When talking with interior designers about social media, some topics tend to pop up again and again.
Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed, if you have a bit of guidance and willingness to work on your social media strategy.
In this post, we look at five of the most common mistakes interior designers make on Instagram and how to fix them so you can turn Instagram into a powerful marketing tool for your home decor business.
Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission when you click on the links or purchase paid products at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products and software we truly believe to be helpful for your business.
Before we start, here’s a question: What was your main motivation to create your account on Instagram?
Chances are you want to use it to promote your business and get new interior design clients.
This is by far one of the top reasons in our book to consider but there are some common mistakes that you need to steer clear of to attract more followers and get new clients.
Whichever of the mistakes below sounds familiar, do know that things might not be as bleak as they seem.
Read on to find out what are the most common mistakes we see interior designers making on Instagram and what to do instead.
Mistake No.1: Not planning content in advance and not posting consistently
If you want to rank higher on Instagram and have your content shown to your ideal clients as often as possible, you need to post consistently, not just every now and then.
Unless you have a lot of free time on your hands – which, honestly, not many of us have! – planning and scheduling your content in advance is the best thing to do to make sure that you post consistently.
Admittedly, that might require some time upfront, as you will have to sit down and brainstorm ideas that are interesting, topical, and on-brand.
One way to make this job easier is to set time aside for batch-creating your content. This means having a dedicated timeframe or slot in a day where you create more posts in one sitting, without any interruptions.
The goal is to have a steady bank of content that you can then plan to be posted automatically using a social media scheduler.
By the way, pre-scheduling is not just limited to static posts but also includes Reels and Stories – depending on the scheduler, you might be able to plan other types of content to be posted automatically as well.
Our favorite tools for planning and scheduling social media posts are Later and Planoly. Both are pretty easy to use and have free versions to use, so you’ll be set in advance for having your posts scheduled at the right time when your followers are likely online and can engage with your Instagram content.
So, here’s how to fix the first common Instagram mistake: plan ahead, batch your content, and use a social media scheduler to free up time instead of having to create content and post on the go.
Mistake No. 2: Your Instagram bio not being optimized for getting interior design clients
When was the last time that you edited your bio or updated it with any new business details that your followers or potential clients need to be aware of?
Your Instagram bio is one of the first things that potential clients see about you on Instagram. With just a 150 characters description, you need to be able not just to tell what you do but also to catch your audience’s attention so they are intrigued to learn more.
An eye-catching bio can make a potential client become more interested in your interior design business and proceed to your website or continue scrolling to the next post on their feed.
Also, an optimized bio will make your profile easier to discover by the right audience – which should be one of the top goals of your Instagram strategy.
There are several things that your bio should include to attract the right people to your profile, such as your name, your location, and your website, but also what makes you different from other designers that your ideal client might consider.
This could be something about your design niche and the design style you specialize in, awards that you received, or more details about your ideal client so they can see that you serve people like them.
Make sure to also include targeted keywords that your ideal client would be searching for, and add contact buttons that will make it easier for people to get in touch.
Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in posts so this is an easy way to allow people to access a list of links and direct them to pages that might be relevant for them, such as your portfolio, blog, any freebies you might have, or a landing page for your newsletter.
Mistake No. 3: Not having a cohesive feed
Posting content in different visual styles, not using your brand colors, or discrepancies in the tone of voice in captions… Many of us have been guilty of this mistake.
You might think that posting anything at all is better than not posting and keeping a cohesive feed is not a priority.
That is understandable, especially if you are not used to planning your content in advance and struggling to post at all.
But here’s something to consider: Defining your visual style and creating content that fits in with your chosen scheme can help you increase engagement and build trust in your business as it will be clear for potential clients to understand what your brand stands for.
Having a cohesive feed doesn’t just look better – it also gives your followers and potential clients a clear signal of what your brand is about and whether your style aligns with what they are looking for when searching for an interior designer.
To create a cohesive feed, use the same brand colors and fonts across your posts, and also ensure that your messaging adheres to the tone of voice that aligns with your brand.
Mistake No. 4: Boring captions
It’s true that interior design is a visual industry so the visuals you share should be of the highest quality. But when it comes to Instagram, people are not interested just in beautiful visuals but also in the stories behind them.
A strong, engaging caption can make a potential client stay on your post longer, which helps Instagram to evaluate your account as helpful and valuable. By doing so, your content will be prioritized over that of someone else, giving you a chance to engage a wider audience.
This means that you should always strive for captions that are engaging and encourage people to stay on your feed longer.
You can do this by adding a bit of a story behind the design you are showing, sharing advice so that people are motivated to save it for later, or using a call to action to encourage people to take further action, such as commenting on the post or saving it for later.
As a start, make sure that your first sentence is catchy enough that people would read on. You can make a statement, ask a question or use a hook that would make people want to know more. Keep in mind that Instagram truncates longer captions, so make that first sentence short but eye-catching.
In the caption itself, you can share more details about the project you are sharing, mention specific challenges that you faced and how you overcame them, or add your client’s impressions from seeing the final result.
Mentions, where relevant, are great to draw attention from your collaborators’ followers and draw additional traffic to your Instagram feed.
Last but not least on the topic of captions: Use the right hashtags to ensure your content is optimized and can be more easily found by the right audiences. Create hashtag sets to make things easier so you don’t have to create hashtags from scratch for every post.
Mistake No. 5: Not using DMs
Instagram DMs (direct messages) are one of the main reasons why Instagram is a top tool for business owners, including interior designers, decorators, and home stagers.
By utilizing DMs you can connect with potential clients, get to know your followers, and even sell your services to interested client leads without ever leaving Instagram.
That’s not to say that you should not start spamming people on Instagram – instead, strive for meaningful conversations where you connect and get to know the issues that your potential clients are facing. Then you can offer advice or direct followers to your website or refer them to your portfolio for similar projects that you worked on in the past.
Keep these tips in mind when using Instagram DMs:
- Check your DM inbox regularly, including the message requests and the spam folder – otherwise, you could miss out on important messages or even a project inquiry.
- Never make your DM senders wait too long for replies. Ensure that you have a schedule in place for checking your messages, or if you assign this task to one of your team members, train them to know how to respond and which types of messages to flag (such as spammy messages).
- If you are often strapped for time, you could use the saved replies tool for general questions, but be careful about how you word them – you don’t want your followers to feel like they are talking to a bot.
Also, get our Instagram DM Cheat sheet for an easy leg-up!
Ready to improve your Instagram strategy and grow your following?
Does this feel like a lot of work? The good news is, each of these mistakes can be fixed, and the time you put into these fixes will bring you dividends in the future.
That’s how Instagram works – if you put in the effort and stay consistent, it can become a great branding and selling tool for your interior design business.
Need more guidance on how to use Instagram to get new clients?
Check out our online course about Instagram for interior designers – it contains everything you need to know from how to craft an optimized bio, to creating engaging content that converts and automates the management of your Instagram profile.