Using SocialBro to Analyze Your Twitter Account

Today's guest post is brought to you by Toni of Little House of Crafting!

If you're looking to analyze your Twitter account I highly recommend SocialBro. SocialBro has the most in depth Twitter analysis I've seen yet! There is so much information to be gathered for free it's unbelievable!

Let's get to it!

Once you sign up and sync your Twitter account to SocialBro you will have a dashboard to play with. It's packed with information. I'll detail a few things:

Follower stats - You can see the trend of your followers. The "annotations" feature is very nice! Want to see how many followers you get from a giveaway or a sale you're promoting? Use the "annotations" feature to select the days you would like to track. 



Countries - An interactive map of the countries you have followers in.


Kred score - Your Kred score is based on your interaction with others on Twitter in regard to mentions and retweets of others. Influence ranges from 1 to 1,000. Outreach ranges from 1 to 10. Business Today notes that scores of at least 700 and 7 is good. How do you score?



Under the "Analytics"tab, "Community insights" provides variety of information:
Time zones - A graphic representation of the time zones your community. This information can be used to detail the best time to tweet. SocialBro has a report for that. I will detail that soon!





Locations
 - Location information detailed from your community's bios.



Right under "Community Insights" is my favorite report - "Best Time To Tweet":
You can customize the report or you can base it off your top 100 followers.
After the report is created you will see a wealth of information!


When followers are online - A graphic representation of when your followers are online. The black dots shows the best time to tweet on the day you run the report and the best time to tweet during the week. My favorite part of this report is you can sync these times with HootSuite and Buffer!

Online followers by hour and day of the week - You can select days individually or you can see the details of the week as a whole by choosing "all". This information is useful but I find the next set of data even more so!


Potential exposure by hour and day of the week - This set of data details the potential exposure your tweets based on the followers of your followers. Your influential followers are exposing your tweets to their followers, which increases your reach.


What followers talk about - This data details the most used tags of your community. You can then better tailor your tweets to include tags and links that your community will most enjoy.



​Finally, under "Best Time To Tweet" is "Real Time Analytics". I don't spend a lot of time here but it's fun to watch! You can see what app and client is being used to access Twitter too.




Thank you so much for hanging with me today to learn more about SocialBro. 

Have you used a website to analyze your Twitter account? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

meet the maker: Kelsey from Honey and The Hive



Hi! I'm Kelsey. A bit about me: I'm a 22 year old picture painting lady living in Michigan with my husband and our two year old son.  I have always been a very hands on person, as a child I loved making things - I've always been incredibly fascinated by the idea of making something completely from scratch.  Though I spent a lot of time doodling in notebooks and on letters to friends, it wasn't until my junior year of high school that I took an art class and realized that I had such a passion for it.  Since then I've dabbled into just about every medium from graphite drawing to sculpture and mixed media until finally finding my niche with watercolor painting.


Fast forward a few years to 2013 when I had started to post a couple of paintings I had done for fun or as gifts for family members to Instagram.  Much to my surprise people started asking how to buy my art.  Little by little I started doing custom orders, selling prints here and there, and eventually there was enough interest in my art that I made the decision to open my first online shop.  When it came to naming my business I wanted to come up with a name that best reflected my little world - a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of sweetness, plus I've always had a thing for bees.



The biggest struggle I have faced since starting Honey and the Hive has been with several members of family not accepting my choice to be a working artist.  Coming from a family of 9-5'ers, they aren't able to relate to, or even begin to understand my crazy work schedule or how art can become a job.  I am however incredibly fortunate to have an amazingly supportive husband who is full of encouragement and will make me tea while I pull a late night painting session.  Heck, he'll pull up a seat and paint along with me (did I mention he's an incredibly talented tattoo artist?!).  My friends have been a huge source of encouragement from the start too, from celebrating with me as this little dream started to become reality, to converting our "girl time" to sitting around my table and talking while I paint, to volunteering their time to help me with my very first art market coming up in August.  I've also met some incredibly wonderful and talented people through the handmade community and have a great support system there as well.


The greatest achievement I have had so far is honestly just looking back at my art from a year ago when I started this journey to now and seeing the progression I have made - all of the trial and error has finally come together into something that I am so proud of.  I can't wait to see what another year, or five years, or ten years will bring.  I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I love and to be able to make cheerful art that is inspiring and encouraging to others.


