So you want to be a social media marketer.
And not just any social media marketer—you want to niche down into the interior design industry.
Knowing how to market your services on the mighty behemoth that social media has become can be downright intimidating.
But, always remember these two things: it’s learnable, and it provides interior designers with great growth potential. When marketing on social media, you can grow your customer base just by showing off with what you can do.
This post will show you the way and get you started so you can use social media platforms to reach your audience and build your business.
Why Interior Designers Should Be On Social Media
Before I let you in on any of the secrets to becoming an effective interior design marketer, you need to know the “why” behind your efforts on the multitude of different channels we’re going to be discussing today.
For starters, the act of being on social media is fundamentally visual in nature.
Pictures. Visual appeal is everything when it comes to social media. I wouldn’t suppose it’s necessary to tell you what that means for your interior design business.
Surprisingly, not all interior designers are on social media. This leaves you with a chance to do it right and claim one of the top spots.
Keep in mind that social media marketing can keep you very busy so you need to have clear goals to avoid wasting time on tasks that won’t benefit you.
When you’re losing time with a chaotic social media schedule, your business could end up suffering for it.
On the other hand, when you’ve got your goals clearly planned, you’ll enjoy great benefits.
An Opportunity To Build Trust (And Trends)
Let me ask you a question. When you’re about to start the research process for one of your projects (not just in the interior design industry), what’s your first go-to place for inspiration?
Yep, social media. People in 2020 are now looking to Instagram and Pinterest for ideas for their next interior design project.
You want your account to be one of those that people like to look at for inspiration.
Entire design trends have literally developed off of Pinterest. That’s the power of social media in an age that has been and continues to be, influenced so much by the internet.
When clients come to you for business, they want you to be on social media. It shows that you have a brand that they can trust, and is a golden opportunity for you to show some personality.
After all, what’s a business without a brand?
Social Media Is A Catalyst For Business Growth
The number of people who are on social media today is staggering, and it’s only bound to keep exploding upward from here on out, especially with the onset of COVID-19.
To put things in perspective: The number of active social media users back in 2015 was 2.07 billion.
Now, in 2020, it has jumped to 3.81 billion. That’s almost double the number of people on social media! That’s also almost half of the global population.
With that said, remember that people will judge you by your social media accounts. Make sure that you have nice featured images on all your profiles.
First impressions are crucial, especially in an aesthetic industry as interior design.
Creating A Content Strategy
Now that we’ve discussed why you should be on social media, let’s get into how interior designers should be using social media marketing.
The first thing you need is a well-planned strategy because social media revolves around visual content, and all content revolves around a central theme.
Your theme is, obviously, your interior design business. So curate a plan where you’re able to regularly post on your social media accounts. The more you post, the more you’ll drive traffic.
As a result, more people will see what you offer.
More people will be incentivized to take the bait, just by virtue of the visual appeal of your content.
You’re basically showing prospects what you can do if they hire you.
There are different strategies for different social media channels; we’re going to be going in-depth through them all, especially those relevant to you as a visual-based business.
Regardless of where you’re uploading photos, though, you want to be posting high-quality photos, and you want to post them often.
One rule will apply to all your social media accounts – be engaging with your audience. Have conversations with people – they are more likely to ask for information on social media than through an email.
Interior Designers Haven’t Effectively Tapped Into Social Media Yet
About 80% of interior designers are on social media; however, only 17% of those have said that social media has helped them grow their business.
That’s because the other 83% don’t know how to properly market themselves on social media.
Most just post one or two photos a week with pointless captions urging their couple hundred followers to like and follow them. Or worse – they write no caption altogether.
This doesn’t mean they’re dumb when it comes to marketing. It just means they haven’t realized the potential of social media marketing yet.
Most people, in many industries, just don’t know how digital marketing works.
Which means you have a huge advantage. Armed with an arsenal of knowledge, and employing smart tactics backed by a proven strategy, will make you unstoppable in the digital world.
Your Content Strategy As An Interior Designer
Your number one type of content is going to be photos. As interior designers know, their work is a visual industry, and everything about your account should reflect that.
This is true no matter the type of platform you’re using.
You also want a theme to be common across all your social media accounts; this will massively help raise brand awareness.
And I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again because it’s that important – figure out current market trends and post something relevant.
In general, you want to focus on uploading high-quality, picturesque photos. Do that and your future self (and business) will thank you for it.
Look at other accounts, find the ones you admire, share their content and make sure they know about it. You want someone who is active and you can predict will respond in some way.
This is a great way to grow your audience, as well as build some relationships.
Speaking of relationships, don’t be afraid to reach out to bigger accounts, including influencers, and tag them in your posts.
If they respond, then it’s safe to say you’ve guaranteed yourself a huge influx of traffic, and possibly significant growth in your online following.
Visuals Aren’t Your Only Weapon
They might be your best bet for telling people you know what you’re doing, but they are definitely not your only option.
