This is to all the quilt shop, quilt retreat, brands, and service providers out there. Are you still sending out bulky (and expensive) newsletters and postcards to get information to your customers? Do the stacks of mail returned as undeliverable suggest that your mailing list is hopelessly out of date, and costing you money without reaching the intended customers? It's time for a change! As a former marketing specialist for a quilt shop, I will share with you the answer.
What's the alternative you ask? In this digital and social media age there are a number of simple answers to that question. My top two suggestions are Facebook, email, and listing your events on QuiltingHub. In this article, we will look at Facebook and why it works so well. My experience with using Facebook as a marketing tool has convinced me that it can be a big boost for any shop!
My morning generally starts with a cup of coffee and my iPad. Facebook has become my morning newspaper. I scroll through new posts from news outlets, businesses, friends and family, and a myriad of other people and places I am interested in. I see a reminder about an upcoming shower for a friend so I make a note to shop for a gift. Next there's a post from my favorite quilt shop showcasing a shipment of new fabric. I love it! A trip there is added to my plans for the day. How easy it is to put your shop front and center in your customers' minds when they see your Facebook posts!
Another plus is that Facebook is interactive! I think to myself "I'm sure my quilting friends would love this fabric too" so I hit the "like" and "share" buttons which guarantees those I am connected with on FB see that new fabric too! They will then have the same option to like and share....and soon your shop post has gone way beyond one customer!
Perhaps the best feature of Facebook is the cost.....it is FREE! You can post information and pictures and even videos as often as you want. A shop that I "follow" on FB is making great use of a new feature called "Facebook Live". I spoke to the owner and she highly recommends it. Every Wednesday evening at a designated time she does a live FB presentation. Customers can jump on and follow along as she shows newly arrived merchandise, announces special sales and events, and even demos a new gadget! Those following can comment as they watch. After her trip to Spring Market this owner showed all the new items she found there. Her customers watching would comment "Save me one! I 'll be in tomorrow to get it!" By the end of her video the new items were nearly sold out! Super effective advertising with no $$$$$ spent!
It takes some effort to get a good Facebook "following". Once you've established a FB page for your shop make sure every customer that comes in is invited to "like our shop on Facebook". Send out an email announcing your presence on FB and asking everyone to share the news. Let your customers know you will be posting news about upcoming classes and events as well information about area quilt shows and other things of interest. It's easy to add photos to your posts so share pics of all those bolts you just unpacked or a short video of staff unpacking a box of new rulers and gadgets.
Jump on the Facebook bandwagon! If that "newfangled" stuff isn't your thing look to your staff to help with it. There's sure to be someone who is a Facebook fan!
Check out the most popular tool on QuiltingHub. Use the search 'Map Of Resources' or the 'Resources Trip Planner' to the right (or below).
Bonnie enjoys writing and quilting. She retired from working at one of Illinois largest quilt/machine stores as the marketing specialist using email, Facebook, QuiltingHub and other social media tools to bring in business.