Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are All Your Buyers Asleep??! Scheduling Your Tweets, Blog Posts and Facebook Updates

Cinnamon Buns by SavageArtworks

As an international seller, an important issue to consider when promoting my business is the fact that many buyers (most of my target audience in fact) are fast asleep during the time when I am likely to be focusing on promotional efforts.

I am quite aware of this fact, but I'm afraid I am guilty of failing to apply this knowledge as much as I should. I do try to list at appropriate times, but most of my facebook and twitter activity naturally occurs while I am awake (and my buyers are not). While this may not be critical for some sellers, people based in the US make up over 50% of my total facebook fans, whereas Australian followers account for less than 10%, and the percentage of US buyers in my Etsy store would be considerably higher than 50%. Given that many (probably most) of my sales are driven directly and indirectly by my activity on social networks (again, this is not necessarily the case for all sellers), this could be having a huge impact on my store's success!

Fortunately, there are some great tools available for international sellers and US sellers wanting to reach an international audience.


http://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.128860033.jpg
Tweet Love Bird by FeltMeUpDesigns

Scheduling Your Blog Posts, Facebook Fan Page Updates and Tweets
There are a number of applications available that allow you to schedule your posts for later timepoints. I use HootSuite to manage my twitter account and am a huge fan- you can schedule facebook fan page posts and tweets for specific times, as well as using it for normal twittery activities. A google search should bring up services similar to this (just make sure they are reputable before using them).
For blog posts, you can actually schedule blog posts in advance from within blogger itself. Down the bottom of the post you're writing there's a 'Post Options' link that allows you to set the time and date for publication of your blog post- just pick a time and click 'publish'. Make sure your blog timing settings are correct (settings-formatting in blogger).


http://ny-image2.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.128946082.jpg
Late Rabbit Alice in Wonderland Decal by WilsonGraphics

Keep an Eye on the Time
One tricky part of this (if you are lazy if you have your mind on other important matters like I do) is calculating what time it is in other parts of the world. An easy way to convert the current time and future times is to use this Time Zone Converter. Alternatively, you could add a 'world clocks' widget to your google homepage, which would be particularly handy if you want to track times in more than one location. One more option that is even easier is to adjust your HootSuite and blogger settings so that the time is set to Etsy time (NY time)- obviously in the case of your blog you need to consider whether your audience is local or international if your posts display a time stamp.


http://ny-image0.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.122874124.jpg
Geared Up Suspension
Steampunk Filigree and Watch Movement Necklace by Bellalili

Additional Tip
To help you plan and evaluate the effectiveness of any changes you make in terms of scheduling your promotion, you can track which times of day are best in terms of visits to your Etsy store. To see when people are visiting your store, click on the 'Visitors' tab on the left within google analytics, then click on 'Visitor Trending'. Next, click on 'Visits' and change the time displayed from daily to hourly (there's a little clock icon above the displayed graph). This will tell you when people are visiting your shop.




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51 comments:

  1. Yay for slack me! I set up hootsuite!

    :) you know how significant this is for me :P

    xx

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  2. Great tip! Checking out the timezones is one of those things I've thought about but haven't gotten around to doing. Also I'm not sure when popular times for US customers to be online are.

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  3. Great post, now to get my act together.
    X K

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  4. Thanks for posting my necklace! :) As for promo's. I do monthly ones that end on Monday at midnight. Saturdays and Sundays are when I get most of my weekend sales.

    Thursdays are good too because they are paydays for most Americans.

    Another tip. If shipping is less than $5 just include it in your price. Most people will not continue checking out when they are surprised during checkout by an additional fee. That necklace for $30 that they LOVED, may not be so well loved after a $5 shipping charge. $5 may not seem like much, but can be a deciding factor in customer's decision to purchase.

    Just a thought. :)
    ~Autumn (aka BellaLili)

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  5. Ace. Just checked out the visitors bit.. it looks like it is displaying in local time, not US time - is that right? I couldn't find a timezone setting on GA to check. Also, is it possible to exclude certain dates (i.e. the days I've been on FP) to remove the spikes in the data?

    Great idea Nicky! Thanks!

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  6. Great new blog! Good work.

    I also have the same question Milkwood Design had; looking at my busy viewing times it would appear GA is set on my time zone, yet as most of my customers are in the U.S. it doesn't add up, unless busy viewing times aren't reflecting my sales. I suppose if I start timing my activities for those busy times perhaps it will start reflecting my sales, with an increase? This is great information, thank-you!

