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The content crush: How designers keep up with social media

Mar 13, 2019
Fred Nicolaus

As recently as a few years ago, the concept of designers getting projects through their Instagram accounts was seen by many as a novelty—a funny quirk of the new digital age. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find a designer who hasn’tconnected in some way with potential clients over the image sharing platform. From leads on new projects to partnerships with brands to direct sales, Instagram has become a very real tool for designers to bring in revenue.

With the opportunity comes a cost: The daily struggle to post great content and feed the social media beast. (“The beast is hungry!” designer and influencer Emily Hendersontells Business of Home.) Designers are designers, accountants, project managers, stylists and therapists already. Adding “photographer, writer and social media expert” to the pile is, for many, a burdensome task and a stressful addition to an already hectic daily schedule.

Then there’s the question of content. Even the busiest designers only complete a handful of projects each year, which gets you through…a few weeks of posts? Some designers meet the pressure head on by posting constantly, letting their accounts serve as a running diary of their process. Some became aggregators, re-posting inspiring work. Others choose to sidestep the issue in a cheeky way—Stedila Design’s Tim Buttononly posts pictures of his shoes. However they deal with it, all designers must contend with the fact that an active social media presence is the norm, not the exception; those who choose Instagram abstinence do so at their peril.

We reached out to four designers who have made social media work for them. They offered BOHa peek behind the curtain and told us how they keep the beast at bay.

The Influencer
You already follow Emily Henderson. If you don’t, you follow someone who does. The Los Angeles–based stylist and designer entered public consciousness in 2010 when she won HGTV’s Design Starand earned a spinoff series, Secrets From a Stylist. In recent years, however, Henderson has taken her talents from the small screen to the smallest screen: Her YouTube channel has 40,000 subscribers, and her Instagram boasts a cool 780,000-plus followers.

Emily Henderson

Emily HendersonTessa Neustadt

You don’t need metrics to know that Henderson just getsInstagram. Her signature is a blend of the aspirational and approachable—she shows her audience not only the sparkling end result, but also the slip-ups and snafus that go into making it happen. It’s warm, it’s fun, it’s addictive. Reassuring, then, to hear that an expert practitioner of the form doesn’t always know exactly what to post. “I wish that I had all the Instagram answers, but we know as much as anyone,” says Henderson. “We just throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Then, when that stops sticking, try something new.”

Henderson relies on a mixed-bag method when planning her content—part metrics-based, part gut feeling. The latter is important to get the ball rolling; the former helps with fine-tuning. “Once [Instagram] started to get extremely saturated, it was tricky to find a way to break through all the noise, and we had to get serious about strategy,” says Henderson. “Metrics have become a big part of that, and really, it’s all about trying new things every day, no matter how out-of-the-box they feel. You never know what’s going to hit, so you might as well try it all.”

To manage the daily pressure to post, Henderson relies on a similarly mixed strategy. “For early morning posts, we use a program called Planoly to schedule automatic postings, and then do the rest manually,” she says. Beyond that, Henderson herself still posts personally throughout the day, though she’s not shy about giving credit to a social team. “Ultimately ‘juggling it all’ is nearly impossible on your own and I don’t. I have an incredible team and family to support me daily. I would just say to know your limits and learn to say no. If you don’t, you run the very real risk of burning out. Then you won’t be able to juggle anything.”

The content crush: How designers keep up with social mediaWe have started to repurpose older content that is still great and relevant. This has been a game-changer for us.

Emily Henderson

An interesting takeaway: There’s no shame in recycling old projects, especially if they’re repackaged in an interesting way. “We have started to repurpose older content that is still great and relevant,” says Henderson. “This has been a game-changer for us in the best way. We get to reuse content we put so much work into, but in a fresh way so the audience doesn’t feel like they aren’t getting good content.”

Henderson is also an expert at finding ways to create engaging content out of the process itself—for example, roadblocks in the fixing up of her family’s country retreat (dubbed “The Mountain House”) became a kind of mini-saga for her followers, who were invited to weigh in on the proceedings. Today’s hassle is tomorrow’s content.

