How to Use “Circles”


What are “Circles” on Etsy…. and how do you use them ?

                                                 Good question.


Let’s find out… because I really don’t know that much….I am going to steal some words…


The idea behind Etsy’s new circles and activity feed features is pretty straight forward – to keep tabs on your friends or people whose work you admire. These features greatly enhance the social capabilities of Etsy and can make shopping more fun.

But how, as a seller, can you use these features to your advantage?

What if, instead of using these features to keep tabs on your friends, you used them to find out more about your ideal customer?

What if you filled your circle predominantly with people who have already purchased your products?

Understanding your ideal customer and researching your target market are critical to developing a successful marketing plan. And when it comes to finding out who your ideal customer is, there’s no better place to start then with people who have already purchased your products.

The social nature of a site like Etsy already made it pretty easy to get a deeper sense of the people who purchase your products. Circles and activity feeds now aggregate that content to help make market research even easier.

So how you get the most impact when using these new features for target market research?

 1. Start with your biggest fans.
If you’ve sold a lot of products on Etsy, it can be overwhelming to add everyone to your circle. Instead, start with customers that seem to like your products the most. Look for customers who bought multiple products in one shot, or customers who have bought from you repeatedly.

 2. Look for patterns.
As you notice which shops your customers are adding to their favorites list, try to pay attention to patterns. Are there certain shops that appear often? Who seems to be a favorite of many of your customers? What types of products and styles are your customers most drawn to?

 3. Do your research.
Armed with the stores and styles you’ve noticed while watching your activity feed, you can now dig a little deeper by researching these other sellers. Find out if these store owners have a website or blog where you can get a little more information. Check out their press page to see where they’ve been covered. See what stores their work is in. This type of research can help you find publications and stores that appeal to your ideal customer, and help you focus your own marketing efforts.

While I’m sure Etsy’s main focus in creating these new features was to add more social applications to the site, they may have also created a powerful new tool for learning more about your customers.

Feel free to share in the comments:  How have you been using these new Etsy features?  And have you considered using them for market research?


More Circles Advice:


If you’re a seller on Etsy you have no doubt seen the new circles feature. Many Etsy sellers appear to be doubtful as to the usefulness of this new feature, but it’s turning out to be a great, FREE marketing tool.

No doubt, the competition is fierce on Etsy. And it’s often difficult to get traffic to your shop. Circles are a great way to advertise your shop with little or no effort by you. And at no cost.

How it works:

You add people to your circle or others may add you to theirs. Once you are added to a circle, others in your circle will see shops and items you have added as favorites. You may think this is an invasion of your privacy, but it is a truly a terrific way to gain exposure for your shop. Everytime someone chooses your items or shop as a favorite, everyone in that person’s circle will see your items and shop. The more people you have in your circle and vice versa (others have you in theirs), the more likely your traffic and sales will increase. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with other Etsy sellers and customers.

If you create treasuries on Etsy, your treasury will also be shared within your circle. Again, a great way to get exposure for your Etsy shop and views for your treasuries.

Keep in mind, your purchase history will not be shown in other members’ circles.

If you haven’t already, you might want to consider giving circles a try. It’s likely you’ll find that you will see more activity in your Etsy shop (traffic and sales) and it’s a great way to connect with the Etsy community.

If you prefer not to be in someone’s circle:

When someone adds you to their circle, it will happen automatically. If for any reason you don’t want to be in someone’s circle or do not wish that member to see your actions in their activity feed, then you can block that member. To block someone, visit their profile and click the Block link at the bottom of the left hand navigation. Etsy does not notify the member that you have blocked them.

If you change your mind and would like to unblock a member, you can visit their profile and click the Unblock link at the bottom of the left hand navigation. Once you’ve unblocked a member, they will have to re-add you to their circle to establish a new connection with you.

If you wish to remove someone you’ve added to your circle:

If you change your mind and wish to remove someone from your circle, you may. Visit that member’s profile page. In the sidebar, hover over In your circle. A blue x will appear. Click the x to remove that member from your circle. Etsy does not notify a member when you remove them from your circle.

If you prefer to keep your favorites private:

Go to Your Etsy > Account > Privacy. Here you can choose to make your Favorites private or public.

If you prefer not to receive emails when someone adds you to their circle:

By default, Etsy sends an email notification when someone adds you to their circle. If you would like to stop receiving these emails go to Your Etsy > Account > Preferences. Here you can select the option Don’t email me when someone adds me to their circle under the Circles Email Notification section.

You will still be able to see who has added you to their circle through your profile. To see who has added you to their circle, go to your public profile and click Circle in the sidebar, then choose the Circles you’re in tab on that page.

Leave a comment

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *