Shop owners can build a community with Spreadshop when they use merch as a means to connect with their audience. It makes the relationship between creator and follower, entrepreneur and supporter, even stronger.
If you want to build a community with your merch, it’s going to take more than that initial website launch. You need to have an active presence across socials. Promote your merch and give followers updates in a way that feels organic. Make the process feel like a conversation between friends instead of fans.
We’ve seen shops like Amorphia Apparel thrive thanks to consistent engagement with their customers. It’s important to ask questions and understand what people want out of your merch. You need to reflect your audience’s interests.
Building a community with merch takes putting your voice out there and being willing, no, eager, to engage with your audience. And Spreadshop is here to help!
Be Active on Socials
Being active on socials is only going to benefit your Spreadshop. And this doesn’t just apply to merch content. Having a steady social presence is a signal to potential customers that you’re connected to your followers.
People are more inclined to support you when they see you’re passionate about what you’re creating. And it’s important to get creative with how you market your merch. The format and feel is different for each platform. You typically wouldn’t post the stuff you do on Twitter to Facebook, for example. It just doesn’t translate.
Knowing your audience and where they engage online is key to building a community with merch. Gamers primarily use Twitch. If that’s your demographic, do a livestream and wear your merch. Make callouts to your shop while crushing your competition.
If your audience is on Youtube, make sure to have a consistent upload schedule and varied content. Have videos that establish the core of your channel and those that promote your brand, like merch.
Hang Out in the Comments
It’s all well and good to be posting awesome content, but you need to keep the conversation going. Responding to comments is more than just boosting engagement levels (even though that is helpful). You’ll develop a closer relationship with your followers when you take the time to chat.
This strategy may not be directly tied to merch, but it’s going to build a community. Your followers will be more inclined to support you when they can relate to you on a personal level. Wearing your merch will be a great bonus out of the relationship.
People that wear merch aren’t normally casual fans. They see something in their favorite creator that implores them to do more. Subscribing to someone’s Patreon or buying merch through their Spreadshop are community building blocks.
Post Updates on Your Shop
It’s likely that the designs and merch styles in your shop will change over time. This can be a creative change or a strategic decision, like going with the seasons.
Take advantage of the holidays and optimal shopping times by running promos on your socials. Offer discount codes and create exclusive merch. People love an excuse to get festive, especially after last year. For some, it might be spooky season. For others, it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”
Spreadshop is always running monthly promos like FREE shipping and discount code offers. Post those across your socials to create renewed interest; everyone loves a good sale. Implementing these strategies will keep your shop fresh and allow for continued conversation.
Tease Upcoming Merch Drops
You should keep your followers and potential customers in the loop when it comes to new merch. This ties in with keeping your Spreadshop updated, but heavily relies on that community aspect.
Take photos of your merch from weird angles. Show glimpses of new designs or even something drastic like an updated logo. Tell your followers to respond in the comments to what they think the new designs will be. Make it even more interesting by offering a FREE t-shirt to the first three people to guess correctly.
This is a fun and interactive game to play with your followers. You can also do something more obvious: wearing merch in your content. Showcase your merch on Youtube or TikTok; it makes for an effective endorsement. Your followers will know that it’s something you’re proud of and eager to wear. This might be the deciding factor in their decision.
Ask For Input on Designs
Hey, whoever said you were a designer. There are ways to get FREE designs for your merch: use apps, outsource creative friends or hire a professional. But it doesn’t hurt to have some help in the development process. You want to be sure your followers will actually wear the designs, after all.
Make it easy for yourself by asking these questions on socials. Do polls on your Instagram stories. Ask people to leave a comment on your latest TikTok. Host a livestream that’s dedicated to narrowing down the new designs for your shop.
This may seem like a lot of work, but if it translates into shop sales it will have paid off. You can make things more interesting by asking followers to submit their own designs. Offer the winner the chance to be featured on your channel or be featured in other content. You’ll generate hype around your channel and build a community with your merch. Your Spreadshop and engagement scores will thank you.
Share Photos From Your Followers
If your followers share photos of themselves in your merch, the least you can do is repost them! We do a similar thing on our Instagram feed. Posting photos of actual people wearing shop owner merch is more effective than sharing stock images. It’s going to make your merch feel like a real world experience instead of something that just lives online.
Instagram is a prime target for this authentic imagery. All you see are photos and videos when you scroll your feed. This promotion will be more effective and engaging than a text post. And the extra effort will get you photos you can use for other social promotion and boost your brand exposure immensely.
It’s also going to make your followers feel good. Seeing themselves on your feed will boost their trust in you. You’re going to retain customers and attract new ones when you lead with this type of marketing.
Building a community with your merch is easy when you use the voice of your audience and their image to amplify content. Running a channel and a merch line can be an individual operation, but it doesn’t have to be. Open your Spreadshop today to start building your community!