We Are Knitters was founded in 2011 after co-founders Pepita Marin and Alberto Bravo were on a business trip with one of the “Big Five” multinational accounting firms that they both were working for. While in New York, they saw someone knitting and that sparked an idea – which eventually turned into the WAK we know today.
We Are Knitters works to help create and support a “knitting renaissance”, where the image of knitting is reinvented in a way that allows it to adapt and flourish in a world that is becoming increasingly digital.
They’re doing this by fostering a rapidly growing and worldwide community of knitters, makers, and friends through social media, events, and a product that appeals to a young and modern audience.
Lettly spoke to Francesca Ling, Marketing’s specialist of We Are Knitters, to talk about brand strategy and tips on how brands can excel on Instagram. Interview by Zuzanna Sleszynska.
Who are your customers?
We Are Knitters: We Are Knitters’ customers generally fall into one of two categories: either they are knitting veterans who grew up knitting as part of a family or cultural tradition or new ”gen x” knitters. They are young fashion forward, sustainable, and very tech-savvy buyers. You’ll often catch them tagging photos on Instagram of their knits in cool places around the world – in addition to other interests that are becoming increasingly trademark of their generation. These were our initial buyers who got us off the ground.
What’s your best selling social media channel?
We can directly attribute many of our sales from Facebook. However, we definitely find that Instagram has a huge direct impact on our sales because of the huge effect it can have on our overall image and reach. When we do something as simple as “regramming” a photo by one of our customers, it has a ripple effect. People love to feel that companies listen and care about them, and by reposting images they can see that there is a person behind the Brand. This is also helpful for the unsure knitter because they can see that we do take the time to see what our customers are doing, and to interact with them on a better level. That’s why Instagram generates better conversion than Facebook.
Are there any social media channels that especially surprised you or failed your expectations?
Twitter failed, we tried to do some ads but it didn’t work – the conversion was extremely low. Facebook and Instagram were more successful than we expected. Pinterest works very well, we run contests on it regularly and it always drives lots of new traffic to our site because of the amount of participation we have.
Have you measured conversion rates/traffic from Instagram prior to Lettly implementation? How have your statistics changed after implementing shoppable Instagram with Lettly?
We love Google Analytics. It really lets us see how the new marketing strategies that we implemented are influencing our sales.
Because of the boost in the number of Instagram lovers, we noted 17-fold increase in traffic within a year. That is why, Instagram has become an extremely important social channel for us, leading the brand to action of cooperating with companies such as Lettly. It generates shoppable experience (we have noted 70 per cent increase in sales) for our customers and creates an easier way to be part of our knitter’s community
How do you create content on Instagram? You do it yourself or cooperate with influencers?
Without sounding like too much of cliché, the content really creates itself. We’re lucky in that we have a product that photographs beautifully in a wide variety of circumstances and locations. This does allow for photos to be created internally by our team in Madrid, but it also means that our customers have ample opportunities to be “influencers” of our brand. We do work with influencers through a number of marketing initiatives outside of Instagram that tend to “overflow” into it. We generally find that once a blogger or other type of influencer tries our kits, they tend to want to share it with their followers because they too support the product, image, and idea that we are trying to spread.
What’s the most crucial thing when running a brand’s Instagram?
Interaction. We are more than just a brand to many of our customers, we are more like a very extended family or rather community. Our customers love it when we repost their pictures and take the time to respond to questions and comments that we receive – it really helps to boost the overall level of customer satisfaction and involvement. And as they say, happy customers are the best type of marketing! It is also very important to send a consistent message throughout your online platforms, and Instagram in particular is a fantastic venue for sharing the “experience”of knitting and the handmade life.
Are you planning on changing the online sales strategy in 2016? Is there something new coming up?
As a company that primarily functions as an ecommerce business, it is essential that we are constantly updating and shifting our strategy to stay on the edge of effective sales solutions. With applications like Lettly, we can create a more seamless sales strategy – especially by being able to tap into the “impulse” that customers may have when seeing our products. In 2016 we also plan to spend more time hosting and attending events designed to get WAK into the hands of more people. And of course, integrating this into our social media and traditional sales plans.