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  7. Thanks for those tips Bella Lili- especially the info about payday! I didn't know that:)

    Milkwood the time on your google analytics is displayed according to the timezone settings in your general google account settings (so yes it's Au time for you). You can edit those to US if you wanted, but it would affect your email etc.
    That's a good question about excluding certain dates- I'll have to play around with that and see (you can adjust the timeline so that it's just before or just after an appearance, but I'll have to check about excluding a date in the middle of a period).

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  8. Hexotica- it's a bit tricky to identify the times when there's most US activity on the site and when your shop might be getting traffic currently, because that is also influenced by your promotional activity/listing activity, which may occur at strange times (ie when you are awake and on Etsy). So there's more than one factor influencing your traffic patterns currently. I'd suggest just experimenting to see. I think my best traffic time is around 7 or 8pm NY time.

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  9. Ooooh, great info! Thank you :)

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  10. Very well said. Thanks for the info! ;)

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  11. Excellent post!

    I've just recently started using HootSuite & it's helping me keep better track of things. I schedule some of my blog posts but that's mainly due to me trying to keep on top of my busy schedule. I have 5 kids & homeschool 3 of them so anything to help me stay on top of things helps. I may have to consider the times I may have to re-think the times I do my tweets & blog posts though as I'm only currently scheduling them for Australian time.

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  12. Thanks. I just found my peak visit time.

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  13. great information, thanks for sharing : )

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  14. thanks for reminding me to think about this... i know it's true but it's hard to accommodate some days!

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  15. Ooooh, I think HootSuite is going to be my new best friend in terms of managing my time! Thanks so much for sharing these tips with us.

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  16. Thank you so much for all this great info...very helpful!!

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  17. Thanks for the tip on the Visitors data.. i'm finding google analytics more and more interesting!

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  18. I will definitely check out hootsuite! Thank you!

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  19. I don't know if I need to do this but this definitely something to think about. Thank you for the great info.

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  20. Will be checking out Hoot Suite for sure! Thankyou.

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  21. Thanks for the great info. This is just one of the many things you forget to think about when you are selling to all parts of the planet.

    So glad I found your blog!!

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  22. Wow, what a great post! Thanks for sharing. I've put your blog in with my favorites to benefit from your information and to be further inspired. Whee!

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  23. Thanks a bunch- sometimes we need to be reminded that sooner isn't always as good as at peak hours. I've actually done the smart thing and scheduled a blog post for once!

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  24. Thanks for the tip! Just set up my Google analytics account, it was very easy. Can't wait to start getting and using the info.

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  25. This has been very helpful, thank you very much.

    Nancy
    WatercolorMyMuren.etsy.com
    laberge.etsy.com

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  26. oops WatercolorByMuren.etsy.com

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  27. I've been using Hootsuite for a long time now and did not know some of these features! Thank you so much for your advice!

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  28. A little slow on the uptake, but I've spent the last hour setting up on HootSuite--how completely excellent! Thank you :)

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  29. Great to know there is such tool out there! I was looking for something like that within Etsy for a while now. So, thank you! One more thing to add to my to do list... :)

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  30. Thanks for the great tip! I'm off to set up!

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  31. Thank you for this information.It is very useful.

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  32. Thanks for reminding.Great work!!!

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  33. Thanks! That was really helpful! :)

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  34. Such great tips! I definitely have to work on a better... err... any schedule! :) Happy, Blogging, ETsying, Crafting, etc!!!

    XOXO,
    GUAVA

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  35. I had no idea HootSweet existed! I'm glad i took the time to read this :0)

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  36. Thank you so much for sharing these great tips!

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  37. Thanks for the tip on Hoot! If you want to find out where exactly in the world your most loyal visitors are coming from - in Google Analytics:
    Vistors > MAP OVERLAY > advanced segments > check the returning visitors box > apply.

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  38. Brilliant! Have been using the old suck-it-and-see approach to timing our listings, now we can find out for definite by using google analytics properly :)

    Thankyou!

    Karen and rich

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  39. Thank you! The link with time zones was realy helpfull! :)

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  40. great tips, I didn't know you could schedule tweets!

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  41. Thank you so much for the post! Pretty stoked for HootSuite! Yay for efficiency! :)

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  42. That's some really handy advice. Thanks!

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  43. Thanks for the great advice! Going to check out Hootsuite right now! 8-)

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  44. Thx for sharing this post! Just checked out my google analytics and yes, it does indeed show when people visit my shop. That makes my live so much easier now! :-) thx.

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