As a modern artisan, you’ll most likely be participating at markets, fairs, or exhibitions whereby you can sell your products. This is another way to sell - besides our online shop, or joining an online marketplace. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase what you offer, and your handmade goods. Beyond that though, do you know how to capitalize on this opportunity on social media?
Using your social media channels to network well before the market day can work wonders for your artisan brand.
Here are some of my tips to use your social media channels to network before an artisan market:
Networking on Instagram
A couple of weeks before the event, announce to your audience that you will be at this market. You can do that in a post with a beautiful visual, tagging other participants and organizers on the picture or mentioning them in your caption.
Use the event hashtag of the market or exhibition. Interact with others using the hashtag too.
Give shout outs in Stories to other participants, use up to 11 hashtags in your post (these can be hidden to be less intrusive). The idea here is the other artisans may reciprocate and give you shout-outs on their accounts too. Their audience (who like handmade items) will see your brand and this could result in follower growth.
You can make use of the Nametag feature in Instagram. Share your nametag in a Whatsapp or text message so others can add you. (e.g in an email with other artisans or chatting to the organizer, exchange Instagram handles that way).
Use the location tag in your posts.
Follow and interact with participants you want to engage with.
Do Follow Fridays or Feature Fridays where you put the spotlight on one of the participants at a time.
Networking on Twitter
Use the event hashtag in your tweets and engage with others using it too.
Follow other participants and organizer if they have a Twitter account.
Give shout outs or tag other artisans participating
Make a mental note of who you want to engage with IRL, and then at the event, find them and chat to them in person after you’ve been engaging for a bit on social
Participate in chats or forums surrounding the event and like posts pertaining to the event. (Often there’s a countdown until D-Day).
Retweet other posts that apply to the market and feel free to add your own comment.
Networking on Facebook
When announcing to your fans that you’ll be at the artisan market, give a discreet shout out to other artisans participating by tagging/ mentioning them at the bottom of your posts or within your post.
Use the event hashtag in your Facebook posts and do a search on Facebook to find others.
Check-in at the event using the hashtag
If there’s an event created for the artisan market, feel free to post or check out the discussion posts happening inside. Chances are high that your ideal clients might be in there!
The point here is to maximise the fact that you’ll be at an event with other artisans. Use this to your benefit to build community. By using the event hashtag, tagging the location, giving shout-outs to other people, it shows that you’re genuinely wanting to connect. It demonstrates that you’re approachable, friendly, and that you value #communityovercompetition.
Remember that you have viewers. People are watching you - you could attract more of your ideal clients or you could find other artisans to collaborate with. There might even be journalists covering the event who might interview you, or you can approach them and let them know about you and your brand.
Business is all about the relationships we build, the common threads that bring us together, the stories of various artisans and makers that intertwine with ours somehow. And the online world simply allows us to reach all these people in a split of a second, in one post, one tweet, one caption.
Why would we not make use of this in our efforts to create community?