10 Great Tips for Using Twitter as a Designer

Jan 27 2010 by Shannon Noack | 44 Comments

Twitter was founded in 2006 by Odeo (a podcasting company). It was first used as an internal service for Odeo employees, and later, it became public and then took off as its own company in 2007.

10 Great Tips for Using Twitter as a Designer

Today, Twitter is ranked in the top 50 websites on Alexa, and in February 2009, a blog post by Compete ranked Twitter as the third most used social networking site.

Compete

The original intention of Twitter was to announce to your friends and family, in 140 characters or less, what you were doing, as you were doing it. People would be updated all the time on the status of their friends.

Nowadays, people have found tons of different uses for this social media site that answers the question "What’s Happening?" 

Whats happening

I know many of you are already all over Twitter and are already familiar with its benefits as a professional working designer.

If you aren’t on Twitter yet, hopefully you’ll see why you need to join in the conversation and be a part of this social networking phenomenon. If you’re already on Twitter, I hope to share some tips with you that you may not have considered before. Here are 10 tips for using Twitter to help you network, find jobs, and/or build your business

1. Follow awesome designers and studios

Follow awesome designers and studios

They may not follow you back, but it gives you a good opportunity to join a conversation and get your name out there. Retweet their posts or comment on something they’ve said. They may also post valuable resources for you to check out. 

2. Use search.twitter.com to search for jobs or projects

Follow awesome designers and studios

People tweet "I’m looking for a web designer" or "I need help finding a good logo designer" frequently. Search often and you’ll be able to capitalize on those opportunities to land a client, or at the very least, spread the word that you’re a working designer and available for hire.

3. Help the community: answer fellow designers’ questions

Help the community: answer fellow designers' questions

Tons of other designers and developers ask questions about coding issues, program quirks, or client dilemmas and will be very grateful for the help you can provide. The next time they need help on a project or have too much work, they will hopefully think of you.

4. Share your design critiques with designers that ask for input

Network with other designers by commenting on the designs that they post. People generally love hearing what you think about their design (or else they wouldn’t have posted it on Twitter). This is a good way to connect with other designers and also showcase your own design tastes and expertise to your followers.

5. Post your newest projects and published websites

Post your newest projects and published websites

I love seeing what other designers are doing and enjoy it when designers post their newest projects. However, don’t spam your followers with tons of stuff you’ve done, keep it to one post to announce a new site being published or a new business card you’ve designed. Keep your tweets relevant and not (too) self-promotional, or else, you might find yourself losing many of your followers.

6. Tweet and discover new web resources

Post awesome articles and tutorials that you’ve found. I can’t possibly include every cool web design blog in my RSS reader (it’s already out of control) but I love reading the occasional cool post I see on Twitter from a blog I don’t subscribe to. Sometimes I find an awesome blog that I haven’t even heard of before! Twitter is a great way to trade information and knowledge.

7. Use #hashtags

Use #hashtags

Something I don’t utilize nearly enough, but is extremely valuable, is using hashtags to categorize and contextualize your tweets. It allows other people to find you on Twitter: someone clicks on a hashtag on their friends page to find similar content, and they land on your Twitter page. Voila – another connection has been made.

8. Find and follow people and businesses in your area

Find and follow people and businesses in your area

Design groups, design studios, and programmers are people you can find on Twitter. There are also many people near you, but outside of the design world that would be great to network with such as the chamber of commerce in your city or new businesses that need your services. You can use Twitter’s advanced search to find tweeple that live around your area.

9. Customize the design of your page

Customize the design of your page

Create something that matches your blog or website and list the services you offer. You can use your Twitter background to display links to your other social media profiles. Customizing the look of your page goes a long way in terms of self-branding.

10. Build relationships

Creating relationships is the single most valuable part of Twitter in my opinion. It gives us the opportunity to network and socialize informally while sharing ideas and resources.

Build relationships

Join the conversation! Twitter may have started as a way to keep your friends and family updated on what you’re doing but it’s a valuable resource as a working professional these days.

