I’ve had my interior design business, Jeannine Williams Design, for more than 20 years. I was reluctant to get into social media at first, because I was established before it really became popular. But eventually I changed my mind, because I realized it’s the best way to reach clients. To really be in front of your customers, you have to be on social media. My clients are constantly on their phones!
As someone who has mastered social media out of necessity, here are some tips for making the most of it to help grow your business:
1. Go beyond the usual sites.
Beyond the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I look for social media sites that are tailored more specifically to my business: interior design. Sites such as Houzz, Dering Hall and The Franklin Report let designers like me upload my portfolio so that it can be viewed by anyone interested in my work.
No matter what your business, there are sites that are specifically geared towards it. The main idea for me is to see where my audience sources ideas online for interior design, and then make sure my portfolio is available on these sites.
2. Be shareable.
When I do use Facebook and Twitter, I like to post design ideas and designer advice that my followers can use and hopefully repost. By doing this I become more of an authority in the interior design world and engage my audience—I’m not just posting pictures of my projects. For example, I recently posted a photo of an unusual piece of furniture on Facebook asking my audience what they thought it was. It was fun to see who responded and what they thought the piece of furniture was!
3. Use relevant tools.
I encourage new clients to put together an idea book on Pinterest or Houzz—it’s an easy way for me to get a sense of what they like.
I also use the search functions on social media to better target my audience. Not everyone is interested in interior design, so I try to search for a relevant audience. Google Ads has a great search engine that allows you to be very specific about who your ad will target, for example. I can search for age, income, location, interests and more. My ad might not be seen by a million people, but it will be seen by people who are more likely to be interested in what I am doing and what I have to say.
4. Be a resource.
Everyone is looking for content. For example, most websites that sell interior design products also have a blog or newsletter that goes out regularly to their followers. I make contact with the media or marketing people for these sites and propose a topic that they might be interested in using. This gives me another avenue of exposure that goes specifically to my target audience.
Read more about Jeannine Williams and why relationships are the heart of her business.