Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Week 8: Part 2

Visual social media will be the main way I engage with my target audience and generate sales. For my type of business, I rely on online sales. I have an Etsy shop, and in order to drive traffic there, I post images on social media. I do not have in-person sales often. I got my first sale recently and according to the stats provided by Etsy, my customer discovered me through Instagram. For this assignment, I found four businesses via Instagram.

The first business is Susan Knit. She sells beanies and scarves, in addition to patterns for those who know how to knit. She is on Instagram and she has 6,136 followers. Most of her posts have between 200 and 600 likes. However, she does have a couple of posts that received over 3,000 likes. Each post gets about 25-35 comments. Most of the comments are from people admiring the work she’s done. Susan posted one day ago and it appears to be that she posts every two days. Her Instagram links to her Etsy page. Etsy shows that she has made 81 sales, and the majority are pattern sales rather than physical products. Susan is interactive with her followers, even though she is only following 94 people. I think that her consistency is keeping her followers engaged. I believe that posting more often will improve my Instagram page.

The second business is Knitbrooks. Run by Kelly, Knitbrooks is a Canadian knitting and crochet design brand. Kelly is also a team member of “Our Maker Life,” a hub for knitting, crochet, and DIY inspiration. There are 47.1 thousand followers on her Instagram. Her last post was March 5th and the one before that was March 2nd. Each post gets about 1,200-1,700 likes and 40-80 comments. The comments are compliments and questions from people who are interested in either buying the item or the pattern. The link on her Instagram leads to a page that has links to her Etsy, Ravelry, events schedule and contact information. I visited her Etsy shop and she has made 829 sales. Most of her sales are also patterns. Honestly, this assignment has me wondering, should I jump on the pattern selling bandwagon? Not sure yet if I want my target audience to include other people that knit. But it seems as though it is inevitable. I noticed that when you post knitwear, you will attract other knitters comingled with potential customers. I am learning throughout this process of being a knitwear designer. Making and selling patterns may improve my reach and sales. It is something to consider.

The third business is Lunar Knits by Lori. I know that I have mentioned this business in a previous post. Her business is a mixture of knit and crochet. She makes all sorts of items. On Instagram she has 9,149 followers. Her posts get roughly 300 likes and less than 20 comments each. She last posted one day ago and it looks like she posts daily on Instagram. I visited her Etsy shop which was linked to her Instagram, and she has made 1,284 sales. Her sales are private, so I can’t see what she sold, but she has a pretty even balance of patterns and physical items for sale. She also sells accessories like stitch markers for people that knit and crochet. Lori also uses YouTube and she blogs. It seems as though Instagram is the main hub for her business’s social media. She shares bright and detailed pictures and writes quite a bit in the captions. That is something that I could improve upon in order to engage more people. Just like one of the articles mentioned, posts with more text can set you apart from others and they statistically get shared more often.

The fourth and final business is Knitting Ain’t Easy on Instagram. This page has a much smaller following than the others, only 587. Her posts get roughly 60 likes each and less than 20 comments on each post. Her last post was 7 hours ago and the one before that was yesterday. She has an Etsy and she has made 48 sales. I chose this account because she is one of the few that is not selling patterns. She is only selling physical items like myself. This is another account that posts often and has high engagement with followers. This is something that I plan to implement, hopefully I can make some great connections and also make some sales.

Week 8: Part 1

Out of the top 8 visual social media platforms, I like Instagram then best for my line of business. I am selling hand knit beanies and eventually I will incorporate other items. Instagram’s setup acts as a showcase gallery for my products. It also allows for one link, so I placed my website there for people to shop. I utilize the hashtags and I am still learning about my target audience. Once I figure out the best time and days of the week to post, I will set a schedule for myself.
Facebook comes in handy because of the large number of users. It is also necessary to have Facebook business page if you would like to convert to an Instagram for Business account. Facebook has the same capability to showcase my products, but it is also easy to share other forms of content like text, links, and videos. I am new to the Facebook “Pages” feature but so far, it is very user friendly and simple.
I do not have a Pinterest business account but I have been on the website. I believe it is best to use that website for inspiration. From what I hear, that is the main reason people use it. It is pretty saturated with people that like DIY and make things themselves. It would be good for someone who sells knitting patterns and supplies. Twitter is a great platform for networking. I do not have an account but I know that the users are very engaged there and using hashtags will allow you to be discovered in the same way you can on Instagram.
I don’t use Tumblr, Google+, or YouTube. I could probably benefit from the use of YouTube as a central place to keep any videos I may create for my business. The videos would also be posted on each platform that I use.
Ultimately, visual networking is a major necessity for my brand. People want to see products “in the wild” being worn and used. I am able to share photos and encourage my target market to click the shopping link. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Week 7: Part 2