Maybe you think that you don’t have time to get involved in another social networking site, but I think you can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities with Twitter.

Share some of your best Twitter tips in the comments below.

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About the Author

Shannon Noack is a designer in Arizona and the Creative Director of Snoack Studios. Designing is her passion in life and she loves to create websites, logos, print work, you name it. She also blogs regularly here and you can connect with her on Twitter as well.

44 Comments

metalpig

January 27th, 2010

Great tips indeed! nowadays, most individual can’t live without twitter, literally! =)

Lucas Cobb

January 27th, 2010

search.twitter.com – That is a great tip. Thanks.

Anthony

January 27th, 2010

Be careful with those hashtags! Google actually can look at it as spam if you over do it.

jay

January 27th, 2010

curiosity – how come both snoack and factor1 are down as having designed the engage website for a church in australia? is this part of a proprietary system? or was it a design/dev split?

not sure if this is the most appropriate forum, but your brand interested me, and I remember the design from their folio too. curious!

Eko Setiawan

January 28th, 2010

Hi..thanks for this great tips.
For me, with twitter we add a lot of friends and knowledge.

Federica Sibella

January 28th, 2010

Thanks for the tips! I’m not on Twitter yet and I was just thinking of pros and cons of joining. These are the pros, I think the major con is that you would spend a lot of time tweeting rather than designing, am I right? ;-)

Roy Ho

January 28th, 2010

Great tips…So many different social networks, very hard to keep up with even 2 or more…

Rob Cubbon

January 28th, 2010

Search “looking for a graphic designer” I hadn’t thought of that. Thank a million. Liked the other great suggestions too :)

jared thompson

January 28th, 2010

brilliant article off to promote now :)

Jordan Walker

January 28th, 2010

those are some great tips to utilize twitter.

blythe

January 28th, 2010

Thanks for the great information about Twitter, I’m not currently on Twitter but as I learn more, I’m certainly learning about the benefits of being on there. If you’re interested, check out this log on the idea of FINT. It is a great combination of using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to increase social media presence, supporting many of the reasons you listed in your blog!

http://www.microarts.com/culture/branding-insights/2009/07/3-reasons-why-you-should-fint.php/?s=bl

Shannon

January 28th, 2010

Thanks for the feedback everyone! It’s always great to hear that people have gained some inspiration or motivation from my article :)

@Anthony – yes very true, no need to overdo the hashtags, used properly they are very helpful though!

@jay – I do some work for factor1. Good eye!

@Federica Sibella – you definitely have to balance your time wisely and only use social media tools enough so that they don’t hinder your real work time, but rather supplement it so they bring in more work and networking opportunities.

@blythe – I like the idea of FINT, thanks for sharing the link!

Caleb Peterson

January 28th, 2010

@ Jay:
Shannon Noack is the web developer for factor1.

arnold

January 28th, 2010

I quit facebook , its so useless … twitter is more helpful to me(IMO only).
Thanks for the tips. Hash tags are new to me

Amy Carrier

January 28th, 2010

I know for a fact Twitter works. Nice article!

designi1

January 28th, 2010

Really nice tips for the design blogger starters!! i´ve used most of them as well and i must said that is working so far :D

Manuel

January 28th, 2010

That’s very useful, thank you very much!! retweet+

Thomas McGee

January 28th, 2010

Very good article, and one I can take a lot from. Another good avenue that designers can use along side twitter for marketing and networking is design:related. It has been very helpful for drawing attention to recent work: http://designrelated.com/

mikeo

January 28th, 2010

shannon – nice article, i keep forgetting about hash tags. i’ll have to be more diligent when posting.

thanks.
.mike

Black Sand

January 28th, 2010

thanks for great tips, that is cool post

Rhonda B

January 28th, 2010

This was very helpful! I had been looking for a Twitter search and now I know of one. Thanks for sharing!

MikeNGarrett

January 28th, 2010

…and come to Design Community Twitter Hours on Thursdays at 7pm est.

http://dcth.info

Bonnie Landau

January 28th, 2010

Great ideas for participating in the Twitter design community. Just out of curiosity, which designers do you like to follow? It would be a great to see a list of some of the major designers who participate on Twitter.

