As quilters, and people in the business of inspiring and educating quilters, we’ve been really excited about how quilters’ social media has swept throughout the world to bridge local communities with others around the world. Quilters have created a model that demonstrates the capabilities of creating a real virtual network. Using our phones, tablets and computers we go digital to:
- Explore ideas, look for inspiration and learn from innovative designers
- Discover the history of notable quilt makers, blocks and quilts
- Share and document our designs and galleries and quilts we’ve made or those in-progress
- Find patterns, courses, instructions and techniques
- Look for tools that improve the quality of our construction or make quilt-making easier and faster
- Enlist our virtual network to boost business sales initiatives.
Whether an individual consumer, small business or a larger company offering fabric or tools, an avenue to advertise patterns, print and online books and magazines we’ve found that digital technology and the quilter’s social media the best way to connect to a greater quilting community.
The quilters social media network is ACTIVE all through the day and night. Quilters start checking their network with their morning coffee and while they’re getting ready in the morning, during work breaks, in the car waiting for kids or when they can’t sleep at night. Social media is where quilters are hooking up today. Because so many of us are engaging in social media as searchers and contributors we thought it might be helpful to collect some guidelines for you to make sure you are making the most of your posts to the popular networks.
Blogs and websites appeared as the first digital medium for quilters to share with one another. Today, quilters can easily build a website or blog site using tools that help build and connect pages of content. Blogs are primarily used to tell their quilting stories, show photos and present videos that provide instructional information. Quilters create websites to document a collection of their designs or quilts in galleries. Blogs and websites are often used to create a more personal relationship with other quilters.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking websites allowing quilters to communicate with friends, family, coworkers and other quilter groups from any location. Facebook gives quilters an opportunity to post photos of quilts, to share designs and get feedback through its messaging feature. With Facebook, your photos are saved with your profile unless you remove them. Quilters also share technique videos and other quilting related events by creating and sharing profiles, messages and upload photos and video. Facebook Live has become one of the best ways for individuals and businesses alike to share what they are working on, or thinking about, quickly. Click here to find out the best practices for using Facebook Live.
Twitter, sharing 280 characters or less, also allows you to link in photos and videos. Twitter gave us the word ‘hashtags’, denoted with the “#” prefix, which are added to Tweets so members of your community can share in the conversation.
Instagram, originally a photo sharing only application, gives you the capability to send photos, create photo stories and post videos immediately to your followers with or without a caption. You can also elect to share the same posts to your Facebook account. Instagram photos stay on your account indefinitely. Stories are available for a short period of time before they are automatically deleted. Hashtags can also be used in Instagram to share specific conversation topics with your community.
Pinterest is a place to find a wide range of inspirational ideas, home decorating, gardening, cooking and quilting – about anything related to any leisure craft you can think of. Individuals and businesses post photos and links to videos, websites and blog posts for more detail. A user can ‘pin’ to save and collect ideas by categories for later.
YouTube is a video-only sharing website. Interestingly, YouTube was created by formal PayPal employees. This site is one of the premier sites quilters go to for how-to videos, to learn about a technique, the instructions to make a specific quilt design and you can also find videos to learn more about using a quilting technology, from a rotary cutter to a sewing machine. Individual quilters and quilting industry professionals post YouTube videos for the quilting community to view and share.
The most common element of all quilters social media are photos. SocialMediaToday presents “Ultimate Social Media Image Size Guide for 2018”, compiled by Mark Walker-Ford to give you the best exposure for the most common images on your social media posts.
To see a couple of great examples of how other quilters are using social media to share quilting adventures and to promote their quilting business, check out former Associate Editor Diane Harris’ website at StashBandit.net and Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. You’ll also find them regularly contributing to Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and techniques to help you and your network maximize the use of the social media we’ve talked about in this article. Click here for the Social Media Cheat Sheet.
And, for a related article on the topic of social media, read “Like, Comment, Share: Social Media as Quilt Documentation” published in the June/July 2015 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter. Click here.
Oh, and don’t forget to look around The Quilting Company website! Our network connects you to articles, tips, techniques and how to’s, the familiar favorites and new designers and their quilt designs and patterns and our courses cover every topic imaginable.
Do you have tips and techniques to share about how you’ve been using social media? Share them in the comments of this post! We’d love to share them with our quilters social media connections.
Keep on quilting and posting!
Tricia and Carrie
Tricia Patterson, Quilting Company Group Editorial Director
Carrie Sisk, Social Media Manager, Traditional + Modern Quilting