The Ultimate Social Media Guide for Designers

 

If you are a graphic designer, web designer or other type of creative professional in the design industry, it is crucial to leverage the power of social media if you would like to stay visible and relevant in front of the largest audience of active internet users.

It’s no exaggeration to say that social networks are an integral part on the path to success. As of June 2017, 51% of the world's population is on internet, and with the growing influence of social media across the web, you simply cannot afford to be absent.

 

The 3 top reasons why designers and creative professionals should start using social media today are:

1. BRAND AWARENESS

Develop your identity and establish a reputation that will make you recognizable, dependable and trustworthy.

2. OPPORTUNITIES

Social media is the best avenue to potential new clients. Showcase your work in front of an audience of over 3.7 billion users. Get feedback and connect with fans, like-minded individuals, existing and potential clients. Network, communicate and nurture long lasting business relationships.

3. INSPIRATION

Kept current with the latest industry news and trends. In the fast-changing digital environment stay ahead in the game: learn, adapt, create, improve and innovate!

 

BUT, how do I, as a designer, make myself heard or stand out?  If you are serious about getting a piece of the cake and securing the rewards your work deserves, this is what you should be asking yourself now.

Many Creative Professionals don’t know what social media platforms are most suitable for their business and how to use them effectively - don’t worry we break down a few options, WHY do you need to use them and HOW!

Time spent on social media in a lifetime = 5 years, 4 months. Doesn’t that sound like a good reason to start using social media?

 

Here is a comprehensive list of the highest performing social media sites and how to use them to build a successful design business:

 

 

Facebook


WHY

Facebook is world’s largest social networking site and one of the strongest social media platforms you can use as a Creative Professional.

With the growing number of users, Facebook is the most powerful resource you can use to create and build your audience.

 

 
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Seb Lester uses Facebook to showcase his work. He has developed type logos and illustrations for some of the biggest brands such as Apple, Nike and The New York Times.

 

HOW

  • Create a complete Facebook profile. Make use of the about section and design the right-sized profile picture and cover photo
  • Follow and “like” influential Facebook pages
  • Connect and post regularly. Share relevant and engaging content related to the design industry. Showcase your designs and build a reputation
  • Lead users to your online portfolio or official website
  • Use Facebook advertising options to reach to your target audience
  • Join groups where prospective clients and other like-minded individuals are. Receive/provide information about resources and new trends

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/business/resource

 

 

Twitter


WHY

The benefits of using Twitter are needless to say when we look at the statistics bellow:

  • 328 million monthly active users worldwide September 2017
  • 1 Billion unique visits monthly to sites with embedded Tweets (2017)

Use Twitter to generate interest in your work and express your personality.  Identify the group of people who share your interests and engage with them.

 

 
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Timothy Goodman designer and illustrator has 30.4k followers on twitter, one of the social media sites he uses to engage with his audience.

 

HOW

  • Craft your Bio utilizing most important information about yourself and insert hashtags to increase your visibility
  • Use hashtags to find the people with whom you share interests and learn about current trends. For example you can use the #DesignerProblems hashtag to help other designers, connect and build credibility
  • Post consistently to get your posts noticed

Learn more: https://business.twitter.com/en/basics.html

 

 

Instagram


WHY

Instagram allows for a creative way to share photos, videos and messages, making it the perfect social media place for designers. It differs from the other social media networks in that Instagram is mainly mobile photo sharing network.

  • 80% of social media time is spent on a mobile device (comScore)
  • Instagram has the highest per-follower engagement, which is 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter (Forrester)
  • 700 million monthly active users worldwide September 2017

It is projected that the number of active users in the United States will surpass 111 million in 2019.

 

 
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Leta Sobierajski is an art director and graphic designer, with an audience of 84k followers on Instagram where she shares her work on a regular basis.

 

HOW

  • Write a description which includes your basic info and design specialties
  • Include a link to your portfolio or website in the description
  • Geo-tag your posts to attract clients in specific location
  • Increase exposure and gain the attention of specific individuals or brands by commenting on their posts or tagging them in your posts
  • Make use of Instagram videos. The engagement growth for video is outpacing photos.
  • Stand out from the crowd by developing images consistent in style

Learn more: https://business.instagram.com/

 

 

Pinterest


WHY

Pinterest, the pin-board style social sharing site offers a great potential for designers. You can use Pinterest as a place to gather inspiration and promote your work.

 

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Mike Dew is one of Pinterest’s most followed pinners with over 3 million fans. His most famous boards include: Design, Typography, Illustrative, Identography etc.