Perhaps the most important lesson to glean from Henderson’s Instagram acumen is simply that she’s good at it because she likes it. “As much I as I get sick of looking at screens all day every day, I love social media,” she says. “It’s exciting (and exhausting) but ultimately I’m super grateful for it.”

The Organizer
“A lot of my girlfriends in the design world are like, ‘Well, I’ll post when I get around to it,’” says Becky Shea. “That’s not me.”

Shea’s not kidding. The young New York–based designer takes a methodological approach to social media that would put any “Millennials are lazy!” thinkpiece to shame. Her process revolves around careful organization, long-term business strategy and a strict monthly schedule.

“On the first Sunday of every month, I’ll spend two to three hours coming up with a color story, looking for content and figuring out how my projects work into the mix,” says Shea. “I map out 30 days, and then block out time during the week to come up with captions. The third step is thinking about the following month, and making plans—like whether I should schedule a session with my photographer to do some pictures with flowers for Floral Friday.”

Becky Shea

Becky SheaCourtesy of Becky Shea

Shea’s meticulous approach extends to her on-the-go schedule. She’s careful to block out time at the end of every site visit to take pictures and videos. Likewise, she schedules time into her day to engage with her audience, comment on others’ pictures, and prune her account of roving bots. (Those endless “Great pic!” comments on your favorite designer’s posts are likely automated.) “I want to build a true, ride-or-die following, not robots,” she explains.

Shea built up her meticulous system gradually. When she first began her business, she was far more laissez-faire about social media. However, as she approached the five-year mark of her practice, she took a close look at her overall strategy and began to see the upside to a more robust social media plan.

The rewards are very real. A significant percentage of Shea’s new business comes through Instagram: She told BOH that her firm has potential clients reaching out every day, and that she has turned down more than 65 projects in the past four months alone. However, new projects are only the tip of the iceberg—brand partnerships are the tantalizing reward for a substantial, engaged audience. “As designers, we’re selling products every day already,” Shea says. “If you can get your account to a certain number, you can do affiliate partnerships.”

Such partnerships are a lucrative side hustle for some designers—a chance to generate revenue without having to spend all day shuffling through samples at a design center. They’re usually limited, however, to designers who have reached a certain threshold of followers and engagement. “10,000 followers is that lucky number,” Shea says. “That’s when brands start to take you a little bit more seriously.” Once an account reaches 10,000 followers, Instagram allows it to share outbound links in story segments. As the platform shifts its algorithm to favor sponsored content over organic posts, getting to that number requires discipline and ingenuity.

The content crush: How designers keep up with social media10,000 followers is that lucky number. Thats when brands start to take you a little more seriously.

Becky Shea

To meet her goal of posting roughly twice a day, Shea relies on a 50/50 mix of her own projects and the (properly credited) work of others. She says #inspo posts are simply part of the picture (“How else are you supposed to gain new followers and reach new markets?”) and that whenever others re-post her work (also properly credited), it’s flattering confirmation that she’s catching people’s attention. She tries to be efficient in curating inspirational posts, often relying on Pinterest as a tool to grab interesting content during the normal course of business.

Shea will also occasionally fill out her feed and stories with snatches of her personal life, but she edits carefully—she has a digital native’s intuitive understanding of the unspoken mores that govern social media. “What I post is pretty curated,” she says. “I’ll take pictures of where I’m at, and maybe my husband [who is also Shea’s business partner], but it’s not like my real life.”

Some designers might balk at the discipline that this approach requires, but you can’t argue with results. When BOH conducted an interview with Shea for this story a few weeks back, she was at 7,600 followers. As of press time, she had cracked 8,000.

The Free Spirit
Take a break from this article and go follow Meredith Heron—you won’t regret it. The Toronto designer’s Instagram is a lively jaunt through the world of high-end interiors accompanied by a wise, wisecracking guide. Heron’s work, a fetching mix of traditional details, bold color and custom finishing, is half the appeal. The other is her running irreverent commentary on the process, especially in Instagram stories. Red wine features. Delayed flights are scolded. No punches are pulled. The method behind Heron’s freewheeling approach?

