If you’re in the interior design industry, you should be using social media. It’s a great way to connect with current and potential clients, and get the word out about yourself without having to go door to door begging people to review your portfolio. What’s really great about social media for interior designers is that you don’t have to risk a lot of money to reap the benefits of adding it to your marketing mix. The risks associated with social media for interior designers have more to do with pitfalls that can occur if you don’t follow best practices with your social media campaign. This post will outline some of the risks that can be associated with social media for designers (and how you can avoid them!).
Unprofessional Blog: In this day and age, your website and blog are often the first look prospective clients have at you and your work. Your blog represents who you are and what your style is all about. As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is extremely true regarding your interior design blog. A blog that is poorly thought out, lacking images, and without a cohesive design theme can send the wrong message out to potential clients. It is so important for your blog to be professional. This means, high quality images, stylish font, and a general theme that carries throughout the blog. Additionally, your blog should give consumers a general impression of your overall style. What’s your signature style? Traditional? Modern? Eclectic? Your blog should reinforce your design flavor to potential clients. And reflect your professionalism and creativity. If your blog causes people to question these points, you could lose out on a lot of potential business. So, bottom line – Make sure your blog is of A+ quality.
Unrealistic Expectations: Because social media allows for instant interaction practically anytime/any place, it can be easy for clients to have the expectation that you’re able to communicate with them 24/7. This can lead to you spending time communicating with clients, and less time actually working on their projects. Managing this aspect of social media will take some offline work. Make sure that you’re keeping realistic timeframes in perspective for your clients and managing the times you’re interacting with them online. You could be proactive and send clients quick thoughts on how their project is coming along using a social media app on your mobile phone. A quick “The new wall is up and we’re starting to paint! Offline until 3pm!” mobile message sent to a client via Google+ or Facebook chat could go a long way. While it’s great that social media gives clients the chance to reach out to you with ideas/questions/etc, it’s important to manage your social media communications with clients so that you’re engaging effectively, rather than wasting valuable creative/design time. If you spend an entire projects feeling rushed or distracted, the end result won’t be likely to make anyone very happy.
Not Using Social Media: This one may seem obvious, given the nature of this post, but it’s really worth noting what a huge mistake it is for any interior designer to NOT be using social media in 2013. Social media has so many great, visual networks (Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube) that instantly show consumers your excellent style and design technique. How else can you (virtually instantly) show your best work samples to thousands of potential customers? Not only does social media help build awareness, but it can also help you build or confirm a great reputation. Everyone looks online to learn more about professionals they may want to engage with. A word of mouth recommendation is likely to trigger a web search for your name and company. If you don’t have a strong web presence, that word of mouth recommendation may go no further than just a passing conversation. Lastly – Not engaging in social media is a huge mistake for interior designers, because practically all of your competitors ARE using social media. This means, their names and design ideas could be reaching thousands of potential customers per day, they could be generating great leads, and establishing themselves as authorities on design. Plus, a strong social media campaign can have SEO benefits, which could put your competitors ahead of you on search engines. Any way you slice it – the potential pitfalls of social media for interior designers are strongly outweighed by the risks of NOT using social media. So if you’re an interior designer who is on the fence about starting your social media campaign – get on it TODAY!
What are some of the major risks/pitfalls of social media you’ve experienced or seen? Leave a comment and let me know!