 

HOW

  • Develop a profile with complete information about yourself
  • Develop identity by carefully choosing what kind of boards you will create
  • Make your Pinterest boards to link back to your website
  • Make sure your pins are professional, related to your business and add appropriate hashtags and mentions
  • Follow, connect and engage
  • Create SEO optimized Pinterest URL. Use your personal or business name, depending by which one you want to get recognizable
  • Get more followers by adding links to your other Social Media accounts

Learn more: https://business.pinterest.com/en

 

 

Behance


WHY

Behance is a large community of creative professionals. Users can showcase and discover creative projects from various fields such as graphic design, web design, illustration, photography, and fashion. Being active, not only present on Behance, provides you an array of opportunities to get noticed and get a new job/project. 

There are thousands of creative professional experiencing significant benefits from using Behance. Take a look at some of them bellow:

 

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PAOLO PETTIGIANI, INFRARED NYC

“I think that Behance is the most powerful platform in the world. Once I published my infrared photos on Behance, it became viral in a few hours. Within the week I had interviews and publicity from blogs and magazines all around the world, such as The Washington Post, Wired, Time Out, Huffington Post, and Hypebeast, and my art is now sold in 40 art galleries worldwide.”

 

OSBORNE MACHARIA & KEVO ABBRA, NYANYE

“Indeed its been a phenomenal year! CNN, Adobe Create, and Communications Arts all featured me after seeing my work on Behance, and I've also had more international clients reach out to me, looking for a local photographer in Nairobi, Kenya.”

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Maria Grønlund is a creative professional focusing on Graphic Design, Branding, and Art Direction. She has one of the best graphic design portfolios on the site with 2.494.346 project views.

 

HOW

  • Establish a thorough and organized profile. Include your work experience and contact information to make it easy for potential clients to hire you
  • Keep your portfolios clean and share only your best work
  • Use the Work in Progress (WIP) feature to obtain valuable feedback and get direction before you showcase the final product
  • Create a teaser video of your projects
  • Join curated galleries to increase the chances of being featured by various organizations and schools
  • Link your Behance account with your other social media profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
  • Connect and develop favorable working relationships by following other creative professionals, engaging and appreciating their work

Learn more: https://medium.com/behance-blog

 

 

Dribbble


WHY

As Dribbble itself puts it “the place where designers get inspired and hired.”  Web designers, graphic designers, and other types of creative professionals share screenshots of their work to get feedback, share ideas and essentially put their best foot forward in order to get clients and work.

The thing that makes Dribbble unique is that even though everyone can join this network to follow or hire designers, you can only post images if you have been invited by an existing Dribbble member.

  • 486,771 - members joined (2016)
  • 1,565 - jobs for designers posted (2016)
  • 76.4% Designers and Teams for hire received work inquiries (2016)

 

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Bill Kenney portfolio is being followed by an audience of over 60.000 people. He specializes in Web Design, Logo Design, UI, Identity Design and Interface Design.

 

“Don’t underestimate the power of Dribbble. Over $800K of our 2013 revenue was tied to people finding us there.” - Erik Reagan, Focus Lab
“Because of the work I had posted to Dribbble, I ended up landing my dream job at Apple as a Senior UI Designer.” - Robert Padbury

 

HOW

  • Carefully choose and post only your highest quality designs
  • Share on a consistent basis. Be persistent and your efforts will pay off
  • Craft a strategy! Keep your audience engaged and establish relationships by sharing the complete design process. Post project introductory image, share a short video, and finally present the final results
  • Post your work-in-progress to receive feedback and engage the audience
  • Be found and expand your reach by linking your other social accounts
  • Establish credibility and showcase your expertise in the field of work. Don’t comment just to be noticed, but demonstrate personality and professionalism in every interaction
  • Get inspiration! Explore new ideas and keep improving!

Learn more: http://help.dribbble.com/

 

 

These are the social media sites we’ve found to be most useful for the professionals in the design industry. Being active on multiple social media networks might seem like a daunting task but there are many options out there that streamline that process and allow you to share your work at once on all of the social media accounts you like. That way you won’t need to spend all your time on social media and will have plenty of time to create new work.

No matter how many or which social media platforms you will choose to use, the key thing to remember is to share creative, unique, valuable and engaging work that will turn your audience into loyal followers.

Showcase your creativity with the aid of the top social media platforms. We hope that this article helps make a difference in your online presence!

 
Colin Whitlock