Are they worth the time and effort?
I have been selling on Etsy for almost 2 years now. I don't have a booming business but I definitely stay pretty steady most of the time. Most of my spare time is spent promoting my shop and items on Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter and pretty much any other place I can find to promote. In my opinion, aside from having a great product with great product photos and the right tags...constant promotion is what it takes.
When I first opened my shop I did a little research and decided that I had to start joining all of these Etsy Teams in order for my shop to be successful. At least that is what I was thinking after I read several blog posts and articles. So, I joined several of the teams and started joining in on the conversations and playing the promotion games that some require you to do as a member.
It quickly became a chore to sit through and start liking all of these items and shops and having to constantly create treasuries. It definitely increased my likes for the items that I chose from my shop but did little else in the way of getting the actual buyers to see my items.
What I eventually realized is that all the people on the teams were sellers as well....not the buyers! So why am I spending all this time promoting my items to people who will more than likely not be making a purchase from my shop? Sure, their followers will see the items they liked in the page feed....if they happen to be looking around the time my item was "liked." I don't know about other people,but I never really spent much time browsing through my feed to see these items. So if I wasn't doing it...chances are others weren't doing it...so the little game that was very time consuming and supposed to bring business to my shop didn't do anything except give me extra likes...not sales!
I eventually stopped playing the games and was removed from several of the teams for not participating. I removed myself from a few of the teams just because I didn't have the time to focus on my shop. I still belong to a few teams but not for product promotion. The teams I belong to now or for tips and strategies and things of that nature. No more Etsy Team Promo Games for the guy.
I also started joining a few Etsy Promo type groups on Facebook...since I do have a Facebook Business Page. From time to time I would post my newly listed items in the group feed and would get a few views every now and then.
I eventually started to see Facebook Like Trains for Facebook Pages, Instagram and Etsy Shops. "Like my page and I will do the same."
That is all fine and dandy but just Liking my Facebook Page is not going to do anything other than give me another Like. For this to actually work you need to also interact with my page and continue to follow and share and comment or whatever. Otherwise it's just a Like. If you tell me that you will do that then sure lets trade likes and help promote each other that way...but it never works out that way.
I guess I am just crazy but it really does amaze me that people would rather spend their time playing games on Etsy or Facebook that are usually geared toward other sellers than working to get their items out in front of actual buyers. And no...I don't have all the answers but I do know that this is not the answer.
Once I realized it and stopped wasting my time I noticed that my Shop Items were actually getting quite a few generic likes. People that found my shop by whatever means and liked an item. Maybe they bought it maybe the didn't...but it was a genuine like. Same thing with Facebook. I post my items and share them and sometimes it increases my following sometimes it doesn't.
In my opinion, one Like or Favorite from a random search beats 100 likes from playing a game with other sellers.
That is just my opinion!