Do you want to get more visitors to your next craft fair or Christmas market?

Want to get more orders or sales at your upcoming design or giftware trade show?

We have put together a list of 19 practical social media tips for craft events and other events for creative professionals so that you can promote yourself better, and ultimately get more visitors and sales. If you want specific tips on how to use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to promote your next event then click here. 

Tip 1: ALWAYS use good images on social media

Did you know that if you use good images on Facebook or Twitter, the click rate increases by 48%? It’s also much more likely that people notice your social media posts and remember them.

On the most visual social media channels (Instagram and Pinterest) it’s even more crucial that your images look professional, are original, on ‘brand’ and are light and crisp. Using an editing tool to make your backgrounds whiter will make a huge difference in being spotted and getting sales! Many images are often too grey.

Tip 2: Add text to your social media images

Often your followers only see your image briefly when they are scrolling down on their Instagram or Facebook feed. People will often only see your images, and won’t read your captions.

ESPECIALLY if you are doing an event, make sure that you include the date and location of your event on your images on social media so that it’s obvious you have got an event coming up.

Check out Canva – a great tool to create a more professional look with texts and colours on your images.

Tip 3: Include a clickable link to specific product or event pages

Don’t send traffic from your social media to your homepage!

It’s a common mistake. But your potential clients haven’t got the time or patience to then find the product they just fell in love with.

Make their lives as easy as possible and send them with a clickable link to the specific page. Include the entire URL e.g. www.mybiz.com/mybeautifulproduct/.

You can’t use clickable links on Instagram unless you are using Shopify, so use Linktree (its free and super helpful!) on your bio page to add links to products and events and of course tell your followers to click there.

Tip 4: Promote yourself before, during and after your craft or design event

To get visitors to your event you do need to market yourself. Consistently.

Sending out just one email and doing a bit of social media won’t really get you the sales you are looking for. A long time ago you might have got away with relying on the event organisers to do all the marketing for you. But those days have gone … you need to do creative and consistent marketing if you want to get sales.

Before and during the event you need to build your profile and credibility and invite people to come slongand visit you. After an event you need to keep in touch with visitors as this is often when most sales happen.

Worried that that might overwhelm or bore your audience? Then get more creative …

Tip 5: Get more creative with your social media posts

Are you feeling uncomfortable promoting yourself on social media? You aren’t the only creative feeling that way! But if you are running a business and you want to succeed then you need to get out there. You might find it useful to read these 6 marketing myths to help your marketing confidence. 

Your social media should be … social! 
Social media is NOT about you. A good guideline is that about half of your posts should be about other people but in line with your passions and values.
Less than 10% of your feed should actually be about you selling your brand and your work.

But you do need to sell yourself on social media! How do you do that? Get creative and try different things out that might work for you, your clients and products:

REAL LIFE TIP: When I attend a big trade or craft event then I often check the organiser’s social media and the event’s hashtag in advance to see who will be exhibiting. I often follow or like the exhibitors in advance, comment on their work or wish them good luck. For major trade events or conferences I check out who else is going, and I might approach them in advance for an appointment to make sure I won’t miss them. Events are often visually overwhelming. If I have seen the image of your display on social media before I attend the event, then I might recognise your work and stop by. It’s often a good icebreaker to say ‘I follow you on Instagram’!

Tip 6: Are you following your trade clients & contacts yet?

Especially if you are doing a trade show then do start to follow your ideal trade clients, as well as influencers, bloggers, journalists, interior designers etc. in advance. And even better: engage with them!
GET INTO ACTION:
Who are the 30 stockists that you would like to sell to? The journalists or bloggers you want to get in touch with?
Spend one hour and follow them on Instagram & Twitter.
Then reach out to 10 of them this week by asking them a question or complimenting their work.
Repeat again next week. See what happens.
This tip is especially for trade buyers and contacts. It’s much harder to identify specific individuals to follow unless they are celebrities or well-known collectors.

Tip 7: Are your avatar and biog up to date?

Your avatar is the image that represents you on social media. Often people use a portrait, product image or logo for this. You can update this and maybe for your next event launch you can turn your avatar into your latest products?
Your biog is the short written introduction. Often people write it at the start of when they open a social media account, and then forget about it. It might be worthwhile checking if your biography is up to date, and if it includes key words for which you want to be found and ensure your website and location is in there too.  You can even include the event link in your biography.

Tip 8: Show your passion & excitement about your work and the upcoming show

Doing events is hard work, but also a lot of fun! Especially if you are fairly new to doing craft events or trade shows then share that you are excited to finally show your work at an event you have been working towards for a long time.
People love buying from people who are passionate about what they do!
This is one of the big advantages as a small independent business.

Tip 9: Do a countdown

Can you remember what day it is today? Honestly? I can’t!
And I have missed many craft fairs simply because I didn’t realise that they were on at that particular weekend. I hadn’t made time for it in my diary, and as there is so much to do at the weekend I missed out!
To avoid that problem and also to give it that important ‘urgency’ factor (!) let your audience know that ‘this weekend is the show’ rather than just give the dates. This is especially useful when there are loads of events happening at the same time e.g during London Design Week or in the run-up to Christmas.
TOP TIP: Countdowns can work really well for email subject lines too: ‘Will you join me and 50 other makers this weekend at Brighton Pier?’ That subject line will do much better than ‘newsletter update’.

