Social Media Survey – The Results!

Thank you all so much for responding to my social media enquiry last week. The comments were overwhelmingly positive when I asked the question, “What is your favorite channel to interact with me?” I asked across all of my current platforms and wasn’t surprised to discover that the channel you are currently using is you favorite way to connect, of course! So the result is that I’m not going to get rid of any of them, but I’ll be much more intentional about what I share.

So for anyone who’s interested, scroll down for my new and improved social media plan, interspersed with some pics from quilt market that I haven’t shown before:

Christa At Quilt Market

Chatting with Catherine P. in my booth at quilt market.
She’s one of the amazing Benartex sales reps.

My Blog – 2 Posts Per Week, Mondays & Thursdays

Up until now, I’ve never had a good feel for how often I should post. In the days before IG (Instagram) and FB (Facebook) took over, I blogged daily. Then I went silent when I was working on my first book. The last couple of years I’ve aimed for 3 posts per week but I’d often get overwhelmed and just post once. Going forward I should be able to handle two blog posts a week with informative content shared on Mondays and Thursdays.

These will be mostly tutorials or “making of” posts since you all love to see my in-depth process of start to finish quilting. But occasionally I’ll share new products for sale or other important announcements. My blog will longer-form content with lots of pretty pics!

If you’d like to get notified each time there’s a new blog post, enter your email address in the box on the sidebar if you are viewing on a computer. If you are reading this on your phone, you’ll have to scroll way, way down to the bottom to see it.

Christa Schoolhouse

I love chatting, teaching, and interacting, whether it’s live or online. The best part about presenting in person is all the funny faces I get to make while talking, LOL!! This was from “Schoolhouse” presentation the day before quilt market opened.

My Newsletter – Every Wednesday

Click here to subscribe to my email newsletter.

Again, I haven’t really had a good newsletter strategy or a regular day to share until now. But I finally sat down and came up with a plan that focuses on quality over quantity. Each week I’ll share these three topics in my email newsletter:

  1. The latest quilt along post, video tutorial, or important announcement.
  2. My thoughts on a current quilting topic, or bonus tips and tricks.
  3. A special offer or discount on my products, not available anywhere else!

Terrace Tiles Quilts

Showing off my Terrace Tiles quilt patterns to quilt shop owners at quilt market.
They were each made from one colorway of my my new Gridwork fabric.

Instagram – Daily

Click here to follow me on Intagram.

Instagram is mostly for what’s happening now, spur-of-the-moment posts. Whether I’m traveling and teaching, working on a behind the scenes project, or organizing my sewing room, this is the place where I’ll share what’s happening in real time.  There’s no set schedule and it’s the most flexible platform because I can share as little or as much as I want.

Interactive Facebook Group – Daily

Click here to join my ChristaQuilts Facebook group.

I look at Facebook as the place where YOU can share what you are working on with me and other group members. It’s the perfect place to ask general quilting questions and get advice on projects you are working on. Of course I’ll share what’s happening in my world, but I’ve set it up to be like an interactive quilting bee where we can gather for friendship and inspiration!

Quilt Market in Action

Quilt market in action in the Benartex aisle. Can you see my pink shirt on the left?
It said #gridworkfabric on the front and #benartex on the back.
I was a walking social media ad during the show!!

YouTube – My Newest Channel

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

I’ve just dabbled in YouTube for the last year or so, but have finally started  sharing in-depth video tutorials on a particular quilting topic such as basting, or machine quilting. They say the future of any business lies in the success of online video so I’m excited to dive in and provide content here that I just can’t do anywhere else.

Originally my plan was to just make videos through Craftsy/Bluprint, (check out my 3 online workshops here). But I’m taking what I learned there and applying to to my own videos so that I can offer more relevant content to you all in a timely manner – for free!! The hope is that when you view my videos, you’ll be inspired to work with my patterns, fabric, and other items I create for a fun and thorough quilting experience.

So far I have over 400 subscribers which is a great start. But once I reach the magic number of 1000 subscribers I’ll aim for sharing weekly videos. Ideally, I’d like to create quilt alongs that show ALL steps of how to make the quilt from start to finish, so stay tuned!

Gridwork Fabric Swatches

I had actual Gridwork swatches in my booth so everyone could have fun fondling the fabric!

Final Thoughts

So when I finally sat down to plan out a social media strategy it didn’t feel so overwhelming. While there will be occasional overlap among all the different areas, I’ve realized that each platform has a different audience and that’s ok. My goal is to share the love of quilting with as many people as possible, so I don’t mind meeting you where you are at.

I recently tracked my time spent online and it wasn’t as bad as I thought, as long as I stayed focused. When I spend more time creating, and less time consuming, I somehow have time to manage it all.

And now that I’ve spent my allotted time today creating this post – I’m off to sew! Thanks again for your kind comments and support, no matter where you follow me.

Christa’s Soap Box – Simplifying Social Media

Social media overwhelms me and I’ve decided it’s time to simplify. Don’t worry – the blog is NOT going anywhere!! But I’ve been contemplating over the last few months about how I spend my time and WHERE to spend my time.

Until yesterday, I’ve been running a bit ragged, trying to keep up with 3 Facebook pages, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 email lists, this blog, and a very weak attempt at Pinterest. Not to mention several business networking groups. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and joined Instagram in 2013, then began adding ever more social media outlets to the lineup to keep up with “the next best thing.”

The result? I’m honestly getting a little burned out. I spend way more time on screens that could be better spent at the sewing machine!

