Not that you need a reminder, but (just in case) the numbers surrounding social media consumption are staggering. As of 2017, an estimated 2.46 billion people use some form of social media, and that number is expected to rise to 3.02 by 2021.
As a designer, most -- if not all -- of your clients will be present on at least one social media platform. And because of that, it's important that you consider which social channels you want to use, how you’re going to use them, and what your goals for each one are.
Unfortunately, that can be quite a daunting task, particularly when the most of your time is already spent putting together pitches, creating work, editing previous submissions -- all while still living a life outside of work! However, if there’s one thing to keep in mind with social media, it’s that you don’t necessarily have to be active on all the social platforms at once. In fact, it has been argued that picking only one channel to focus on initially could be a much more efficient approach -- especially because there's a new platform launching what seems like every single day.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the most crucial channels you should consider using when growing your personal brand, showcasing your portfolio or projects, and searching for inspiration. You might already be actively using some of these (bonus points if you're on all of them!), but it’s important to regularly check your strategy and assess whether each platform is providing you with enough return on your investment.
Pitched as a “community of designers sharing their work, process, and current projects,” Dribbble is a place you can show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design. It is arguably a more important social platform for designers than any of the larger social channels like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Throughout the years, the website has moved on from just being solely a place to showcase your work, introducing ‘meetups,’ ‘jobs,’ and tons of engaging content to educate designers.
Behance considers themselves “the leading online platform to showcase & discover creative work.” It’s a bold description, but it’s hard to argue with them. In many ways, Behance is a portfolio for creatives to showcase their work in one place.
In short, Instagram is an excellent way for designers to mobilize their creative work. The photo-sharing app has introduced a range of new features in the last 12-18 months which make it much more appealing for creatives, for example, the ability to include multiple images in the same post is powerful, and ‘Stories’ adds another element to the platform that allows designers to go behind the scenes when working.
It would be naive of us not to suggest that you can take advantage of Facebook as a social channel as a designer. It needs little introduction as a platform, but Facebook has become the breeding ground from which many small businesses, freelancers and professionals have started their journey to success.
As a professional, it has become almost mandatory to have an online presence on LinkedIn, and that’s no different for designers. The LinkedIn model has developed greatly over the last 12-24 months, with some introductions making the platform increasingly easy to use from an engagement and interaction perspective, as well as helping you promote your content, designs and skills more effectively.
As I mentioned at the start of the article, you don’t necessarily have to use each of these platforms at once. Actively engaging on a social media channel can be a part-time job in and of itself, so before you create yet another account, weigh the pros and cons of each to determine what TRULY meets your needs.
What social media accounts do you swear by? Share below!
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