“I do it all myself,” says Heron. “Every Instagram, every tweet, that’s me.”

Meredith Heron

Meredith HeronCourtesy of Meredith Heron

Heron is a veteran of the Canadian design scene (she also has a significant American clientele) and a regular on HGTV. She’s been an early adopter since “social media” meant comments on blogs, and has leveraged the medium in all its forms. In 2011, when Instagram was only a year old, Heron and a blogger client collaborated on a pink kitchen project with its own hashtag (#projectkitchengorgeous), a novel approach at the time. The kitchen was later published, and still generates leads for Heron today, she says.

Heron’s approach to Instagram reflects her confidence and sharp wit—one gets the sense that she never struggles with what to post, because she’s always working or joking. “I have a girlfriend, she’s an amazing designer, but she’s an introvert—sometimes she asks me to proofread her Instagram posts, which is tough,” says Heron. “I do mine as a stream of consciousness on the go.”

Heron curates her content, but isn’t precious about it, especially for Instagram stories. If an image goes up that doesn’t quite hit the mark, Heron relishes the chance to learn and create a conversation with her audience: “Some of my best posts have been mistakes.”

Like many designers, Heron gets business through Instagram. Unlike most, she also gets kudos for sharing an unfiltered take on an often heavily filtered world. “I get more and more comments from people appreciating the honesty,” says Heron. “So many people see Instagram as stressful. They think people are truly living this really fabulous life all the time, they drink the Kool-Aid, they feel like they’re not worthy, and they get stressed out. Showing them the process lets them relax.”

One side of Instagram Heron would like to see less of is #inspo posting, especially without credit. “People are after followers. They share pictures of beautiful spaces that they didn’t do, and it becomes a Tumblr experience, where no one knows where anything came from,” says Heron. “People become influencers on the backs of others’ work.”

The content crush: How designers keep up with social mediaIf you’re not crediting people, and not sharing your process, and you’re sharing Suzanne Kasler … when people find you, they’re looking for a cheaper Suzanne Kasler, not you.

Meredith Heron

If designers properly credit and celebrate each other’s work, Heron sees a gray area of etiquette—okay, but not preferred. She advises mentees to focus on their own strengths, make mistakes, and develop their own aesthetic, even if it takes time. “If you’re not crediting people, and not sharing your process, and you’re sharing Suzanne Kasler… when people find you, they’re looking for a cheaper Suzanne Kasler, not you,” says Heron. “If we all do things that are interesting and adventurous and unique, then the whole industry goes up.”

The Hired Gun
For designers who can’t find the time or inspiration to engage with social media themselves, there’s always another option—pay someone else to do it. It’s an open secret that many design PR firms charge a fee to handle social posting for clients. There are also companies that carve out the task as a standalone business, like Darla Powell’s Wingnut Social.

Darla Powell

Darla PowellCourtesy of Darla Powell

Powell, a Miami-based interior designer, first saw a need for the service after her own experience with an outside social media marketing firm. “We hired them because we had run out of time to do our own social, but it was a disaster. They didn’t speak design,” she says. “They used other designers’ work as my own, it was horrible branding, and the way they wrote was totally mismatched. It would appeal to someone who was buying cornflakes or tennis shoes, not a luxury design service.”

Powell started Wingnut in 2018 and quickly found a market for her services. A year later, she and her partner have two employees and are looking to hire more. Powell and her team work with clients to identify potential hashtags, maximize engagement, and report in-depth on analytics. Even so, often the biggest draw is pure convenience. “It all boils down to time—designers don’t always have the time to figure it out and then implement it,” Powell says.

Wingnut offers a range of services, from a complete package including content creation and engagement (as in, direct interaction with commenters) to a more stripped-down arrangement. The company charges anywhere from $750 for a simple plan up to $4,000 per month for a comprehensive brand package.

