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TNNA Survey Says: Social Media to Use in 2016

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Tuesday, April 05, 2016
TNNA Survey SaysTNNA Survey Says is a biweekly series of articles featuring useful business advice based upon the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 surveys of more than 15,000 fiber artists, retailers, and wholesalers.

Social Media Priorities for Fiber Arts Businesses

Fiber arts businesses should focus on Facebook if they want to choose one social media platform for marketing. Yarn businesses should use Ravelry as well. Ravelry is the social media used by the most crocheters, knitters, weavers, and spinners; however, fewer yarn retailers gave free posts on Ravelry high marks compared with Facebook. Pinterest is used by many fiber artists but retailers reported it did not have a big impact on sales. Instagram should be used instead of Facebook if a business wants to reach fiber artists under age 30. As always, take your own look at the data and shape your plans around your customers.


Percentage of each fiber artist segment using various social media for fiber arts, 2016:

social media use 

Notes: YOUNG knitters were those under age 30. Tumblr was used by 3% or less of each fiber artist segment and 9% of those under age 30. Survey question was “Which of the following resources do you use or look at regularly regarding fiber arts?” In comparison, the Pew Research Center ( )noted the percentage of online U.S. adults using each of these social media was 72% Facebook, 31% Pinterest, and 28% Instagram, as of March 2015.


Percentage of yarn retailers using various social media for marketing, 2016:

yarn retailers social media use

Notes: Retailer survey question was “Was the sales impact from these promotional methods in 2015 worth the time and money you spent on them?”

Relatively few needlepoint and counted thread retailers responded to the TNNA Retailer Survey. 88% of needlepoint retailers and 85% of counted thread retailers used Facebook (free); about 75% of each said it was worth it. Less than 25% of these needlework retailers used other social media so that data is not given here due to a small sample.


Percentage of yarn retailers saying each was worth it for the sales impact (as % of retailers using each social media), 2016:

yarn retailers impact

Note: Retailer survey question was “Was the sales impact from these promotional methods in 2015 worth the time and money you spent on them?” Possible answers were worth it, unsure, not worth it, did not use.
  • Sources: TNNA Fiber Artist Survey (full results available April 15), TNNA Needle Arts Retailer Survey (full results available May 1)
  • Freshness: Fiber artists surveyed January 25 to February 15, 2016. Retailers surveyed February 23 to March 28, 2016.
  • Respondents: 15,288 fiber artists and 309 yarn retailers in USA

More information:

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