Tip 10: Include #town for local events

People often use social media to search for events that are happening in their area. Use the right hashtag or invent one! #whatshappeninginglasgow #thingstodothisweekend #londondesignfair

You can also connect with your local media to alert them about the event or to get some retweets or reposts. Especially useful on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tip 11: Why should I attend?

Make it super clear and obvious WHY people should attend your event. Often they need a bit more convincing than the opportunity to just buy more stuff! You are selling much more than ‘just a product’ so share with them what experience they can expect.

Will you be launching new work?

Will they be able to see you but also 80 other creatives?

Will you do a demonstration or can they join in with a workshop?

Will there be other talks or events that might be useful (many trade shows organise expert talks)?

Will there be a glass of mulled wine and will this give them that real Christmas feel?

Is this to support local, creative, independent, ethical businesses?

How can you entice clients to come? Be clear what’s in it for them. And it’s not just about offering them a discount!

Zoe Murphy invite for Tent London show

Tip 12: People love an invite

Create a beautiful invitation for your event. Include the event’s name, the dates, venue, as well as images of your work and your website and social media details.

Share your invite through email, social media and maybe send some in the post too!

Events are so much easier for people (both individuals and trade buyers) to attend than having to arrange a meeting just with you. Events are a great way to get to know you a little better, but also to see lots of other creatives at the same time.

Invites are one of the secret marketing tools that creatives have. Everybody loves an invitation to an event!

Tip 13: Piggy back on the organiser’s marketing

Are you making full use of the craft fair or trade show organiser’s marketing? They are often desperate for good images and stories in the run up to their show!

Simply tag them on Instagram and Twitter so that it’s super easy for them to repost or retweet your news and always use the event hashtag too.

Or send them an email with some stories about your latest collection or some information about you that they can share.

The bigger professional craft fairs and trade shows have often huge and appropriate social media followings so it’s very beneficial to be put in front of them before the show opens. You will be more likely to get more professional social media followers yourself, and get engagement, ahead of the event.

Tip 14: Promote your fellow exhibitors too

One of the advantages of taking part in a craft fair or design trade show is that you get to know other creatives too. You can use social media to network in advance with fellow exhibitors, or to stay in touch afterwards. 

Social media isn’t just about promoting yourself (!), it’s about promoting the event and beyond. Show that you are excited about showing at a particular event by naming others who will take part. Share images of colleagues’ work. And maybe even talk about the exhibitors you are looking forward to meeting.

Tip 15: Promote your commissions & workshops too

When selling at an event I often see that creatives only focus on selling their creative products. That’s a mistake. 

Events can be a great place to also promote your commissions or workshops. How can you promote these services at an event?

Events are especially useful to get people interested in talking about commissions or personalisation, or about your upcoming workshops because they get to meet you and can ask you any questions – often in a very friendly, non-pushy environment. Far easier than having to phone you up or arrange a meeting!

Tip 16: Should you do a special event offer?

Although I am not a big fan of discounts to be honest it might be appropriate for some events to offer ‘something special’.

I prefer offers ‘that add something’ rather than just plain discounts.

That could be a goody bag for the first 20 clients. Or a special discount code for your Instagram followers. Or a special price on two related products (e.g. a necklace and earrings in the same range). Or free giftwrapping at a Christmas event. Or to provide free postage and packaging for orders placed at the show – especially useful if the goods are bulky and hard to take home by your visitor.

Promote your special offer in advance of the show, but also during the event at your stand.

Could you do a special offer for people who sign up for your newsletter?

Tip 17: Get more social media followers from the event

How can you encourage visitors to follow you on social media? Social media is a very low-key way to stay in touch with people who are interested or who bought from you after the event. It’s even less committal than signing up for an email list! But encouraging them to stay in touch will help your sales in the long term.

Tip 18: Say ‘Thank You’ after the event

Social media is a great follow up tool after the event. You can say ‘thank you’ to people who visited you and direct people to your website if they were unable to attend. Share pictures of your stand and say thanks to organisers, fellow exhibitors or people who helped you.

A bit of kindness can go a long way.

Tip 19: NEVER moan or share confidential information

I know. Events can be tough. Sometimes visitor numbers and sales will be low or non-existent.

And I am not saying that you should lie if the event is really not very good. But stay quiet rather than broadcast your frustration.

Be careful as social media is a very public tool and you might be absolutely right, but you being negative doesn’t look very professional.

I have seen people having a go at organisers who really had done their best. I have seen creatives talk openly about how many sales they had that day. I have seen exhibitors getting really angry and frustrated on social media.

Just watch out because that one tweet can really damage your reputation.

Want to get more social media specific tips to promote your next craft event or trade show? Then check out this blog post on how to promote your event on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Linked In.
Did you like this blog post with fundamental social media tips for craft events and design shows? Then do share it with others on social media! Have you got any additional tips, then we would love to hear from you in the comments below.

This content was originally published here.