“Social media is a duty”: Interview with roomido
Sophie Pahl, business development manager at roomido, the online platform for recommendations on furnishing and trends in house and home, spoke at the Webchance Academy during Heimtextil 2014 about social networks and their benefits. In the interview she calls on retailers and interior decorators to be more active on the internet.
Ms. Pahl, can retailing hope to avoid the subject of social media?
Social media is a duty. I do not mean that every retailer must make a guest appearance on every social platform, but with regard to their own target group, they ought at least to look for one or two networks and show themselves there.
Well, in the talks at the Webchance Academy retailers have heard about a great many social networks, starting with Facebook and Xing, to Instagram and Twitter. How would you recommend someone to find their first feet on the social web?
That depends always on the target group. If I have end-consumer products and only limited resources, I would focus on Facebook. If, on the other hand, your intention is to build up contacts with specialist retailers or manufacturers, Xing is the right platform to start with. For the furnishing sector I recommend a company profile on roomido. This online platform presents ideas for house and home to people interested in furnishings and provides them with suggestions on how to furnish. But it also has a community, in which each user can set up a profile free of charge. Roomido also offers retailers an opportunity to present their own business and products as part of this social platform and to exchange information interactively with potential customers. Using search-engine optimisation and publicity, roomido creates growth in user numbers, and the retailer has his target group bundled on one platform.
No matter on which social network retailers work, how do I attract attention to myself and my products?
Specialist retailers or interior decorators must give their target groups information and inspiration. In addition, the focus on social media is user interaction. Only an exchange of information with the customer makes platforms such as Facebook, Xing, Google+ so valuable. If I start a dialogue with my target group, the likelihood increases that these people will recommend me to others. And that is the best advertising you can get.
Do you have a particular recommendation for all those who are actively posting on their profiles, but the feedback is still manageable?
I recommend adding questions to your own contributions, to stimulate a reaction from the target group. Competitions, including prize competitions, or surveys are helpful tools for activating social-media users.