SOCIAL MEDIA 101 by SIMPLIFIED BEE

September 7, 2010

guest blogger, social media

Cristin Priest, professional organizer, designer, and creator of Simplified Bee joins us today to give an overview of social media and how it relates to your business. She recently served as a panelist for a social media discussion sponsored by Kravet and Lee Jofa in their San Francisco showroom. I asked Cristin to give us a recap of that panel discussion in hopes to demystify the world of social media.
Thank you for joining us Cristin~

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A few months ago Kravet and Lee Jofa hosted a presentation and panel discussion on social media in the field of interior design at their beautiful San Francisco showroom.

(Pictured left to right: Cristin Priest, Scot Wood, Claudia Juestel and Jennifer Powell)

Jennifer Powell, Kravet’s Social Media Coordinator, began the event with a presentation aimed at bringing the attendees up to speed on the basics of what social media is and then focused on the four most used social media outlets: blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. After her presentation, she sat down with panelists Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Group and blog, Scot Meacham Wood of Scot Meacham Wood Design and me to answer questions about our expertise in the world of social media. To start,

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

“Onlinematter.com defines social media simply as, “any form of online publication or presence that allows end users to engage in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website.” 

With that, is social media just fluff or is a legitimate form of marketing? This video was not shown at the Kravet event; however, it helps communicate the legitimacy, power and impact of social media:

Blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have so far been the most popular social media sites for the interior design industry. Each of these social media outlets are free to use {at least today}. Each takes time to build and maintain. And each can help you build your business.

BLOGGING

Screenshot of my blog, Simplified Bee

First, blogging. There several blogging platforms, but Blogger, WordPress and TypePad are most popular. Active bloggers become very familiar with their blog tool of choice, so a platform’s features are even more important for them. Although I use Blogger, WordPress seems to get great reviews from its loyal users.
Design blogs are popping up daily. Each has a flavor of its own and can even be designed to look and feel like a website My blog, Simplified Bee {screen shot above} is an example of a blog that looks and feels more like a website. In fact, my blog was originally just a place holder until I got a website up and running… well, that never happened and I don’t know at this point if I ever will build out a website.

Some blogs are updated daily, while others are updated monthly. The panel all agreed that to keep a blog fresh, it is best to post at a minimum once every other week.
How much time does blogging take an audience member wanted to know? Scot Wood answered the question best by saying that, “a blog post can take minutes or several hours. It depends on the topic and how much time you have available that week.” He also said that his blog is opening up many doors and attracting clients.

LINKEDin

Screenshot of Scot Meacham Wood’s Linkedin profile

Panelists also agreed that LinkedIn is a must for interior designers and is an easy entry point into social media. LinkedIn is the largest professional network site online. It has over 75 million members including executives from all fortune 500 companies. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. Then you can form connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network can expand linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts. LinkedIn also allows users to link their blog and Twitter update.

FACEBOOK

Screenshot of Tobi Fairley’s Facebook business page

Facebook is also a very popular social media site for interior designers to network with other industry professionals and market their design business. 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook to stay connected with their friends and colleagues. Interior designers can either create individual profiles or business pages {that others will follow by selecting “like”}. Either way, Facebook is a great forum for posting industry news, blog posts and pose questions to other designers. Tobi Fairley was discussed by the panel as a great example of an interior designer who leverages Facebook well and has an active following {screen shot above}.

TWITTER

Screenshotof Kravet’s Twitter profile

Of the four, Twitter is probably the least used social media platform utilized by interior designers, but is growing at lightning speed.

A “TWEET” is a brief message {140 character limit} and was originally designed for mobile users in mind. 

The folks at Twitter say, “how you use Twitter is completely up to you. Follow hundreds of people. Follow a dozen. Post every hour. Post never. Search for your favorite topics and create lists. Or not. You are in control on Twitter.” Once an account is set up, it can be linked to your website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page. Twitter is like a fast moving river … information flows by rapidly and keeping up can be a challenge. Fortunately, social media companies like Seesmic, TweetDeck and HootSuite have developed tools to make tweeting easier to manage. If you want to know if someone is tweeting about you or your business, companies like tweetbeep and set up alerts for certain keywords and web URLs. You’ll get an email notification as soon as someone mentions you or your brand or your blog posts in their tweets.

In closing, the entire panel agreed that social media is a great resource to help market and establish your company’s brand. Yes, it does take some extra time and effort getting started, but the rewards including press coverage, new clients and making friends in the industry is well worth it.

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15 Responses to “SOCIAL MEDIA 101 by SIMPLIFIED BEE”

  1. Janell @ Isabella and Max Says:

    This is a really good overview of this topic…it can be overwhelming to get up and running in all these areas. But once you get a routine it becomes manageable…funny and very interesting that Cristin originally started her blog until she got her website up!

    Reply

  2. Emily A. Clark Says:

    Enjoyed reading this. It really is amazing how you can now build a business/brand from blogging and other social media. Great post.

    Reply

  3. Dagny @ Scandinavian Chic Says:

    Great post!!

    xx
    d

    Reply

  4. Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage Says:

    This is really an informative post. I like that fact she used her blog as a placeholder until she got her website up and running. However, using more than one social network at a time is very very difficult me at the moment. I'm just getting the hang of Twitter.

    Reply

  5. Chic Chocolate Says:

    This is really good information and a great interview. As a business owner first, my business grew out of the "word of mouth" method. Since I've been blogging, my business and reputation has grown exponentially. It is funny how you can grow a business directly from a blog.

    Reply

  6. niki.mac Says:

    All of these have been very helpful to me in networking since I moved to Atlanta last year – great post!

    Reply

  7. Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design Says:

    Great post! Social media always confuses me but I am trying my hardest to get it!!!

    Reply

  8. Cristin @ Simplified Bee Says:

    Thank everyone for the nice comments! With new software and technology changing, I find it hard to keep up too.

    Erika, it was a pleasure guest blogging for you today.

    xo,
    cristin

    Reply

  9. jenna @ alittlebleu Says:

    really helpful post! very informative and interesting!

    thanks for sharing with us :)

    Reply

  10. Jennifer Powell Says:

    Great post, it's really wonderful to see designers taking advantage of free marketing tools and doing what they do best, being creative! The video really helps illustrate the power and scope of social media, we're actually considering adding it to the presentation. Thanks so much for this post Cristin!

    Reply

  11. Erica @ Decorica Says:

    Great tips. I just joined LINKEDin~!

    Reply

  12. Michele Says:

    A great summary of all the most used Social Media venues! Now if I could just figure out how to manage my time so that I could fit them all in each day!

    Reply

  13. Sanity Fair Says:

    So delighted to find another GREAT Atlanta blog! Really enjoyed this post – social media is an overwhelming, but vital, tool.
    -Sanity Fair

    Reply

  14. AB HOME Interiors Says:

    Once again my dear you out did yourself. This post is great. I have accounts with all of the above and couldn't really explain any of it in an intelligent way! Now I can do a much better job.
    xo
    amanda

    Reply

  15. Galen Riviezzo Says:

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

    Reply

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