Lil' Peekr

January 28th, 2010

I think tip #9. “Customize the design of your page” is important, and I love to see creative custom Twitter backgrounds. You can use my free bookmarklet to see them easily…

Simon Carr

January 29th, 2010

I thought I was the only one who used search.twitter.com… :)

Twitter is great tool for making relationships… The first step is to make connections, but 20,000 connections does not mean 20,000 relationships. Its important to have dialogue and not just post links or RT what others have said.

@simoncarr

Feel of Design

January 29th, 2010

great post specially the search Tip…

chaitra

January 29th, 2010

That is a great tip. Thanks.

Carol O'Kelly

January 29th, 2010

Great tips – easily actionable to get a boost in your twittering activities – Thanks!

Joe

January 29th, 2010

Really good tips. I need to use hash tags more, and the search.twitter.com site. Thanks for the input!

Shannon

January 29th, 2010

@Bonnie Landau – that is a good question! I’ve seen a couple of good posts that list a ton of designers on twitter:
http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/social-media/designers-on-twitter/
http://carsonified.com/blog/design/top-web-designers-to-follow-on-twitter/
http://mashable.com/2009/05/04/twitter-designers/
These are a good place to start!

tricia08

January 31st, 2010

Thanks for useful info – I follow some really great design tweets but some are so prolific in their tweeting they drown out everyone else. Any tips on dealing with that?

Bambang S

January 31st, 2010

nice tips, thank you
keep posting nice tips

Yu

February 2nd, 2010

great tips! thank you.

Shannon

February 2nd, 2010

@tricia08 – Yes I hate that too! Advice for us all, don’t tweet so much you annoy your followers. If you follow someone like that, I would say you need to decide if their tweets are worth all the stuff you have to wade through or if you should just unfollow them altogether.

marianna_t

February 2nd, 2010

Thanks Shannon, these are some really great tips! Especially the hashtag – this could drive some great traffic to your twitter page.

Robert_M

February 4th, 2010

I try help people went it comes to general computer problems. I figure that’s a good way to put our company in people’s mind. Plus I genuinely enjoy doing it.

ankit patni

February 8th, 2010

I’m new to twitter thanks for sharing valuable information

Coby

February 8th, 2010

Another great article, Shannon (just discovered you tonight; like what you’re doing/have done).

A clarification I’m hoping someone can point out: When using hash-tags, should those included ALWAYS be relevant to the subject of the tweet/RT, or can/should they be used for “branding” purposes (ie. “Here is the content of my Tweet, yadda-yadda. #creationbydesign”; where “creationbydesign” is the name of my design outfit)?

I suspect the answer is the former, as common courtesy would tell me that the latter could be considered “spamming” et al (plus I’d feel very weird doing that all the time, much less once!). Am I correct in this assumption?

I know, kind of a stupid question, but I want to be sure nonetheless (not that I want to attempt to do this – ever). Thanks in advance for helping out a relatively “new” Twitter-er (shhhh…don’t tell anyone!).

Shannon

February 8th, 2010

@Coby – good question! I believe you can use hashtags both ways. Usually I use them so they are relevant to the subject at hand and people can search for similar content that way. However, some large blogs use a custom hashtag as a way of tracking contest entries or answers to questions they ask which could be considered branding purposes. Hope that helps!

Jakobsweg

March 6th, 2010

thanks for these tips! especially articles about twitter-designs are rarely!
thx!

Stiefel Jakob

May 7th, 2010

hi all,
I never thought about how to use twitter for designers… for me, this article was very helfpul!
keep on blogging… :-)

Faycal

August 27th, 2010

Very helpful! thanks for the post.
I only recently started twitter. I can see now why it has become so popular. :)

David Nemes

March 18th, 2011

Very helpful! thanks for the post.

chetaru

August 29th, 2011

Hi..
Thanks for sharing this information its really help full for me i am really inspire with this artical so thanks

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