Social media platforms allow users to not only keep in touch with friends and family, but also share information, ideas, inspiration and ideals regarding fashion, beauty, lifestyle and interiors to a mass of other users from across the globe. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are used by roughly 1 in 3 people throughout the world, over 3 billion people, and that number continues to rise. It is almost an understatement to say that the online revolution has changed the ways in which designers promote their business, gain clients, build their brand and interact with their audience.
There are over 25 million brand accounts on Instagram, and at least 80% of users are following one or more brands. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter, with around 60% of Instagram users discovering new products on the platform.* Where designers used to gain business through word of mouth, reputation, advertisements or friends in high places, designers now have access to potentially millions of clients within a few clicks, leveling the playing field to designers who may not have received a formal education in design or who are just beginning their career.
Instant Access to Trends and Inspiration
When we discuss the how social media platforms have changed the interior design industry we are of course talking mainly about the photo and video sharing platform, Instagram. The creators of Instagram wanted the name to reflect the “right here, right now” aspect of their application and combined the concepts of “instant camera” and “telegram” to create Instagram. The application provides instant gratification as one can search for anything they’d like at the click of a button and the swipe of a screen once they create an account. Users are able to consume a seemingly endless amount of content and gain exposure to new ideas, trends, brands and people every day.
Gain Exposure and Grow Your Business
As we’re sure most of you know if you’re a business owner, social media is an important method for creating brand recognition and awareness around your services and even for your signature style. With social media, designers have the ability to communicate with their audience, share more about themselves, their employees and their processes, reach a larger customer base. Instagram also works as a virtual portfolio where designers can showcase endless project photos, archive their design work and display their evolution as a designer.
Designers also have the potential to further their growth and attention through the use of hashtags. A hashtag that is unique to your business, whether that is the business name, slogan or a catchy short phrase that you use often, can become synonymous with your brand and is an excellent way to compile images relevant to your brand in one succinct place. Using those hashtags on your photos and encouraging your audience to use them as well can gain additional exposure for your business, boost brand awareness and gain brand loyalty. Those hashtags specific to your business are called branded hashtags, and 70% of the most used hashtags on Instagram are branded. Even if you aren’t using a branded hashtag specific to you, if you use at least one hashtag your post could potentially gain around 13% more engagement.*
*Instagram user statistics from brandwatch.com
Part two coming tomorrow 3/31