first month. In fact, you probably won't even see results in the first SIX months.
So if you want social to WORK, you need to commit for the long haul.
If taking constant photos and answering comments feels like a PAIN in the ASS, then Instagram is NOT for you!!
On the other hand, Pinterest is about creating a “catalog of ideas”.
So you can build graphics on a site like Canva, and schedule them to go out when you want. NO MORE weekly tasks!
You can batch that shit and watch it GROW! ⬇️
It's MUCH easier to create months of content for Pinterest, schedule it all, and sit back and relax.
Things you DON'T need to do on Pinterest:
🤩 There's no commenting needed
🤩 You don't need a SINGLE follower to get found on Pinterest. If your pin is GOOD, Pinterest will show it in SEARCHES (which is what most people are doing on Pinterest...searching instead of FOLLOWING!)
🤩 You don't really need to interact with your followers at all...
🤩 No need to worry about taking and posting GREAT pictures 24/7 (just use a template!)
Here's the Kicker: People Actually USE Pinterest for Shopping...
This is where Pinterest REALLY SHINES over Instagram.
There’s a LOT of talk on the internet about “intent".
This is basically a fancy way of saying "meet your customers where they SHOP, so you can get in there too!"
In simple terms, intent is your customer’s WHY. Why are people on Pinterest? What do they want to accomplish?
For all it's fancy new "features", Instagram is still, at its heart, a social media site.
IG is more of a “scroll when you’re bored / keep up with friends / celebrities” kind of place. People don't GO to Instagram when they want to buy a new apple watch band, for example.
People ALREADY have their credit cards out. They’re looking at ALL the apple watch bands...They want IDEAS for cute bands, they want a band for spring, summer, and fall...They want to find the best bands for workouts vs going out.
And if you’re selling something (like apple watch bands)? Well, that’s a match made in heaven.
Think about it this way:
Would you have more luck, walking up to strangers on the street and asking them to buy your Etsy products? (Instagram)
Or would you see more sales by setting up a stall at a HUGE downtown market? (Pinterest)
The choice is yours 😉, but there's definitely an obvious winner.
- Pinterest users will spend 29% more money while shopping.
- 98% of Pinterest users have tried something new they discovered on Pinterest
- 61% of Pinterest users have purchased something after seeing a promoted pin
And the REALLY good news?
48% of US Pinterest users are on the platform to SHOP!
72% of Pinterest users are inspired to shop EVEN if they aren’t looking for anything in particular.
Here's the final nail in the coffin: Pinterest marketers stand to make $2 for every $1 they spend on the platform.
Can Etsy ads get you that kind of return?? ⬆️
What to expect from an Instagram strategy for Etsy
When it comes to promoting your Etsy shop on Instagram, it’s not impossible to succeed.
Many talented sellers make it happen.
But it IS extremely hard work.
Algorithms change and update – and each step of a successful Instagram strategy is demanding in its own way.
There are roughly 7 steps to Instagram heaven. ⬇️
1. Set up a Business Account
While you can absolutely go ahead and use your personal account, here’s a piece of professional advice: don’t.
If you have a Business Account for your Etsy store, you can add a Contact button to your profile.
You’ll ALSO get access to the data about who viewed your profile, your followers, and how your content is going down, aka the DATA GOLDMINE.
2. Add a Profile Picture of YOU
Profile pictures are a big deal. They help you add personality, and it allows people to connect to your brand.
For Instagram, it’s a better idea NOT to use your biz logo as a profile picture. Instead, think about a photo of you, your products, something that says “Hey this human is pretty cool”.
Because Instagram users are looking to connect with YOU. Not a faceless corporation.
3. Write a winning profile bio
This is a double whammy. Not only is this your elevator pitch calling card introduction, it’s also a chance for you to get picked up by the Search function.
Oh, and you have to do all this in 150 characters.
Don’t be afraid to have some personality - from emojis to hashtags, think about the things you’d want to know about a biz.