I managed to schedule 3 posts on my Facebook page. I was unable to locate the activity log as described in the assignment. It may be because I am logged in on my wife's account and she has another page. On the bright side, I was able to get a print screen of my upcoming posts. Each one is scheduled to post in the evening. I believe that most of my customers and potential customers will be online in the evening and they will possibly be browsing the net. Each post also has a photo attached, but they are all very different.

The first post, scheduled for tomorrow evening is a picture of myself, in my "Super Scarf" announcing the arrival of spring. I realize that many people are still experiencing harsh cold weather, so I ask what people are doing to keep warm. I think this will engage my potential customers as we can chat about their common practices for staying warm when it's cold outside.

The second post, scheduled for Thursday evening is a picture I took of the beanies I have lined up for a photo shoot. My photographer will be coming Thursday to pick them up and I should have photos to post within a few days. I let people know that they will soon be able to see the beanies being worn. I know that this helps some people when deciding to buy something. I hope to build anticipation for the arrival of my professional photos.

The third and final scheduled post will publish on Friday evening. This post is a professional model wearing my Chunky Knit Beanie in a color that I no longer have at the moment. I mention that I am considering restocking the grey, and ask what everyone thinks about that. I want to gauge the reactions and see if people would like to get a grey beanie just like the model is wearing.

I am still new at this business but I have hopes that these posts will encourage people to interact with me so I can see what kind of audience I am reaching.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Week 7: Part 1

Seven of the pages I 'Liked' as my business page are: Wool and the Gang, Purl Soho, Parenting, Ravelry, Fashion Week, Craftsy, and Etsy Success.

I chose Wool and the Gang because I purchase their yarn from time to time. They sell really good quality yarn and supplies so I can benefit from keeping up with their updates and sales. Purl Soho serves as inspiration for new and popular items as they are a knitting, crocheting and sewing brand. The tutorials on their website have helped me learn to knit and they keep up with the trends that my potential customers may like. Parenting page will have a lot of my potential customers, assuming that most of my customers are moms based on the age group. This page can help me stay connected with my target audience's current events and other topics that may interest them. 

Ravelry has a lot of free and low cost patterns, I plan to set up an account so that I can start using them. Liking the page will allow me to get updates about new patterns and designs. Fashion week will keep me up to date on global fashion trends. Craftsy is another company that I like to purchase yarn and supplies from. Last, but not least, Etsy Success. This page posts tips and tutorials for Etsy sellers. Since Etsy is my selling platform, this page can help my maximize my Etsy use. Success tips are good to have.

Liking businesses and other pages from my Facebook page will give me an opportunity to interact with people and potential customers, without having to use a personal profile. It will also help people get to know a little about me when they view the list of pages I've liked.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Week 6

Post reach is simply defined as the amount of people who had the post enter their screen. Post reach can be organic (unpaid) or paid through advertisement. Post engagement, on the other hand, is the amount of people who have engaged with your posts in ways such as likes, comments, or shares after being reached. Engagement is also broken down into categories so that you can see who is engaging in your posts after being reached and when they are online.
It is important to know the difference because post reach and engagement can indicate whether or not you need to switch things up. Insights are helpful for businesses using Facebook because it breaks down the details of your reach, engagement and more. If your engagement is low, but your reach is high, there is something that isn’t catching the crowds’ attention. Either you need to switch up your style; or try to reach a new crowd through targeting. If your reach is high, and your engagement is high, I think you’re doing something right. However, if your reach is low and your engagement is high, this is only halfway positive. You have great engagement, now it’s time to reach more people and get them engaged as well!
Insights also show you what time people are viewing your posts and what type of posts (photos, text, videos) are doing best. There are 9 categories in the posts engagements section that will break down page views, likes, reach, engagement, previews, recommendations, actions on the page, videos, and followers. Each section contains data that shows the relationship between business and their potential customers. In order to ensure that your actions on Facebook as a business are effective, monitoring the insights and taking heed to the recommendations is necessary.