Articles tagged as ‘Social Media’

50+ Sets of Free Social Media Icons

Designers love free icon sets. Having quality icons can help to make a site’s design look complete, and can also help with the usability of the site. Social media icons are some of the most commonly used icons, especially in blog design.

Fortunately, there are a number of free sets of quality social media icons. In this post we’ll feature over 50 social media icon sets from various designers. Click on the links to be led to the source where the icons can be downloaded. As always when you are dealing with freebies, check the terms and conditions to be sure that you’re using them in a way that is allowed by the designer…

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12 Tips for Designers Using Pinterest to Drive More Traffic and Exposure to Your Website

Pinterest Tips For Designers

There are all kinds of social networks and websites where you can get involved, gain exposure for your work, and even send traffic back to your website or blog. Probably the most difficult part is deciding which social networks justify the time and effort, and managing to use those networks effectively without being tied to them for hours every day.

One social network that designers should consider is Pinterest. Pinterest is visually oriented, so it’s naturally a great fit for designers, photographers, and others in creative fields. The fact that Pinterest’s user base and popularity has grown so quickly provides plenty of potential for getting exposure to your work.

In this article we’ll take a detailed look at Pinterest and how designers can use it effectively and efficiently.

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10 Sexy Ways to Integrate Social Media With Your E-Commerce Website

Social media is often regarded as one of the best ways to attract visitors and to grow the audience of a website or blogging. Social media and blogging work very well together, but typically social media and e-commerce do not complement each other as well. Getting users to share products that are for sale is much more of a challenge than getting blog readers to share an interesting post with their friends and followers.

However, that doesn’t mean that if you run an e-commerce site you should just give up on using social media to grow your business. In fact, there are a number of ways that e-commerce sites can integrate with social media, and the more integrated you are, the better your chances will be for getting exposure through social media.

In this article we’ll look at 10 different ways that e-commerce sites can integrate with social media. Since we often recommend Shopify as an excellent e-commerce platform, this article will reference many Shopify apps that can be used to get this functionality at your site. We’ll also mention some other popular platforms like Bigcommerce and WooCommerce, as well as some apps and plugins.

Social Login

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A Web Designer’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook

There are many articles to be found on how creative professionals can market on Twitter, Pinterest, even Linkedin. Yet not many seem to push Facebook as a social media focus specifically for web designers. Many experts mention LinkedIn, Twitter, Behance, Instagram, and other creative portfolios as top social media networks for creative professionals, and it’s easy to see why.

You have to go where your audience is. Web designers should market themselves to businesses, startups, non-profits, and one of the best places to connect with professionals in the corporate world is LinkedIn. Twitter is great for making connections with other web professionals who can lead you to new clients, and Behance is a common portfolio platform that many use for research.

Yet Facebook is also an excellent platform on which web designers can create important connections, and it doesn’t take as much time as you would think. You may decide that Facebook is not the platform for you to spend the majority of your time for social media marketing, but it still is too valuable to completely pass up.

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Best Twitter Practices for Improving Visibility

One of the best ways for freelance graphic designers and web developers to gain exposure online is with social media. Twitter is an especially successful avenue simply because it is such a common platform. Freelancers, big and small businesses, non-profit organizations, retailers, individuals – Twitter is full of world-wide activity, across every industry.

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

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What You Need to Know Before You Expose That Bad Client

If you’ve had a bad experience with a client, you may have thought about using your blog or social media to shame them.

The practice of client shaming seems to be growing. Just in the past month, I’ve seen at least four blog posts and social media complaints about companies who did everything from not paying the freelancer to using the freelancer’s work without permission. And let’s face it, it some cases making a client’s transgressions public can feel pretty good to a frustrated freelance web designer.

Of course, there’s the popular Clients from Hell website that could also be fueling the trend. While the clients are not identified on Clients from Hell and the stories are posted anonymously, I always wonder if clients ever read it and recognize themselves.

expose-bad-client1

While the decision to publicly expose a bad freelance client is a personal one, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of doing so before you decide to do it yourself.

In this post, I share three reasons why some freelancers choose to expose a bad client publicly and three reasons why you might not want to do it yourself. I also list five alternative to going public with your client problems.

If you liked this post, you may like How to Evaluate Prospective Clients and Choose the Best Ones.

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20 Great Google+ Web Design and Web Development Communities

Google+ Communities are a great way for freelance web designers and web developers to connect with others.

