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Chris Campbell

Instagram or Facebook or ??? What?

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With a smile Joseph I have to say I admire your self control if you can spend only 5 minutes on posting ... not reading or clicking or thinking up what to write.  I end up looking at what I wrote in my blog,  wondering who the heck cares, and deleting it ... then of course I have to check the news, this forum, and my colored clay group and the clay buddies and then its lunchtime!!

I have heard many potters speak on using social media but never, ever heard any of them be as honest as Mea about what $$$ it actually brings in. I think a lot of them are stuck in the 'likes' and 'pins' area which is not bringing in revenue. The one speaker who was blunt and interesting was Ayumi Horie who provided a ton of useful info.  Every minute she spends online is focused on results.

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@Chris Campbell

I can relate to the blog thing. I have written several blog post and deleted them. I deleted my entire blog of about a years worth of posting earlier this year. 

The instagram thing is only because I don't like social media at all, and let us be honest here, there are times that I slip and spend 30 minutes on it before I realize it. The whole thing is super addictive, looking at beautiful pots all day!

I also have all notifications turned off on everything on my phone except people who are in my contacts. Anyone else calls me it goes to voicemail they can leave a message(doesn't alert) and I call them back when I see it later. I think if we restrict our distractions when we do go to these apps we are not used to using them constantly so they become easier to get the work done and close them. Of course, if you work all the time, Instagram can be used as a relief. My wife works an 9 hour a day job with a 2-hour commute. She loves surfing Instagram to relax in the bed at night, so it is what it is. There is nothing wrong with it if used properly, I just think people get caught up in the "likes", but likes don't pay the bills.

I have a course next semester on social media marketing, taught by a veteran in the space. I decided to take the class based purely on self-interest. If I learn any good tidbits I will be sure to share them here.

I like Ayumi Horie's work. I would be interested in seeing her speak about social media, is it on youtube? 

Edited by Joseph F
Roberta12 likes this

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5 hours ago, GEP said:

If these sites are unrelated to handmade pottery businesses, is it relevant to this discussion? It might be a completely different type of audience. 

Hi Mea  :)

It doesn't matter if one is selling baguettes in Paris,  cannolis in Capri, doilies in Dayton or pottery in Pottstown.

SEO, Marketing and Social Media all have the same premises, that is to get people onto your website to buy something.

Suffice to say all my sites are creative in nature that show one of a kind items that are handmade or custom designed. Some sites are personal others are business related.


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One thing I will add is that on Etsy where most say they never sell much there are a number of potters that manage to sell work in some numbers. Whitney Smith, an Oakland potter has almost 4000 sales since 2007 for example. With prices of $100 + (her stuff isn't cheap)  that easily gets her to mid six figures depending on the mix, maybe more. Just guessing but with a ramp on the 10 year number, say 50k a year is coming from etsy these days, with a location that's probably an important income stream. I would imagine that social media played an out-sized role in driving sales to etsy.

But even without an online income stream to point to, online media is just part of the deal these days. It is hard to qualify and if you just plop something out, wait a while and without some direct sales to attribute to it, say "see social media is more trouble than it's worth" I think you are really missing the point.

Us old folks may long for the days when everyone didn't have their head in a phone while waiting for something but for anyone born in the 90's forward online is blended into everyday life.    

Edited by Stephen
D.M.Ernst and Joseph F like this

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Just checked out Ayumi Horie --talk about going down a rabbit hole of distraction, it's amazing I made it back !  Good discussion.  Pinterest & Facebook are fun for me, so I know how to use them if I choose, but  I know nothing (yet) about Instagram.  Seems like something I need to check out, but not right now.

Next year I am going to explore both  online selling and locally hit the bricks.  Won't do shows, tho  I may change my tune for some local holiday events, on a very selective basis.

12/31--just tried to remove the Happy Hollydaze image becasue it is too big, which was not my intention, but apparently I can't delete it-so sorry for taking up so much space! 


Edited by LeeU
Happy Hollydaze

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I have used both Facebook and Instagram.   And have received direct sales from them.   I am always closed on Sunday and decided on Friday to stay open today from 1:00 pm to 5:pm.  I posted my hours on Facebook and promoted for Saturday as well.  I did around $500 today in sales and all but one customer saw it on Facebook that we would be open.  I got over 1800 exposures from my first post.     Yesterday we made several sales directly from what people saw on Facebook,  around $700-$800.

That said .... I have found I get diminishing returns from Facebook.  A little posting here and there is good ... constant posting and people get "bored".

Instagram is key for a younger clientele.    I have found it to be very effective in promoting jewelry.   Somewhat effective for pottery.  You have people just waiting to get posts on Instagram.  I have  consulted for a clothing store that does a significant business using Instagram.  You get more exposure as people "tag" your Instagram posts.

I would say for what you are doing ... Facebook.    One of my goals this year is to rework my Facebook and have 2 FB's only for Dirt Roads Pottery and Dirt Roads Jewelry.  And eliminate the personal one for Sharon Grimes.    You need to get a significant customer base if you are using Facebook.  Same for Instagram.

Younger people use Snap Chat more than Facebook.   I think hard core shoppers really like using Instagram.




Edited by DirtRoads
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Thanks for taking the time to do this Sharon

People in the 30 to 50 age group are typically the ones with the means to this type of purchase.

Are the larger percentage of sales from the shows you do as compared to your showroom?

Reason I'm asking is we did shows 10-15 years back, while my wife and daughters love doing this I knew within the first hour of our first show I needed to distance myself to help sales. They made a nice profit for the 3 years we did this thanks to them. I have a commercial store front nestled between a very popular hair salon and a garden center where my clay studio is now. I'm going to consider allocating the front room for pottery sales for the last third of next year


I was just on your facebook page and website, nice!

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This might be basic review info for some of you, but we wanted to share this anyway: The difference between "Likes" and "Follows" on Facebook. Also, "Profiles" are for people (usually), while "Pages" are for businesses. To create a "Page" you have to have a "Profile" first.


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On 12/28/2017 at 7:19 AM, RonSa said:

I'm going to consider allocating the front room for pottery sales for the last third of next year

I would say YES to this.   Situate yourself for gifts.  Maybe even a smaller store for the rest of the year.    I sold 5 wedding gifts today and a couple of birthday gifts.  Selling gifts is so much easier than aiming for self purchase.  Let me try and find that post I made about gifts.

I only do 2 shows a year now.   Canton MS Flea Market in May and October.    When I first started, I did more shows but was running out of inventory by Dec 1 and decided I rather sell more here.  This year I ended up with around $8K  ending pottery inventory.    Maybe enough to try and do a show called "Hand Works" in Jackson, MS (in November)

I do more in my showroom than at the shows.   Those 2 shows account for about 25% of my sales, with the showroom accounting for 75%


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On 12/28/2017 at 1:29 AM, DirtRoads said:

Range 30 to 50.    I did a demographic analysis  (visual confirmation)  

20 and younger  6%

25 - 30  10%

30 to 40  30%

40 to 50  32%

50 and over 22%

70% of my pottery purchases are for gifts.     


Very interesting that the data has not changed significantly ... “35-50 year old college educated woman looking to buy gifts” was it in the 1990’s. Not crazy as that is the age range for weddings, births, showers, engagements, graduations, new homes etc.

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