On Wednesday, the New York Design Center hosted a conversation on “Social Media Etiquette” with industry creatives Robert Rufino, House Beautiful Style Director; Mieke ten Have, Interior Stylist; Lori Paranjape, Owner of Mrs. Paranjape Interior Design in Nashville; and Keyanna Bowen, Interiors Photographer and Blogger behind popular design site East+Lane, moderated by Hadley Keller, House Beautiful Senior Editor.
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The discussion covered the unwritten rules of social sharing and the do’s and don’ts of online crediting as it applies to designers, photographers, stylists, publishers, bloggers/influencers, consumers and more.
Unable to join us live? Read on to learn a few key takeaways from the conversation or watch the full interactive panel discussion here.
How do you use social media professionally?
Mieke ten Have: “When I first joined Instagram, I had a private account. But then I quickly realized, Instagram is a way you can put yourself out there in the world, visually, and promote your own point of view. Ever since then I’ve been using it as a tool to share my point of view and my work.”
Lori Paranjape: “I use Instagram as a living, breathing portfolio of my work. 95% of my business comes from my Instagram feed. It’s been a game changer for me.”
What advice do you have for new creatives looking to express their own aesthetic on social media?
Keyanna Bowen: “My advice for new designers or new content creators who want to share their own work but may not have the projects yet to do so is to find little spaces in your home or a friend’s home — a corner or hallway — and decorate or accessorize a vignette within that space. There are ways to get creative to show off your own work on social media — you don’t need a huge home or project.”
What are your thoughts on reposting or sharing someone else’s work?
Robert Rufino: “If you admire someone’s work, send them a DM and ask permission to share. You never know, it could lead to a connection or collaboration.”
What advice do you have for photographers or designers looking to discover or work with stylists through Instagram?
Mieke ten Have: “It’s just a matter of looking. Every stylist has a different point of view, and a different take – a different mood to their work. And you can only ascertain the differences if you really look at their work and various aspects of their work. Every stylist has a signature. If you are paying attention, you can understand the nuances. So, it’s just about taking the time to look. Looking at social media and looking at what they [stylists] are putting out on Instagram is a great way to learn what they’re doing.”
Should I share personal content on my business account?
Robert Rufino: “My Instagram is the magazine [House Beautiful] and my life. It’s all connected. What I post in my personal life is an extension of who I am and how I live my life — whether it’s with my dog or walking in the field. It’s a mood board. Instagram is your story. It’s who you are.”
Keyanna Bowen: I do post about myself on my account because I want to be a hope and inspiration for black girls. There’s not a lot of us out there in the design world and definitely not in the interior photographer world. So yeah, I do think incorporating little snippets of your life does help — even if your account is primarily business – because at the end of the day, they are hiring you, and whether or not they connect with you as a person.”
What are some positives of social sharing?
Lori Paranjape: “It can be such a powerful tool to lift others up. Social media has given me the opportunity to use and share the work of people of color – makers and artists – that complement my work as a designer.”
Keyanna Bowen: “Although there are times when social media users may not be crediting appropriately, there are many more times when social sharing can be so incredibly positive. We need to come together as a community and showcase the work of others to help expose and amplify voices, to create a more diverse landscape in the design industry.”
Hadley Keller: “Social media gives us endless opportunity for connection that may not have otherwise occurred. If you can use it to expand your circles and discover new talents, that can have wonderful results.”
Social Media Etiquette 101:
Always credit your collaborators (stylist, florist, photographer, designer, etc.).
Offer top line credit in your posts when sharing inspiration imagery.
Tag all creatives in both captions, tags, and stories — if you are posting a multi-image post or story, tag them in each new frame/photo.
When sharing the work of a fellow creative, it’s best practice to reach out and ask permission of the creator.
If a manufacturer asks permission to share your work, make sure to read the fine print before granting permission. Make sure you are comfortable with how they will be sharing.