What Designers should know about Social Media

Welcome to the wonderful world of Social Media! It’s always been a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and it helps keep you updated with what’s happening around the world. 

But, let’s find out how it’s used to help you market your Hand Knit or Crochet pattern design business.

Social Media for Business:

Social media isn’t just a place for you to stay informed about what’s happening. It’s a place to build a following, engage with crafters and network with colleagues, announce new patterns, market older patterns, offer challenges, special offers and to do market research.

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media platforms in order to achieve your marketing goals.

Before you begin marketing your business, think about what you really want to achieve. What are your reasons for using social media? Because, using social media for business without a strategy is like wandering around a forest without a map—you might have fun, but you'll probably get lost.

Social media marketing goals:

  • Increasing your website traffic
  • Increasing your pattern sales
  • Raising your brand awareness

Social media is a wonderful way to get the word out about your business, but are you just showing beautiful images of what you can do or are you actually marketing your brand to increase website traffic and sales?

Remember, social media is a tool. Use it as if you were using a hammer and nails to build something because you are. You’re building and growing your business. 

The big secret to being successful with social media is knowing who you’re talking to, what they want to hear from you and creating and curating content that resonates with your audience.

Ask yourself: 

Social media doesn’t work if you’re posting and sharing random content or updates that have nothing to do with the core message of your business. If you don’t have a core message or a targeted audience, get on The Designer Business Blueprint list and get the complete syllabus of what this course offers.

Click the picture to learn more about this foundation building experience

Click the picture to learn more about this foundation building experience

Your audience is looking to you for relevant information that will help them with your designs, keep them up-to-date with what’s happening in the yarn industry and get to know you and your brand. Sharing content like the list below helps crafters see you as an authority in your design niche. 

  • Techniques and tutorials
  • Your design process 
  • Pattern updates
  • Introduce new products and services
  • Feature images of customer projects 
  • Show the inspiration behind your latest projects and the yarn and tools you use
  • New tools or yarns you’ve discovered

The golden rule to social media is asking yourself if what you’re posting benefits your audience or helps you reach your business goals. If not, don’t post it. But before you post, you need to decide which platform is right for you. 

Which Platform is Right for You:

You don’t have to be on every platform to be effective and it can be counter-productive trying to be everywhere. What matters is being where your target audience is and where you can be the most effective.

To help you choose the best social media platforms for you to interact with crafters, here are the basics you need to know about the most popular social media platforms.

Ravelry:

This platform, with its 7 million members, was created to encourage yarn crafters to share their projects. This platform has forums, groups, and friend-related features that give crafters ways to interact with each other.

Ravelry has a clear target audience and crafters know exactly what to expect out of their social networking experience. Pattern designers and yarn dyers and spinners can benefit from this targeted audience by sharing what they offer, commenting in threads and starting their own groups.

Because major manufacturers and publications can make it difficult for designers to break into the design field, Ravelry makes self-published patterns a great option for designers to sell their work. 

Ravelry isn’t the social media powerhouse it once was. Instagram and Pinterest is where the action is for yarn crafters. And, more and more designers are creating their own little corners of the internet with their own websites to help build their presence and following. But, as a designer, it’s always a good idea to maintain a presence on the platform. Click HERE and let’s be friends on Ravelry. 

Facebook:

Facebook is the biggest social network on the web, both in terms of name recognition and total number of users (17 billion). It’s the perfect platform to connect with crafters over the age of 25. 

Facebook has a casual, friendly environment that needs an active social media marketing strategy. It’s the place people go to relax and chat with friends and family, so keep your tone light and friendly.

It’s also a great place to share images, links to useful information, promotions and inspiration. Make sure you build a page crafters would enjoy by sharing posts that educate, entertain, inspire and inform.

Because of Facebook's ever changing algorithms, it can be hard for your followers see your posts on a regular basis. It’s also one of the most difficult platforms to generate organic traffic. 

But, it’s also one of the best tools to use if you want to target a specific audience through paid advertisements. 

Facebook knows a lot about its users, and it uses this information to your advantage when you purchase ads. You can find me on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Twitter:

Twitter is the place to post short messages, a lot like text messaging. Use it to share useful links, jokes, updates, quotes, inspiration, previews of posts and don’t be afraid to show your amazing personality. 

Twitter averages about 328 million active users worldwide and is one of the top 10 websites in the United States. Because of its wide reach, this platform is a great way to market your pattern business.