Wingnut does work with a few designers who are looking to go big—influencers in training. However, the majority of its clients are looking to work with a local audience. As such, Powell frequently advises to designers to focus more on engagement than follower counts. As for volume, Powell urges them not to give in to the urge to overpost. “Three times a week is good, you don’t lose much traction that way. Any more than twice a day is too much,” she says. “More than regularity, it’s posting something people will want to see and engage with.”

Which begs the question—what to do if designers don’t have enough projects for three posts a week? Is #inspo posting ever #okay? “There is a divide on this subject,” says Powell. “Statistically speaking, inspo posts generate the most likes and engagement. But the way to do it is by really telling the story of the person you’re posting. As long as you credit them and give them kudos, it’s a great strategy and will help you engage.”

Powell wants to keep growing her company, and eventually branch into other industries as well. But right now she’s happy to focus on the design world. Big picture, does she see any change on the social media horizon? “There are a lot of variables at play. But when designers do it right—it works,” Powell says. “My own interior design business has gotten its best clients from Instagram.”

Homepage photo courtesy of Meredith Heron
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The real way social media helps interior design businesses

Catherine Iste

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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The real way social media helps interior design businesses

Marketing isn’t the only thing Pinterest and Instagram can help designers do. The ease of posting amazing images, inspiring design boards and our portfolios makes both sites great tools for sharing more about our work, approach and style.

On the flip side, both sites can wreak havoc on our productivity, self-esteem and may not directly help our marketing. There is more to these impactful platforms and it is time to better understand and take advantage of the real ways social media helps our design businesses.

The beauty of numbers

The design board does not make the room. While social media like Pinterest and Instagram both embrace and embody the importance of the visual experience, there is more to design work than beauty.

Mark D. Sikes is an internet design phenom, but he was quoted in a recent Elle Decor article giving props to his retail experience at Banana Republic for teaching him how to “execute creativity and how to manage big teams — (both of which) have been instrumental in his success as a designer.”

In other words, amazing images are necessary but no less important are project management and operational skills. And without a clear understanding of what we are using social media for and how we are tracking that purpose, we are likely wasting a lot of our limited time and money.

For those without an entire team or unlimited resources to spend building up a website, blog and active presences on multiple social media outlets, how much time can we really afford to invest in active management of our online presence?

Thus, step one in ensuring social media helps our design business: get clear today on why we are using it and start tracking right now whether it is returning on our investment of time, energy and creativity.

BFFs and likes

Second, remember that the best client is a current client. Doing our best work and ensuring our clients love us opens the opportunity for them to use us again in other rooms and other houses. Plus, they can refer us with wonderful word of mouth — sharing our posts or allowing us to post images from their project. The other way social media helps designers is by deepening our relationship with current clients.

This can happen in two ways that do not require an additional time investment from us — trend-spotting and referrals.

First, we are already monitoring what styles are trending, where they are coming from and how they are being interpreted. With social media, we can easily share those trends with our clients and if the trend is something we have already embraced, we can highlight our way of incorporating it.

If it is not something we have already implemented, we can weigh in with how we would interpret it. Both perspectives provide current clients an open, fresh line of communication with what we are doing — reinforcing our relevance and expertise.

Second, social media makes referrals easy and easily trackable in a way it never was before. We can use this as a great opportunity to appreciate our current clients for any positive media they share.

Thus, while social media allows us to easily, visually present our style and approach it can also help us appreciate and optimize our relationship with our current clients. Further, by creating clear goals around our social media purpose, we can fully take advantage of the simple ways these platforms allow us to track the impact social media has our bottom line.

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About the Author

Catherine Iste

Catherine Iste is the founder of betterHR.org, an online school that is redefining recertification by providing fun, unique and convenient continuing education for HR pros, nurses, attorneys and CPAs. Connect with her on LinkedIn or at betterHR.org.

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6 steps to make social media help your brand

Mark MacDonald

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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6 steps to make social media help your brand

Social media is a communication tool that will make or break your business’s brand.

