Last week, designers and showroom representatives gathered in the Avery Boardman showroom at the D&D Building to listen in on a discussion between interior designer Glenn Gissler and design blogger CJ Dellatore about the power of social media in the design industry.
Glenn Gissler and CJ Dellatore
The first question of the hour was "Why be on Facebook?"
“Because 1.19 billion users are on Facebook—that’s one out of seven people who are walking the planet earth,” said Dellatore. “More people have access to information on a digital platform than anywhere else and more money will be spent on digital advertisements over the next year than ever before. It’s a digital world now and that’s not going to change.”
If you already have a personal page, start there, he suggested. The first step is to get rid of everyone on your personal page that you don’t truly know and have never met in person. “This keeps it actually personal.” Then create a business page, and invite everyone who you think will be beneficial to communicate with about your business.
Never use a personal page to promote a business. “You have to switch over,” he added. “It’s okay to share your business content on your personal page but its never okay to share your personal content on your business page. So do your best to keep them separate.”
According to Gissler, the content he shares on Facebook and other social media platforms attracts clients and makes a large impact on his design career. “My Facebook content designs who I am as a person and as a business,” he said.
Gissler explained that if designers share things that are synonymous with their message and brand then it will help clients to get to know them better. “Share high-end real estate stories and photos, as well as new products that inspire you, and this will help create your message.”
According to the panelists, Facebook is a better way to tell your story than your website, because its ever-changing, and it’s always updated and organic.
“I call social media a sport you can play at home in your pajamas,” said Gissler. “Update it as much as possible.”
“Social media really comes down to sheer relevance,” said Dellatore. “If a client is searching for you online and all they can find is your website, then you’re not relevant. You need to be on as many platforms as possible.”
Guests of the discussion
Shelter publications also look at designers’ social media “relevance” when they decide whether to publish them or not. For example, interior designer Tobi Fairley has 25,000 Facebook fans, noted Gissler. “That’s a great way to pull in clients and also a great reason for a magazine to publish her. When they publish her story, she will share it on her Facebook page and that’s thousands more clicks for that magazine.”
Some other key takeaways from the discussion included the following:
- Anyone can be known and become a star on social media, so make yourself present.
- Read the book Platform by Michael Hyatt for helpful tips on social media and blogging.
- “Feed the monster,” as Gissler referred to it. Use tools like Facebook scheduling and Hoot Suite to pre-schedule social media posts. Designers have to constantly be posting.
- If you schedule posts, make sure you go back and check on them. Social media is about interaction and you must comment or “like” posts and join the conversation.
- It’s okay to hire someone to help you with social media as long as they understand your brand and message and can communicate that.
- Only publicize the projects of which you want more. If a project didn’t really work out, don’t put it on social media because it may attract a client you don’t want.
- Create a good “social media” relationship with your photographer. Not only do you need to shoot entire rooms for your website but shoot little details and vignettes that you can use solely for social media.
- Editorialize your content. You have a message and a brand and that needs to be consistent. Just like a magazine selects its content, you need to pick and choose what you post on social media.
- Have a social media presence, no matter how big or small.