Monday, June 7, 2010

Designers - Your TO DO Social Media Agenda

I was recently invited to sit and speak as a panelist for Kravet at the Dallas Design Center, along with two other social media mavens Shay Geyer of IBB Design Group/Designer Detective and Sally J. Hammond of Sally J. Designs, about the benefits of social media. It was quite interesting to see the various demographics of designers, young, experienced, men and women who are ready to take the bull by the horns and reap the rewards of social media.

Beth Greene of Kravet gave a quick rundown of the most important social media sites, and I am going to expand on that list with some quick tips and tricks that I have gathered, along with some of my "learning experiences" aka mistakes one inevitably makes when trying anything new.

Social Media Sites To Get On TODAY

1. Linked IN

As a professionals "Facebook" site, it's a networkers dream. You can make a business page and your employees can sign up under it as well, posting what is in essence an online resume for all of your connections to see. I have my twitter and blog feed connected to it so it is not so stagnant. But this is an easy site to maintain, not a lot of upkeep. Set it up once and update your status now and then and your set.

2. Facebook - A personal Page and a Business Page - lot of information here so grab a cup of joe...

Most of you have a Facebook page already. TIP: If you want to connect to potential clients, do not make this personal page so personal that you wouldn't want certain people to see. I am in the process of tweaking mine - everything is a process in social media - you learn what works and what doesn't. The pros of having a personal page is that your not maintaining two separate pages and you already have your site set up with your closest friends so now you work on connecting with their friends, you will not have fans - or now "likes" with this type of page, only friends. By setting up a Business page, technically if you are selling or promoting something you need to set up a Business-type page. You will have to set up a personal page first however, it is an extension of your personal account. The pros are that you have "fans/likes" and ANYONE can "like" your page. You do not have to approve of them or be their friends. The one dilemma I have seen with this is when you post on other people's pages, your post is done under your personal page, which makes it hard for people to link back to your Business page easily, especially if they are under two different names. So you have to weigh out what will work for you and your business the best. Hope I haven't lost you yet!

Things to post on your Facebook page - I have my blog linked to my dallasDECORUM site, so it is updated every time a new blog post comes out, which is then linked to the below mentioned, twitter account so that is updated automatically, and finally that is on auto link to my Linked IN account, so my status is updated as well. TIP - Get everything on AUTO, it will make your efforts much more easy and save a ton of time! If you have questions, email me.

Your Facebook page is not a page where your constantly have yourself on blast 24/7, I would use the 80/20 rule, 80 is education/information about relevant info your readers would use and find interesting, ie - tips and tricks to updating their house/new tile ideas/cool antiques you came across in a showroom, something to that degree. The remaining 20 you can promote yourself, lightly, an award you recently won, a cool project you just scored, or a magazine your work was published in. Just think about your personal experiences - you don't want to be that pushy car salesman that everybody loathes.

3. Twitter

300,000 new users everyday - need I say more? 140 characters. That is what you get to publish on this site. It is a constant feed of people you follow of their random thoughts and links to their sites, or a site that they found interesting. You can follow anyone from Bill Gates to your favorite celebrity - it is like living vicariously through hundreds of people. I use this site to feed my blog post through and it links back to my blog/facebook page. I will also snap shots on my iPhone of something cool that I come across, sometimes it is something random like the shot of a tree changing colors to a piece of furniture I just received for a client that I want to share with the world. Sign up and try not to become an addict....that is the hard part. Actually, I am going through withdraw right now.

4. Blog - Blogger or Wordpress?

The first thing I want to mention is if you are an interior designer, you probably eat, drink and live it - so I will say that you must have a passion for the craft of design and also one of writing, though you don't have to be Pulitzer prize winner by any means and a photo speaks a thousand words, but to have a blog you must be dedicated to it as it is time consuming. If you are ready to commit at least several hours a week to this, start researching if a Wordpress or blogspot site is for you. I personally have not used Wordpress but know that its use is on the rise and it is easy to incorporate a "pre-fab" template into the site to give you a more personal image, but you can do the same for blogger as well.


1.Read and link to other people's blog, they may link back to you. I am linked in Lower Oaklawn's and Kravet's blog as well as others. It drives traffic to your site.

2. Leave comments on other people's blog. Writing your blog is half of it - you have to allow for time to network, so to speak, with the online world to make it count. This is something I admit I struggle with - it is very time consuming

3. Constantly research...go here for some more tips...
The final point is to have fun and show your client's your personal side!

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