Using hashtags makes it easy to find crafters with similar interests. Mix up your tweets with updates, discounts, news, opinions, images of your work in progress or invite crafters to visit your website, while using only 140 characters. I hear that Twitter is looking into increasing the character count per tweet. 

Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget to answer crafter’s questions. Using Twitter as a social media marketing tool revolves around dialog and communication, so be sure to interact as much as possible to nurture and build your following.

Pinterest:

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing platforms with more than 100 million active users. It’s now being said that Pinterest isn’t a social media platform but a search engine. Anyway, it’s the place to post great visual images. Pinterest is my biggest traffic referral platform by far. 

Pinterest allows users to save and display content by 'pinning’ them to digital bulletin boards that are organized by category. Every pin includes an image or video with text and links which refer pinners to your content, sales or landing pages on your website. Pinterest is looking into segmenting boards to organize your pins even further.

Pinterest is more of a niche platform than Facebook or Twitter which makes it ideal for yarn craft businesses. Pinterest’s new hashtag feature also makes being found easier and participating in group boards can magnify your reach. You can find me on Pinterest by clicking HERE

Instagram:

Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. According to IG, the Facebook-owned network has more than 700 million active users. Knitting and crochet are very popular on IG. 

It’s the place to share compelling, interesting, meaningful, helpful and inspirational photos and videos. IG is a great place to showcase your patterns and your the behind the scene process.

IG is almost entirely mobile. You can't create new posts on your desktop, which is very disappointing when it comes to batching. Instagram is photo and video focused so users can edit and post images and short videos, record Instagram stories and record live. You can follow me on IG by clicking HERE:

YouTube:

YouTube is a video sharing platform with over a billion users, where people can view, upload, rate, share and comment on content. Now owned by Google, the site is a huge hub for news and entertainment. 

It’s the place to share technique tutorials, product reviews, and your winning personality. YouTube is best used consistently and strategically and it’s important to have your videos professionally filmed and edited. Focus on creating useful, instructive ‘how-to’ videos. 

How-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don't under-estimate the power of a great techniques tutorial. The latest trend is ‘un-boxing’ videos where you open packages and give your opinion on what you received. 

Users can make money from Google AdSense, with the revenue dependent on the number of video views. Many businesses on YouTube have a creative, visual or educational component which is perfect for the yarn industry

The Pros and Cons of Using Social Media

Here are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to using social media for your business. 

Pros to Using Social Media:

  • Increases your brand awareness
     Social media is an excellent way to introduce people to your business.
  • Increases website traffic and sales
    Designers can create posts, tweets, pins and videos that link directly to patterns, products and services.
  • Engages and build relationships
     Social Media is all about community building. Start a conversation to get your target         audience interested in your brand. 
  • Shares content outside of your website or newsletter
    Social media drives a lot of referral traffic. Crafters are looking for content that interests        them and they want to share it on their own feeds and threads.

Cons to Using Social Media:

  • Needs daily monitoring
    Social media is interactive, and finding and posting content as well as engaging your         audience takes a daily commitment.
  • Can be misused
    Using a platform to only push sales without engaging with your followers can damage         your authority. Also, your images can be used by spammers to decieve audiences.
  • Social media is always changing
    You’ll have to stay up to date with the new trends and adapt it to your business.         
  • You have no control on how your content is shared
    Negative comments or feedback can cause confusion and hurt your business.
  • It can be a time suck
    One of the major dangers of social media is its power to make you disappear for hours into a rabbit hole. This is why its important to be strategic and aware of the time you spend on each platform.

Remember that social media is just like any other tool that helps you with your business. It’s a marketing instrument that you can use to help your audience find you. 

The trick to being found on social media is:

Be entertaining, 
Be informative, 
Be useful and above all, 
Be you.

It doesn't hurt ot run a ad or two. In fact, ads will expand your reach and introduce your designs to a wider audience. 

So, set some goals and find some Facebook Groups, Pinterest Group Boards, Twitter Chats, create a Instagram or Youtube video and invite crafters to Favorite you on Ravelry. Use social media for creative business the way you use anything else that helps your business grow. Just don’t get lost down the rabbit hole.

If you liked this social media tip, share it with your creative friends and if you want to learn how to build your pattern design business on a solid foundation, fill out the form below.

Sticks & String,
Lori