In the last two years, B2B customers have greatly expanded their communication on social platforms. That’s why I wanted to know which platforms are at the forefront of the favor of interior designers. Recently, TikTok has been a great platform to promote interior designs (click here if you also want to boost your TikTok presence).
I used my visit to the ARCHITECT@WORK in Düsseldorf to conduct a small, of course not representative, survey. I was able to have a conversation with 59 visitors who identified themselves as “architects” on their visitor pass. About 45% of the interviewees were interior designers, 45% architects, 5% landscape architects, and 5% others such as lighting designers. It was also important to me to talk to architects of all ages, from students to silver agers.
“Do you use social networks (social media) for your work as an architect?”
The fact that 25 participants (over 40%) immediately dismissed with a vehement no provoked a surprise “Why?”. Time reasons were often cited: “Who is supposed to read all this? I already get enough emails a day.” Some see no reason to use these platforms. Google is enough for them, free of the motto “I go to the Internet.” Here they mainly use the Google image search.
There are also strict objectors who consciously reject such offers: “I’m definitely not going along with that.” I also met architects who apparently still live in a professional world without the Internet: “There are magazines, books and trade fairs to inform themselves.” In some offices, the use of social media is even explicitly prohibited by the management.
“Which social platform is most important to you?
The 34 yes-men from the first question now had to commit to a platform. The result was clear. Pinterest named 20 people first. That’s over 59% of respondents. Some of them even prefer Pinterest to Google: “I can search there much better.” Instagram received 10 entries. This platform is also considered well suited for the self-presentation of the office. Quite beaten, LinkedIn landed in the penultimate place with 3 votes, always with the hint to maintain his contacts about it, for career and professional exchange. A young interior designer favors “Behance” from Adobe: “On “behance” I see entire projects and not just individual details.”
“Why do you use this platform?”
Almost all respondents are looking for inspiration and ideas and consider this approach to be a good start to a new project. Trends and new products are also researched. Many also observe other offices and their latest references: “I collect interesting projects.” Images for the creation of mood boards are also collected there.
The frequency of use varies from “occasional” and “depends on the occasion” to “daily” or “permanent”.
Users are aware that the quality of the results depends heavily on entering the right keywords: “Searching on Pinterest is much better and more effective than Google. Of course, the keywords have to be right in the search.”
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Conclusion: Are companies that target architects on the wrong social platforms?
According to Statista, in 2021, 54% of companies worldwide (B2B and B2C combined) used Facebook, followed by Instagram with 21% and LinkedIn with 15%.
Interior designers and planners seem to tick differently: Almost 34% (of all respondents) of interior designers prefer Pinterest to Instagram (17%) and LinkedIn (5%) in their work. Facebook is completely ignored for work.
A survey conducted by Bauinfo Consult in 2018, “Do you use the following online social media/networks as an architect?” surprisingly revealed different results than my survey. There were in the frequency of use of LinkedIn and Instagram before Pinterest. In my opinion, this may be due to the fact that a) a selection of the platforms in this survey was offered and b) not explicitly limited to the work process. In my interviews, I was able to answer intermediate questions for clarification, such as B. “Private use also?”. I was also able to intervene if the first question was not answered in the true sense: “Instagram. We have a profile there.” However, my survey focused on how architects obtain information in their work process. Likewise, I did not allow WhatsApp as a reply. WhatsApp is primarily a chat service in which the exchange is usually only one-to-one and predominantly private.
If you want to reach architects in social media as a manufacturer, you have to invest in Pinterest.
When architects use social media for their work, most prefer Pinterest, over Instagram and LinkedIn. They have a clear idea of what they want to achieve on the platforms. Pinterest is deliberately and clearly used as a source of inspiration. Architects use Instagram to follow other offices and their projects. You can keep in touch with colleagues via LinkedIn.