Our marketing-cluttered world is demonstrated on social media. Simply open the global Twitter feed, and you’ll see millions of people saying something. In real time, your feed churns so quickly you can’t keep up, and little breaks through.

But certain people’s and brand’s posts are “must reads” since you really enjoy their content. Imagine if your business was a must-read brand! It can be.

Here’s how:

1. Discover your thread

Stop trying to be something to everyone. Think about what your business does extremely well and for whom. How are you a solution to a major concern or a path to a specific goal?

Establish a communication thread with fences to keep every department focused on that thread.

2. Lock down what your thread looks like and talks like

Now, decide what your visual brand looks like. It starts with a professional logo/symbol that’s unique and simple enough to be recognizable as a small social media icon. Establish and lock down 2-3 colors that limit your designs.

Then — a more difficult task — create one voice for your brand thread. List keywords to use (check with Google to see if people are looking for them). Ensure your icons and descriptions are consistent across all your social media profiles and on your website.

3. Limit your words and outlets

Edit all content to the fewest words necessary to get your idea across. Use keywords, hashtags and links to give people more information if they want it.

Don’t try to communicate everywhere; limit the social media feeds to only ones you can do extremely well for your brand. Only have the bandwidth for one? Probably Facebook will work.

4. Create a reasonable schedule

Based on the amount of people who follow you and the kind of people you’re attracting, think about when they’re mostly free (before work, lunch, evenings, etc.), and post at those times.

Don’t overdo it; simply think about (or research) the lifespan of a post. Twitter is short-lived, so you can post a lot. For Facebook, not so much. Be consistent.

5. Entertain near the thread

Stop pushing information, and think about ways to entertain those who follow you. Make sure it’s not mindless entertainment (although occasionally that’s fun); instead build on your thread and get people to understand and expect certain types of posts.

Don’t surprise followers with content; if you jump the fence too many times, people will unsubscribe from your feed. Attempt to entertain 80 percent of the time with 20 percent being marketing or promotions.

6. Build an audience

When a certain type of person sees you’re helping them solve their concerns or giving them hope toward obtaining a goal (and you’re doing it consistently), you’ll gain followers.

People will start to rely on what you have to offer them (your thread). Your visual brand consistency lets them notice you in the cluttered social media world, and your posts will say, “Wait, I have something you must read.”

Just make sure you deliver. All the time. Every time.

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About the Author

Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald is a Bible teacher, speaker, best-selling author of “Be Known For Something,” and communication strategist for BeKnownForSomething.com. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at BeKnownBook.com and Amazon.com.

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Social Media: The Free Ride is Over

AUTHORS Eric Schimelpfenig 

OCT 24, 2016

Social media as we know it hasn’t been around for that long. MySpace and Facebook, the first competitive platforms for sharing online socially, were founded in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Later on came Houzz, Pinterest and Twitter.

Let’s take a look at Facebook’s mission statement:

“Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

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Through the selfie keyhole: how social media is transforming interior design

WHEN The Great Interior Design Challenge broadcast its first series in the UK, it seemed like just another Great British Bake Off wannabe, a desperate bid to make swatches as ‘great’ as sponges, or plywood the new soggy bottom. But, with this year’s series in a primetime BBC2 slot, and interior design superstar Kelly Hoppen on the team, it suddenly started to feel like a genuine popularising force, bringing a new vocabulary of terms like maximalism, minimalism and mid century modern, to the British public.

Just as Changing Rooms defined a Britain of fast furniture and DIY makeover of the 1990s, The Great Interior Design Challenge seemed to be saying something about the new way we were relating to our homes.

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ASID News

SCALE 2018: A Student Event Like No Other

SCALE: The ASID National Student Summit took place in the thriving, rejuvenated heart of L.A., February 23-25, 2018. Attracting more than 400 attendees from over 70 colleges and universities across the country, SCALE explored relevant, timely topics in design and included experiences created to ready students for their first professional positions. Through exclusive tours of top design firms and projects, students caught a glimpse of their futures and what they can expect from life as a working design professional.

