March 10, 2011 is coming. Is your Facebook fan page ready?
If you have a Facebook fan page for your handmade business (and you should), you are probably already aware of the new fan page look that is scheduled to become mandatory on March 10, 2011. If you haven't switched over yet (or even if you have), take note of a few ways that you can boost your handmade shop exposure and sales with your Facebook fan page.
We'll start with one FUN way to boost your page: by using the photo ribbon at the top of the fan page.
The new Facebook fan page looks very similar to our personal profiles, in that you'll notice a ribbon of 5 photo spots right below the name of the page. So how can we use those photos to boost sales?
Suggestions for the Photo Ribbon:
1. Product Photos
The photos that appear in the ribbon are the last 5 photos that have been uploaded to the page. Unlike the photos in our personal profiles that remain in the same position (unless you delete one), the photos in the ribbons of fan pages rotate randomly when the page loads. In other words, you won't be able to control how the photos are arranged. Work to make sure that all 5 of the photos look nice together.
Put some thought into which product photos to use. Which products get the most views in your Etsy shop? Which ones have been marked as favorites? Which ones are your best sellers? Which ones are your signature products?
2. Screenshots of Treasuries
If you've been featured in an Etsy treasury and have a screenshot, by all means, use that in the photo ribbon!
3. Graphics that Represent your Social Media Venues
You could upload a small graphic for each of the social media venues that you use for your shop. Some examples are
Create the graphics yourself or hire a designer to create them for you. Remember, however, that small text on graphics (at thumbnail size) sometimes isn't readable.
If you decide to use these graphics for your photo ribbon, be sure to explain in the wording below the graphic what customers can expect to find on that venue. Take Twitter, for example: what types of tweets can your fans expect from you? (links to products? helpful links? notes about sales?)
Don't forget to include a link to the social media venue, of course.
4. Get Creative!
While this idea might not work for you, it's definitely worth a mention here. The HyperArts Facebook fan page pulls this off brilliantly:
You'll notice the large H in the profile picture. Next, the photos in the ribbon spell out the rest of the HyperArts name. YP, ER, A, RT, and S.
Once the page re-loads (and automatically randomizes the ribbon), you might see something like this:
The creative wording in the profile picture explains the mystery: "Yes, it should say HyperArts, but we can't set the order. Facebook enforces randomness. Refresh until you see something you like!"
How brilliant is that??
By the way, I have noticed that once I cleared my browsing history and clicked on the HyperArts page again, the photos appear in the "correct" order. That makes me wonder if the photos always appear in chronological order (last 5 uploaded) at first and then randomize only when the page is refreshed. Have any of you experimented with this? Do tell.
Reminders about the Photo Ribbon:
1. Crop Ratios are Important
Your photos will look best in the small thumbnails if you use a 1.42 to 1 crop ratio. For example, if the photo is 800 pixels wide, it should be 563 (actually 563.38) pixels high to fit perfectly into the thumbnail spot.
Also, remember that horizontal (landscape) photos will look the best in the ribbon. If you upload a vertical (portrait) photo, it might not appear in the ribbon as you had hoped. However, when you click on the photo, it will expand and appear at the full size.
2. Photo Consistency
If you really want your photo ribbon to look fabulous, you could make sure the photos are consistent (similar background, products same distance from camera, etc.). Etsy sellers are already accustomed to making sure that 5 thumbnail photos look good together, and this is no different.
Suggestions for the Wording Area Below the Photos:
Update: I added this screenshot at the suggestion of reader Anita of Sweet Pea Purses. Thanks, Anita! :)
Handmade sellers can really get creative with the text box below the photo. After you upload a photo, simply click "Add a Description" and type any information you wish. Here are some ideas:
1. Customer Testimonials
You could include testimonials about that particular product or about your shop in general.
Include links to similar items in your shop. If a fan clicked on that particular photo, he/she might like to see other items that you have available.
Don't forget to link to the actual product. Include http:// to make the link clickable.
4. News Feed
Remember that anytime you upload a photo (with the accompanying text), the wording goes into your news feed. Use the wording area strategically with more than just a product description.
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Your assignment for today: Go on the hunt for Etsy shop fan pages that already use the new page format and are doing a great job of using the photo ribbon to boost sales. Link to a favorite or two in the comments, will you?
Read more tips in Part 2 of this series: The New Facebook Fan Page Can Boost Etsy Sales - Part 2
P.S. Speaking of Facebook fan pages, are you a fan of On the Dot Creations on Facebook? Come join the fun!