September 16th, 2013

speaker, coach, consultant

The importance of design in social media

When we hear social media talked of, rarely do we hear design mentioned. There's plenty of blah, blah, blah about content but not enough about the power of design.

From the corporate to the SME to the soloist, too few of us take design to heart.

Just imagine you were designing your shop window, would you buy the same out-of-the-box version as everyone else?

First impressions count, even more so in this digital age, and yet people seem to think they can get away with the oh-so-ordinary version of social media design that afflicts all those companies that are going for the safe middle.

The thing about social media is that it gives you huge scope to be more than different. It means that if you're looking to build a tribe at the end of the long tail of marketing, then design is one of the most powerful levers you have.

If you look across your own landscape - Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and your blog - is there consistency in design? More than that do you understand enough about the psychographics of your buyer persona to know if you've chosen wisely or in a way to turn people off?

Admittedly some of the social media platforms don't give you a lot of leeway but where you have the capability to affect the look and feel, you should spend the time necessary to make sure that it looks better than average. It should pop, make you think 'WOW' and should be a talking point in and of itself.

I could of course give you a bushel of examples but that would be missing the point. Of course, we all like to mimic - I've learnt a lot just by seeing the evolution of Leo Babauta's online presence - but you have to create something you instantly fall in love with.

It's so easy to take design for granted, and never more so than in this space: when something is free it seldom gets the love and attention it should.

Next time you are thinking of a redesign, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my core message that I can communicate through design?

  • Who am I trying to reach?

  • Will my tribe understand what I'm trying to do?

  • Do I understand the demographic, psychographic and technographics of my market?

  • What do I hate?

  • What do I l-o-v-e?

  • Am I willing to compromise on anything? If so, what?

  • What's my budget?

  • Am I willing to double that to get things right?

  • Do I have the right team on board to make things a reality?

  • Can I afford to fail?

And probably a slew of others.

The point is that design has to be more than a nice to have accoutrement. It has to be baked into everything you do.

Perhaps it is that we think the writing etc. will shine through. For some it might. But for the rest of us, please don't ignore design or give it anything less that you whole, undivided attention.

  • Current Mood: curious curious