Thoughts on social media as a knitwear designer

I have been thinking about social media a lot lately, specifically Instagram, and what my role actually is. I asked myself recently, “who am I?” Not in terms of life – I am a lot of things. Who am I in my career? Am I a content creator? No. So why am I making content creation my number one priority? Why am I constantly thinking about how I can get more views, likes, and followers? And for what result?

To answer the original question, I am a designer. My number one priority should be working on my designs, producing patterns, and marketing them for others to buy. I get so caught up in marketing part that I think my number one job is making content for social media. But if my only goal is views and likes, the content usually becomes less valuable.

I have set a goal for myself to only post content when I actually have something to say. I will not post every day just to post every day. I want a community and support, not fans and empty numbers. You can have 1M followers and still no community or support because those followers came from giveaways or viral reels with no depth. Building community comes from providing valuable content. Educational content. Inspiring content. Funny content. Personal content (with boundaries, of course).

So when I’m working on a design, I try to snap some pictures or video content that I can then share on social media. This approach is more natural and genuine, and less stressful. Some of the best marketing is bringing potential customers along on your creation journey. Then they are ready to purchase when it’s time. They’ve seen the love and hard work you’ve put into something and want to support you.

I have seen the slowest growth in numbers on social media this year than ever before. While other people are gaining thousands of followers by the week, I have moved up roughly 6,000 new followers in the last 12 months. You may look at that and think my business is suffering. Nope. It’s growing!

In case no one has told you lately, your engagement on social media is not a measurement of how successful you are. We have been complaining about low engagement for years. I specifically remember being in engagement pods 4 years ago and being unhappy. Social media is far too saturated and now most of us are realizing that it’s not healthy to spend copious amounts of time online anyway, so we are stepping back. Which means even less engagement.

One type of engagement I have experienced a rise in is in my direct messages. This is obviously hidden from others so you don’t get the satisfaction of high like and comment numbers, but I fully believe it is the best kind of engagement. A message in your inbox is more genuine and personal. The people in my inbox are the ones who buy my patterns and support me in every area. They see what I’m sharing and pay attention. They are my friends, even if we’ve never met in person.

Another type of engagement you want to see is email list growth. If you don’t have an email list yet, I highly encourage starting one. You can send a newsletter once a day, once a week, or once a month. I know some business owners who only send a newsletter when they release a pattern or have a shop update. But you want your list to be growing with people who want to hear from you and want to support whatever you have to offer. They are your number one fans. I have some tips for growing a list that you can find in this blog post.

I hope some of this post resonates with you and you can apply some of it to your niche. I wanted to share what I’ve been feeling lately in hopes that it encourages you on your journey and how you incorporate social media into your business. Remember quality over quantity.

xo, kalley

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  1. 8.19.22
    Diane Page said:

    Very well said.. l hate social media as well… look forward to emails… Thanks Kally
    Im just a home grown knitter. I appreciate all your hard work and love your patterns!
    Thank you again Diane Page. Live in Telford TN not to far from you!!

    • 8.20.22
      Kalley said:

      Thank you, Diane! I appreciate your support!