When you’re promoting your Etsy shop, it basically comes down to a choice between time and money. Social media is free, so that means that it’s going to cost you in time. So how should you decide where to spend your time with your social media?
When deciding what social media is best for your business, you should look at any statistics about traffic that you have already to see where your traffic is currently coming from. Based on actual data, you can make decisions about where you should put more or less effort. Putting more time into the platforms that are working already can result in increased traffic to your Etsy shop or website.
I did a survey of the people in my two Facebook groups to see where the majority of their social media traffic came from, and the results were interesting.
Table of Contents
- What social media brings the most traffic?
- Using Pinterest for driving traffic to your business.
- Using Facebook to drive traffic to your business.
- Using Instagram to drive traffic to your business.
What social media brings the most traffic?
|Social Media Platform||People who rate it as top traffic source||% of responses|
|Forums (Reddit, Quora)||5||1.1|
This survey was done before the Etsy Seller app debuted the Etsy Explore video feature, so it wasn’t included in the totals. Read about the Etsy Explore video feature by clicking here.
Out of the 443 people who responded to my informal survey, almost 43% said that Pinterest drove the most traffic to their Etsy shops or websites. The second highest was Facebook, and the third was Instagram.
Those results didn’t surprise me too much because they’re the ones that have been around the longest, and they probably have the most traction for the most people.
For newer platforms, it takes longer to bring traffic, so fewer people will get as much traffic from those, or from platforms that aren’t as associated with shopping.
It also depends on where you’re putting most of your effort…The top three traffic drivers to my website are Youtube, Facebook, and Pinterest, and those are the ones that I pay the most attention to.
If you’re spending a lot of time on a specific platform and getting a lot of traffic from it, you’re doing fine. However, if the platform that you’re concentrating on isn’t bringing results, you may want to try something different.
Having said that, it makes sense that Pinterest was the clear winner, because it’s a visual medium that works more like a search engine than social media. There are other benefits that Pinterest offers because of that, but let’s get into that next.
Using Pinterest for driving traffic to your business.
Pinterest isn’t technically social media because people don’t usually interact with posts, although it did start out that way. It’s more of a search engine at this point.
Using Pinterest to drive traffic to your Etsy shop basically takes time and the effort to do consistent pinning.
Etsy has its own Pinterest account that it uses to drive traffic to the platform, and it does bring traffic to my shop even though I don’t pin from my Etsy shop at all.
Pinterest has changed a lot over the past 5 or 6 years, but the premise is the same. People can search on Pinterest for topics, and your pins can be found for years after they’re pinned.
This gives you an advantage over other social media because your pins aren’t only presented in a feed that updates constantly.
It’s true that people can search for things on different platforms, but the general way that any platform with a feed works is by constantly refreshing and showing people different things.
Pinterest works to show people things that are related to the topics they search for, so your pins can be found for as long as they’re on the platform.
The other advantage that I mentioned earlier is that Google tends to show a lot of Pinterest images in their organic search results. Your pins can show up in Google image search, as well as in the web search results.
This Web result from my Pinterest account shows up on page 1 of Google search results, and it’s one of four different results of mine on the first page of Google for this search query. By using your Pinterest account strategically, you can add to the visibility for your website or Etsy shop.
Pinterest is low-effort as far as having to interact with other users, but you do have to create pins or make the effort to pin from your website on a regular basis.
Using Facebook to drive traffic to your business.
Facebook is the most-used social media platform on the internet, so it’s not surprising that of the platforms that work with a moving timeline, it’s the next-highest traffic driver.
Facebook’s algorithm is designed to keep people on the platform so that they can see ads, so it’s always changing to be more engaging.
A few years ago, Facebook changed from showing business pages to hardly showing them at all. They changed to focus on groups so that they could keep more people interested in being on the platform overall.
Facebook has three types of pages, and you need to use them differently. There are personal profiles, business pages, and groups.
To use Facebook effectively for your business, you need to have your personal profile set up correctly so that people can find your business page easily. And it also helps to have a Facebook group that you use to build a customer base.
It takes a decent amount of effort to really set Facebook up to get traffic, and even after you do, it’s something that you have to pay attention to. You can’t set things up and walk away, Facebook takes consistent effort to work well.
Facebook works on building relationships more than on basic search functions, so it’s not as passive as Pinterest overall. However, because Facebook owns Instagram, you may be able to use posts in both places.
Facebook also offers a product catalog in their business section, so if you have a business page set up you can take advantage of using it as a place to sell on, or use it to send traffic to your site.
Using Instagram to drive traffic to your business.
Instagram is a visual platform that started out as a way for people to share their experiences in real time. It’s now become more of a way to follow people and companies that you’re interested in.
It works on a timeline that’s curated by Instagram and is tailored to each user. When someone engages with posts, Instagram sees that they like that content so they’ll show them more like that.
Visibility on Instagram is tricky because people tend to see only the most recent posts in their timelines when they open the app. You need to post a lot in order to have your posts be shown, and getting people to engage with your posts by liking or commenting is really important.
The more that people like or comment, the more of your posts Instagram will show to them later.
Instagram has always used hashtags, which tend to come and go on other platforms. Using hashtags that are targeted toward your customers can help get your posts shown more often to people who don’t already follow your account.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you can connect the two platforms in specific ways, generally through the business account pages on Facebook.
You can also tag products on Instagram if you have a product catalog set up in Facebook and you’ve connected the two. Whether this works with Etsy or not seems to change from week to week, though, so it may not be something that you can do unless you have a separate website.
Since Instagram wants photos in a specific aspect ratio, you can’t always use the same pictures that you use for other platforms. And because you need to use hashtags to categorize your posts, it can be hard to build a following.
I don’t use TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, or forums to drive traffic, so I won’t be talking about those. They were all mentioned by several survey respondents, though.
I do get most of my website traffic from Youtube, which isn’t surprising because I’ve had my channel for over ten years and I used to do a lot of cake decorating tutorials and product demos. I think that more people would benefit from Youtube but it isn’t for everyone!
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