trade tales | Jun 30, 2023 |
6 takes on TikTok in the design industry

TikTok has been a game changer in the world of media, but how much use can interior designers really get out of a short-form video platform? We asked six industry pros—Nikki Klugh, Annie Downing, Lindye Galloway, Bethany Adams, Kristin Marino and Arvin Olano—to share their attitude toward the viral social media app.

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Nikki KlughCourtesy of Nikki Klugh Design Group

New Horizons

“We do use TikTok; however, we are new to it. We decided that if we already have the short-form videos for Instagram and YouTube Shorts, it makes sense to repurpose our content to reach a new audience. We began putting short-form videos on IG, FB and YouTube consistently starting in March. Doing this has increased all metrics on these accounts, specifically IG and YouTube. Our IG following has gone up by 2,000 and our views on YouTube have gone up by an average of 6,500 per month. We haven’t gotten any new clients from our efforts, but our main goal was to build our audience for a launch we have coming in the fall.” —Nikki Klugh, Nikki Klugh Design Group, Omaha, Nebraska

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Annie DowningCourtesy of Annie Downing Interiors

Moving Target

“I do not use TikTok in my business—it is not a natural fit for our design firm and our work, nor [is it] directed to our ideal client. It’s not the best platform for us because we favor still images that focus on details and the artistry in our work. The top three categories of TikTok videos are all entertainment-based: dance, pranks and entertainment. And 69 percent of its users are teenagers. As a platform, TikTok does not favor still images, which are truly the foundation of our portfolio and how we like to represent our work.” —Annie Downing, Annie Downing Interiors, Austin

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Lindye GallowayShade Diggs

Community Content

“We use TikTok to share content in a way where we can connect with a global audience that is not on Instagram or Facebook. We also love using the unique tools to provide deeper insights and creatively answer our followers’ questions and create larger conversations around our studio and shop. Lots of our TikTok content is informative and geared toward providing inspiring, design-forward ideas. If you are a TikTok user, you know that the comments section can take on a life of its own. Some of our most popular videos are also the most controversial in the comments section. We find that it creates some really strong supporters who become loyal and vocal fans of our work. It’s hard to quantify the return on investment, but I think the value is immense. We are creating a community that not only loves our content, but is invested in our projects and growth as a company and as individuals. You will never regret making the investment in a community like that.” —Lindye Galloway, Lindye Galloway Studio, Newport Beach, California

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Bethany AdamsAndrew Kung Photography

Age Gauge

“Though I have tremendous enthusiasm for snappy choreography and making a fool of myself on camera, [as a designer] I have yet to embrace TikTok as a medium. Frankly, I’m just starting to get into Instagram! Besides the overwhelming aspect of having another account to maintain and depend on for my daily boost of serotonin, I still think of it primarily as a platform for younger people. Because I’m targeting clients who, like myself, have a few more years under their belts, I don’t think I’ll start using TikTok for business anytime soon. For my dance routine videos though, maybe?” —Bethany Adams, Bethany Adams Interiors, Louisville, Kentucky

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Kristin MarinoCourtesy of KozyKasa

The More You Grow

“TikTok has a magnitude of new users. It’s the new ‘it’ platform taking over most other social media platforms, and I’ve found it to be a huge benefit in gaining more followers and reaching new audiences. It provides a creative way to visually showcase designs and transformations, along with creative storytelling capabilities. I love it! TikTok has an insane amount of users and enables businesses to reach audiences near and far, helping to grow your following on other social platforms and spread the word about your business.” —Kristin Marino, KozyKasa, Austin

6 takes on TikTok in the design industry
Arvin OlanoCourtesy of Arvin Olano

Sale Driver

“I have found that a lot of brands are willing to invest in videos specifically for TikTok. As a content creator who focuses on home-related content, I have to dip my toes into multiple platforms. TikTok has always been daunting to me because I felt that maybe it’s not where my ideal audience is. However, every time I post a video on TikTok, it performs extremely well, sometimes better than on Instagram or YouTube. It’s a great platform to drive sales for any business. I appreciate the casual ease of TikTok; you don’t have to be as perfect as you do on Instagram.” —Arvin Olano, designer and content creator, Las Vegas

Homepage image: A Carlsbad kitchen designed by Nikki Klugh effortlessly integrates statement lighting | Brady Architectural Photography

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