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New Design Businesses - Making the Most of Online Platforms

Satara Sales - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Navigating the world of social media may seem daunting, time consuming or a waste of time. If done properly, it’s none of the above. Having an online presence is of course, not 100% essential for a new or established design business. But it can certainly can lead to new clients and allows you to connect with your audience. Particularly as a new business, it’s worth creating a social media strategy to leverage your name in a saturated marketplace.

Have a clear idea of your social media intention

Before you start madly posting, writing and pining on social media, consider who your audience is and what the intention of the interaction will be. Are you trying to gain new business leads and contacts? Are you hoping to connect with your existing clients? Or, are you wanting to communicate your look and aesthetic to the broader community? Perhaps it’s all of the above! Knowing this will help you focus on the right platforms and select the appropriate imagery.

Once your intention is considered, think next about what the demographic is of the client you have or a trying to attract. Images directed to a youthful, trend-orientated design sensibility are not going to attract the high-end, discerning client. In turn, images which seem unattainable to the “everyday” person could push your potential young family client away from your social media handles. What type of visuals/ information do your dream clients want to see?

Be consistent

While life can get very busy (particularly if you’re running your own business!), making time for social media regularly is very important for retention of followers, engaging with comments and feedback and generally being part of the online community. Consider social media as a business tool, not just something to do on the weekend when you’re on the couch.

Once you have decided what is realistic for you, such as one blog post a week or three Instagram posts a week, be consistent with this. There’s great planning technology for most platforms to upload several posts in advance and schedule them in. If you have some down time or a quiet period, take the time to get organised. Write a spare blog post to have up your sleeve. Take photos of a completed project or find an additional five images for the days you’re so busy you feel you don’t have the time. Schedule a weekly time to organise your social media if you think you won’t be consistent in your management of the platforms.

Image style and quality must be of a high standard. Always.

Interior design is a visual business, as you know! Clients are coming to you for your specific skills in all things aesthetically pleasing. Your images should reflect this. Ensure all images are of a very high quality, not grainy, blurry or with terrible composition. Some images will take a few times to get “right”.

If your project is something you’re particularly proud of, it’s worth getting a professional photographer in to record this. Their images will be worth the effort and expense. Images should also be consistent in style or vibe, reflecting your personal taste and work. Use similar formatting or filters if using Instagram for example.

Connect and engage with the community

On all platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook or a blog, there is generally a place for your readers/ followers to share, like, comment or engage in some way. They may ask questions, make a positive comment or show their appreciation. It’s important to acknowledge this and respond in turn. A simple “thanks!” is all it takes. In turn, take the time to look at other people’s blogs or feeds and connect with them. If you’re using Instagram for example, try to comment on other’s work a few times a week.

While many of these platforms are very visual, they are also a time to communicate your ideas, personality and style in a written sense. Be careful with what you write and consider if it’s reflective of your ethos while still being professional. Find your online “voice”. Is it factual or are you a story teller? Make the most of hashtags on your images and blog posts. This is an excellent way to connect with others who may not ever knew your business existed. See what hashtags are used commonly in relation to your business and use them on every post. Perhaps add one unique hashtag which links back directly to you or your business, such as #angietompsondesign or #angietompsonstyle for example.

Analyse the statistics of your activity and followers

Social media is so much more than just posting pretty pictures. You need to understand what your followers like and what they’re engaging in so you can do more of this to retain their loyalty. Do you get more traction if you post at a certain time of the day or day of the week? Did one image or article get a lot more feedback or “likes” than all the others? This data is golden. Use it to your advantage to grow your followers even further.


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