I wish I'd known before I started my craft businessI don’t pretend to be an expert, but I can share things that have worked for me on my craft business Facebook page and the things I’d wished I’d known when I started.

Starting a page on Facebook is quite daunting and it feels like you are speaking to yourself.  The natural reaction is to build those like from anywhere and everywhere.  Whilst large numbers may seem impressive, it’s not always a good thing.

So where do you start?

First, look at your friends list, are there any that are interested in and supportive of your business?  Ask them to follow your page.  Don’t fall into the trap of inviting everyone, not all of them will be interested in what you do and may not appreciate being flooded with your business posts.

There is a saying, ‘to have a friend, you must first be a friend’ so visit other pages.  Comment on their pictures, get to know them.  If you genuinely like the page and want to keep seeing it, give it a like.  Leave them a comment and tell them you’ve visited them, tag your page (@yourpagename) don’t post full links, so they have the option to visit you.  It’s always better to say what attracted you to the page, maybe it’s a particular item that caught your eye, show them you are interested in them and their page.  It will make it more likely they will come and visit you.  Don’t be offended if they don’t like your page, they may not be your ideal customer.

When someone comes to me and comments regularly, I like to see if they have a page, I look on their personal profile to see if I can find out where they have come from, so, is your personal profile up to date?  Does it show your page in the about section?  It’s great way for people to know where to find you.  If I can find their page, I will visit and comment on some of their posts.  I will always thank them for their visits and comments and will leave a like if I want to keep them in my feed.

When I first started, there were lots of ‘like ladders’.  It was a like for like arrangement where people were expected to return like for like.  You don’t see them much now as people have realised empty likes are harmful to a page.  You want people to visit who are interested, will like and comment on your posts.  It’s that engagement that gets you seen.  It’s far better having 100 genuine likes than 1000 who don’t really care.

Post regularly to your page-   one of the best things I was told when I first started was that people will buy from those they like and trust.  If you are hit and miss with your posts, how will your visitors get to know you and trust you?  Life gets in the way from time to time, but strive to be regular.  If you post regularly, you will get seen more and your visitor numbers will grow.

Keep it friendly -remember you page is a front to your business. Keep it businesslike, but friendly, make it a welcoming place for your visitors to come and have a chat.

Just like a snowball starts small and grows, so will your page following.  It will start off small, but gradually, people will come, they will comment and bring others to your page.  Don’t panic if you don’t get immediate results, it all takes time.

So, what has worked for you?  Let me know in the comments.

Jane x