Save 25% off anything in Kelsey's shop with code DAFT25 through August 1st, 2014!

connect with Kelsey

Craft Junkies - A New Community for All Levels of Crafters!

Today's guest post is brought to you from Kristin, owner of the new community for makers, Craft Junkies

Before I started Craft Junkies I was a member of several groups that were really strict. It was either all business talk, all selling, or no crafting talk at all. I wanted to create a group where handmade business owners and crafters could go to and ask questions about their business, projects, and just chat about their creations. On January 3rd of 2013 I decided to take the leap and started my own Facebook group, Craft Junkies.

Today Craft Junkies is a community of over 14,000 crafters from all over the world! Because of the huge growth that it has achieved I decided it was time to move off of Facebook. On June 22, 2014 our new site launched that will used to share business articles, tutorials, and even a marketplace for shoppers to find great handmade products. Along with the site, we also launched a new membership program., the Craft Junkie Addict Membership. 



This membership will allow crafters to join in on the private forums and network with other crafters and business owners on a smaller scale. It will also give them an ad in our marketplace, social media shout outs, and a chance to be featured on the Monday Meet the Junkie blog segment. 


I am so excited about the response that this awesome new site is getting that I would like to invite you to join. Feel free to use coupon code : Daft to receive $2 off of any Craft Junkie Addict Membership. That makes it just $3 a month! I hope that you decide to stop by, check it out, and join! I'll see you there!

What to Consider When Selecting Backgrounds for Product Photos

This post is brought to you from Melanie of Violet's Buds. Melanie has Bachelors of Science in Photography and provides product photography advice and services to entrepreneurs.

Recently I shared about experimenting with different backgrounds alters the feeling of your product photos. Flat backgrounds allows your products to stand alone and speak for themselves. But by experimenting with depth of field and texture, you can produce images that sets your creations apart from similar products, making your items the pop from a sea of similar items in a virtual marketplace. You want to select backgrounds that complement your products, tie in with your branding, show scale, and do not distract from your product. 

Consider these things when experimenting with props and backgrounds that add texture to your product photos:  
How will your product be used?
What feeling do you wish to convey?
Does this backdrop fit with your brand?
Is it cohesive with your shop's look?
Does it distract from your product, or draw you eye towards it?
Does it make a statement?
How does it set you apart from your competitors?

Here are some excellent examples of creative backdrops that play on depth of field and texture to help inspire you:


Ella Bella Bows produced this fun image of her Yoda hair clip by positioning a repeating line of the hair clips in the background. Though there are multiples of the same item in the image, your eyes are drawn directly the the clip that is front and center due to the excellent use of depth of field, which slightly blurs the products in the background and makes the nearest item POP from the image! 



This photo from Polder's Old World Market is a stunning example of successful product photography using props and texture to demonstrate the quality of their product. They captured an image of a handmade coffee scoop sitting atop a pile of coffee beans  - it shows scale, product use, and emotes a feel for a simple, natural life. 

Something as simple as shooting a hair accessory in a model's hair rather than flat on a white background can change how people see your product and make it pop in a virtual marketplace. Experiment with depth of field and texture and see if you can come up with some fun results for your product photography! 

Setting up shipping on Storenvy

Hey guys! Today I'm coming at you with a tutorial for setting up your shipping rates on Storenvy! A few people have came to me with trouble setting up their rates so I thought setting up a walk-through may be a helpful resource to have floating around on the web! :) 

First off, to get to your shipping menu go to your Storenvy admin panel. Click settings, then from the drop down menu, select shipping rates. There are two options - Shipping Classes and Shipping Groups. Shipping Classes are for what COUNTRY the package is going to. Shipping Groups are for what PRODUCT you are charging shipping for. Let's start with Shipping Classes. 

There are two classes for shipping - Standard which is default set to USA and Canada, and Everywhere Else, which is for every country NOT listed under Standard. On this page, you can see your rates for all your Shipping Groups for each Shipping Class. 


Let's start setting up our classes. You can adjust which countries fall under Standard and Everywhere Else by clicking the little edit button next to the shipping class title. The best way to set this up if you sell in the USA is to only select USA for Standard, so that all international orders are charged the Everywhere Else rates. Once this is completed, you have finished setting up your Shipping Classes!