Joining a community can strengthen your freelancing business in the following ways:

  • Networking. As a member of a Google+ Community, you have a chance to interact with others with similar interests and a chance to build relationships.
  • Reputation. By providing helpful insights and tips to other members of the community, you can enhance your reputation as a professional.
  • Resource. If you have a problem or question you can’t solve, ask the community. The insights shared by peers can be very helpful.

Social network or online community concept

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Social Media: Finding the Balance Between a Waste of Time and Necessary Networking

Ah yes, the all too constant struggle of networking with social media. It’s one of those necessary evils that everyone, from job seekers to freelancers to name brand companies, have to rethink constantly. This is why it is one of the most commonly discussed topics across multiple industries. We all know just how important social media is, and most of us continue to struggle between making it a successful marketing avenue and a waste of time.

As a freelancer who has struggled with wasting hours on social media and completely ignoring it for a month (or more) at a time, I have learned a few ways to help me narrow this gap between the two extremes. Now, have learned how to better focus my efforts with social media. It’s still not perfect, but I am on the road to tightening down my efforts and am already seeing results. And for those of you social media skeptics, even when I was only flailing along with social media, I gained enough clients through my exposure via Twitter and Google+ that I haven’t had to search for clients since I became active in several social platforms.

If you are a business owner, freelancer, or even an individual simply looking to build up a strong network in your search for a career, you may find the following tips to help you better take advantage of the benefits that social media has to offer. Hopefully, some of the resources below will help you greatly reduce the time-suck trap many fall into with social media. Use your own experience in combination with these tips, and like me you may find clients knocking down your proverbial door.

So, take a look at the following 10 tips and resources and get ready to re-adjust your social networking plan into one that will waste less time and build more positive results for you and your business ventures.

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13 New Social Tools for Your Web Design Business

Is bigger always better?

Nearly every web designer knows about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. And it’s not a bad idea to have a presence on those sites.
woman in office pointing at plasma panel with social media

When it comes to social networks, the newest players are smaller and more exclusive. Some are invitation only. Others are niched–available only to members of a specified group. Most of them are mobile-friendly. They may even leverage other social media platforms.

Today’s new social media sites may become the giants of tomorrow. Witness the rise of Pinterest. For that reason alone, it’s worth checking these new tools out. But I think that you’ll agree with me that your web design business will benefit right now from the use of some of these tools.

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Are You Failing at Social Media?

You may be on social media and still see no benefits for your web design business. How could this be true, you might wonder.

To answer the question, let me share a childhood memory from my school days. Many of my teachers started each class period by taking roll, calling out the names of the students who were registered for the class. If you were there, you simply answered “present” or raised your hand when your name was called. Of course, nobody answered for the students who were absent that day.

social-media-participation1

Being marked “present” was important because it meant you would receive credit for the day’s activities in class. If you were simply enrolled in the class, but never showed up, your chances of passing were slim.

When it comes to social media, some web designers are like those students who were enrolled, but never showed up. They may have a social media profile out there, but when it comes to social media participation they’re failing. To make effective use of social media for your web design business, you have to take part.

In this post, we’ll take a look at five steps to help you use social media to build your web design business.

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Comment Systems and Options for WordPress Users

There are a lot of different factors that help to make a blog successful, and reader engagement is one of those factors. A blog that has a high level of reader engagement is likely to receive a lot of quality comments from readers, and a blog that gets a lot of comments is likely to benefit from that high level of engagement.

The commenting functionality was a key issue in the rise to popularity for blogging several years ago. Visitors who were accustomed to reading static pages with no option to leave their own feedback typically appreciated the opportunity to interact with the blogger and other readers. Over the past few years it seems like more of this discussion has shifted to sites like Twitter and Facebook as many blogs have seen a decrease in comment activity. However, the opportunity is still there for blogs to benefit greatly from an active comment area.

In this article we’ll take a look at the different commenting options that are available to bloggers who are using self-hosted WordPress to power their blogs. Most of these options are also available for other blogging platforms as well.

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4 New Free and Low Cost Ways to Measure Social Media Results

Do you use social media to market your design business? Are your social media efforts working? How can you find out?

Six or seven years ago, these were very difficult questions to answer.

After all, back then social media was a relatively new phenomenon. Facebook wasn’t available until 2004. LinkedIn was founded in 2003. Twitter was just getting started and Google+ didn’t yet exist.

Back then, an accurate method for measuring the effectiveness of social media participation was hard to find. If you were able to find a tool that worked, you could expect to pay a lot for such information.

Fortunately, things have changed. Social media has matured. And along with that maturity comes the ability to measure your social media results. While you can still pay good money for high quality social media analytics, there are now a lot of tools available to measure results at very little cost to you.

