Future Implications

The social media landscape is evolving more and more each year – presenting interior designers and home decorating pros with exciting new opportunities to connect with their customers. Today’s post will discuss a few key future mobile social media trends for interior designers to stay on top of. ikea-2011-dining-room-ideas-8

Keep an Eye on Mobile

From iPads to Kindle Fires, iPhones to Androids, consumers LOVE their mobile devices. In fact, 91% of all people world-wide own a mobile phone – with over half of those phones being Smart Phones. For interior designers, this presents some great opportunity. Not only can work easily now be shared on a tablet (rather than bringing full scale drawings to client meetings), but consumers can now be communicated with while they’re in the middle of their purchase process (while browsing a big box retail store, for example). Interior designers should be able to reach these mobile consumers through continued use of traditional social media tools, like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Designers should also keep an eye out for mobile social media developments such as WhatsApp, which allows users to send photos, messages, and videos to each other across Smart Phone platforms and without using SMS services.

Keep the Visual Content Coming

People seem most drawn to social media with visual content, like videos and photos. Sites like Instagram, SnapChat, and Pinterest are extremely popular with a large variety of age groups and all evidence points to the popularity of visual content to continue to grow. This is great news for interior designers – as home design is such a visual industry. Videos and photos give designers a chance to shine – to display their style and creativity. And it’s great, because at the same time, you’re giving customers the kind of content they want to view. So – Showing off awesome projects you’ve completed on Instagram and Pinterest, or posting a quick tour of a space you’re really proud of or inspired by on YouTube are going to continue to be fabulous ways to connect with prospective clients and to build your brand as a design expert. Making sure to add a visual element to your blog, Twitter, and Facebook posts will be key in social media marketing through 2014 and beyond.

Keep up the Engagement

Modern consumers expect authentic engagement from the brands they interact with via social media. This is especially true for interior designers who may be looking to connect with new clients through social media efforts. Always make sure to stay engaged with your audience. If a client tweets a shout out to you about a job well done, remember to re-tweet them and let them know how much fun it was working with them. If people are commenting and/or asking questions on your YouTube page, jump into the discussion. Like I mentioned, people want engagement – especially when it’s from someone they may work with on something as personal as designing their home. Keep your engagement strategy strong and your social media efforts will likely pay off for years to come.

What social media predictions to you have for the future? Leave a comment and share!

 

Viral Marketing Initiatives

ImageViral marketing is a great way for designers and those in the home décor industry as a whole to connect with consumers. Not only can good viral marketing content build strong relationships with consumers; it also can bring in tons of awareness for a given brand, as people share the content with each other. Today’s post will review the successful HGTV #lovehome viral marketing campaign and the top five reasons why I’m such a big fan.

 It was Interactive – The HGTV #lovehome campaign asked TV audiences to post photos of favorite people, pets, projects and spaces they were proud of in their homes to their favorite social networks, using the hashtag #lovehome – for a chance to have their photo displayed in on the company blog and on a HGTV television ad. This campaign started right off being ALL about consumers. It was totally driven by content that people chose to post – and further, other HGTV fans would comment on the photos others were submitting. People who shared a common “love for home” were sharing and enjoying their content with each other and with the brand.

It was Cohesive – The same campaign hashtag connected consumers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There was also a company blog created just for the #lovehome campaign. Having the viral campaign spread across all of the appropriate social media networks at the time seemed to tie the campaign together and reinforce the message.

It was Shareable – If you’re like me, you probably have shared plenty of home décor ideas and inspiration across various social networks. The #lovehome campaign gave home design enthusiasts plenty of great content to share, with pictures of spaces others had created. In addition to having interesting enough content for people to want to share, having a cohesive campaign made it easy for consumers to share the content on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It was also very easy for people to communicate about the content within these various networks and on the company blog (which also has buttons making it easy to share content on the aforementioned social networks).

It wasn’t overly Promotional – Like I mentioned, this campaign was all about consumers sharing what they loved most about home. While it certainly got the brand name in front of many consumers (over 160K+ people used the hashtag to share photos), the focus always stayed on consumers and not the brand.  

It was Fun – In order for content to go viral, there has to be some element about it that compels people to share it. Sharing photos of things that make us happy or show off our awesome DIY home projects and ideas is fun! Having the chance to see your space featured on TV or even on a blog as an awesome home project, or your dog featured as an adorable pet, your Thanksgiving dinner featured as an amazing spread…is fun! It feels nice to be told we did an awesome job – that our hard work and creativity hasn’t gone unnoticed. The #lovehome campaign gave people just that opportunity.

Viral marketing offers so much opportunity for interior designers, those in the home décor and really marketers in any industry. Do any viral marketing campaigns stand out in your mind? Leave a comment to share!

Differentiation

QAwithPadmaLakshmiThis week’s (LONG overdue…I know) post will compare the social media campaigns of two major interior design/home décor e-commerce sites.

Two of my absolute favorite websites for finding awesome things for the home are Joss & Main and Wayfair.com. Both of these sites have amazing pieces and prices start at levels I can actually afford (win!)