HST Remix Quilt

Because a blog post is more fun to read with pretty pictures, I’ve sprinkled in a few pics of my latest finish – HST Remix . I often have deep thoughts while quilting – it’s very therapeutic!!

What I’m Saying “Yes” to:

So here’s what I’m keeping: the blog, Instagram, and my Facebook group.

What I’m Saying “No” to:

What I’m ditching: my Facebook biz page, personal Facebook updates, two email lists, my business Instagram, and Pinterest (Gasp! Sorry folks, I’m just not a pinner!!)

What I’m NOT going to feel guilty about NOT doing: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat, etc. What I AM going to enjoy: making and sharing what I want, when I want, where I want.

If I make it – and others want it – they will find it.

HST Remix Quilt

Dense machine quilting makes me happy. I’d rather spend more time creating, and less time managing social media.

Since making that decision to simplify only yesterday, I woke up feeling much lighter today. I’ve realized I don’t need to post ALL THE THINGS to ALL THE PLACES, or worry about whether I cross promoted or over-promoted, or forgot to mention the latest and greatest: here, there and everywhere.

I can simplify. I can make. I can share. And I can focus on quality over quantity which better aligns with my minimalist leanings.

You Can Still Follow Me Here

By the way, if you DO want to follow what I’m doing, and keep up with the blog, you can easily subscribe to it. Here’s how:

If you are on a computer, there are two options in the right-hand side bar. (1) You can enter your email underneath where it says “follow my blog!” and you’ll get an email each time a post is published. Or (2) scroll down a bit further and click the button that says “follow me on bloglovin.”

HST Remix

This is HST Remix, one of my QuiltCon entries. Whether it gets accepted to the show or not, I enjoyed every stitch of this huge 90″ x 90″ quilt! It was made entirely on my home sewing machine.

If you are reading this from your mobile device, it’s a bit trickier to find the signup box. You’ll have to scroll way, way, down, like past a million blog posts until you get to all the “stuff” at the bottom of the screen. Then you’ll see the box to enter your email, or the Bloglovin button. But they are there if you persevere!

Whew – that felt so good to get it off my chest!! I’ll post again when there’s something more to say or show. Now it’s time to start on the next quilt….

Christa’s Soapbox – Social Media Update (Plus a Bonus Tip)

Today I wanted to give a quick plug for my other social media outlets, just in case you didn’t already know about them. I try not to repeat content too much, or if I do, I try to present it from a different perspective. You can find me here:

My facebook group: Quilt With Christa

Instagram: @christaquilts

Sign up for my weekly email newsletter: Friendly Threads

It’s taken me awhile to really wrap my head around social media and how to use it without feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now and just added instagram to the mix last year. This year my goal is to be more active on facebook, and I plan to figure out pinterest next year. My thought is by learning one social media network per year, I won’t get too overwhelmed and can discover the ins and outs through real-time practice.

How about you – what’s your social media of choice? What do you like or dislike about all the choices we have?

And just so this post has at least one picture, here’s a quick tip I shared over on Instagram while working on my next “secret” project:

joining_tip

Tip: when matching seams with a sash strip in between, use a ruler and washable pen to mark a small line in the seam allowance of the piece you are joining. This will tell you where to pin to make the seams line up.

 

Christa’s Soap Box – Community Vs. Content

Today’s soap box was inspired by an earlier post from my friend Lee at Freshly Pieced. She very eloquently wrote a thought provoking essay entitled, “Are Blogs Dead?” referring to the idea that in some circles, Instagram my be supplanting blogs as quilters’ social media of choice.

Fortunately, her conclusion was that no, blogs are note dead – they are just different!

binding_clips1It’s been fun to use my blog to share tips, tricks and tutorials, like how to bind a quilt.

This got me to thinking about social media and why I am so attracted to it. I think it really is about the community and the content. I view my blog as my “Home Base” or my place to “be.” It’s where others can come find me, and see what I’m up to. It won’t change locations or format (unless WordPress does something very drastically different which I highly doubt). My blog is very reliable and I can choose to write as little or a much as I like.

I can be myself here, share the occasional peek into my personal life, and people can choose to read or not at their leisure. It’s also a place where I can store many of my ideas and thoughts as I quilt, along with tons of free content I’m happy to share. (You should see my WIP posts that have not been posted yet – they go on for pages and pages, LOL!!)

Running in Utah

I don’t mind sharing both my personal and professional life on my blog.

However, Lee did bring up a good point which I hadn’t thought of before. Blogs are becoming more of a one way content generator and less of a vehicle for two-way communication. I know from my stats that I get a lot of traffic and people reading my blog, even if they don’t comment as much as they read. Heck I do the same thing – I follow over 100 blogs on a regular basis but I read far more than I comment.

So that’s where other social media like facebook, instagram or flickr come in. I think people, including myself, like the instant gratification that a quick comment or “like” can generate.

For me personally, I just can’t get into facebook, and flickr has become really user unfriendly lately – but I love checking instagram on a daily basis (@christaquilts). It’s quick and easy to pop in for a few minutes to see what beautiful things others are making, and it’s fun to leave a quick message or get instant feedback on what I’m working on. I also think of it as a way to share real-time snaphsots of daily life, which I can then turn into a cohesive “story” later on my blog.

20140710_snippetsI love to share “snippets” of my life on instagram, – or the “in-between” posts.

So I agree with Lee – blogs are definitely not dead, but their use is evolving. Because I’m the type of person that likes to have everything neatly organized in it’s own little box, I love the idea of referencing blogs mainly for content, and using instagram for my daily dose of quilty socialization.

How about you – what are your favorite ways to utilize social media?