The boutique business is more accessible than ever before, thanks, in part, to the development of advanced social media marketing strategies. Business owners can now find, promote and distribute clothing without ever holding a physical storefront. Some stick to personal websites for building their virtual boutiques, while others are busy taking advantage of such popular websites like Pinterest and Etsy.
A dream for DIY and vintage rubes everywhere, Etsy has proven particularly useful for the fashion guru looking to take his or her business on the road. Through this unique website, creative types can sell their creations as a fun hobby on the side, or, if they so choose, go into business on a larger scale. Those who prefer the vintage approach to the boutique world are also well served on Etsy, as the site allows users to buy and sell authentic vintage clothing and accessories. The statistics back these claims up, with the site’s user having sold $101.7 million in March 2013 alone.
Although Etsy has taken on a bit of a social marketing feel since its inception as an online community, those operating boutiques on the site often find themselves in need of a little outside promotion. Much of this can be accomplished through Facebook or Twitter marketing. Whether you are currently running a successful Etsy boutique or simply taking an interest in the opportunity, you will want to keep the following social media marketing techniques in mind:
Like Us On Facebook!
Facebook is an essential for any Etsy store. If you regard your online boutique mainly as a hobby, you may be satisfied with simply showing off the occasional photo or link on your personal page. But for real success in Facebook marketing, you will want to create a page solely for your business. Be sure to link to the page from your Etsy account, as well as any other online platforms. From there, you can provide dedicated customers with updates related to items currently in stock, as well as special events and promotions. But avoid being too “salesy” all of the time otherwise it could drive away potential business. Instead focus on providing good content and by interspersing the promotional posts with links to interesting fashion stories or ideas for cute, vintage-inspired outfits. You want your shop’s Facebook page to be the place visitors find themselves compelled to check out on a regular basis. A place where they can find value in what you have to say – not only in what you have to sell.
Tweeting Up A Storm
Twitter is a medium that if is used properly can also be effective for boutique owners even though it doesn’t pack the visual punch that Facebook does. That being said, it’s still possible to draw in and retain customers through clever use of this social network. Make ample use of Twitpics, which allow you to add some much-needed visuals to your store’s account. And don’t be afraid to follow other Etsy shops’ Twitter accounts — often, the best return business on Etsy occurs when users are willing to connect and help each other out. Also, Etsy’s Blog is a great resource for sharing ideas.
Pinterest: The New Kid On The Block
And last but not least there’s Pinterest. It’s the single best social platform for boutiques to leverage the power of social media and showcase their products to the masses. It is the 3rd largest social network in terms of total traffic in the US – second only to Facebook and Twitter. In only 3 years it is the fastest growing social network to date – becoming the fastest site in history to hit 10 million unique users per month. A Bizrate Insights study suggests that 69 percent of Pinterest visitors find one or more items they’d like to purchase or ultimately end up purchasing. Compare that to only 40 percent of Facebook users. Pinterest is an ideal place to market your boutique fashions and a great way to let your followers comment on your products and share them.
These days people spend an overwhelming majority of their time online using social media and you need to be connecting with them on these platforms. Whether you have an online Etsy store or you are a brick and mortar store you need to be taking advantage of these current tools to showcase your products, connect with potential customers and grow your business.