Like many small businesses, we experienced massive unexpected changes in early 2020 as Covid-19 made its way into our community. After opening a physical showroom in late 2019, we found ourselves closing our doors to the public just a few months later, unsure when we'd be able to open them back up. We had spent months pivoting our business to capitalize on this new physical location, and yet suddenly, we were back to the drawing board needing to reimagine how we could engage with our community and our customers during a time when we couldn't be together in person.
We've always believed in the power of social media as a vehicle for connection with our past, present, and future customers, but we could have never expected how much social media would impact our world and our business throughout the course of 2020. Because we didn't need to be physically present at our showroom, we were free to engage our time very differently than we had expected needing to for most of the year. Most notably, we were able to spend more time in the workshop with the crew, documenting and sharing what was in the works with our social media audience.
While we've always been active on Instagram and have consistently experienced growth and engagement, we decided we wanted to double down on our social media use to try and stay connected to those interested in following along with us. We decided to engage more than we ever had with our social platforms, including two new platforms – YouTube and TikTok.
We quickly began to see that this was unquestionably a good move for us. As we pursued new audiences across TikTok and YouTube, we began gaining followers who were eager to connect with us. With only six YouTube videos posted, we had already gained several thousand YouTube subscribers, and after a few months, we found ourselves with over 100,000 followers on TikTok. All the while, these followers were also looking to connect with us across other social media platforms, and we saw a massive jump in our Instagram followers as a result!
What was truly amazing about this experience is that suddenly we had attention coming our way from not only our local community, but from individuals all over the country and even all over the world! And not only did we have increased attention, we also began experiencing increased demand! We began to regularly get messages from people all over asking if we could build furniture for them and ship it across the country to their home, and we started to see orders come in through our website like never before. In the process of sharing our journey in an authentic way online, we had managed to develop community that was genuinely excited about what we do here at American Estates, and we have been blown away by the support and enthusiasm that has been directed towards us.
After eight months of our showroom being closed to the public, we were finally able to reopen and begin engaging with our community in person again. But we are certainly not going to let this slow down our social media content production! We have so many cool things coming up, and we will be sharing it all online! If you're not following us on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, we'd love for you to check out what we are doing on those platforms!The best is yet to come!