Hey everyone. Let’s get started with this week’s topic: Social Media & Your (My) Career. How can social media be used for your career? What sort of strategies can be employed?
Here’s a video to start us off:
(Not so much the plug for Social Media Quickstarter, although it could be a good resource for starting your social media presence). They have a few other videos on their Vimeo page if you want to check them out.
Getting straight into it, in today’s day and age social media is a vital tool for anyone in the creative industry. As a graphic designer one of the pathways is to become a freelancer or starting your own design studio. For these options, social media becomes an important platform where designers can be found and get in touch with. Steve Nicholls (n.d.) has seen an increase in the number of freelance designers due to social media and therefore believes, social media and freelancing go hand-in-hand.
I found an article by Melanie Perkins (2014) that has four tips on establishing a successful social media presence for new and existing brands but I think they can also be applied to graphic designers looking to start promoting themselves. The first tip is having a consistent colour palette. Choosing the same colour (or the same two to four colours) and using it for all social media posts (across different platforms — i.e. Twitter, Behance, Tumblr, Instagram or one of the many others which are out there) will help viewers recognise your company (whether it be an agency or a freelancer). The chosen colours should be representative of the designer and they can be used in a logo, text, images, etc. The next tip is choosing typefaces that go together and which also reflect the designer’s personality. In the case of typefaces, Perkins (2014) also suggests using a maximum of three fonts and using them consistently. The third tip is to use the right images that follow the same theme and in some cases, any filters that might be used. Last up, there is the suggestion of using a template – creating a style guide to ensure each element works together and stays (relatively or recognisably) the same for each post. In the end, the main point I’ve taken from this article is that consistency is key. If it’s consistent, it becomes recognisable and if it’s recognisable it will become memorable to viewers.
Nicholls (n.d.) outlined four ways a graphic designer can use social media to enhance a client’s experience.
- Communication – graphic designers can use social media to communicate more often and more efficiently.
- Collaboration – with the use of social media, graphic designers can find the “right” person needed to work on a new project.
- Communities – new communities (networks) can be created (or joined if they are already there) to help spread the word about new projects/products.
- Collective Intelligence – a tool to keep track of what is trending (popular at the moment) and get feedback about projects/products.
Perkins (2014) finishes the article with an interesting statistic:
“In the time it took you to read this article, approximately 500,000 new posts would have appeared on Twitter, 3 million on Facebook, 15,000 on Instagram and many, many more.” That is a little bit daunting when you think about it, but it’s also full of possibilities and chances to get your voice out there.
As I’m at the stage where I need to be creating an online presence and portfolio I’m beginning to realise how important it is to have a clear vision in place before using social media. From the articles I’ve read I can see that having a plan to follow will lead to a more successful social media presence and I’m hoping that I can use these tips to create a creative, consistent portfolio — one that will become recognisable and memorable. I’m also becoming more aware of the benefits of using social media to promote my works. It can be used to expand networks, collaborate with other designers, keep up to date and communicate with viewers, consumers, clients and more.
While looking into this topic, I have also found a number of articles that mention another benefit to the rise in social media that doesn’t relate to utilising it to promote yourself and your graphic design portfolio. This is the fact that graphic designers are in high demand. Businesses are realising the importance of social media and marketing so they are seeking out designers to help them creatively and more effectively promote their brand. The social media page for a business (depending on which platform they are using) will need to include banners, specialised logos, sales and promotions (holiday seasons, special events, etc.), advertising and inspirational quotes (The Social Observer, 2014). Each of these items needs to be creative and consistent in order to effectively represent the brand. The infographic below illustrates how much time should be taken on some different aspects of social media.
Social media marketing has become important in two different areas with regard to graphic design. Firstly, in the way I can use it to market myself as a graphic designer — being creative, consistent and using different elements to represent who I am through my posts. Secondly, due to it’s recent rise, it has become a new avenue to gain clients as businesses start looking for graphic designers to market their brand through social media.
Here’s some other articles that might be worth reading in regards to social media marketing:
- What Not to Say When Promoting Your Freelance Business on Social Media by Robert Lanterman
- Getting Started With Social Media Design by Anna Guerrero
- Use Social Media to get Design Work: 25 Pro Tips by Gary Marshall
Thanks again for reading 🙂
Bogdan, E. (n.d.). Graphic Design + Social Media. Retrieved from: www.slideshare.net/mobile/ericabogdan/graphic-design-social-media-9663508
Guerrero, A. (2015). Getting Started With Social Media Design. Retrieved from: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/getting-started-social-media-design/
Lanterman, R. (2014). What not to say when Promoting your Freelance Business on Social Media. Retrieved from: www.millo.co/say-promoting-freelance-business-social-media
Marshall, G. (2013). Use Social Media to get Design Work: 25 Pro Tips. Retrieved from: www.creativebloq.com/career/get-work-with-social-media-1012939
Nicholls, S. (n.d.). The Importance of Social Media for Graphic Designers. Retrieved from: www.graphicdesign.com/article/social-media-graphic-designers/
Perkins M. (2014). How to Develop a Strong Visual Brand on Social Media. Retrieved from: blog.hubspot.com/marketing/strong-brand-voice-social-media
The Social Observer. (2014). Social Media for Graphic Designers: Benefits and Drawbacks. Retrieved from: www.thesocialobserver.com/social-media-graphic-designers-benefits-drawbacks/