Web Savvy: Andie Day

For this designer, social media is a marathon, not a sprint
By Alice Liao
March 27, 2012

Where are you geographically?
Our main office is in Boston. We keep up with non-local clients between meetings through iPhone and iPad. We are currently working toward a West Coast location.

Where are you professionally?
I am the principal of Andie Day LLC, an interior design firm. We are “Design For Life” specialists that excel at maximizing small spaces, city living, whole-house interior design and small commercial projects. Professionally, I spend each day searching for inspiration—online and in my surroundings—for client projects and to share with our blog readers.

What has social media done for you professionally?
Although I am a late bloomer, using social media professionally has allowed me to grow and meet exceptional and talented people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I am a member of Brizo’s Blogger 19, and through social media, I traveled to Europe twice last year—talk about inspiring! In February, I was fortunate enough to visit Madrid, Zaragoza, Teruel and Valencia in Spain as a winner of the Tile of Spain Reign in Spain Tour 2011 hosted by ASCER. While there, I connected with Blogger 19 member and dear friend Paul Anater, a brilliant social marketing director. I also met for the first time Twitter friend and the author of the blog Life of an Architect, Bob Borson. My trip to Spain even inspired a custom mural in our design studio.

And your second trip?
In September, I was selected to be part of “Modenus’ BlogTour, the World,” coordinated by Veronika Miller and Tim Bogan. London proved to be a source of endless inspiration and a plethora of activities: walking along the Southbank; visits to Tent London and Origin Contemporary Craft Fair; exploring Brick Lane, home of some of the best vintage shops in London; a seminar and curated tour of 100% Design by Mix Magazine; learning about U.S. and U.K. design trends in a session hosted by the 3D Homeplanner; a visit to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour; and a visit to Samuel Heath and Victoria + Albert, where we ran into Barbara Barry.

Kitchens from Day’s portfolio

How are you using social media to grow your business?
Drew Allison, a seasoned brand strategist and partner at BrandBlueprint, has been instrumental in working with me to dissect all components of our existing business and rebuilding it in a meaningful way. Drew continues to offer consulting services as our brand evolves. The beauty of our blog is that its very structure allows us to write about a vast array of topics that interest us and still make it relevant to our work. We worked with Drew to create a platform that clarifies the way we think about design and the power that it has to change lives. We also rely on Adroyt, a social media consulting company created by Saxon Henry and Rich Holschuh. Their insight has been invaluable; it’s all about establishing and engaging online relationships that will grow your business.

Are you on Facebook?
Yes, I do have a Facebook page.

And Twitter—what is your handle?
@andieday and @andiedayllc. We have been on Twitter since July 2009, but we didn’t really become active until after spending a few months “listening” to what people had to say online. I was apprehensive about the process but quickly learned the value of this platform—making meaningful connections both personal and business.

Whom or what do you follow on Twitter?
Fashion, kitchen and bath designers, manufacturers of products in a variety of market segments—whole house, food and wine, travel, aging in place—as well as architects and builders, including @TALV58 and Blanco Design Council members @MarkJohnsonFAIA and @tkpleslie. By sharing and learning, I am so fortunate to have become friends with thought leaders in the social media industry.

Is there someone you wish would follow you?

Yes, Sir Richard Branson for numerous reasons, including an idea I have for his business that I would like to share with him. I respect his drive and zest for life.

Photo by David Shankbone

Do you have recommendations for our readers to follow?
These aren’t recommendations on people to follow, but suggested reading that will help create and/or enhance your social media package. The New Relationship Marketing by Mari Smith. She recommends selecting “high-level leaders and influentials” and creating a vision board to keep focused on goals. It’s a quick read and I highly recommend it. You can access it at marismith.com. I also recommend The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, and Fascinate, Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead, which is truly transformative.

What do you do on Twitter and Facebook?
I am on both throughout the day posting, retweeting, answering direct messages and keeping up with the conversation of those we are following. We tweet a link to our blog posts daily. In essence, we build relationships, support those in our industry and learn valuable information to share with our clients and blog readers.

What favorite work-related blogs or websites you read regularly?
I follow techcocktail.com (click on Startups & Apps), Kelly’s Kitchen Sync, the the Decorating Diva, Modenus, quintessence blog, Nest by Tamara, Seth Godin’s blog and Sub-Zero/Wolf’s Facebook page. I will also be following Chuck Wheelock’s soon-to-be live Wheelock Maidique. Sites I visit with clients while on my iPad or suggest to them to view include those of Elle Décor, House Beautiful and Traditional Home, as well as Blanco by Design.

Do you have a blog?
We publish daily on our Lifestyle blog, www.andieday.com/blog. We have a strong desire to improve the quality of life of our clients and for our blog readers.

Are there work-related and non-work-related apps you can no longer live without?
There are so many useful and engaging apps that we utilize throughout many phases of the design process, including the House Beautiful’s 500+ Favorite Paint Color app, Pinterest app and Vtok. Non-work-related apps include those from Pandora, which is on constantly; Starbucks; Newsstand; OpenTable; and YouTube. Friends Leanne Wood Newman, of public relations firm Flying Camel, and Nora De Palma, of O’Reilly/DePalma, and I commiserate over our daily caloric intake via MyFitnessPal. (How have I lived without this tool?)

How much time during a week do you spend on social media?
It varies. I suggest viewing time spent on social media differently: Think about the time it takes to cultivate sales, answer emails or phone calls and research products. For most businesses, social media is not a luxury; it’s another very important component to achieving success, but more often than not, newcomers are turned off when they learn about the time commitment. Just as with other phases of our business—such as drafting, for example—we track and carefully allocate minutes. I’ve learned to set my iPhone timer for this daily activity. Social media is a long-term project—a marathon vs. a sprint—and should be incorporated into business in the same way as systems for answering the phone.

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