In a previous article, I wrote about 6 cool ways for designers to use Pinterest, where designers are using this tool for more than just visual bookmarking. For social networking, Facebook is the key social media channel for building traffic, creating an online identity, engaging with your customers, building your reputation, receiving feedback, establishing relationships, and more.
Facebook offers you a chance to showcase your creative skills and help out your clients. Some key features are just now starting to get used by designers and popular brands. Here are five creative ways for designers to use Facebook. Enjoy!
1. Add Personality to Your Cover Photo
With Timeline, designers immediately jumped at the opportunity to design some unique profile covers. Facebook allows you change your Timeline profile based upon certain specifications for the Cover Image (850 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall) and the Profile Image (135 pixels wide, 135 pixels tall).
If you want to add some personality yo your Facebook presence, create a unique cover picture. Here are a few examples to inspire you.
Cameron showcases a beautiful drawing he made in the Cover Picture, then he shows his typical profile picture you might see when he speaks at a conference.
Colin Burns showcases Instagram pictures in his Cover Picture to reveal he is a foodie and tech-savvy person, while he shows his fun side in his Profile Picture.
Frances Mclean goes psychedelic with her Profile Picture, which she contrasts with a more Retro style in her Profile Picture.
Lauren Myers shows her love of Austin in her Cover Picture, while she shows a gaming side with her Profile Picture.
2. Change Your Cover Photo Often to Drive Traffic
Just about every morning, you will find Jay Schuh drinking coffee and honing his design skills by sketching pictures of famous cartoon characters. He did not join Facebook, but he found a way to drive traffic to his Facebook page by changing out his Cover Photo often.
Jay started drawing what he calls “Coffee Cover” drawings. In each picture, you will see a famous cartoon character holding a cup of coffee and looking at another “Coffee Cover” drawing, which was the last sketch Jay created.
Jay has sketched over 500 “Coffee Cover” pictures. You can find pictures of Scooby Doo, Count Chocula, Fat Albert, Smurfs, Marvel superheroes, and more.
3. Showcase Your Portfolio as a Visual History
With Timeline, you can create a visual history of your portfolio. Yes, you will still want to have your own portfolio site. I recommend that you keep a personal Facebook profile, while you have a dedicated Facebook page for your portfolio. Stephanie Haseldin has a portfolio site, which showcases her design work.
As you can see, Stephanie uses the milestones feature with Facebook’s timeline to show when she completed her different design projects. Plus, she adds a photo for you to see her design work.
4. Pin Your Updates To Spotlight Them
If you have a Fan page on Facebook, you can pin your updates to the top of your page to give them more prominence. Pinned posts will appear at the top of the page with an orange bookmark.
Pinned posts can only be done by Administrators of a Facebook Fan page. Pinned posts will appear for one week, and then they will revert to a regular post. An interesting example from Scribblers Calligraphy is a pinned post for a free e-book.
Subway used a pinned post to advertise a free cookie. Eat dessert first!
5. Use Milestones to Tell a Company’s Story
An obvious use for Facebook’s Timeline is to tell a company’s story. Use milestones to record significant events. If you company or client has a long history, milestones can tell a very rich history. For example, the milestones for AT&T go back to 1876 with a milestone in virtually every twenty year period in their rich history.
You can find other popular brands with a long history, including Coca-Cola, Ford Motors, Paramount Pictures, and the US Army. You can do the same thing with your own company, too. For the Big Design Conference, we have included several pictures to show how the conference was founded and grew.
What Do You Think?
Let us know of some other ways designers can use Facebook. We’ll write them up in a future article.