Kravet Social Media Event
Last week I attended a really interesting event at the Kravet fabric showroom in Scottsdale.
The title was a very current question: “What is social media and how can it help the design community?” Jennifer Powell, who is the Social Media Coordinator for Kravet & Lee Jofa, gave the bulk of the presentation, which was followed by a panel of local (AZ based) interior designers that are active in all facets of social media. In fact, I first heard about the event on twitter! (shameless plug-follow us on twitter @lortsfurniture) Panelists were Maria Benson of Nyla Simone (@nylasimone), Vicki Bergelt of Vicki Bergelt Interior Design (@DesigngirlAZ), and Lina Quintero of Elements of Design (@luxurydesigner).
There were some very useful insights from the event:
- Designers have various current thoughts about social media, that range from “Its a waste of time” to “I don’t care what so-and-so had for breakfast.” However…not many people in this economy would say “I’m not interested in marketing my services, making new contacts and growing my business.” Social media has the power to help you do all of those things, as well as making you more productive, helping you stay on top of trends (important!) and positioning you as an expert in your industry.
- The “new customer” is online, checking out designers on their website, google and facebook, using their mobile device to communicate. If designers can add aspects of social media to their businesses it will help potential customers feel comfortable with their style and personality, expediting the “getting to know you process”. Jennifer equated this with skipping the need for the first two client meetings–saving designers time and money!
- The big 4 social media sites for designers to use are: linked in, facebook, twitter, and you tube.
- Linked in is primarily a professional site, very business oriented. This is a great first place to start for designers that are new to social media, as it acts as an “online resume”.
- Facebook now has over 600 million users (this figure is probably higher by now!), and the fastest growing demographic is women 35+. facebook.com/lorts
- Twitter is “the final frontier of social media.” It has more than 190 million users and is adding 300,000 new users everyday. @lortsfurniture
- Blogs–everyone wants to set one up, but it should be saved for the last component of a social media campaign because it requires a significant and ongoing commitment to create content. Jennifer recommends updating a design business blog at least once a week, and working to find a niche with a specific theme and voice. lorts.wordpress.com
- Social media is “meant to enrich your real life”–don’t let it take over all of your time and energy!
- Most importantly, don’t be overwhelmed! Think of it like exercise–spend 30 minutes a day and you’ll start to see the benefits over time. Start with linked in, then move to facebook, twitter, and blog last. Its all a process of trial and error, and ultimately you will find what works best for you!
- What’s next in Social Media? 5 reasons custom branded communities can work (socialmediatoday.com)
- Nicole’s So Haute Home House Tour (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Social Media Is the New PR (marketingtechblog.com)
- Fashion & Social Media Report 2010 (fashionablymarketing.me)