1. Build Relationships with Your Customers
Customers don’t necessarily purchase something because it’s the best value. It’s been proven that purchase decisions are often based on emotional factors. If you can create a positive emotional or personal connection with potential customers, then you have a much greater likelihood of receiving business from them. Social media is a great way to build these relationships, because it's one of the most natural places that you can announce to your customers what you are doing, and it's one of the easiest forms of communicating with them.
2. Promote Your Work
Expecting your work to promote itself is not the best strategy. Finding a source of publicity that will help gain customers and exposure is difficult, but when you take advantage of a medium that is successful at accomplishing this, your business grows. This is where social media can be an excellent resource, and unlike an advertisement, it’s often free.
Take pictures or have a professional take pictures of your latest project and post them to your social media. If you find a unique furniture item or accessory, post pictures to your social media as well. These kind of pictures give your viewers an idea of what your taste is like and consequently, can help them know whether you are a good fit for them as a designer. It also shows them what they are missing out on by not hiring you.
3. Gain Positive PR
One of the easiest free ways to gain positive public relations is through social media. Your client takes a picture of their newly renovated home and excitedly posts it to Facebook to hear the “oohs” and “ahhs” of their friends. In turn, their friends ask who designed it. Your name is mentioned, and they come to you for business. A client mentioning your services without being prompted is an ideal situation, and granted, it doesn’t happen all that much.
But you can take a proactive approach to supervise it's occurrence. When you’ve finished a project for a client, ask them to write about their experience with you on social media or to post pictures with your website link in the comments. Alternatively, offer a discount on their final invoice for posting about you. This gives them incentive to advertise your business, and if they’re happy with what you’ve done, they will typically be more than willing to mention you.
The best part of all of this? You get free advertising from the best source: your happy customers. When homeowners see this in their Facebook or Twitter feed, it’s a referral that they can trust, because it’s coming from their friends, not a business.
4. It's Easy and the Payoff Is Good.
When we talk to business owners that are not active on social media, they’ll typically say something like, “I know I should be. But I just don’t know how to do it,” or, “It just takes up too much time.” We understand both sentiments, and we can relate. However, once you get into the habit of posting regularly to social media, it becomes easy and quick.
Recognize that your social media posts don't need to consume extensive time and thought. The only criteria for posts is that they should be interesting to your audience, and they should reflect positively on your business. There are so many options for posts within these two criteria. Don’t sit in front of your computer screen stressing about social media. If you are struggling for ideas on what to post, scan other companies' social media accounts to brainstorm for your next post.
Your first social media posts probably won't be as clever or intriguing as what you create later on, but everyone has to start from somewhere. A faltering voice is better than a silent one, and with practice, you will be able to come up with excellent, business-driving posts with ease.
Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below about your experiences with social media or additional tips you can add to this post. We’d love to hear from you.