Social Media- We Can't Marry it and We Can't Kill it

Where I came  up with that title.....  social media, we need it, and it can be frustrating. As independent designers we have to market ourselves.  On top of creating our product, designing it, making it, making hangtags, building websites, photographing, posting on etsy, selling in markets, the list goes on... we need to advertise it and build our community.  People are not only interested in our product but how is it made, who makes it and where does it come from.

This past Monday I went to a seminar at the Etsy offices being given by Rekha Krishnamurthi.

Rekha is an EtsyNY Team member and designs and makes products for her line called DivineNY.  Her craft is screen printing and block printing, and she specializes in housewares.

Find this runner in Rekha's  Etsy shop .

Find this runner in Rekha's Etsy shop.

Rekha spoke about brand building thru social media.  Her main theme is to allocate 2 hours a week for social media.  The way I feel about social media is that it can be fun, overwhelming and powerful.  I struggle with it and then when I talk to others I find I know more than I think.  So I guess you can categorize me as somewhere in the middle.

I do feel that any company or personality needs to be on social media today.  People want to know what you are about. So how do we achieve it successfully.

A few points:

  1. approach how to develop your goals, objectives and strategy
  2. timing- when is your audience online? do you sell to America or Europe, young hipsters or a more corporate crowd who is probably online during lunch or on their way home from work
  3. what platform do you want to use? facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr, google plus, pinterest
  4. what do you talk about? talk about what you are working on, what is inspirational to you, other artists you follow
  5. should you buy those ads on facebook? what's the budget to spend? Try $5.00 and see if it works.

So many platforms right?!  I am on all of them.  My tumblr went away and instagram I just started but I try to stay strong with my blog, facebook, twitter and pinterest.  And it can be frustrating building a following.  Sometimes I feel like I am spreading myself too thin or noone reads my posts.   My team consists of me, my 3 cats and now my 5 month old daughter....What to do!

Oliver, one of my cats, at wor

Oliver, one of my cats, at wor

Pinterest does double duty.  While I am finding inspiration other people also see the inspiration I am posting.

Rekha even said it took a few years for her to get a following.  So don't give up.  What are your frustrations? Do you have tips that seem to work for your brand?

Post your facebook, twitter or pinterest link here and I will follow!

Have a crafty week!

Tracey Toole


Etsy NY for your shopping needs!

With the Holidays upon us we are being inundated with gift ideas and consumerism. This is a great time to sign up for EtsyNY team page on facebook.

Everyday we post treasuries especially made with items chosen from Etsy NY shops.

Check out this past Wednesday's treasury Under 25.00. Not only is each gift under $25.00, it is a beautiful collection of tangerines, yellows and marmalades. A fresh take on holiday colors!  Now the treasury is not only etsy new york members, we like to spread the love. 

from pepper press ny

With the Handmade Holiday Cavalcade around the corner (Saturday) here's a sneak peek at some of the sellers you can find. 

11am-6pm at "The Space"  50 N 3rd Williamsburg


There will be 35 artisans, crafters and designers at this weekend's fair. You are sure to find something for your holiday needs!  And if you don't feel like leaving the warmth of your home, just follow our Facebook page for ideas from over 250 Etsy artists in NYC! 

Happy Holidays!

Tracey Toole /

Social Media Traffic 101

Ana Hoffman at is one of the most knowledgeable people I've come across on the web when it comes to promoting yourself through social media, and all of the info on her site is free!

Here's just one article that I've found incredibly helpful...


Social media has been called a lot of things:

  • the best thing since sliced bread;
  • productivity killer;
  • the next marketing wonder.

Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter what YOU think about social media. If your audience and your competitors are there, you don’t really have much of a choice, do you? Social media is to your website as breathing is to living. Period.

A few quick tips before we dive into the mysteries of driving traffic from social media:

Start with one platform

Social media is the great example of Pareto principal  at work (roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes). My best advice is not to spread yourself too thin.

  • Find the one social media platform that YOUR target audience seems to favor and stick with it.
  • Learn the ins and outs of it.
  • Master all the nuances of traffic generation.
  • Figure out how to put most of it on autopilot.
  • Move on to the next one.

