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!

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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!

Social Media in the Interior Design Industry

Social Media is a great resource for people in the Interior Design Industry. This really makes sense, as interior design is a visual art. Interior Design clients want to be inspired – to have new, exciting ideas triggered about beautifying their homes. Social Media and Interior Design are the perfect match, because designers can connect with prospective clients with visual ideas and inspiration. This post will focus on some of the cool ways interior designers are using social media to connect with consumers.Interior Designer on Social Media Networks

Blogs

Blogs are one of the major social media tools for interior designers. They give designers a chance to show off their best work and interact with potential clients in an informal manner. And they give consumers a chance to be inspired by new ideas and find a great local interior designer. Good interior design blogs are full of crisp, clear images of a designer’s interesting work, posts about the latest trends in the design industry, tips and ideas, links to other social media networks the designer is on and of course, contact information so interested clients can hire the designer.

Pinterest

With interior design being such a visual business, the highly visual social media network Pinterest is the perfect forum for interior designers to connect with potential clients. Visual images are such a powerful tool for interior designers. Images can convey the quality of a person’s work and a designer’s overall style and flavor, without saying a word.  Interior Designers are using Pinterest to showcase their best work, new ideas, and decorating tips/tricks they’ve picked up along the way. The best Interior Designer Pinterest pages take consumers on a visual journey of ideas and inspiration, giving prospective clients a flavor for their approach to design.

Instagram

Instagram is another extremely visual social networking website, where interior designers are sharing ideas and connecting with prospective clients on a very personal level. Interior Designers are posting everything from recent projects and new ideas/trends to pictures from their personal life (cute dogs! amazing vacations!) on the picture sharing Instagram and consumers seem to be loving it (proven by the THOUSANDS of Instagram followers the best designers on Instagram have). What’s really interesting about Instagram is how interior designers are sharing bits and pieces of their personal lives with consumers on this platform. This gives prospective clients a look at not only what a designer’s style is, but the kind of personality they could be working with if they were to hire the designer. A great working relationship is so important – Instagram gives interior designers a chance to show they not only can produce good work, but that they’re fun, creative people to work with.

YouTube

YouTube is an interesting resource for Interior Designers, because it gives them a chance to show their projects off in real time and it also allows prospective clients to get to know their personalities – and even to feel as though they already know them a bit. Effective Interior Design YouTube channels offer advice, tips/ideas, and showcases of projects completed by interior designers. Some designers even use a reality show format to engage with consumers and show them the behind the scenes aspects of interior design, which seems to be a great way to attract viewers (popular Interior Design YouTube channels have over 100K subscribers!) and show prospective clients their style and personality. Other interior designers produce detailed how-to and before/after videos that provide consumers with ideas, and that also showcase the designer’s work.

No matter which social networks interior designers choose to be active on, it’s clear that social media is a valuable tool in the Interior Design Industry. From the number of follows, likes, views, and comments on these various networks, it’s clear that consumers are eager to engage with interior designers via social media. Interior Designers and Home Decorators should examine the social media resources available to them and start building their SM presence today – prospective clients already are and so is the competition!

Stay tuned for next week’s post on interior designers and mobile applications.

First Post!

Hello Everyone ~ Welcome to the first post of InsideHomeDesign! I started this blog to review and discuss everything about home decorating and interior design. I’m going to be focusing on everything from ways to use Social Media to make money as a home decorator or interior designer to the best home design tips and tricks I pick up from the pros, to the progress of my own home renovations. This is going to be a great place to pick up home décor ideas, find out how to make money as an interior designer, and discuss ideas and…. well everything about interior decorating.

Before we really get into things, here’s a little bit about me:

I’m an advertising professional with a background in direct response, social media, and radio advertising. I currently work as the creative director at an advertising agency in Portland, Maine and I love my job! I’m also a wife and a Mom of two (a little boy and a baby girl). We live in Freeport, Maine in a ranch style home we bought two years ago. We love the town of Freeport and the general layout of our home (SO open, lots of square feet)…but our home is pretty dated, so we’ve been renovating it room by room for the past two years. We’ve come a long way…but we’ve got a l-o-n-g way to go and a strict budget to adhere to.

As we’ve renovated our home, it occurred to me that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE home interior design! I subscribe to a ton of great home interior decorating magazines and religiously visit many home décor blogs. I’m constantly doing “weekend warrior” home improvement projects. I’m a flea market, yard sale, Craigslist, and hardware store junky…it’s safe to say…I’m hooked! And I’ve picked up so many great tips and tricks along the way that I’m really excited to share here on this blog. As someone with an advertising and social media background, I would also like to share ways for interior designers or ANYONE who has a love for home décor to effectively market themselves online, via social media. I’m definitely always finding cool new ideas on this front along with new neat, budget friendly home decorating ideas and I’m so ready to share and discuss them…and pick up NEW ideas as well.