In this post, I profile four new tools designed to help you measure your social media results. If you like this post, you may also like 6 Ways to Use Social Media Successfully as a Designer.

measure-social-media
Image Source: Skakerman

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10 Effective Custom Facebook Landing Page Designs

Facebook allows advertisers to create a custom page where clicks from their promotional content will lead to. A landing page ensures that your customer finds a more focused and targeted message. The more focused the advertising, the better the chances of converting leads to sales.

When it comes to landing page designs, there are some stunning examples out there. Those that use the functionalities of a landing page combined with great graphics. We’ve selected 10 stunning one’s for you here:

1. Starbucks – Blonde Roast

Starbucks - Blonde Roast

Starbucks’ Blonde Roast campaign offered coffee drinkers a free cup with their regular coffee. Each cup had an illustrated “Light Note” on it – a simple message to brighten your friend’s day. The campaign was so successful that even after Starbucks ran out of actual cups; it launched a Facebook application where people could send cards to their Facebook friends with the same messages and illustrations. The application is easy on the eyes and the mind. It’s simple and elegant with a big green button to get you started.

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Social Media Sharing Icons Influence Web Designs

Last weekend I participated in my first hackathon ever. Do you know what hackathon is? It’s a 24-hours long marathon where people with money (investors) look for potentially successful development projects. So me and my friends had to build and to present a more or less ready-made project (both from development and business point of view), so that investors would want to spend their money on it. On one of the latest stages of the project development our developers and designers disputed a lot about social media icons to choose. Nobody wanted to give in. This argument gave me an idea to pay more attention to social media icons in web design. What can they look like? What are they really used for? Why do web developers doubt about them?

Social media sharing icons influence web designs

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10 Pinterest Pages for Design Inspiration

Unless you’ve been in a social media black hole for the last 12 months, you’ll be familiar with Pinterest. The love child of photo-sharing site Flickr and scrapbooking site Tumblr, Pinterest is your online pin board. You literally ‘pin’ images onto a collection of themed boards and their shared with your followers and other users.
As a graphic designer, Pinterest is the online equivalent of being a kid in a sweet shop. There is inspiration for pretty much everything, and it’s all just a click away. You can follow your favourite designers, artists, and photographers, admire their work, and share your own.

Pinteresting Profiles To Follow

Like with every social network out there, some people use it really well. They pin in clear themes, getting the perfect balance between their work, and sharing other peoples’. Others are still struggling to make Pinterest work for them.

We’ve browsed countless profiles and boards to compile a list of 10 great pages you need to follow. Here are your essential Pinterest boards for design inspiration:

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Web Designers/Developers to Follow on Google+

Like other major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, Google+ offers excellent opportunities for networking and connecting with other professionals in the industry. We thought it might be helpful for Google+ users to have a list of some of the best web designers and developers to follow. Feel free to add your own suggestions and recommendations in the comments of this post, including a link to your own Google+ profile.

You can also follow Vandelay Design on Google+.

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15 Amazing Twitter Tools for Increased Productivity

Twitter provides designers (and other service providers) with the ability to communicate and network in a way that can be really productive for business. However, spending too much time or not having a specific purpose with social media can become a major drain on your time. There are plenty of tools and resources available that can help you to get more out of Twitter in less time. In this post we’ll profile 15 of those efficiency tools for Twitter users.

Connect with us on Twitter: @vandelaydesign.

HootSuite
HootSuite allows you to manage multiple social media profiles from one dashboard. It integrates with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and more. You can schedule tweets to be sent at a specific time in the future, monitor mentions, send and read direct messages, see how many people click on links in your tweets, and more. The features mentioned above are all available on the free plan. A premium plan is also available for $5.99 per month that ads features for teams and provides Google Analytics integration.

HootSuite

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5 Steps to a Stronger Social Media Presence

Social media and social networking sites present tremendous opportunities to all kinds of business, including web design. If you’re not currently active with social media you are missing out on one of the best methods for networking and for free or low-cost marketing.

Many designers who are using social media are not getting the most out of it. In this post we’ll look at 5 simple steps that you can take to improve your effectiveness with social media, regardless of whether you are already a user or if you have not yet gotten started with social media.

Step 1: Identify Your Goals and Priorities

It’s important to set a solid foundation for your efforts with social media by first defining what you hope to get out of it. This is a critical step that many designers and freelancers overlook. Yes, social media can have a significant impact on your business, but you need to have some direction or else you will be wasting your time.

