The Project Cottage is Getting Social

Over the last 18 months our business has grown rapidly with very little advertising and marketing effort on our part. We saw early on the effect having our products pinned on Pinterest could have – a set of our plank frames was pinned and then re-pinned many times over and through our Google analytics we could see the traffic this was driving to our Etsy shop. But with very little time between fulfilling orders, designing new products and taking care of our families, we haven’t been able to devote the time necessary to cultivate our online presence in social media. We’re working to change that now.

Social media is a good fit for our brand, not just in the interest of getting our name and products out to more people, but also because of the collaborative nature of our products. Some of our best ideas have come from people making custom requests through our Etsy shop. Those requests often prompt us to think of new color combinations, sizes and prints. And it also led us to build our website in a way to better accommodate those requests. Our hope is our efforts to increase our social media presence will continue the conversation we have with our customers and promote more interaction – we don’t want to just blindly scatter our brand across all the various portals, we want honest feedback about how our products fulfill a customer’s needs and the best place to find those customers.

So, in the past two months we have ramped up our social media campaign. Of course, we’ve had a Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest boards for awhile now, but they have mostly sat idle, occasionally with an automatic post when we list a new item on Etsy or lots of pins when Colleen has the time to peruse Pinterest (she would be a bona fide Pinterest addict, if she had the time). We’ve added Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn to the mix and are exploring how they can benefit us. We also have a Houzz account which seems like a great fit for our brand, but needs further exploration.

We hired an intern – Caitlin Ford, an undergraduate in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina/Wilmington (Go Seahawks!) – and are looking to her for her time and insights into what social media is the best fit for us in both branding and interaction with customers and how to increase our following across all these platforms. As we plot our social media strategy, we need to keep our goals in mind: increase brand awareness, develop relationships with our customers and of course, our ultimate goal – raise our sales! 

As we make our way through the different channels we’ll be keeping watch on our site stats to analyze where we’re getting the most bang for our social media time and which outlets convert to more sales and updating you on our findings here in this blog. There is definitely a science to all of this which can be hard for two artist brains to wrap around, but we firmly believe in our products and the market for them and want as many people to know about us as possible.

We’d love to hear from you and your thoughts about social media – where’d you first hear about us? Do you follow us on any of these social media sites? Do you like hearing about us through them? And if you don’t follow us yet, there are the handy little buttons in the sidebar to the right of this post you can click on to start doing so – please, pretty please? 

Allyson McFarlane
Owner/Art Director, The Project Cottage

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