When it comes to social media, there is no right way to do it but there does seem like there can be a wrong way. If only everyone could only post photos of cute babies and puppies and cat memes everyday, we’d be much better off. But it’s not that easy. In fact, designers are starting to take an interest in the medium, and because they have a long catalogue of visual content to share, social media has become a gateway to engage with clients and create new fans.
At the Social Media and Design talk during HD Expo this month, Malcolm Berg, founder of EoA, and Danu Hassik, design director for Parts and Labor Design, discussed their strategies, best practices, their favorite accounts to follow (Somewhere I Would Like to Live for Hassik and The Sartorialist for Berg), and the importance of authenticity in a highly curated medium. Here are seven more tips to remember when you’re scheduling those posts in the days and months ahead.
1. Be engaging by being organic. Instagram is Parts and Labor Design’s go-to medium because it allows the firm to show off its work but in an approachable and collaborative way. “We definitely want to communicate our spirit. We try to share things that are a good representation of who we are as a company,” Hassik says. “We post things and share things when it feels right.”
2. Take advantage of Instagrammable moments. With Parts and Labor’s recent Thompson Nashville project, they discovered the floral wall at rooftop restaurant LA Jackson garnered a lot of love on Instagram. “It’s interesting for us to see that people gravitate towards that,” she says. “Some things get more attention than others.”
3. There’s no magic bullet. The secret is there is no secret. No one knows for sure what will make a post go viral or generate likes and audience engagement. “It’s so multifaceted and so different,” says Berg. “We use the platform holistically not only to get the word out on what we do but also to show images of what we do.”
4. But you should be strategic. Berg’s team at EoA uses everything from Instagram to Facebook to LinkedIn and Twitter. “Each one has its reason for being,” he explains. LinkedIn is a cross-pollinator that speaks to the business side of things. Facebook hits on a wide demographic. Twitter is more immediate and gets a response from clients. “Social media today is going to be different from what it is tomorrow.” For Berg, he’s already looking towards video. “It’s more interactive,” he says.
5. Connect with your followers. Whether it’s using social media as a public relations arm—Parts and Labor Design has received media requests from posting projects—or connecting you with future collaborators (the firm has also found photographers this way), “It’s a medium that exposes you and allows people to contact you,” Hassik explains.
Berg likes that social media provides a living document that attracts people at different times. “You can post something, and you cannot hear from people in a long time, then they come back and say they love your posts. That alone says a lot.”
6. Post for Millennials (and to recruit talent). Berg says he hears from design students who are interested in working for EoA because of the company’s social media presence. “For Millennials, they want to look at their options and be at the right place at the right time,” he says. “They’re studying you as much as you’re studying them.”
7. Tell a story. It’s not just about posting a pretty image but about conveying the story behind that image. “We think about the creative process, the interactive process, how we talk about the collaboration,” Berg says. “It’s really about bringing all parties together. We want the images to describe our personality.”