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Social Media Marketing Is Failing Too Many Interior Designers

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Social MediaPHOTO BY WILLIAM IVEN ON UNSPLASH

In a world where the rich are getting richer and many of those rich folks are freely investing in new homes and those they already live in, interior designers’ businesses should be booming. But sadly most are not. For established designers their client base is aging and they are having a hard time bringing in new clients to take up the slack.

For up-and-coming designers, selling their services is even more of a challenge as young people new to affluence have little experience with or understanding of the value of interior design services.

More over many young affluent homeowners tend to take the do-it-yourself route, encouraged by makeover shows on HGTV which make short work of complex and demanding remodeling and redecorating projects. Not to mention those show hosts make doing the work look like great fun. What couple wouldn’t want to try their hand at it after watching Joanna and Chip Gaines on their Fixer Upper show?

Finding new clients was interior designers’ number one business challenge , in a recent survey conducted among more than 300 professional interior designers by Unity Marketing in association with the Home Trust International.

That finding was brought home in a recent You Gov survey among the wealthiest Americans ($10 million or more net worth and household income of $350,000-plus) that found that only 10% of the wealthy “regularly” use the services of an interior designer.

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Of course, that doesn’t include the wealthy that occasionally use designer services, yet it illustrates a huge gap. With some one million U.S. households among this wealthy class, that means only about 100,000 households are actively engaged with interior designers. What about the other 900,000?

The answer to reach that other 90% is is effective marketing, i.e. that brings in new clients. While word-of-mouth marketing is designers’ marketing method of choice, both most used and most effective, more designers are turning to social media in hope of attracting new clients, promoting their work and building business.

Social media fails in effectiveness

Nearly 80% of professional interior designers are active on social media. Yet among those designers using social media, only 17% rate social media as very effective in promoting their business. This compares with 85% of designers who say WOM is very effective. In other words, for 8 out of 10 designers social media over-promises and under-delivers.

Interior Designers Advertising & Its Effectiveness UNITY MARKETING

Recognizing the performance gap, Unity Marketing conducted a follow-up survey with some 200 professional designers to delve more deeply into their social-media challenges. That study, entitled Interior Designers & Social Media: Help or Hype?, found that designers don’t know the best platforms to use on social media. They don’t know how to measure its effectiveness, nor have most figured out how to monetize social media.

In marketing, customer perception is the business’ reality

With fewer than 20% of interior designers rating social media as very effective, for the remaining 80% it is failing to bring in new clients and build business. In thinking about social media, it is critical to focus not just on “being there,” but being there in the right places and in the right way that attract affluent clients.

“Designers are wasting their time [on social media]. It makes them feel good while they are going broke,” said one designer in the survey. And another said more pointedly, “Social media is for designers looking for other designers to cry with.”

One designer even found that being active on social media actually turned-off, rather than turned-on an otherwise happy past client:

All social media is too dangerous to my growth. I learned this after a client who was very happy with the results of his first home didn’t hire me for his Aspen home. They told me they loved me. But I was too ‘out there.’ They explained they lived private lives and after a Google search found me everywhere, they felt I was not who they wanted to associate with.

Find the best, forget the rest

Among social-media using interior designers, Facebook (75%) is by far the preferred platform, followed by Instagram (65%), Houzz (56%), LinkedIn (51%) and Pinterest (43%).

On the other hand, when asked which is their most important social media platform, interior designers rate Instagram (39%) better than Facebook (35%), and all the others trail far behind.

Interior Designers Social Media PlatformsUNITY MARKETING

Besides Facebook and Instagram, these other social media platforms may be a waste of time and money for interior designers. Further while Facebook may be the most used, it may not be as effective as Instagram.

Interior designers need to evaluate closely which social media platforms are actually working for them, i.e. attracting the right clients, and focus efforts there. Conspicuously absent from how designers measure success in social media is data – quantification that it is actually bringing in clients and growing revenue. While likes and share may make designers feel good, they don’t pay the bills.