Joss & Main is a member-only flash sale based site (very easy to sign up) that has different really limited time sales on all kinds of cool home décor items. I’m in love with their collection of graphic print rugs

Wayfair is a discount site that has an absolutely HUGE selection of everything for home. I love their selection of fun table lamps.

Now that my rather opinionated description of the websites we’re discussing is out of the way…let’s dig into the social media strategy for these two online design resources.

Joss & Main is active on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

Their Facebook account has a strong number of followers at 251K Likes. There are several posts within this page and it looks like posting happens daily. One thing I noticed when looking through their Facebook page is that other than the initial posting, Joss & Main doesn’t seem to be interacting with their fans. It would be interesting to see if their amount of Likes increased if they took the time to check back into each post and respond to the conversations they sparked within their community.

Joss & Main’s Twitter account doesn’t have a very strong following at less than 10K followers. This is disappointing from an interior designer stand point, as Joss & Main does such a great job at curating works from seasoned as well as up and coming designers to feature on their site. I’m sure they would love the extra exposure Twitter can provide.  Joss & Main seems to Tweet fairly regularly, but again, they aren’t really engaging with consumers. I think they could really find better use of Twitter by engaging with their customers – actively re-Tweeting design related posts from their followers and Tweeting content of interest to consumers other than just current sales could go a long way in enhancing engagement.

Their Pinterest & Google + accounts have a lot of really great content with tons of pictures and ideas. But again – Where is the consumer engagement?

Let’s move onto Wayfair. These guys are on the exact same social media networks as Joss & Main. This makes sense, given they have the same target audience. Wayfair.com actually has a huge presence on Facebook, with over 1 million Likes. However, like Joss & Main, they don’t engage in the discussions they start on their page. Imagine if they took time to even just check in once and respond to any sticky themes.

Wayfair’s Twitter account is also quite comparable to Joss & Main, but Wayfair has double the amount of followers. And Wayfair’s Pinterest and Google + also has the same themes and overall feel as Joss & Main – just with a larger number of people following.

I’m surprised that both Wayfair and Joss & Main aren’t active on YouTube. Selling such visual merchandise, it seems like YouTube would be a great way to connect with potential customers.

All that being said – Both companies seem to be doing a decent job with social media. With more follow up on ACTIVE engagement, I think they would each have great SM campaigns going.

What home décor/interior design stores get social media right in your opinion? Leave me a comment to discuss!

10 Surprisingly Chic Leopard Print Home Accessories

I’m so into Leopard & Zebra print in the home right now. This blog post from The Nest really covered some fun, cute Leopard print accessories! Are you using animal print in your home? Leave a comment with your ideas!

The Nest

Love leopard (but hate its tacky reputation?). Here are ten ways to add some safari to your space without going overboard:

Leopard Pillow in Marine (both sides shown), $104

Animal Patch Serving Tray from Wayfair, $28

Ralph Lauren Natasha Leopard Frame, starting at $595

Handpainted Leopard Wine Glass, $17

Leopard 22×22 Pillow in Red, $79

Leopard 22×22 Pillow in Orange, $79

Leopard 22×22 Pillow in Brown, $79

Fitz Floyd Serengeti Salad Plate, $35

Khaki Leopard Accent Plate, $8

L’Objet Leopard Coasters, $145 for 4

 

Need more great tips for entertaining? Join our community to chat about organizing tricks or click to our Pinterest boards for decorating inspiration.

More Must-Clicks:

Unconventional Wall Art We Secretly Love

24 Bone Inlay Accessories from Katie Anderson of Modern Eve

9 Decor Steals You Need Right Now

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Top 3 Marketing Ideas for Interior Designers on YouTube

YouTube is an excellent platform for interior designers to connect with potential clients. This huge video based social media network gives designers a chance to show what you can do and also give prospective customers a look into your fun, creative personality. This post will review a few interior designers on YouTube and even a couple DIYers that are really getting it right (and WHY) on YouTube.

Interior Design Reality Shows~ One really cool way interior designers are using YouTube is by posting reality show type of clips of themselves during various jobs. Rebecca Robeson, of Robeson Design in California has a great interior design YouTube channel that models a reality show you might find on HGTV. Her interior design You Tube Channel has over 100,000 subscribers, made up of an engaged audience evidenced by hundreds of comments on each post. Many of the comments are from people who would like to hire Robeson for a job – and she’s able to trigger engagement personal engagement with these prospective customers off YouTube. While filming a popular interior design YouTube reality series is likely something that takes a ton of time, it’s probably also something that brings in a ton of good leads. Say what you will about reality TV – people are still drawn to that form of entertainment! Interior Design reality shows on YouTube give viewers the chance to get an inside look at a creative industry, it gives viewers tips and ideas they can use in their own spaces, it sets up the designer as an authority on interior home design and most importantly – it brings in warm LEADS! If you’re an interior designer or a DIYer like myself – consider starting a reality type of YouTube channel. It’s certainly something I’m toying with!