To set your rates, click the View by Shipping Group button at the top and click "Add Group". I find titling it whatever product will fall into this group (IE, earrings) makes it really easy to keep track of all your groups/rates. After you title your product, set the standard shipping cost for the individual item in the top left box. In the "Additional Item" box, you will set the price that will be charged for any additional items added to the order. 



Below that, set your "Everywhere Else" rates for international orders. There is no way to opt out of international orders on Storenvy at this time, so most sellers charge a flat international rate and refund any overages after shipping the product.


*Note: When buyers select multiple items, Storenvy always uses the highest shipping group! Keep this in mind when setting your "Everywhere Else" rates so you don't overcharge for postage! 

Ta-da! You've set up your shipping classes and shipping groups. 

Now, the final step to setting up shipping for your products is to head over to your product page, and in the left hand side bar, select which shipping group each product will fall into. When you create a new item on Storenvy, it automatically puts it in the top shipping class, so you will need to do select the proper Shipping Group every time you list an item. 



Let's review: When buyers select this product that live in the USA, they will be charged the amount of shipping you set for Standard shipping rate in this Shipping Group. (In this example, $7.50) If they add an additional item, they will be charged $9.50 total, because we have our Additional Item rate for Standard set for $2. If they add another item to the cart, their total goes up to $11.50, and so on. 

If they select the product and they live outside the USA, they will be charged the Everywhere Else shipping rate for this Shipping Group, and likewise, for every item they add they will be charged the Additional Item shipping rate you set. 

Make sense? 

For help with listing your products on Storenvy, see this post

If you prefer an animated guide, Storenvy also created a video a few years ago that walks you through the process step by step. :) 

We will have more shipping tips coming soon!

Did you find this walk through helpful? Do you have other questions about setting up your Storenvy shop? Let me know in the comments so I can work on more walk-throughs!

#happyhandmade week seventy-two

Welcome to #happyhandmade, a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! Sorry for the skipped week last week, I was on vacation in NC! It was a wonderful time spent relaxing and now I am pumped to get back in the swing of things totally recharged! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! 

This collective generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month thanks to everyone spreading the word about the link up and sharing items from the collection to social media, which leads to even more traffic to everyone's shops! Keep up the great work sharing #happyhandmade!

This week's Most Viewed:
Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - in the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!

How to Gain Loyal Customers through Creative Packaging

Today's guest post is brought to you from Anne McOmber from Totally Design



Creative packaging may just be one aspect of the experience you provide for your customers, but it's also the last and final step of their purchase. And believe it or not, your unique and carefully wrapped package could make the difference between a customer that you never see again and a customer that keeps coming back for more.

As creative entrepreneurs, your time and your resources can be stretched incredibly thin... to put it mildly. However, I absolutely, positively assure you that it's worth the little extra time and expense to make your product packaging memorable. 

A package that has been thoughtfully put together and includes the time and effort of a thank you note, not only portrays a professional, yet personal image but leaves a positive impression and fosters a genuine, lasting relationship. Your packaging has the potential to say, "I don't just care about the sale. I care about your experience. And I appreciate you choosing me." Building a relationship is key to creating loyal customers that will repeatedly come back to your shop. 

I'm convinced that what our customers see when they first open that shipping box is just as important as what's being sent. 


A couple things to think about when figuring out your packaging:

Use colors and materials that are consistent with your brand and product. If your logo is pink and black, consider incorporating those colors in your product packaging. If you identify your business as being eco-friendly, then be sure your packaging is also made of eco-friendly materials. A photo or description of your creative packaging should be able to fit seamlessly into your shop. 

Your packaging does NOT need to be elaborate or expensive. You're not just selling a handmade product, you're providing a genuine handmade experience. Rather than sending your product off in a glossy custom box, focus on the small details and personal touch that will make your packaging memorable. 

Always include a thank you card. Your customers are the people who adore your products most and bring success to your shop. If you ask me, I'd say that deserves a big thank you! A hand-signed thank you note is the perfect way to express gratitude for their support and appreciation of your passion. 

Remind them where to go to get more. If your thank you card doesnt have your name and website on them, then be sure to send a business card or something else that does. Once they see your incredible packaging and product, you don't want your wonderful customers to have to go searching for your website.

And now, I'd love to hear from you. How do you treat your customers to a creative and thoughtful package?  