How to figure out which one to start with

1.   Use your Google Analytics (GA) data

If you are already driving social media traffic large enough to analyze some stats, then start here.

  • Go to your GA dashboard and look up your referral traffic.
  • See which social media platform drives the most traffic AND converts the best.
  • Focus on that one.

2.   Use your competitor’s data

If you are brand new to social media or even blogging in general, then see where your competitors get most of their traffic from. That should be a good indicator of where your potential readers might be hanging out. The easiest way of collecting this type of data is through

Just search for any competitor’s site and go under “Clickstream” to see where their social media traffic comes from.

While there are scads of social media traffic sources, I have outlined some of the big dogs for you.



How to Get the Facebook Crowd to Like You More

Google Plus

Google Plus Bite-Sized Tutorial for the Busy Marketer



Thanks, Ana! That's certainly enough to get us started!

Until next time! Mary Ann

Boosting Response on Facebook: 3 Creative Ideas

I love this web site for its great articles on social media marketing. They're always on the lookout for the latest trends and tips on what's working for people, and this one posted just last week about Facebook ranks among their best.


John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing recently shared with his insights about three tactics boosting response for him at Facebook. Feeling creative? With your next post, you might want to:

Use an image for your update.

Forget the blah, blah, blah. Upload a photo as your next status update! Then add a little descriptive copy and a link to your blog post (which can go into detail about your big announcement) in the "say something about the photo" box, Jantsch suggests. "I notice that when I do this I get … more views and more engagement," he says.

Use a tab for a call to action.

The space to the right of the About box will display four images (tabs) of your current pages or apps. The good news is you can create your own images in those spaces! Why not include a call to action in one of them? For instance, "if you want to send someone to a page to grab a free eBook, you can use an image to create the call to action," he advises.

Schedule your posts.

According to Jantsch, scheduling posts is no longer a professional no-no, and it might even get you more TLC at Facebook. He reports that his scheduled posts are getting seen by greater numbers. Why? Perhaps Facebook favors direct posts over those posted by third-party tools. "I know off hand that my direct content gets 30-50% more views then content from Buffer," he notes.

The Point:

A little creativity can go a long way online. Try a couple of clever tactics at Facebook to help raise your B2B social profile.

Until next time!

Mary Ann

Four Quick Tips for Getting Those Google Hits

You’ve read every article, attended every conference, watched every video on how to get found on the web, yet you’re still not getting those Google hits. What’s an Etsy shop owner to do?

According to Susan Newman of Susan Newman Design, Inc. in Jersey City, NJ, there are a few basic things you could change this very day that could alter your results dramatically. And all it takes is just a little time at the computer.

Newman’s tips come from her years of experience in web design, branding and social media, and the use of these ideas herself in her own business. They’re just a part of what’s being showcased in her current Broadcast Louder seminar, a series of seven classes designed to help creative people brand themselves better. Here’s what Newman suggests:

Name your jpegs with keywords. (NOTE: Etsy renames your jpeg titles once they're uploaded. However, it's still a good practice to name your photos with keywords for when they appear in blogs or web sites.) Very often, we name our images with just numbers or our own internal coding system so that we can best find them quickly in our files. But Newman says this is a big no-no.  What you name your jpeg in your computer is what Google is going to search once it’s online.

Susan Newman
If you’re a jeweler, for example, and you’re selling a gold necklace with some colorful beads, you may want to name that photo “gold_necklace_purple_beads.jpg” so that the item will now come up in Google’s images search.

“The name you give that image is going to follow it wherever it goes on the web,” Newman says, “whether it’s on Etsy or Pinterest or Facebook. You want the image name to be the answer to someone’s query.”

One final tip: Be sure that there are no spaces in the jpeg name; use hyphens and underscores to divide words.

Create a blog…NOW.  Sure, everyone knows that blogging is a great way to draw customers to your shop, but the statistics on those who blog and those who don’t are staggering. And the numbers get even more astonishing depending upon how frequently you post.

According to marketing-software manufacturer, people who blog daily are 90% more likely to generate a sale than those who blog monthly, who have just a 13% chance of a sale.  And the person who blogs multiple times per day actually has nearly a 100% shot at generating a sale. It doesn’t matter what the subject is…it’s getting your shop name out there on a regular basis that’s important.

