Social media is one of the marketing tools which can immediately connect businesses with their stakeholders, support relationships and grow brand awareness. With the large number of vast communities using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn, it can be a minefield for design, interiors and property businesses to cut through the noise and create meaningful online connections with their niche target audiences.
If one of your business resolutions for this year is to finally get the social media game right, follow six top tips from Justyna Sowa – creative director at Decorum Media – a creative PR and marketing agency helping design and interiors businesses thrive.
1. Choose the right platforms for your business
Social media is not a novelty in the design and interiors industry anymore. However, some companies still find it hard to understand how to use these new marketing channels effectively for business. First thing to realise is that not every social media platform is relevant to every design and interiors brand – choose carefully where you profile your business. Also, assess realistically how much time in the week you have to manage your brand’s social media presence – it can be a time consuming activity. If you’re launching your social media presence and have limited time resources, open one social media account, focus on mastering it and then move to another network. It is important to only choose social media platforms which will directly benefit your business. While Facebook is great for promoting your products and services to consumers, Instagram might prove to be a better platform for reaching interior designers. If you’re looking to attract HNWI you might be better off using LinkedIn rather than spending time on Pinterest.
2. Don’t imitate others
It is typical to look at what your competitors are doing on social media if you’re only starting out. Something to bear in mind though is that they are probably trying to figure it out by trial and error – many companies in the industry do. Instead of imitating their activities, focus on your business, the story you want to tell and the actions you want to trigger. If you’re not a social media specialist, speak to the experts and build your marketing knowledge to inform your activities.
3. Have a plan
Social media is part of the complete marketing mix and therefore should be strategized and implemented in line with your wider business and marketing plans. This refers to aspects such as target audiences of your social media activity, tone of voice and key messaging. The easiest way of ensuring that all the aspects of your marketing activity are consistent, is to have a master document/spreadsheet, where side by side you list your email, direct and social media marketing as well as the business development activities, and ensure they all go hand in hand, focus on the same themes and strive to reach one common goal. This way, you ensure that every minute spent on social media will be beneficial to your business and its objectives.
4. Social media is not a silver bullet
Social media will not suddenly turn a struggling company into a successful business or an extremely desirable brand. What it will contribute to though, is amplifying recognition of the key qualities of your business, its benefits, special features, excellent customer services etc. It will also easily connect you with your target audiences and give your additional touch points with your clientele, ensuring that they’re regularly exposed to your brand’s messages. For social media to work though (and any PR and marketing in general) you have to ensure that your business processes and products and services you offer are on the highest level.
5. Get everyone involved
For social media to work for your business, you need to ensure that everyone in the company understands its role within the marketing mix and importance in growing the business. Additionally, it’s crucial that the team managing your social media understands your strategy - the brand’s tone of voice, customer service approach, types and quantity of content. This is the only way to ensure that your brand has a coherent personality on social media, no matter who produces content and manages the account.
6. Seek professional advice
Just because your junior team members are their early twenties, it doesn’t mean they are born social media marketers. Social media, like any other marketing tool, requires thorough marketing knowledge, understanding of consumer behaviour and access to the latest digital intelligence. If you are looking to outsource your social media strategy and management to a digital agency, you’re in luck, as there are some great social media marketing specialists in the interiors sector. Otherwise, for companies with small budgets, we recommend digital marketing workshops, which will quickly will get you up to speed with the latest in the industry and will help you take your first steps.