Friend, foe and frenemy - social media plays different roles in the lives of different people, but for businesses, it’s a strong tool for marketing. Like it or not, social media is here to stay and you better start using it for reaping the best results.
As an interior designer, you are in the visual industry and must keep that in mind before you start making your social media marketing strategy.
But what do we mean when we say “social media strategy” - isn’t being active on these platforms enough? Nope.
There’s a difference between just being active on social media and strategically planning a whole marketing campaign with the intention of conversion and getting clients. Keeping in mind this immensely useful difference, we come across the very first and most important step - know your goal.
Establish your intent and purpose
Social media marketing, as previously said, isn’t all about going crazy with comments and likes - it's about achieving a certain goal. You definitely can’t achieve that goal if you have no idea what it is.
There are different reasons for people to start a social media marketing campaign - brand awareness, engagement, driving sales, getting new clients.
Until and unless you determine your goals, all your efforts are most likely going to be wasted. So sit down and ask yourself - what is it that you need the most at the moment?
Here we have a few options to help you out in case you are a beginner and confused about what you want to do first. You can use social media marketing for:
• Establish yourself as an expert
• Increasing brand awareness
• Showcasing your portfolio
• Establishing trust and credibility
• Engaging with your clients and audiences
• Getting new leads and clients
• Making existing clients your loyal fanbase
• To demonstrate your growth and evolution as an interior designer
• To drive sales
• To recruit interns, employees and partners
So now, if you know which one, or if all of these and more come in your list of what your objective is, let’s move on to the next most important step.
Choose your platforms
Hey, again, not saying you have to choose only one social media platform but knowing what’s ideal for your business works magic.
The most important reason for selecting social media platforms comes down to two things - one, your purpose and intent; second, how much work, time, energy and (sometimes) money you can put in.
If you are a one-person team and work as a freelancer, your time is valuable and you don’t wanna waste any of it on the wrong platforms which may end up not giving any results. On the other hand, if you work for a firm, or you can hire someone to work on social media marketing, you can actually expand your horizons here.
Some of the most famous social media platforms for interior designers are:
• Facebook - with a reach of 81% online population
• Pinterest - great for organising and sharing project visuals
• Twitter - best way to stay updated with new trends
• Instagram - being a visual platform, you probably know why
• Behance - custom made for creatives all around the world
• Houzz - bet you know why, but let’ s say it - it’ s the Mecca for interior designers
Establish your brand personality
Many new, independent interior designers make this mistake - although they create amazing content, engage well and are consistent, they don’t have a brand personality.
Now, what is a brand personality and why is it important? Let’s break down the two main elements of a brand personality - brand style and brand voice.
The brand style has everything to do with the look of your portfolio, profile and specifically the design aspect of your work. If I take a look at your Instagram page, what kind of feeling does that evoke in me by the mere visual of it? That feeling is your brand style and it must be unique and strong.
Now coming to brand voice - this is reflected in your choice of words. What kind of words do you usually use and how many exclamations marks do you, or don’t you, use in your captions? Brand voice can be serious, playful, witty, to-the-point. It’s what helps establish your brand style in a more concrete way
Brand voice and style will together establish your brand personality - the human traits your clients will often face whenever they land on your page or profile. Brand personality makes it easier to connect with your clientele and gain steady and loyal followers and friends on social media.
Creating content - make it relevant and visual
Content is the centre of your social media marketing - this is what you will put out there for everyone to engage with and this better be relevant.
If you have made an Instagram page or a Twitter account for the sake of business, make sure that’s primarily what it deals with.
As an interior designer, most of your content must be visually appealing - you can’t get away with designs mishaps.
And while it’s great to give a visual treat to your followers and online community, don’t forget to create value for them.
Sharing some tips along with nice pictures every now and once can be an amazing way of engaging with them - and you won’t have to write a full-fledged article like we are doing here.
Some of the visual content that you can create:
- Single product shot - even a simple vase portrayed nicely will do the trick
- Educational - you can give a few DIY tips for better decoration/designing
- Artwork showcase - because why not?Everyone loves it!
- A puzzle - remember those ‘ find the difference’ in two images game?
- Comparison - everyone loves to vote on their favourite interiors
- Walkthroughs - every new project completed can be shared in a short video
These are just a few examples - if you brainstorm more ideas, you can have a massive following by providing useful content.
Engage with your online community
Engagement is much more than merely liking and following people from your industry - it means you give and take valuable feedback too.
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let’s start with your content sharing - because that’s your very first step in social media engagement. You have to make sure you keep up with a certain schedule while posting content on social media.
Try putting up at least one post each day and if that’s not possible, make sure your posts are coming in on a fixed schedule consistently
And always, always try to reply to as many comments as you can - we understand it’s difficult to reply to each and every comment and message every single day but give it some time.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to engage with other interior designers and appreciate them as well. Social media platforms mean you have to get out there and socialise with more than just ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ - use words and comment on other's content too!
All that being said, make sure you are not being too rude to anyone - no one likes mean people! So be kind and polite.
And on a final note...
The points we have mentioned above are some of the most important things for social media marketing and there are some other tricks too which you will eventually figure out as you gain experience.
You can always take help from paid advertising and outsource the work that you can afford to outsource. There are many things that you will learn only once you start engaging more and researching more, other things are just passing wisdom.
Hashtags and trends are important, but remember, what’s even more important is to know how to deal with rejections, initial slow growth and sometimes harsh criticism.
Social media is a place where kindness is as abundant as trolls are - you gotta pick your battles and be kind to yourself and others - take care!