3 keys to cohesive branding

Today's guest post is brought to you by Dana of Cereus Art.

I’ll admit when I first opened my Etsy shop I didn't give it a lot of thought.  I've heard about shop owners who research products, competitors, create logos, hire professional photographers, and develop product copy rich with SEO keywords before opening their shop. My style is a little different.  I tend to jump in and fly by the seat of my pants. I was passionate about the items I created. I was excited about this new venture. So I took some photos with my camera phone, posted them to Etsy and waited for the sales. I was fortunate; even with embarrassing photos, horrible product descriptions, and very little advertising I managed a few sales. I soon realized that if I wanted to at least cover the cost of my supplies I needed to bring my “A game”.  

While we are all dedicated to our craft; we are, in fact, in business. Crafting cohesive branding assists in highlighting the benefits and experience of purchasing your products. It lends professionalism to your company and is an essential element of a successful marketing strategy. Your brand sets you and your business apart.  It communicates your company’s personality and energy. Marrying together the visual aspects of your brand through product photography and sneak peeks into your life, along with a cohesive social media strategy, can put you head and shoulders above your competitors.  Over the years as I've learned more I've made some improvements along the way.  Here are three major keys to a successful brand that I learned after undergoing a major review of my shop’s branding & working with professional designers and photographers.  

Logo
Your logo should match your style and help set your product apart from others.  It should be unique and easily recognizable with appealing colors.  Give some thought to where your logo will be found.  Will it transfer well to business cards, emails, websites, and social media profiles?  I’ve purchased pre-made logos from graphic artists on Etsy, but none of them transferred very well on the online advertising ads I've purchased.  I couldn't use them for business cards either. Learn from my mistakes. Consider all of the places your logo will appear and ask the graphic artist for the highest quality image files and ask them to size them appropriately for you if they can.  


What began as a simple logo revamp has turned into a major project for me. I sat down with a graphic artist and reviewed colors, font choices, and images that help convey the overall look and feel I hope to achieve in my shop.    

You can carry your branding from your logo and colors to your product packaging, which provides you with another opportunity to delight your customers. Customers want to feel good about their purchase.  Personalize your packaging and use it to tell your product’s story, develop brand recognition and to encourage repeat business.  

Visual Aspects
              
Photography done at home
Photos done by professional photographer
Excellent product photography is the cornerstone to building a credible brand.  Here’s where I’d suggest you invest in a good camera or hire a professional photographer.  If you decide to take your own product photos, visit the product photography section of Daft & learn as much as you can about balance, texture, color, lines, symmetry, and scale.  Work with different backgrounds and when you find one that you like stick with it.  All of your product photography should have the same look and feel.  As you can see from the photos above, my best option was to hire a professional photographer.  But this can be expensive!  So we negotiated and have have settled on a combo of paid services and bartering. She is currently re-photographing every product in my shop and our joint goal is to have my entire inventory completed by mid-October.  

Cohesive Social Media Strategy

When you’re looking to find your authentic voice defining your tone is key. Are you trendy and hip? Are you humorous and lighthearted? Speak to your ideal customer. Hold her in mind when communicating and you’ll find it easy to strike the right tone. Make sure that you've identified all of the features and benefits of your products and consistently communicate them to your audience. Highlight your company’s values. Showing behind the scenes, snippets from your life, and fun peeks into your studio can help communicate your company’s persona and strengthen the bond with your audience.   

Social media can be daunting.  There are so many social media platforms out there.  It can be overwhelming.  But even this can be easily accomplished.  Simply put, what social media platforms does your ideal customer use?  Find those platforms and schedule consistent product messaging.  There are many tools such as Buffer, TweetDeck and Hootsuite that can assist in automating those messages. They’ll help you work smarter, not harder.  Pepper in some “on the fly” communication so that your posts are stale and reflect current events. Be sure to engage in conversations with followers, ask questions and encourage followers to offer their opinions on your products via social media. This is an invaluable way to collect data -  for example, asking them which shade they prefer, long or short chain on this necklace, pink and green together, or pink and blue? This helps you cater your products specifically to your target audience's taste.

In conclusion:

Presenting a purposeful & well branded business identity can impact buyer decision-making leading to greater sales success.  

connect with Dana

Product Photography Tip - Share your process

This post is brought to you from Melanie of Violet's Buds. Melanie has Bachelors of Science in Photography and provides product photography advice and services to entrepreneurs.

