No longer a novelty or the domain of teens and twentysomethings, social media have become well-established communications and marketing platforms. So much so, that if you are not using them you run the risk of prospective clients not finding you. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram are often where consumers go first to search for information about services, view portfolios and read client reviews. And I’m not just talking about millennials. Mid-lifers and boomers rely on them heavily as well.
The problem for most interior designers is to figure out which to use, what to do, how often, and when. Social media is by no means the only form of marketing you should do. It should be part of a larger marketing strategy and plan that you create for your business. You need to think about what type of marketing or outreach works best on these platforms. If you are not familiar with them, talk with those who are and use them regularly to get a better understanding of their potential and limitations.
Our surveys show most designers get good results from Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. If you only have time and resources for two platforms, pick from those three.
Marketing effectively through social media involves more than just posting a tweet on Twitter, a promotion on Facebook or a dozen photos on Pinterest or Instagram. You have to remain active to maintain followers’ attention. Two or three posts a week are usually sufficient for a small business. Just like other forms of marketing, you need to put forth a distinctive brand and a clear message. You want to have compelling images and clean copy. This is an area where it pays to outsource to someone who has proven experience in effectively using these tools and who can monitor the activity your posts are getting. Developing a budget for social media content and maintenance should be part of your overall marketing plan. If you get even just one new client, it will more than pay for itself.
Don’t become too dependent on social media, however. Face-to-face networking is just as important, if not more so, virtual networking. Even more reason to let someone else handle social media for you while you devote marketing time to touching base with previous clients and meeting with new prospects.