Raise Your Hand for Social Media

handsupBy just a quick show of hands, how many of you are engaged in social media? If your hand isn’t raised, it should be. Winning new business is the name of the game for the designer/developer/reseller, and competition is tough. Social media is the solution for standing out. In fact, according to Discover Financial Services, “32 percent of small business owners who are part of an online networking community say that their biggest benefit from social networking is ‘getting new business leads.’”

If it hasn’t been beaten it into by now, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a huge demographic if you’re not playing the social field. But don’t worry, friends. January isn’t even over yet. If you haven’t made “engage in social media” one of your resolutions for the New Year, it’s not too late.

Here are a few really easy tips to get started right away. Please excuse the assertiveness of the tips below. It’s called tough love, and I do it because I care.

Get a Twitter handle for cryin’ out loud!

Go here: www.twitter.com. The rest is pretty self explanatory. If you’ve already got a Twitter handle, but have been more of a lurker than a participant, that’s ok. Listening, and understanding the nuances of Twitter etiquette is always a great place to start. But if you’ve been lurking for more than one month, it’s time to stop being a wallflower and jump into the action.

Are you representing a web design firm? If so, start following the heavy hitters (Smashing Magazine, 99 Designs, DesignFollow is another good one…you get the idea). Now once you’ve got your Twitter birds in a row, start tweeting. The goal here is to solidify yourself as a subject matter expert. Here are four great things to tweet about:

  1. Link to articles that discuss emerging trends in the industry. Be sure to add your opinion.
  2. Did you win a new client? Tweet about it and link to their homepage (as long as it’s your award-winning, awe-inspiring design)
  3. Tweet 140 character or less helpful nuggets of industry-centric information – usually tips. The shorter the better. You want people to re-tweet your message.
  4. Your blog entries. See my next point…

WordPress, meet designer. Designer, meet WordPress. Any Questions?

You can make this process as simple or elaborate as you want. Here’s our designer, Micah’s, experience. Though WordPress is a great blogging platform, it doesn’t matter what you use.  What DOES matter is that you get your keyster in gear on this one. It’ll be worth the headache.

Hypothetical scenario for any designer

Let me paint a picture for you. Your potential client is trying to decide between you and one other design firm. The other firm has a fully-loaded blog complete with entries discussing the importance of SEO in your website, the elements of good design, and how to keep visitors on your site once they land, etc. Potential client then visits your site and looks and looks, but alas – no blog in site.

Essentially, the other firm has sucked the wind right out of your sails because they made it clear (through a blog) that they know their business. “What the heck?” you think to yourself. “I know this business better than (insert principal name from competing design firm)!” And it’s true. You eat, sleep and breathe this stuff every day. Why not write about it on your firm’s blog and strut your incredibly rich design knowledge.

P.S. Once your client is onboard, don’t forget to sign up for TechExec Lite, then encourage them to host with us and roll ecommerce into their site(s). You’re already doing the work.  Why not get the residual payment and discounts you deserve?

After all…you’re smart enough to roll social media into your 2010 strategic marketing plans. Might as well complete the picture with us – your favorite web host/ecommerce partner.

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