Previously I shared four makers who create engaging WIP photos. Another way to utilize the power of a WIP photo is by posting behind the scenes, exclusive type photos. Fans love to see the process behind the products, sometimes it helps build attachment to the product they see being made, which results in increased sales - and by publishing images of the process of creation, you are instilling trust by being utterly transparent about how your products are created, making your brand more memorable and note-worthy.

To capture this quality of image of you working, you may need the assistance of a friend to take the photographs, or utilize the timer function on your camera, but make sure your WIP photos are well lit, clutter free and beautifully staged. Below are some examples of various wonderfully staged WIP photos & what they convey.

Tumbleweeds Handcrafted does an excellent job showing the hustle behind the handmade & beautifully portraying the chaos of creativity with their WIP photos, making their products especially appealing to young, hard working American's who can relate to pulling all-nighters to make their dreams come true. They have created a visually stunning social media campaign that makes their audience feel as if they are a part of the creative journey, creating a very intimate bond with their products.

Landon's Toy Box shared this beautiful photo hand painting a peg toy, which drives home the fact that every single toy she designs is painted by hand. This makes her products feel exclusive, and the detail in her WIP photos shows that she cares as much about the process as the finished product, demonstrating quality & attention to detail which helps consumers know that her products are well designed, carefully created and built to last.


In this beautiful image from Kiser Krafts, it emotes love & comfort, which helps consumers relate to her products and feel a fondness for her cute home products & toys, helping people trust her work because they can see the care & love with which she creates it. By showcasing her own work being done with a handmade crochet hook by GipsonWands, it opens the door for collaborative marketing. Odds are, both parties will share the image, and tag one another, resulting in an increased audience seeing the photo & products, generating new interest in their processes and products. 



This photo from Lu & Ed captures monster making in process and adds a bit of humor showing the "I've created a monster" sticker on the sewing machine, which ties in perfectly to her playful, colorful & childlike branding, resonating with her target audience. Coupling fun images like this with an invitation for parents to ask their children for name suggestions builds a strong bond between consumers & her products.


Here, GipsonWands snapped a shot of the final process to wand making - applying the walnut oil coat. By sharing images from various stages of wand making, Scott is able to fully demonstrate how his organic toys are made with locally sourced lumber that is naturally cured, which instills trust in his products & make them a top choice among wooden toys for children.  

By showing people the process to create your products, you are demonstrating transparency, building trust and making people a part of the process, which is invaluable. Taking the time to set up for a photo shoot to capture wonderful WIP photos is definitely a worth while investment & one that you should make time for frequently! 

#happyhandmade week seventy-one

Welcome to #happyhandmade, a social sharing collective of handmade products from various artists, shops & platforms, all brought together to aid in product discovery and help connect artisans with new audiences and other makers! 

Each week there is SIX chances to be featured, either as staff pick or most viewed - so be sure to share #happyhandmade with your friends, family, Etsy teams, in forums and Facebook groups you are a part of - the more people seeing this link up, the more people shopping & seeing your goods and the bigger our #happyhandmade community grows! 

This collective generates over 2,000 click-throughs to participants shops every month thanks to everyone spreading the word about the link up and sharing items from the collection to social media, which leads to even more traffic to everyone's shops! Keep up the great work sharing #happyhandmade!

This week's Most Viewed:

Rules:
Link up to three {3} handmade products from your shops below! 
  • Share at least three {3} items from this collection (not yours) via social media
(Do not Pin items to Pinterest without express permission from the creator)
  • Spread the word! the more people who hear about it, the more exposure everyone gets!
  • Please show your support of handmade and leave a comment listing your favorite three products from the link up that you shared!
What can you link up? Handmade products, art prints, and any designs you personally have created and had printed in small batches on clothing, fabric, notecards, etc. So long as you made it, you can share it! 

What you can't link up: blog posts, Facebook pages, giveaways, tutorials, items that are factory produced. This collective is to connect handmade shop owners with one another and promote one another's products, so all links you share should be to an individual product in your shop. 

Click "add your link" - in the first box put the URL to your INDIVIDUAL product listing, not your shop home page. In the second box, put a description of your product. In the third, your email address. Click Submit and then select a thumbnail for the photo!