Whatever the type of design business that you run, social media can be an incredible boost for it Social media are a powerful tool for building brand awareness. Also Mauro Porcini, SVP & Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo, confirmed (watch the interview) the importance for designers to be active social media users on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. With so many people using online communities these days, the potential is simply huge. According to a recent study, users are expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020. A whopping 74% of people who use social networks rely on them to make a buying decision. If you know what you are doing, you can leverage the power of social networks to find more customers for your design business. The following are things you need to keep in mind when creating a social presence for your business to get the best possible results. 1- Choosing the Right Social Media Platform When we talk about "social media", there are plenty of different options to choose from. From Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Pinterest to LinkedIn and Snapchat, knowing the exact needs of your business and the advantages of each platform is essential for a successful social media presence. Aside from the advantages and disadvantages of each social media platform, you need to be where your potential customers are. Creating a strong presence on different social media platforms can be overwhelming. Focusing your efforts-especially when you are just starting, can help you get better results with less effort. 2- Post Awesome Stuff Content is still king, this is particularly true when it comes to social media. When creating your online presence you should think about content that you could post that has value for your customers. If your page posts valuable content, clients will come back for more and you'll have a steadily-increasing audience. Remember, people like to buy but they don't like being sold to. Evaluate your content from a client's perspective and you'll create awesome stuff that keeps people coming back for more. 3- Be Consistent Your audience started following you for a reason. If the nature of the content you post on your social media changes, your audience will gradually shrink. What do you do if you follow a page that posts about a specific topic then it changes the type of content it posts? You just unfollow the page. If you want your social media presence to build a healthy relationship with clients, you have to be consistent and maintain the type of content that got them to follow you in the first place. Consistency isn't only in the type of content that you post, it is also in its frequency. Posting regularly will stop people from forgetting who you are or why the followed you in the first place. Forgetting about your business is hardly the worst thing that could result from inactive social media accounts. If your accounts have no activity for a long time, people can just assume that the business has closed. Consistent (not spammy!) posting on your social media account is something you should maintain at all costs. 4- Appearances Do Matter Having social media accounts that look good plays an important role of how people perceive your social media presence and your brand in particular. Things like your profile page, cover photo, bio info and all visual aspects of your social media accounts are not merely cosmetic features, they do matter. If you are unable to do it yourself, you should hire a designer who can design your social media pages so they give the impression that you want your customers to have. 5- Give Your Accounts a Voice Every brand has a voice that matches its identity. That voice must be clear and consistent throughout your different social media channels. If your brand doesn't have a voice, you should check out what your competitors are doing. A brand's voice must be appropriate for its audience. Since your existing competitors have the same target audience and have been doing it for some time already, learning from them is always a smart thing to do. Give your brand a voice that your customers like and they will actually listen to what you have to say. Be careful though, an inappropriate brand voice can result in completely different results. Keep it relevant and you'll reap the benefits. 6- Optimize Your Social Media Pages for Search Engines How good is a social media account that can't be found? People who find your social media account don't come only from that social media platform. Many people will find your accounts through the good old way: search engines like Google. Optimizing your social pages for search engines can work wonders in increasing your audience. Knowing what your target audience and keeping a search engine optimized page are things that will definitely pay off. 7- Be Responsive Responding quickly to messages and other interactions with your social profiles is a great way to build trust between your potential customers and your business. A business page that takes days to reply or worse, ignore people completely won't just make you lose social media followers, it will damage your brand reputation in a way that is difficult to recover from. Respond to your customers to let them know that you actually care about them and to extend the functionality of your digital presence into a two-way communication channel instead of a lifeless posts machine. Whatever the type of design business that you run, social media platforms definitely have tons of potential to get your business noticed and most importantly, get more clients. If you have not started your design business yet, than I suggest you to read this first.