The Necessity Of Social Media

from an interior design perspective

CJ Dellatore Social Media Icons

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It’s no secret that I’ve been consulting with designers and showrooms in the interest of helping them craft effective content marketing, and social media strategies.

So when a potential new client (who has up until now refused to join the crowd on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) asked me 2 weeks ago to help her understand why she needed to engage, I answered her question with a question in return: Do you want to advance your interior design business?

She of course said yes.  Here’s a synopsis of what I said next.

First I explained that Facebook, as of February 2013, reported 1.15 billion active users worldwide Now if you imagine that all of those people live in one country – it would be the 3rd most populous country on earth.  And then compare that fact to this one: more people will access information on digital devices this year than will watch TV in the United States.

Astonishing right?  Certainly explains why there are so many ads on FB, and why social media marketing budgets are up 65% this year over last.

But the real reason to engage in the social media arena, for the interior design professional, is best understood by looking at the differences between advertising dollars in traditional print media and digital outlets.

Between 1997 and 2006 I worked with both the editorial staffs of Martha Stewart Living and House Beautiful.  In those pre-digital media days, advertising dollars were directly tied to the magazine’s circulation, and were scaled by where the ads were placed in the magazine (front-of-the-book typically less expensive than back-of-the-book, where the important editorial pages were.)  Editors were concerned with the designers they featured as a function of the editorial direction they envisioned for the magazine, which in turn was shaped by the demographics of their targeted readership.

Things are radically different today.

In fact last week MarketingProf.com reported that digital advertising is set to surpass print advertising by next year, which leads me to why I think interior designers need to engage on social media.

Instead of advertising dollars being tied to newsstand sales, they are now tied to click-throughs on a magazine’s website.  If for example 100,000 readers click-through the story about spectacular libraries around the world on AD.com, let’s say the magazine can charge $5 for an ad on that page.  If on the other hand the story generates 500,000 click-throughs, they can now charge $25 for the same ad.  Counting those click-throughs, with uber-sophisticated algorithms, makes it incredibly easy for the magazine to adjust their fees accordingly.  

So following that logic, let’s imagine a digital shelter magazine has 2 designers, we’ll call them Richard and Eileen, whose work they are considering for a feature.  And then let’s examine their respective social media footprints: Richard has 500 Facebook friends and 500 Twitter followers, and Eileen has 2500 Facebook friends and 2500 Twitter followers.  Assuming the editor considers the 2 equally talented, who do you think would be better for the magazine to feature?

If we imagine that both were featured in the same online issue, both would most likely share the link to their respective stories on both Facebook and Twitter.  The difference would be that Eileen’s friends and followers would provide the magazine with 5 times the potential click-throughs than Richard’s would – which in theory gives the magazine an exponentially greater opportunity to generate ad dollars (and that’s before we even consider how many of Eileen’s friends share her post, or re-tweet the link, multiplying her influence.)

Now for the record, I have NO PROOF that any of these considerations are being made at any of the online shelter magazines today, but I will say this.  Every morning I read Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, and CopyBlogger – and they are all suggesting the same thing I have in this post: your success in the digital world will be directly tied to your influence on social media platforms.

How influential you are is now just as important as how talented you are.

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Written by CJ Dellatore

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