Time spent on Social Media isn’t always wasted time
(unless you’re watching cat videos)
Around ten years ago social networks were for insecure teenagers and jocks organising frat parties than business people.
But, things have definitely changed since then.
‘Social Networks’ have morphed into ‘Social Media’ and now entire industries have risen out of the ground in response to the new giants of advertising. If you’re not making use of Social Media as a Creative or Graphic Designer, then I’m not quite sure how you’re still making a living.
For the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown on how to best use the major platforms of Social Media to your advantage, so that you can start increasing your streams of revenue:
Although it might have started out as a way for image conscious men and women to affirm their ‘cool’ status, Instagram is now so much more than that. This is a perfect platform for us designers. Within minutes of setting up your account, you can start following all your favourite designers and quickly make yourself known to your existing network on Facebook, so you can quickly amass a small following with minimum fuss.
From then on, it’s all about keeping a constant rhythm of posting and making sure that the style of content you post is consistent. By all means, include personal pictures, just as long as they’re on brand with your business (ie. No hot-dog leg snaps from your holidays).
This is a must-have for any company hoping to make inroads into online advertising. As much as Google have made huge progress with their AdWords scheme, Facebook have made it even easier for businesses to produce targeted advertisements to their huge database of around 1.86 billion active users.
For many people, Facebook is their go-to App on their mobile device. and their homepage on their browsers. Using Facebook’s Ad Tools, you can set a budget, demographic, location and schedule a time, so that the right people see your advert at the right time.
If you’re not comfortable with setting up your own advertising, you can pay a marketing company to do it for you, or just settle for a bog-standard page. Either way, it’s imperative that you have a presence on the biggest social platform in the world.
It’s the dull cousin of the Social Media family but, unfortunately, a necessity if you want to make yourself known in your industry. Its dry, uninteresting to look at and completely packed with industry jargon and buzz words, however it could be the platform that makes your career. LinkedIn is, at the very least, quick and painless to set up. Throw in your details, as well as your Facebook logins, and you can quickly reach out to your entire network and email address book, making hundreds of possible connections in an instant.
Once you’re up and running, you can use the native Advertising tools to put your name in company’s faces, or you can reach out to past employers to write you a quick endorsement that will make your profile irresistible to a potential client.
In every litter you’re bound to find at least one runt.
Twitter might have made a big splash when it first released but it’s lost it’s way over the years, with significantly less people joining it each year. That being said, it still has it’s uses. By using an app like Hoostsuite, you can synchronise and schedule your posts, so that your Twitter followers get a heads up when you’re posting to other networks.
Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration for designers or anyone in creative industries. It’s pretty much a giant pin board where users upload ideas, pictures and designs. You can find some neat ideas on here, but it won’t further your career in any significant way.
Finally, Fiverr is not a social network in any way. Its more of an online marketplace, where freelancers can advertise their services to pretty much anyone who’ll pay for them. The company itself has had some bad rep this year, with a bizarre advertising campaign, as well as YouTuber PewDiePie making use of the platform in a morally dubious fashion. It’s worth a punt if you’re looking for some quick work though.
These are just the basic platforms that most small-time businesses should already be making use of. For each major industry, there is a particular network that will be suited to your business, it’s just about finding the right one and getting involved!