Social media is one of the most powerful tools available to help you increase your brand awareness and grow your interior design business. Like any other marketing effort though, it takes time, commitment, and yes, money. But if used properly, social media can be incredibly effective in fueling your business, and the groundwork you lay now will pay dividends in the future. That’s why we’ve created a short list of tips sure to help grow your online presence and allow you to better reach and engage with past, current, and future clients.
Choose your social media platforms wisely.
This is by far the most important step in getting your social strategy off the ground floor. Start by defining your goals and objectives. How do you want your brand to be portrayed? What type of clients are you targeting? Which channel will deliver the best ROI? Familiarize yourself with the current social landscape to understand which channels align best with your business needs, and remember to be selective in your approach; not every channel is going to work for you.
Interior design is all about visuals, so we recommend starting with a blend of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. These channels will allow you to showcase your work, highlight your personality, network with other designers, and connect with clients in a less formal setting. Be mindful though, they’re called channels for a reason — the way you use them, how successfully they perform, and how your clients react will vary from channel to channel.
Make time for it. Consistency is key.
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of building out a social strategy. It takes time to establish and hone your presence on social media. There are two things to be considered here: frequency and content consistency.
Just as you set time aside for vendor meetings and client consults, you also need to budget time for your social media efforts. Posting regularly helps generate brand awareness and it keeps you top of mind for clients. You must be careful here though and strike the right balance of quantity and frequency. Be sure to take cues from your audience and look at the engagement numbers; they both tell a story (but they may not be the same).
Frequency isn’t the only factor in keeping your audience engaged; consistency in content is just as important. Stay true to your brand and your message — it’s what your audience came for in the first place. Maintaining a consistent look and feel across all of your channels will provide for an enjoyable client experience. Of the top brands using Instagram, 60% use the same filter for all content. Also, we can’t stress this enough, resist the urge to jump on every trending hashtag.
“35% of Instagram users check Instagram multiple times a day and 51% open the app daily.”
Post visually engaging content.
This should come as no surprise, but social media is a digital showroom and it’s important to keep up appearances. Your social profiles should be a reflection of, and extension of your design work and personality. Perception is reality, and your client experience should be consistent whether online or offline. Social media is a great channel to highlight past work, give a behind-the-scenes look into your business, and provide visual inspiration and thought leadership. Make sure your social profiles are a proper representation of your brand and consistent across the board so that they give the impression you want your customers to have.
Your customers are inundated with marketing messages, sales promos, and pictures of #cutepuppies daily. And social media is saturated with businesses just like yours, all vying for the attention of new customers. In order to compete in the social space you should be providing value through your content. This can come in the form of inspiration, entertainment, thought leadership, or conversation. Keep in mind that customers and prospects are exchanging their time for your content and expect relevance.
Staying honest and relatable on social seems simple but is highly underrated. Social media provides the opportunity to not only showcase your brand, but also the story and people behind the brand — creating an emotional connection. Do away with robotic responses and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
It’s important to engage your audience in an authentic way. Respond when they show interest and be a proponent of conversation, empowering them to start a dialogue with your brand and each other. Being human goes miles in building trust with customers and prospects.
“89% of social media messages to brands go ignored.”
You’ve got to pay to play.
The truth of the matter is algorithms are constantly updating, making it more difficult for brands to get their content in front of the right audience, and forcing them to open their wallets. But it’s not as pricey, or as complicated, as you might think.
Start with Facebook boosted posts and ads. Put simply, boosted posts improve your post’s reach, getting more eyeballs on your content, but audience options and targeting is limited. Ads, on the other hand, offer you a ton of custom audience options and hyper-targeting abilities ensuring you attract the right clients while maximizing campaign objectives like awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, conversions, and more. You don’t have to bust your budget either. Start small, learn, and optimize. Your bookkeeper will thank you.
“Ad spend on social media is on pace to outgrow TV ad spend for the first time.”
Don’t push and pray.
Devoid of any business or social strategy, the idea of creating content for the sake of “likes” or “comments” should never be a tactic for your business. When creating content you should always think of the audience first. Build content suited to every stage of the customer journey. There is no shortage of data to support a fully optimized and structured content strategy, you just have to know where to look and how to use the tools. Refer back to the point about providing value, and think twice before posting that cat meme.
While these tips are a great jumping off point for your business’s approach to social media, remember to tailor your strategy to suit your business and attract the clients you desire. And be sure to follow Design Manager on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join in on the conversation.
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