Never be too attached to one approach – it’s almost always a combination of multiple things, each with a varying degree of effectiveness.
Thus the question is raised: What other types of content should you publish as an interior designer?
As a business in 2020 (especially post-COVID), you ought to have someplace you can publish free, value-packed content for your audience. Blogging is imperative, however, if you’re a smaller business.
Your blog should be filled with in-depth, SEO-friendly guides relevant to your industry. Showcase practical tips, all the way from the advanced stuff to the nuts and bolts of interior design.
You want people to be finding your website when a thought mildly related to your niche crosses their mind and is powerful enough for them to Google it.
Long-form Video Is A Powerful Tool
We’re back to visuals but this time we’re involving it with lots of moving parts. (Pun intended)
If you’re not familiar, long-form videos are called so because they’re over 10 minutes long.
They’re the hardest to produce, and the most time-consuming, but they are your ultimate opportunity for you to shine.
Sure, aesthetic pictures should be your priority, but they also go hand-in-hand with videos.
And if long-form video doesn’t sound convincing, or not worth the effort, here’s a little fact that might cajole you into taking action.
By 2022, online videos will have accounted for more than 82% of all internet traffic.
That’s 15 times higher than it was in 2017 – a lot of potential that could go to waste if you don’t tap into it.
This guide won’t get into too much detail with how you should do video marketing. If you want, you can jump to the YouTube section of this guide and you’ll find everything you need there.
So far we’ve only covered the over-arching theme of what you’re going to be doing with your time on social media as a digital marketer.
Now we’ll get into the how-to. We’ll be taking each social media channel and dissecting it until there’s (hopefully) nothing left to explain.
Time to dive in.
Make no bones about it, Instagram is the perfect place for you to promote your business. It’s all about amazing pictures. As an interior decorator, you are about amazing pictures.
It’s like a match made in heaven and that’s why Instagram should have the most priority to your business.
You’ll want to treat your Instagram account like a portfolio where you can highlight what you’re capable of.
Your bio is like the lead part of a direct-response sales message. People should know exactly what you’re offering in the first few seconds they’re on your profile.
Make sure that your profile has a link to your website so potential clients can find out more about you and your services.
When you post on Instagram you want to pay as much attention to the caption as you do to the image.
Storytelling is the motherlode of Instagram marketing, and your best chance at telling a riveting story is in the precious space you get under each photo you upload.
The story itself doesn’t have to be lengthy – it can literally be one sentence. The famous Nike tagline, “Just do it,” is a story.
You can come up with something just as powerful when you spend some time brainstorming ideas.
Also, make sure your uploads contain hashtags. Shoot for about nine that are industry-relevant but don’t overdo it.
Another great option you can use is Instagram Stories. They are awesome for showing the little things in your business that your audience will appreciate.
You can share the behind-the-scenes of your project, event attendance, and highlighting media stories you may be featured in.
You can even repost stories by other accounts in which you were tagged. This will show that you have social proof.
Don’t neglect the power of user-generated content either. Getting clients to post photos of your work will improve your reputation and increase your popularity.
Encourage people to share your content with contests and other incentives such as free consultations. Get your audience to interact and engage with you and your posts.
Figure out the best times to post, retarget the traffic that’s been on your website, and, of course, don’t forget to use analytics. (You don’t know what you don’t measure!)
This comes as a close second to Instagram.
Pinterest is the social media platform whose users have the highest purchase intent? It’s a gold mine for interior designers looking to gain more customers.
So what you’ll want to do is upload those same, awesome images of yours on Pinterest as well. As you should with any social media platform, have every post link back to your website.
Pinterest is a great place to be getting traffic from, so dedicate the necessary time to create quality content for your audience.
Create Pinterest boards and classify each – whether that’s by project or by room is up to you.
Have other boards where you regularly re-Pin photos from other accounts, mixing in some of your own as well.
Invite people to join those boards and have them contribute to them by posting their own stuff.
Again, you want to engage with as many people as possible. Comment on other posts, show videos of your behind-the-scenes and tell news about your company.
Offer giveaways, information about your service, discount codes and promotions.
This is also a great platform for you to publicize your blog. Feature photos that link back to your blog posts and are related to it.
Ideally, they should be 900px by 600px so they look good on all devices.
Pinterest also gives you a good opportunity to conduct market research.
Look to your competitors, find out what they’re doing and what’s working for their audience. Study them closely and see if you can do something better, or even fill in some gaps they might be leaving.
Finally, you can pay for a Pinterest ad account and advertise your business there.
This is a social media platform made specifically for interior designers and people looking to connect with professionals.
The users are practically your customers; they just need the right hook.
People are going on Houzz to find interior designers locally, so not extending your reach to that audience would be a mistake.
You want to think of Houzz as an extension to your website.
Fill out all the information in your profile. Answer as many questions as possible. Show your prospects that you’re easy to work with.
Have some professionalism but also remember to be friendly.
