SURI NETWORK EMBRACES SOCIAL MEDIA AS A MEANS TO PROMOTE SURI FIBER!
Suri fiber – there can be no denying that it is a fiber like no other, with its silky, soft hand, blinding luster, and straight locks that add drape to any garment. Yet, after more than 5,000 years as a domesticated, fiber producing, livestock breed, very few textile artists have had experience working with Suri fiber. As such, the Suri Network, with its mission to protect, preserve, and promote the Suri alpaca, wants to change all that – and we’re using social media to help our cause!
In 2022, the Suri Network Fiber Committee outlined a vision to the board to develop a series of promotional
videos, with each focusing on a different fiber arts medium. The idea
is to feature non-alpaca owning knitters, weavers, felters, and spinners
who have not only worked with Suri, but who have a passion for it.
Those artists would speak to the virtues of Suri and why they believe
it should come out of the “alpaca shadows” to claim its right as a
With the board’s support, the Fiber Committee moved forward and has
recently launched its first video, featuring Hannah Thiessen-Howard, a
knitting designer and author.
HOW THE PROMOTION WORKS
The greatest success for these videos to be seen across social media relies on a three-pronged approach:
The videos are hosted through Suri Network’s YouTube site and there are two versions:
Because the videos do not feature alpaca owners, all Suri Network members can feel comfortable using the videos to promote their own farm/ranch operation. The videos have subtitles which members can elect to turn on or off.
SURI NETWORK’S ROLE IN PROMOTION
In addition to making the video public on YouTube, Suri Network has posted on a variety of Facebook sites that appeal to alpaca lovers and sites that appeal to fiber artists. We also have a link featured on the Suri Network website.
In line with the second prong, Suri Network is working with Long Thread Media to get even more eyes on the video. Long Thread owns four publications with strong online viewership and social media presence – Piecework (for knitters), Handwoven and Little Loom (for weavers), and Spin-Off (for spinners). Each of those publications has a Pinterest following of approximately 25,000 viewers every month and Instagram viewership of 2,500 every month.
MEMBERS ROLE IN PROMOTION
We want as many members to take advantage of this video as possible! If you are a Suri grower with fleece to sell, this video is for you. If you are a Suri owner with a farm store that offers Suri fleece, roving, and/or yarn for sale, this video is for you. If you are a licensee of the Suri Simply Stunning brand mark, this video is for you. If you are a fiber artist using Suri in knitted garments, this video will work for you, too!
We encourage all members to either embed or provide a link on your own website, on your Openherd site, and on any social media sites which you manage.
As further support to our members, the public version of this video provides a link to the Suri Network Find-A-Farm page. Members can update their profile to list what products – fleece, roving, and/or yarn – each farm offers. That information then becomes available for viewers when they access the Find-A-Farm page. The public video also provides a link to the Suri Simply Stunning page of the Suri Network website. That page lists all licensees of the mark.
SURI NETWORK’S USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE SURI FIBER IN THE FUTURE
The recently released video is only the beginning for the Suri Network. Up next are videos on weaving and felting with Suri to create Haute Couture gowns! Our YouTube channel is an ideal outlet to promote Suri fiber, and to educate prospective Suri owners about this wonderful breed using the myriad of other Suri Network programs and initiatives we offer. Adding an active and ongoing video component to our roster of promotional tools further supports our membership and aids in the preservation and promotion of Suri alpacas.