Hi Quilty Friend,
I hope you are doing well! Here in Edmonton, we are having a late spring snowstorm and it feels like winter will never end! I am in the midst of getting ready for an in person market this weekend and was scrolling through my Instagram feed to take a break and decided to write about my social media presence.
I recently noticed that Instagram went through a period where they almost exclusively showing reels as the media. Once again, the algorithm changed. It seems to be going back to still photography again – maybe all the negative feedback does do something. Personally, I don’t use reels and I don’t watch reels. I tend to gloss over anything resembling a reel, so if you are posting reels, I probably won’t watch it. Maybe I am a bit old school, but I love good photos and reels almost never have good photography/video. I really don’t want to watch someone organize their fabric. So, what does this say about our social media profile? Do reels work to ‘reel’ in followers? Do followers convert into sales?
For my business, I don’t think I have had a single sale come through Instagram. I try to post regularly (once or twice a week), and I engage with comments. Photography is improving as I learn what works best. But I would say that most of my sales are coming from Etsy, which has its own struggles (a discussion for another day), and a few come through Facebook, my website, and word of mouth (aka family). When I was doing my taxes earlier this year, I was shocked and surprised that I almost broke even! I did not expect to come even close! (I bought a lot of fabric!!). This is my first year of business and I was as busy as I could be while working full time at my day job. I tallied 24 Postcards from Sweden Quilts of various sizes, and 20 Sea Glass Quilts of various sizes, plus a range of other goods. I learned so much this past year about running a business, about time management, and about handling my social media presence. I plan on parsing the data on Instagram, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Etsy to see where most of my engagement is coming from. I am looking forward to seeing what is working for me!
Erin from The Blanket Statement recently did ‘Ask me anything’ on Instagram, and someone asked her how she built up followers. Erin had a great reply. She has been in business for 5 years and she said that it took probably about 3 years to become sustainable. She focused on good photography, engaging with followers, and consistency, and she is now close to 30k followers.
I am not going to worry about followers on Instagram, but I will continue to try to take great photos and post as often as I can!
See you on Social!