Houzz also has something called Ideabooks, which is a place homeowners use to store photos that they love. You can also create your own and treat it like a blog to share ideas, notes, guides, and more.
In short, you’ve got millions of people telling you what their dream home looks like.
And they all translate to countless opportunities at your disposal.
You’ve just got to pick the right homeowner, provide them with the right service, and you’ve got yourself a happy client and, most importantly, a successful business.
A lot of people underestimate the power of video.
The reason it’s an underused medium, however, particularly in the interior design industry, is that it takes the most work.
Most people fail to realize, however, that the biggest payoffs come to fruition through video content. After all, videos are consumers’ favorite kind of content.
Your first step is to conduct thorough market research. You’re going to have to look at your competition and see what videos they’re uploading.
Take a closer look and find which ones have the most engagement i.e views, likes, comments, etc. Go through their content and let it inspire you.
Once inspired, you can come up with your version of said content and fill up that brand new YouTube channel of yours.
Think of YouTube as the video version of Google. In other words, your videos should be search-engine optimized.
When people search for “interior design” on YouTube, you don’t want your videos to show up in the last three on that page, or worse yet, on the third page.
Exploit the Google autofill feature to find out what people are watching, and plan your video content accordingly.
A good idea might be to display the before and after versions of one of your projects, injecting some of your personality in the process.
Don’t be afraid to show your face and talk about the business. If you haven’t noticed, people go to vlogs like a moth to flames.
And the reason isn’t necessarily always the content – it’s the person behind the lens.
Flaunt your personality. You’ll humanize your brand, and people will start trusting and liking you more – which is more powerful than you think – once they’re able to put a face to the name.
Always link to your website in the video description. Aside from the ideas already mentioned, you want to talk about why you’re better than your competition in your videos.
Share what you specialize in, what clients can expect, past testimonials, links to fill out a form or hire you for a meeting, etc.
Finally, post a video where you tell the story behind your business.
Have an authentic purpose, share that with your followers, and if enough people resonate with it, your brand will be growing in popularity.
Facebook is a pretty effective hybrid of other channels. It takes a little bit from each, and while it isn’t necessarily great at one particular thing, it’s pretty good at a lot of things.
For example, Facebook is amazing for paid ads. You can also put links in it that are clickable, you can advertise on it, and you can generate email leads for your customers.
You can even upload long-form videos – just like on YouTube.
When creating ads, you want to curate them so that they don’t appear too frequently. As a rule of thumb, shoot for an average of five times per person.
Another method that’s been proven to work is advertising using lead magnets.
With lead magnets, you’re basically giving something away for free.
For example, give them a guide in which you’ll slowly reel in your prospect. Give them helpful advice and (hopefully) have them hire you or take the desired action by the end of it.
You also need to set up a Facebook Page. Think of it as your official presence as a business on Facebook.
It also provides a chance for fans to “like” your business, and add to that highly sought-after social proof behind your brand.
When you’re interacting with your audience, make sure they can see you’re being sincere.
Don’t just comment that you like someone’s post, explain why. When you’re replying to comments, be friendly, helpful and play around with humor.
Show your potential customers that you are a professional who is also fun to be around.
The great thing about Facebook, aside from what little we’ve already mentioned, is that it can help you get into the nitty-gritty details relevant to your target audience.
You want to be really specific with whom you’re showing your ads, and Facebook is the best place to do that using their Audience Insights tool.
Put simply: The average person has about 10 average demographics that Facebook tracks.
Your marketing can be much more efficient when you use that kind of information.
Let’s say you target people based on relationships. As an interior designer, you might want to look at people who are recently married or engaged.
You can target them with ads about your services and use the right approach to get them interested.
(That’s just one example. Just imagine the possibilities with the detailed analytics Facebook give.)
If you have an email list, you can upload that to Facebook, and target those with their own designated ads. It gets better – you can tell Facebook to look for say, a million people, that look like this list and it will actually do that for you.
That’s called a lookalike audience, and it’s essentially an audience that is more or less the same as your existing customer base.
And don’t forget to install a pixel on your website for retargeting.
This will let you show ads to people who have already interacted with your content in some way, shape or form. Maybe they’ve visited your website but bounced off before hiring you, or just clicked on one of your ads out of curiosity.
Measuring Your Success
If you don’t track your progress, you’re losing out; it’s like throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Analytics are handy for this; they allow you to see what your most engaging content is, how fast you’re gaining followers, ad spending, how your competition’s doing, and so on.
Some great tools that are highly recommended include:
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this mega-post. Use it wisely, and you will become unstoppable.
To recap, here’s what we went over:
The reasons why you should be on social media and how to have an amazing content strategy. Finally we dissected each and different social media network you should be actively engaging people on (Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, YouTube, Facebook).
As you come back to this guide and taking action, always remember that this is not an overnight process. If you’re just starting out, it’s just like planting a seed.
You don’t wake up the next day and find a fully-grown tree.
And, more importantly, do not quit. If you keep at it for long enough, you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.