Social Media For Interior Designers, Architects and Kitchen and Bath Manufacturers: Part Two: Selecting Social Media Platforms
When selecting which social media to use the most and how to use it best, look at your goals and where your potential clients and/or peers for education are going. The best rule of thumb is to use social media sites that are highly visual and are used by your market. We’ll be looking directly at individual sites in future articles, so this is a very brief highlight.
When advising designers, architects and brands, I choose Pinterest first. Pinterest is a series of literal boards of pictures. It is most heavily used by a good market for design: 45+ educated and affluent women who spend much more time there than on other sites. Pinterest is highly visible, brings many people to your website and has a high search engine optimization.
With 67 percent of internet users going to Facebook throughout their day, some designers and architects are using their Facebook business page in place of a website. You have your own profile, then you can have a page for your business, and there are “groups” that are public or private communities for excellent interactions with people. Your Facebook pages can also be embedded onto your website.
Twitter and LinkedIn are the two best sites for connecting with others in the industry. Twitter has the benefit of keeping you quickly up on top trends and industry news. “Tweetchats” enable you to learn from other members of the industry. The oldest maintained design industry chat is #IntDesignerChat Tuesdays 6 ET: http://interiordesignerchat.com/how-to-chat/, #KBTribeChat Wednesdays 2 ET is specifically for the kitchen and bath professionals: http://kbtribechat.com/category/how-to-chat-with-us/. Both links explain tips on how to manage a tweetchat in general and within that group.
Pay attention to video. More people load a video on YouTube every day than use a search. Search with-in YouTube is the biggest search engine. Good video length is one to three minutes, as most people decide in less than 30 seconds if they will watch. To create videos on your own, you can use your webcam from your desk and/or a video camera, use an external microphone like Yeti if possible, have a background that is clean and simple and/or light with three separate lights. If you can, hire a video editing and/or production person.
KBIS2014 has its own channel on YouTube and will have pre-show presenter videos to help you choose and keeps videos online from live at KBIS each year:
Seventy-eight percent of American adults watch or download online videos from sites like YouTube and Vimeo – their favorite types after comedy are educational and how-to – both terrific opportunities for design. YouTube Networks like The Design Network http://www.thedesignnetwork.com/ are now setting themselves to replace traditional television with fully produced 20-30 minute segments of designers.
Don’t discount podcasts. Podcasts are set to have a FIVE-FOLD growth this year alone! BlogTalkRadio.com is one popular option for doing “Internet Radio” and “Podcasts.” You can embed each interview and links of recent recorded interviews directly onto your site. Interviews enable you to get to know people as well as show your expertise.
G+ has smaller use for your market currently, but is growing for the industry. Hangouts create live video for one to nine onscreen participants, which airs directly to YouTube. In addition, G+ has communities that bring together people of similar interests. The largest number may currently be about G+ or related social media, but Google is investing a lot into trying to build G+ into the mainstream. Popular communities are visual – the architecture and photography communities, for example, have tens of thousands of active users. The short answer: Pay attention to G+ as it grows, and make sure you claim your “authorship” now to increase every post getting into Google search.
LinkedIn is your professional resume and should be kept updated at all times. LinkedIn enables you to identify all of your contacts by what they do and reach out to them in groups with their full contact information. Groups are open or you have to request an invitation and can be significant networking opportunities. Speaking engagements, for example, are often announced on LinkedIn as are jobs.
In short, all of social media is now your resume. Take the time, learn the best platforms for you, and plan on social media becoming a part of your everyday time of running a kitchen and bath business.
– Through Demand Design and its sister companies, Gail Zahtz solves similar challenges for the design and healthcare industries by enabling them to meet the needs of baby boomers. Specializing in all areas of experience design, Zahtz is the first leader to combine the best of universal, accessible, sensory, sustainable and evidence-based design. She will be speaking at KBIS on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 12:30 p.m. on “Reaching and Designing for Baby Boomers.”