Using social media to reach and connect with potential buyers and create more visibility for your handmade business is a common practice. It almost seems weird to have one without the other. Small business owners know it can be challenging to have a constant stream of inspired ideas, caption text to post, images worthy of the almighty gram grid, and energy to make it all happen.
Instead of covering what you SHOULD or COULD post to your social media channels, I want to talk about the content you want to avoid posting on social media as a small business owner.
In our efforts to cast a wider net, gain visibility, and connect to your ideal audience, you will want to avoid posts like these.
Venting and griping about the algorithms
Without providing a realistic alternative with optimism, complaining about the Instagram algorithm and how bad it could be for small businesses, avoid this entirely. Almost no one from the sector of people you want to reach and connect with (buyers, probably) cares to hear or learn about how bad your reach is and how much your engagement sucks. The people who see those complaint posts are the ones you ARE reaching (clearly) and do likely engage. It can feel a bit icky to them, like the fact you are reaching them isn’t good enough.
If I am the ‘customer’ and see someone griping about the algorithm and providing nothing of actual value, I tend to roll my eyes and keep on scrolling.
Why risk that?
Post something else instead that might benefit you!
Too much information
See also our post about TMI on social media.
If anything would elevate the social media experience at large, it would be for small business owners to stop airing their personal or business dramas that no one else can offer any assistance for. The people you want to reach – the customers you want to engage with, and the people you hope will become customers of your handmade shop, do not care about your personal soap operas. Customers do not want or need to know every detail of your personal or business life. Behind the scenes content is excellent, but keep is on brand and relevant! In many cases this is less about the subject matter and more about the approach.
This does NOT include instances of big businesses ripping small businesses off. Go on about that, but do fact check and be precise as you do it! This also does not include extreme life change or moral/ ethical concerns that you feel you want to talk on. As always though, it is your business and you get to call the shots. This is just my humble opinion.
Coupons, discounts, sales, giveaways, and promotions galore
On the surface, this all sounds great. Giveaways drive engagement; coupons help push people off the fence, sales and promotions lead to revenue bursts… but do these things really, genuinely help? Long term? In the best ways? Do people enjoy this stuff as much as we think they do? All the time?
By now, if you are a reader of The Merriweather Council Blog, you likely know that I am not a fan of discounting your work. I don’t love it as an opt-in, I don’t love it as an incentive to return to the shop. I like sales and discounts when used strategically. If you are regularly running discounts, what message is your audience receiving?
I think the message might sound something like this: “I think people will only buy my work at a discount. I do not believe that anyone will pay full price for my product,” also known as, “I don’t see or believe in my product’s value and worth.” If you are under the impression that coupons and discounts are a sure-fire way to get people from Instagram or email to buy, I invite you to reconsider.
This might not be the case! And if it is, is that what you want? Do you want people to buy only when it’s at a discount? While there is actual value in having a handful of loyal customers who will buy every time you run a sale and only when you run a sale, you want the majority of your customers to pay full price. I mean, right?! Here’s why we don’t suggest first order or opt in coupons, and here’s the info on why we think you should ditch your return customer coupon, as well.
When it comes to posting on social media, your audience wants to see and hear you showing up as a confident, capable business owner! They don’t want to hear about the content we just decided you should avoid posting on social media. Check this episode of The Merriweather Council Podcast out to learn more about how to do that.