“The more you blog, the more content you have streaming to the web,” says Newman, “and the more people you have coming to your site. Of course it has to be good content, but basically the more you blog, the more the return on investment becomes unreal.”

Newman stresses that a blog title needs to be rich with keywords. And if there is an area for a description, don’t overlook it as an opportunity for keyword exposure.

She also explains the importance of “long-tail keywords,” which more clearly refine and define your products. A web designer, for example, might use the keyword phrase “web design” to describe his or her business, but Newman said that would be of no use at all. In the case of her own company, if she used the keyword phrase “web design Jersey City,” she’d see more traffic to her site, but if she became even more specific, using the keyword phrase “custom Wordpress themes Jersey City,” her traffic would skyrocket, as would her placement in a Google search.

“With a phrase like that, I might now be on the first page,” she says, “and quite possibly even number one.”

So switch it up. If you blog just a few times a month, try posting twice a week and see what happens. It’s quite possible that you’ll double your sales.

Create a Facebook page.  Almost everyone has a personal page, but not all Etsy shops have a Facebook page, which are for businesses, organizations and brands to share their stories and connect with people. If a shop posts solely on their personal page, Google has no idea what they're doing.  Why?

“If Etsy store owners just have a personal profile, none of what they say or write is searchable on Google, because that profile is private,  provided they chose that option in their settings,” Newman says. “But a Facebook page is public. That means that everything is searchable…your galleries, your image descriptions, your bio information, plus the images you upload.”

Like your jpeg images, when it comes to your Facebook page, think “keywords” in regards to just about anything you write. By drawing web surfers to your Facebook page, you're in turn drawing them to just about everything else you do, provided you've linked to all of your other social media...your web page, your LinkedIn page, your blog, and, of course, your Etsy shop.

Create a YouTube channel.  As YouTube is the second most searched site on the web (Facebook being number one and Google being number three), if an Etsy shop doesn’t have a YouTube presence, an enormous opportunity is being missed.  Creating video content might not be the first thing an Etsy owner would think of, but Newman says it makes sense.

There are any number of videos shop owners could create that would be of interest to their customers: tutorials, themselves at work in their studios, or a photo stream of their wares (using sites like Animoto, a free video-making site).

“In having a YouTube channel, you’re giving your audience another way to find you and your work,” Newman says. "As with your jpegs and Facebook, be sure to tag your videos properly with keywords and good descriptions, then cross-pollinate your platforms by putting that video link on your Facebook page and your blog. The more variety you have in the formats you give people, the more you’ll be opened up to new audiences.”

Click here for more information on Newman’s Broadcast Louder seminar, a series of seven classes starting April 11 for just $97. And click here to be a featured guest in her Branding You Better series.

Until next time!...
Mary Ann

For your little treasures...



If you have an Etsy shop and a Facebook fan page that you use to connect with your customers, you will be happy to know that it is now even easier to link the two.  This allows shoppers to instantly like your shop's Facebook page from your Etsy shop while browsing your wares. Once the connection is established, you can post items from your shop to your Facebook account without having to switch from your shop to Facebook.

Here is an image of my fairly new shop, The Hairy Vetch, where I sell hair accessories. It's not connected to the social world yet and looks a little lonely.

Clicking on the Facebook icon under the shop banner brings me to the Info and Appearance page of my shop. From there I can select the Facebook page I want to connect to the shop and instantly the Facebook Like button appears on the page.

Once I click the Like button, Facebook registers that I am my first fan!

Use the same process to connect your shop to Twitter. With a Twitter connection:
  • Shoppers will see a Follow button for your Twitter account below the banner of your Etsy shop.
  • You’ll be able to tweet about each new listing you add to your shop.
  • Anyone who has Followed you through Etsy will see your updates in their Twitter Timeline.

Now I should start my conversation with my future fans. For some tips on how to have a meaningful and professional social media presence in your shop, check out Etsy's Guide to Facebook.

Let's connect!

Thank you to Etsy a Holiday Handmade Cavalcade sponsor.