Hello Kravet Friends. It’s been a few years since I last wrote an article for this technology column, and boy have times changed. Back then it was a bit scary navigating the new media landscape. No one understood Twitter or why you should blast every move you make in 140 characters, much less why anyone would care. Facebook was hardly on anyone’s radar screen other than a few college students.
Fast forward to 2012 and the social media sphere has transformed businesses everywhere. I’m living proof of the power of social media. It is through these channels that I have grown my business from a little-known Arkansas company to a nationally recognized design and consulting firm.
So what has changed? Well, there are thousands of blogs out there now. In fact, blogs are almost expected for every design business the way websites were a few years ago. A blog can give so much more insight into your business, including inspiration, current projects and accomplishments. Blogs allow you to “toot your own horn” without sounding arrogant or self-serving. It’s expected, really.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest, just behind India and China. Most people spend an average of 15 minutes every single day on Facebook, and some spend hours. If you want to connect with customers, vendors and industry partners, then Facebook is the place to do it. Add Twitter into the mix, and you can reach thousands or even millions of people instantly. “Viral” marketing is starting to make sense, and there are some really savvy businesses that are using these channels in very creative ways to stand out from the crowd.
Newer sites like Pinterest and Instagram, for a visual profession like the design industry, are a perfect platform for sharing ideas. Using Pinterest to collect all the things that inspire you in one organized place can really help you show your unique style and personality. It might just be what helps a potential client pick up the phone and hire you.And documenting your life and experiences on Instagram in a creative way through a camera’s lens can show your talents for seeing the world in a chic and exciting way.
So what do I know now that I didn’t know when I started on this social media path? First, GET OUT THERE! It’s not an option. Any of the social media sites can increase your visibility and ultimately your profits. Second, have fun with it. Think of new ways to be creative and flex your design muscles. Here’s your chance to really make your mark. And last, have no fear! Social media is the way of the future. It’s not going away and the longer you wait to embrace it, the farther behind you will get. Every day, new sites, apps, and technologies are being introduced. So jump on the bandwagon and start seeing some major marketing results. Believe me, you will be glad you did.
Interior designer Tobi Fairley has been featured on HGTV, and her work has been published on the cover of House Beautiful and in Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens special publications, AY, and has graced the cover of At Home in Arkansas seven times. Fairley’s design blog is read in more than 99 countries worldwide. She regularly educates her fellow designers on social media and business strategy. For more, visit http://www.tobifairley.com.