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Sharing Visual Content

Sharing visual content on Instagram

Quilting is visual. Instagram is the best platform to promote those visuals. Read on to find out how to optimize your business’s Instagram account.

Back to basics

The first step to optimizing your account is to make sure your page is set to business. The good news is you can convert a personal account to a business one.

Second, make sure you keep your branding specific. For instance, your Instagram name should be the shop’s name, your username (or the words that come after the @ symbol) should be the same (or some variation of your business name), and your profile image should be your logo (for ease of recognition).

Cross promoting

Your Instagram profile can have one link, so it’s wise to use your business’s website link, and have a contact page in your website to direct customers to other pages.

You’re also going to want to connect your business Instagram account to your Facebook account so you can save time by publishing two posts with just one click.

Other Visual Tips

Be sure to include a bio at the top of your profile. What do you want your customers to know in 150 characters or less? And of course, include your business contact information so customers can contact you as well.

As for category, choose what’s best for your business. For example, “Shopping & Retail” might hit the nail on the head, but “Fabric Store” might be an even better option.

Last but not least, keep your display on public (not private) so anyone can see your amazing content if they come across your account.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned next week for more information on photos, captions, and what type of content to share.

Inspiration for this post came from IG 1, 2, 3 by Kate Colleran, Joanne Hillestad and Kris Poor published in the February 2021 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Social Media Video Guide

Video Guide

We get it, video marketing is intimidating. But with 81% of businesses using video marketing in 2018, it’s time for your company to join the trend. Check out this guide on tips and tricks for two of the biggest video platforms out there.

Instagram Video

Even though you can shoot videos from the Instagram app, it’s better to have your video prepared rather than shot in the moment. But, the days of having fancy equipment to shoot a high quality video are over! There are plenty of video-editing apps available that make your phone the only needed piece of equipment.

Videos can be anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds, and figuring out the length that’s best for your audience will come after some trial and error. Be sure to pick a compelling cover photo, and remember that sound is optional on Instagram video. That means your video should make sense even if there isn’t any sound. The options of what you can shoot are limitless—time lapses of projects, tutorials, and clips from events are all good options for this platform.

YouTube

Best practices for YouTube are more traditional. Audio is important on this platform, so make sure the microphone is close to your subject and they speak slowly and clearly. Cue cards can help, too.

Quality is important also. While you still don’t need fancy equipment for YouTube, the video should be stable and tastefully filmed. That means subjects shouldn’t be straight on and the video has a purpose.

There are so many technical aspects about video that make filming just the beginning. What apps does your business like to use? What websites helped you dip your toes into video?

Video has some of the best engagement rates for social media; the trick is finding out what your audience wants to see. Remember, practice makes perfect and the best way to get good at video is simply by doing it.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Quilting and Technology

Technology

Quilting has come a long way since it’s origins thanks to advances in technology and society. Like most other industries, quilting has made even more progress in the past three decades than the rest of it’s history combined.

Quilts can now now be much more elaborate and patterns much more varied thanks to the artistic freedom technology provides. Fabrics come in all colors and designs, and the number of tools available to quilters continues to grow.

On the flip side, dedicated quilters are also spending more time online. The amount of time they spend researching the quilting industry increased from 2.5 hours to nearly 8 hours a week since 2014. Further, “68% of dedicated quilters were buying fabric, batting, and thread online,” as of 2017.

Technology is disrupting the traditional business model that brick-and-mortar stores follow. In order to compete now you have to learn how to establish an online presence as well as make your product as easy as possible to get into the hands of the consumer.

Industry professionals feel like they’re behind in more ways than one. Common areas they want education include:

  • Product photography
  • Video workshops with best practices for Instagram and YouTube
  • Best ways to sell fabric on Shopify
  • The ins and outs of selling through Amazon
  • Copywriting for social media posts and online content in general
  • Shipping logistics
  • Email marketing with details on specifics like list segmentation and more

What’s Next?

The times are always changing and it’s up to us to keep up with them so our businesses stay relevant to our consumers. How is technology helping your business and how is technology making things more difficult? What tech-related skills do you want to learn?

American Quilt Retailer is dedicated to connecting you with like-minded professionals to help out with problems like these and many more. Share your tips about what technological advances have been the best moves for your business.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Become a Social Media Success Story

The internet has changed the way business is done. Today, McCall’s patterns can be found in books and on their blog.

Social media can be fun, confusing, rewarding, and frustrating.  In today’s business world, consumers expect an attractive social presence, but determining which platforms are worth your time can be a long process.

The top social platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, and each offer different opportunities for your business.

Facebook is the powerhouse of the social media sites, with 70% of active online adults a member of the tech giant. Despite the amount of users, Facebook also has the most engagement, but is the least appealing social site for younger adults. Other features include advertisement options for businesses, with filters to reach certain geographic regions.

The image-driven social sites include Pinterest and Instagram. Think of Pinterest and Instagram as a way to visually represent your company. They are both extremely popular among women, and can be used to express your company’s brand through images. If done correctly, these platforms can drive serious engagement.

A great networking tool for your company would be LinkedIn. Outside of connecting with other quilt retailers, it could also be beneficial in starting conversations on how to perfect your company’s brand (or social personality in other words).

Other platforms to explore include Snapchat and YouTube. If your business has tutorials, classes, or a variety of video options, a YouTube account might be beneficial. If your business has events, you might want to create a Snapchat account to showcase the fun time your customers are having.

Other options include Twitter and email campaign systems. If your business is focused on driving information, then Twitter is the platform for you. However, check into email campaign systems like MailChimp and Constant Contact to send newsletters and other information to customers who subscribe to your company’s email. Whatever you feel important enough to send in an email blast could definitely overlap in your social media.

It takes time, experimenting, and practice to find out what works best with your audience. Keep track of impressions and other social media data to see what works and what doesn’t, and be sure to tailor your social media schedule around that. Use polls on all your platforms to find out what your audience wants to see. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and remember that if you’re going to make an account, use it!

Social media is a great way to create conversations, offer giveaways, or grant discounts. With work and time, your social media can be optimized to drive more traffic and increase your business revenues.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.