Some common goals or priorities for designers who are using social media include finding new clients, networking with other designers, increasing traffic to their website or blog, improving name recognition and branding, finding a new job, and simply enjoying activity with the community of users. It’s possible to improve your business or career in any number of ways with social media, but you need to be aware of what is important to you because it should shape the way in which you use social media.

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Design Bump: A New Niche Social Media Site for Design-Related Content

Design Bump

A few days ago I was contacted about a new site that targets the web design community. Design Bump is a niche social media site that was launched recently and is already building a bit of an audience.

Being built on Pligg, the popular open-source option for social media sites, Design Bump functions in a way that will be very familiar to many of you. The site has similar content and a similar audience to Design Float.

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50+ Designers to Follow on Twitter

Designers and Twitter

Twitter seems to be gaining popularity almost every day. As a new user I decided it would be helpful to do some research to find designers who would be worth following. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive (so please add a link to your profile in the comments if you like), but it should give you a great start to following some talented designers. This is a list of over 50 designers, in no particular order, with a link to their Twitter profile.

cssglobe – Alen Grakalic of CSS Globe

chriscoyier – Chris Coyier of CSS Tricks

snookca – Jonathan Snook of Snook.ca

zeldman – Jeffrey Zeldman of Happy Cog

vpieters – Veerle Pieters of Veerle’s Blog

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How Design Impacts Social Media Success

Web design and social media marketing are two topics that I enjoy studying, and the two certainly impact one another for website owners and bloggers who are attempting to increase traffic to their site. While social media is intended to put a spotlight on the best and most popular content, the look and appearance of a page will often influence social media users and their decision of whether or not they should vote for a particular submission. The design of a site can be either a positive or a negative influence on the voting decision, and social media marketers need to consider appearance as much as they consider the content and headlines.

8 Ways Design Influences Social Media Users:

1. First Impression

The first impression of any visitor, regardless of how they arrive at your site, will be heavily influenced by the appearance of the site. Generally, opinions are formed in a matter of seconds, not minutes, so creating a positive impression is critical. While most of your website’s visitors will have a short attention span, social media users are notoriously quick to leave a site that doesn’t impress them right away.

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Secondary Results of Social Media Success

Social Media Marketing is attractive for several reasons, including loads of free traffic and the increased exposure that comes along with it. However, achieving success with the major social media websites can produce many other results as well. Most of them are positive, but not all. Here is a look at what you should be prepared for as a result of hitting it big.

popurls

The most popular submissions on major social media sites including Digg, Reddit, and del.icio.us are displayed on popurls.com , which has a significant amount of traffic itself. So, if you are fortunate enough to get thousands of visitors from a particular social media site, you may also get hundreds or more from popurls. In a few cases I have received almost as much traffic from popurls as I have from del.icio.us on the day that a particular blog post made it to the del.icio.us front page.

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Building a Successful Niche Social Media Website

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you have probably seen that I have an interest in niche social media websites. However, the problem with niche social sites is that most of them have only a handful of users and they provide very little potential for marketing your website or blog. That makes the good ones even more valuable.

If you are a web designer or if you enjoy reading web design-related articles, hopefully you’ve already come across Design Float. Those of us in the web design industry are fortunate that there are several useful design-related social media sites. If you’re looking for a place to promote your own content and find other items of interest, I think you’ll like Design Float.

Unlike many other niche sites, Design Float sends a significant amount of traffic to popular submissions (in fact, today I’ve received well over 300 visitors from Design Float). And as its community grows I only expect it to get better.

I had the opportunity to interview Andrew Egenes, the owner of Design Float, about his experience with creating a successful niche social media site. Andrew has a great deal of insight that many of us can learn from. In just a few months he has accomplished the very daunting task of getting a niche social media website off the ground. I hope you’ll enjoy Andrew’s insight as much as I have.

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StumbleUpon: Interesting Results Examined

Last week I published a post that did pretty well with a few social media sites, but I saw some interesting results from StumbleUpon that I thought were worth sharing. I normally don’t send pages to my StumbleUpon friends through the SU toolbar to ask for a thumbs up, but I did for this post and it seems like that may have restricted the amount of traffic the post received from SU.

To look at the situation I’m going to compare the stats from that post to stats from another post that had similar success with social media last month. Both posts received very similar traffic from DZone, del.icio.us, popurls, and CSS Globe.

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Using Social Media to Find Quality Information

There are plenty of articles, including some of my own, that focus on techniques for drawing traffic from social media websites like Digg, StumbleUpon and del.icio.us, but there is very little written about using these social media sites to find quality information. The point may seem illogical since social media sites supposedly show the best, […]

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