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!

 

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Interior Designers: How to Use a Mobile Application to Gain New Clients

Mobile applications are exciting social media tools for interior designers. There are a lot of opportunities for interior designers to use mobile apps to build reputations and gain new clients. This week’s post will cover how to use a mobile application by the popular online design community Houzz.com to help build your interior design business.

Houzz.com is a very cool online interior design community made of interior designers, interior design experts (like bloggers, photographers) and interior design enthusiasts (consumers).

The website itself is a great resource for designers to showcase their work share their expertise, and show off  their design flavor. It’s also a great resource for consumers who are looking for everything from design ideas and inspiration to local architects and interior designers. As such, it’s a wonderful place for interior designers to connect with potential customers.

The Houzz.com mobile application allows interior designers to upload idea books, showcase complete projects, and general design inspiration. There is also a tool interior designers can use to provide references for others they have worked with in the field (such as flooring specialists, and furniture makers). Consumers can view these references/reviews others in the field have given interior designers to see how each designer is regarded by their peers. This can really help establish how experienced and professional you appear as an interior designer. Consumers can also browse through reviews of designers done by past clients. This offers home decorators the chance to display their strong work ethic to consumers in real time.

Another really cool benefit of this mobile app for interior designers also ties into a benefit for consumers. People are able to create idea books of design ideas and styles they would like to incorporate into their home décor. A designer can view a potential client’s idea book using this app and get a feel for the person’s style and the kind of look they’re working towards for their home. This would be a great tool to use if you were an interior designer meeting with a potential client for the first time. By pulling up the Houzz.com app on your iPad or other mobile device, you could see exactly the kind of flavor the potential client is looking for and you could pull up examples of your work (also using the Houzz app) that speak to the client’s individual taste.

Another really great aspect of this mobile app for interior designers is that you can participate in real time discussions via the discussion boards. This could be an interesting way to gain really warm leads on new clients. By participating in discussion forums, you could easily set yourself up as an authority on any given design topic. This is great, because if you’re an interior designer giving consumers valuable information on topics they need help on, you could really establish a name for yourself as helpful, creative and knowledgeable. This could easily translate into more clients. For example, you could answer a design question you notice someone has in your local area. The person would likely be very appreciative and they could even (hopefully) inspired by your great ideas. From there, you could offer them a free in person design consultation, where you could use the idea books as noted above to really tailor the discussion based on the potential client’s personal style. It’s a way to get a really warm lead and potentially gain a new client.

Lastly, Houzz.com is a great mobile app for interior designers, because it ties into other social networks. This allows potential clients to share interior design ideas (hopefully yours!) with their entire network of  friends. Consumers can “Like” your photos and profile within Houzz.com and on Facebook. They can also Tweet your idea books, profile, and even discussions you’ve been a part of as well. This is a really easy way for your name and reputation to be shared organically among potential clients.

There are so many mobile applications out there that can be useful for interior designers. If you’re an interior designer or home decorator, the Houzz.com mobile app is one you don’t want to miss!

Be sure to check out next week’s post covering the challenges and risks interior designers face when engaging in social media.