What to Watch for with Paid Promotions

There seems to be an epidemic of emails requesting sellers to pay for promotions on various social media platforms – Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, all of it. 

We are all super busy and social media is time consuming, so I get the allure. But, it’s not a good use of resources.

So, today’s post is going to be short, sweet, and straight to the point with the purpose of just serving to be a little birdie in your ear when you receive these messages.

As a general rule, if someone is reaching out to you saying that they want to promote your products and you need to pay them to do so – it’s not usually a good idea.

There are a few instances where there are legitimate advertising agencies that will reach out. If they are a legitimate advertising agency, they will provide advertising kits with information regarding their target audience, how often your product will be promoted, their pricing, etc. You will be able to thoroughly research them for information regarding the experience you can expect when you work with them. But, typically when it comes to working with those larger agencies, you will be the one reaching out to them.   Approach the unsolicited emails with a healthy dose of caution.

Now, let’s talk about the ones that want to tweet for you, post your products on Pinterest, or get traffic to your shop for a couple of days.

Please do not waste your money on these services.

You do not know where this traffic is coming from. Most of the time it is what is commonly referred to as click farms. If you’ve never heard the term click farm – that’s just a catchy phrase for a business that pays employees to click on website elements to artificially boost the status of a client’s website or a product. So, basically they are paid to click on a specific link from your shop over and over again to make it look like you had tons of traffic. Frustrating, right?

So, this means that the traffic is not coming from your audience and is very unlikely to convert. While the majority of your stats will be high, you will not generate sales which makes your shop look bad in the eyes of Etsy’s algorithm. This means that it will tank your conversion rate and ultimately hurt your shop. Why? Well, Etsy will see a whole lot of traffic coming to your shop without buying anything and then push your listings down in search. Even worse, you paid for your listings to be buried.

No thanks, right?!

So, if you have money to burn on promotions, it’s much better to spend it on Etsy or Amazon ads or automation like Tailwind (affiliate link) that will pin for you in a targeted manner so that you are more likely to see a return from it.  

I talk about using automation pretty frequently on the podcast, but using services found in these unsolicited emails are not the options to use. It’s a temporary artificial boost that won’t help you in the long-run.