How To Videos~ Another awesome way interior designers are using YouTube is by marking how-to videos. There are TONS of really excellent interior design how-to videos on YouTube. The best ones by interior designers give genuinely helpful information, along with mentions of who the designer is and how to get in touch with them for interior design projects. There are also a lot of great How To videos by DIYers who have been able to create quite a following for themselves on YouTube. As with interior designers, the best DIY decorator videos have useful information, are engaging, and include some kind of trigger for engagement off YouTube (such as a website).

Before/After Clips~ Audiences love make overs! It’s clear from the popularity of TV shows like The Swan, Biggest Loser, and Extreme Makeover Home Editions, that people are fascinated with tales of others reinventing themselves. The YouTube audience is no different, and smart interior designers are taking notice. Another neat way interior designers are using YouTube is posting before and after videos of their best projects. Before and After clips can be tricky, as the content really has to be engaging in order to gain (and keep) viewers. The best interior design before and after videos on YouTube, have far more than just rotating before/after pics of past jobs. They’re engaging. They have music, voice over, or even better, clips of the designer discussing their work. The before and after pictures are clear and high quality. And of course, the way to contact the designer appears at some point in the video. YouTube Before and After videos are another great way for designers to showcase their work in a way that’s engaging to consumers. It’s a great way to show exactly what you can do for your clients, without having to make a ton of cold calls. And, before and after videos are relatively easy to do!

YouTube is such an awesome resource for interior designers and really anyone who is into interior design. If done correctly, YouTube can be a solid source of leads for interior designers. What are your favorite interior design channels on YouTube? Leave a comment and discuss!

Bright Red Built In Bookshelf

Bookshelf

I am so excited about the bright red built in bookshelf we recently refinished in our dining room. All we needed was a pint of Valspar “Real Red” and an hour of time (plus a great set of hardcover classic books my husband inherited from his grandparents and a few select nick nacks).

Besides the classic books and the very bright red paint in this bright red built in bookshelf, my favorite part of this display is the nick nacks. I found these adorable teal “Hear No Evil. Speak No Evil. See No Evil” Glass Owls for just $6 a piece at Marshall’s in Boston MA. And I inherited the cute pewter fishy mail holder from my Grandpa Marty.

I just love how the bright red serves as a perfect backdrop for items my husband and I each inherited from family (minus the crazy, yet so fun owls). And the high gloss finish keeps it fun and functional!

Have you ever painted the inside of a bookshelf? What colors did you use? Leave a comment and let me know! And be sure to check out more picks of the DIY Bookshelf below.

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Blogging Best Practices for Interior Designers

Interior Design Blogs offer interior designers a ton of opportunity to connect with potential clients. And it’s no secret that numerous designers have great interior design blogs that are growing in popularity. This week’s post will review a few of the interior design blogs that are excellent examples of blogging best practices for interior designers. Material Girls Photo

Design Sponge – This is an awesome interior design blog that is updated 6-8 times per day with fresh and interesting design content. With blog posts ranging from Before/After projects to Spaces & Places, to DIY projects and more, there is plenty of content within this blog to keep readers engaged. One neat way Design Sponge makes their content super user (and SEO) friendly is with the “I Want To” icon, which has links to popular content categories, such as “Look at Homes,” “Start a Make Over” and “Get Crafty”. Posting fresh, interesting content on a regular basis is a blogging best practice that Design Sponge definitely is getting right.

Decor8Blog – This bright and colorful interior design blog is full of amazing images and eye catching graphics. The blog appeals to the very visual nature of interior design, with large, bright photographs of interior design ideas/inspiration, the interiors of amazing homes, and DIY craft ideas. This blog is a great example of the blogging best practice of incorporating graphics within each post. The graphics on the blog really make each post come alive and help to set the overall tone for the blog.

Material Girls – This is a really fun blog that’s written by multiple interior designers across 5 major cities in the United States. Something really cool about this blog is the high level of encouragement the writers give users to interact with them via social media. At the top of the homepage are links to connect on Facebook and Twitter, and on the left sidebar is another invitation to connect on Facebook, along with an icon with a link to follow the blog on Pinterest. Additionally, each post has numerous social media and social bookmarking icons clearly labeled for easy sharing. Incorporating social media and encouraging reader engagement is a blogging best practice Material Girls is doing extremely well.

A few words about blogging and Twitter~

One great way to quickly get the word out about your interior design blog and connect with potential clients is by using Twitter to engage with your audience. Here are a couple of interior designers who exemplify best Twitter practices for interior designers.

Debbie Travis – Debbie Travis is a great example of how an interior designer can use Twitter to establish themselves as an authority on design, and build a loyal following. She posts often (at least 3x per day) and she interacts with her followers in a timely fashion. She has well over the recommended 200 followers (she actually has over 10K!), and her personal picture is incorporated into her account.

Yanko Design – This interior design Twitter handle is an excellent example of how a designer can build a following by sending out helpful Tweets to their audience. Easy DIY projects, design ideas, and product recommendations make this interior design Twitter feed a prime example of how followers will come if one is posting truly useful content.

What are some of your favorite design blogs and/or Twitter handles? Comment & Share!

Social Media Mistakes to Avoid for Interior Designers

Houzz.com - A Great Interior Design BlogIf 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!