Designers must be as exceptional marketers as they are designers

The critical problem for designers in marketing their services is making their value clear to potential clients. In 2013 the American Marketing Association redefined marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” The key word in that definition is creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value.

Communicating the value of interior design services is a particular sticking point for interior designers. A recent ASID survey found that 64% of designers believe the public does not understand the true value of interior design services.

If creating, delivering and exchanging value is the goal of marketing, then the measure of its success, according to marketing consultant Sergio Zyman, is selling more stuff – or in the case of designers, more services – to more people more often for more money and doing it more efficiently.

Designers need to be vigilant to hold their social media investment, both in terms of time and money, to those standards. If it isn’t helping designers reach those goals, then it needs to be adapted to do so or ultimately abandoned if it can’t deliver.

Hope is not a strategy

Too many designers are going on faith when it comes to their social media strategies. They are making the effort – they see likes and shares – therefore, it must be doing something, right?

But for this designer, belief in social media isn’t translating into measurable results through new clients gained and profits to the bottom line.

Right now social media for us is just one outlet for PR. I measure the success in simply getting our word out, though it is not necessarily bringing projects in. Currently the demographic of our clientele do not find their designer via social media.

Don’t throw good money, or time, after bad

Despite the lack of measurable success on social media, an overwhelming two-thirds of interior designers say they will focus more on social media next year. Fewer than one-third will keep their social media activities on par with the past and only 4% will pull back.

This may prove to be a waste of designers’ most limited resource: their time. Marketing luminary Philip Kotler, currently the S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said, “Strategy is indeed about choosing what not to do as well as what to do.”

Interior designers overwhelmingly find that word-of-mouth marketing is what produces results, everything else barely measures up. Finding creative ways to get satisfied customers to talk about their success from the services delivered by an interior designer is what is needed, not more self promotion or talking amongst one’s peers on social media.

Don’t be insane, be strategic

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That perhaps is the most important takeaway for designers in thinking about their social media strategies. Doing something – in this case, social media – is not necessarily better than doing nothing. Since time is money for an interior designer, time wasted on ineffective social media is money lost.

Rather, interior designers must make marketing work for them. It must be effective. It must deliver new business. It must be efficient and fit into the budget. In many cases, interior designers see social media as low or even no cost, since it doesn’t require any budget to launch a Facebook or Instagram page. But it can be extremely costly in terms of the time needed to learn how to use it effectively and to maintain it.

For any professional – most especially for interior designers – time is money. All marketing, most especially social media, must deliver a return on investment of both. For too many designers, social media is a black hole that sucks time and resources away from marketing activities, like strategically used and implemented word-of-mouth, that could produce better results.

Continue reading Social Media Marketing Is Failing Too Many Interior Designers

Top 4 Multifamily Interior Design Trends

With the increase in home décor/renovation shows and influencers on social media, more people are being exposed to high-end design, which is what they are expecting in multifamily communities.  

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NEW DESIGN TRENDS TO CAPTIVATE BUYERS IN 2018

Design trends are evolving at an ever-quickening pace thanks to design-oriented television and social media, and 2018 promises to bring even more excitement and innovation to the interior design scene. Here are some of my top picks:

Mixed Materials
Be prepared to see a vast assortment of mixed metals, integrated color combinations, the use of lush textures and continued personalization to transform a house to a completely personalized home.

Continue reading NEW DESIGN TRENDS TO CAPTIVATE BUYERS IN 2018

Looking for new employees? Find them on social media

If you need to add a new team member and fill a position before the end of the year, social media can help.

You already know how to work the platforms because you use them round the clock to market your business. More good news? You can find better talent quicker on social media.

Fifty-nine percent of recruiters say the candidates they discovered on social media are the “highest quality,” and employees hired on LinkedIn are 40 percent less likely to leave the company within the first six months. To top it off, 62 percent of organizations say recruiting on social decreases the time to fill the position.

Continue reading Looking for new employees? Find them on social media

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