For designers, it is important to make use of social media. It’s a great way to promote your work and your design business.
Even though there is a temptation to have a presence on all social media platforms to ensure you are seen, it’s probably best to focus on just a few, so you aren’t spreading your efforts too thin. We make use of several social media sites that differ considerably. We’ll give you some advice on using each of them.
When using Instagram, make sure you vary your content. Clearly, Instagram is a visual platform. Therefore, you need to make sure your feed is visually appealing. Remember, you may be in the middle of a design that is important to you, but no one wants to view the same work from one hundred different angles. You aren’t producing a stop-motion animation.
Demonstrate your process. Let others see how you engage in your work by posting videos or images of you dong your work. Many Instagram users are students who would enjoy seeing the equipment and software you use in your creative processes.
On Instagram, you can get personal. It is the social media platform in which you can comfortably mix personal and work lives. This can serve to help your fans feel a greater sense of connection to you. However, you should think about who will be viewing your feed and the type of content they will have a desire to see. Posting images of your recent trip to a web design conference may work well, but a picture of your ankle that was sprained on a ski trip may not be a good idea.
Don’t post the same content on all your social media sites. If you are posting on several social sites, there is a temptation to repeat the same content on all platforms. However, followers will likely be adding you on more than one network, so you should try to keep your content unique. Post images, albums, or links to other work or articles that you find of interest. It’s also a good idea to comment and share the work of other designers. This will vary the content of your page as well as exposing you to new contacts.
Engage with your followers. Facebook is an ideal platform for asking questions and to invite others into a discussion on your content. Ask others their opinion of a work that you are in the midst of, give advice, and ask others about work that you are most proud of. Most importantly, illicit comments from people. The more shares, likes, and comments you get, the greater the chance that your posts will be displayed in members’ feeds, and then it is increasingly likely that you will get additional likes.
There are a number of Facebook apps available that can be helpful. Some apps allow you to run competitions, link Instagram, and many others. Look at the pages of others and see which aps they are using. You will usually be able to find the same app yourself and make use of it.
On Flickr it is important that your content is protected. When you upload to Flickr, set your copyright. Make sure the default setting is for copyright. You will be able to find this setting in the ‘settings -> privacy and permissions area. You won’t want to inadvertently give permission to someone else to utilise your designs.
Use a lot of tags on Flickr. There are numerous websites, magazines, and businesses that perform a Flickr search in order to find content they can license. If you use a lot of tags you are more likely to show up in these searches. In addition to the tags that are obvious like ‘graphic design’ consider other less obvious tags that are descriptive of your work. This will give you a better chance of showing up in comparison to others who have not carefully considered their own tags.
A primary way to get noticed on Flickr is to add your images to various groups. Look for groups, such as design groups, and others that may related to the work you do, and add your images to them.
Group content gets displayed in the feeds of other members. Even if you aren’t someone’s contact they may see your work, prompting them to seek you out as a contact.
Twitter is a fantastic platform in which to interact with others and that’s precisely how you should be using it. If you attempt to use it to simply broadcast your work to others and tell them how great you are, and don’t engage with them, Twitter won’t be very effective for you.
Be sure that you reply to your followers. Particularly people who retweet your tweets, and those who mention you to others. Remember, they are doing this because they are interested in your work, not because they are your personal friend and confidant. If you don’t engage with your followers, they will go away, then you will be having a conversation with yourself, which won’t do you much good.
Create a balance. There should be a balance between tweets that are self-promoting and general tweets. No one will want to follow you if all your tweets are links to your sites or Facebook posts. You need to attempt to keep your tweets varied and interesting. As a result, your followers will have a desire to learn more about you and they will voluntarily visit your design portfolio or website, without further prompting.
Become more visual. Twitter has changed quite a bit recently and one of the changes is that tweets that have images in them are now displayed much better. You are a designer, so you need to be visual. Rather than simply tweeting a link to your work, simultaneously include a preview of it. The visual will be displayed in feeds and people will become far more interested in our posts. In addition many people will be accessing Twitter from a mobile device. They may not want to click on a link, but they will be able to enlarge an image very easily.