Make Instagram Work For Your Business

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Instagram may be the favorite platform for interior designers, but is it — and social media in general — really helping them grow their businesses? Not always, according to research from Unity Marketing. So how do designers make Instagram a profitable, lead-generating platform? Let the experts share their tips.

Unity Marketing graph

 

Pam Danziger

Pam Danziger

Speaker, author, market researcher and founder of Unity Marketing

Room for Improvement on Instagram: Designers need to be able to quantifiably measuring Instagram’s effectiveness to justify the time spent on the platform. “Designers have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to social media,” Danziger says. “It’s been overpromised, but it’s underperforming.”  Danziger recommends identifying what you want Instagram to accomplish — lead generation, brand awareness, etc. — and tracking quantifiable data to determine if the platform is helping you reach that goal. If it isn’t, move on.

The Best Way to Use Instagram: Engage with the design community. If you want to land licensing deals or network with designers and manufacturers, Instagram may be the best platform, says Danziger. “A designer’s time is money,” she adds.

 

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Business coach to interior designers

Room for Improvement on Instagram: When it comes to marketing, Ganzekaufer asks her clients, “Where have your last five clients come from?” If it’s from Instagram, then it’s best to focus time and attention on the platform, but if it’s not? Move on, or better yet, change how you’re using it to connect.

The Best Way to Use Instagram: Softly introduce yourself to your ideal clients by entering their digital orbit. Find where they like to go and what they’re interested in, and then go there and post in your Stories about it. Do the clients you’d like to work with frequent a hot restaurant or a certain store? Tag those places in your Stories and feed, and use local hashtags (think #Chicago or #KansasCityMO). “It’s all about touch points,” Ganzekaufer says. “You want to touch people again and again.”

 

LuAnn Nigara

Luann Nigara

Host of A Well-Designed Business podcast

Room for Improvement on Instagram: Nigara sees a lot of designers segment how they use Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and their websites, but all of them should be working together to tell the designer’s story. Instagram should tell part of that story, not a different story. “Potential clients will check at least two or three of these,” she says, “and they should see the same branding on all [of them].” 

The Best Way to Use Instagram: Teach basic design to clients. Nigara recommends using Instagram to take followers behind the scenes of designs and share tips and lessons learned. Provide tips for picking the right paint color or how to measure correctly for an area rug. You demonstrate your expertise and give followers a reason to check back. “Teach and share, and show your expertise, personality and style,” she says.

 

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The Industry Voices blog captures the thoughts, insights and challenges of the lighting and home decor industry from those who know it best. We want to hear from showroom managers, interior designers, trend forecasters, manufacturers and other professionals who have a unique take on the industry.

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