While you COULD use your bio link to link to your Etsy shop, it’s worth taking a look at software like LinkTree so you can have a range of links to showcase more of your work.
4. Post good photos
This is completely subjective, but you’re not going to make it far on Instagram without some SUPER high-quality posts.
And you need to shake it up a bit. You can’t just post the same image again and again. (Well, you could, but that’s not going to do anything except waste your time!)
5. Nail the caption
Sure, IG is all about the images, but if you nail the caption, you'll actually see better engagement. Oh, and you'll make that IG search function happy again!
Think about how you want people to respond, and what you want them to feel. One of the biggest things you can forget as an Etsy biz is that you’re still a person talking to people.
Give people a chance to become your friend and you’re more likely to convert them into customers.
6. Use Hashtags
You can have up to THIRTY hashtags per picture.
That’s right. 30.
Hashtags help get you found in search, and they can REALLY matter (or they can get you lost in the crowd). I'm not gonna get into hashtags here – that's a whole different article – suffice to say, you can google the clusterfuck if you really want to.
7. Show up consistently
I’m not just talking about posting daily, although you DO need to commit to a very regular (3x a week or more) schedule on IG.
Scheduling your posts in advance using an automation tool can make your life MUCH easier, but is also an investment you might not want to make
But that’s not all...
You gotta respond to DMs, comments, like other people’s posts, and comment on them if you want to stand a chance of any engagement whatsoever.
Instagram REWARDS you for using their platform. And that means you need to spend LOTS of time on their platform to get results.
And here’s where IG becomes a real time suck. I’m not saying that it’s impossible - but it IS going to take a major time investment before you experience some success.
Some people have done it, and they do it really well. But by no means is it a sure shot.
What to expect from an Pinterest strategy for Etsy
Pinterest is much MUCH simpler, and you’re going to see results pretty quickly (usually within your first 3 months).
Not only that, but it’s easy to pivot when things get updated and you notice a horrendous, panic-insomnia-inducing downturn in traffic. (Okay but really, if you missed that post, here’s how Pinterest almost cost me my sanity).
When I lost tons of traffic on Pinterest, I learned that some minor tweaking won't just get you minor improvements...
Instead, I noticed a holy SHIT, I SOLVED THE INTERNET level of success.
And I didn’t have to spend a ton of money on automation software, or hours and hours taking professional photographs to fit my aesthetic.
Using Canva, I created designs that fitted my blog and made up my OWN RULES about how many times to post on Pinterest each day.
That’s right. I got to decide what I wanted to do - rather than frantically trying to fit everything into twenty-four freaking hours.
Which Platform gets bigger results for Etsy sellers?
When it comes to promoting your Etsy shop, I’m about that Pinterest life All. The. Way..
It’s just easier.
In our Etsy tribe, we have maybe FOUR sellers who are successfully making sales with IG.
But we have HUNDREDS who are getting sales from Pinterest.
If I can boost traffic to my blog by over 1000 people in a month, by literally just tweaking my Pinterest posts here and there...
It means that pretty much ANYONE can promote themselves in a way that still leaves you time to… y’know, run your shop, and live your life, and sell your products.
I’m not saying IG isn’t worth it, but think back to what I said at the beginning:
Instagram is a social platform, and to win the IG game you have to have a pretty strong presence.
But Pinterest is a catalog of ideas, and you know what? I think your ideas would look GREAT there.
I’m Sold! Can you help me get my Pinterest game on point?
You know it!
I’m so convinced that you can make your Etsy store a success that I’ve created the ultimate free guide on Pinterest for Etsy sellers.
Yep, that’s right. My step-by-step FREE COURSE reveals the first steps you'll need to success on Pinterest. I'll explain it all in simple, easy to follow steps.
This is the EXACT way that I promote my business on Pinterest.
So if you're ready to kick start your Pinterest success RIGHT NOW, then let’s go.