Social media is driven by storytelling. From a boutique hotel’s Instagram feed to an interior designer’s before and after posts, all brands have stories to tell. Showcasing designs on social media is an important way to share your showroom’s story with the world.
Whether experienced or just starting out on social media, consider these expert tips for mastering your showroom’s presence.
Why Social Media Matters for Interior Design
Kitchen and bath showrooms that don’t take advantage of social media are missing out on millions of potential customers.
Designer, educator, columnist and director at Masco Cabinetry in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sarah Reep explains that because social media helps draw people to your website and grow brand awareness, it’s an important way to keep up with your competitors. For example, someone who visits your social media page might see an enticing photo of your showroom, encouraging them to visit you in person. This face-to-face action can be more effective for closing a deal than if someone were simply browsing websites.
When deciding what to post on social media, always try to be useful to your audience. Luckily, the furniture industry provides endless opportunities for helping and informing customers, marketing expert Kady White writes. Whether that’s a blog post that shows how to style a vintage tub or a list of trending bathroom colors, providing value helps build trust with your consumers. In turn, this makes them more likely to pay attention when you post something promotional or advertorial in nature.
Lastly, before we jump into the platforms and trends driving showroom and interior design social media, it’s important that your showroom is well designed, with an attractive layout and great lighting. As pointed out by Kitchen & Bath Design News, your showroom should be a destination spot that enchants consumers. Prospective customers need to be able to imagine themselves living with your products every day, so it’s important that the showroom has a selling power of its own. When you’ve achieved this, it will be much easier to share influential social media posts that make a difference.
Creating a Showroom Social Media Strategy
Thinking about social media strategy seems intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. A strategy will help you define your goals for social media, and how certain types of content can help you reach those goals.
Keeping your target audience in mind is especially important when you’re building a social media strategy. Interior design marketing consultant Kate Greunke writes that you want to look deeply into what your target customer is thinking and doing. What are their fears and goals? How can your showroom calm their worries and meet their expectations? Thinking about such questions can help you craft a social media strategy that resonates with your target audience and feels helpful, rather than salesy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can repurpose content across multiple platforms. In fact, it’s important to create a comprehensive editorial plan that takes all platforms, and their audiences, into consideration, online content marketing strategist Travis Neighbor Ward writes. Rather than seeing each platform as a separate task to complete, first think about the content you’d like to create. Then consider how that one photo or video might look across the platforms.
Social Media Engagement
When planning your social media strategy, be sure to set aside time specifically for responding to requests from customers. Lighting and Decor Magazine explains that you might decide to leave time at the end of each day for answering questions on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, engaging in anything that mentions your showroom or designs. This ensures that you’ll always stay on top of mentions, especially when they involve an unhappy customers. Yet, it also keeps social media engagement from taking over your day.
As a company that sells high-quality designs, it’s important that your social media strategy incorporates visual storytelling.
G3 Communications features editor Klaudia Tirico explains that more brands are taking advantage of the power of video and images on social media. From the debut and success of Instagram stories to the lasting power of YouTube videos, visual storytelling isn’t going away anytime soon.
As a showroom manager, you can start telling a visual brand story by recording videos and taking pictures. If you’re not sure what to record, Adtaxi says to post images of company culture and behind-the-scenes shots to start. Next, add product-specific content like step-by-step instructions for installing a tub or how to choose a sink. Testimonials are also a great way to relate to your audience, and you can film a happy customer raving about the bathroom they redesigned with your product.
Visual storytelling can also be a great way to attract partners from a B2B perspective. As pointed out by Bear Flag Marketing, hosting exclusive showroom events is one of the best ways to make potential partners feel special. Plus, these events make great fodder for social media. When industry partners and buyers see that you’re willing to go above and beyond for people you work with, it’ll build trust and make them more willing to work with you.
Another approach to visual storytelling on social media is to provide a virtual tour of your showroom. Marketing software company DOZ explains that the virtual tour allows people to visit your showroom from the comfort of their own home.
This is an important factor in helping buyers choose which showroom they’d like to visit, as the more immersive digital experience will likely win over a showroom that doesn’t have much content. This is an important way you can start telling a story about your showroom and your brand, and it helps set expectations for when people come in to visit.
In addition to standard social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, Houzz is a social media platform specific to the interior design, architecture and home improvement space. With Houzz, showrooms and designers can create profiles that showcase their work to customers browsing the platform.
According to Industry Dive associate editor Peter Adams, Houzz now has augmented reality functionality that makes it easier for customers to plan interior design changes. One feature, called View My Room in 3D, allows users to pick from a library of over 300,000 decoration and furniture products to add to the virtual representation of their room. This functionality provides customers with an intimate buying experience, and brands that aren’t on this social media site stand to miss out on this increasingly important revenue stream.
When setting up your Houzz profile, it’s important to use the right keywords, Linda Longo, editorial director at Bravo Business Media, writes. Adding descriptive images with captions can help your images and profile become more searchable by potential customers. The more specific you can be about the bath product you’re selling, the more likely it is that you’ll target a consumer who wants that item. Additionally, recent photos appear higher on the page, so keeping things updated can ensure that your photos are both searchable and relevant.
Images by: rawpixel, Quinn Kampschroer, KaboomPics