14 Things I learned at AIGA Houston’s Coffee Talk

Coffee TalkAIGA Houston, Coffee Talk.

For those who missed out on last Thursday’s Coffee Talk, we made a list of some salient points that emerged from the discussion. By no means are these complete and definitive strategies and tactics, just a list of what has worked for various people and why. We encourage everyone to take these as more discussion points for their own efforts, whether as an individual trying to promote their careers or as firms looking to burnish their reputations online.

Many thanks to Ashley Everett and Denise Madera for helping me flesh out this recap below.

  1. If people are actively searching out your firm or brand on social networking sites, make an effort to engage them there and have content available online that reflects your best work and expertise.
  2. Consider investing time and energy in creating a blog for yourself or your firm. This can be the primary vehicle with which you communicate news, updates and articles that convey your point of view about your work, your profession and the challenges you face, also blogs are a great way to share recent work.
  3. Create a profile on LinkedIn and complete it 100%. LinkedIn is a great way to pre-qualify yourself to a lot of prospects. It functions as an online resumé and Rolodex. It’s also one of the few places online where you get to toot your own horn and shamelessly engage in self-promotion. Also for SEO addicts, once you get 300+ connections on LinkedIn, your profile will jump to the top of most search engine results.
  4. Put your portfolio on Behance & Flickr to take advantage of increased search engine visibility and descriptive keyword tagging.
  5. Upload your videos and motion graphics projects to video hosting sites like Vimeo and Youtube to make them easier for people to share your creative work.
  6. Consider creating a Page for your firm on Facebook, it’s great way to connect with fans and promoters and integrates easily with other tools and services to share content and updates.
  7. Use Twitter for short real time updates. Be sure to learn the lingo and syntax.
  8. Tailor your message for each individual Social Media channel. Each platform has its own set of unwritten rules, etiquette and best practices. What is effective and engaging on twitter will alienate people on Facebook.
  9. If someone comments on your post or engages you in dialogue online, return the favor and keep the conversation going.
  10. Developing your brand online requires an investment of time and continued effort. The only thing worse than not having a social media presence is starting one and losing interest after a few posts. Keep it fresh.
  11. One of the function of each of your brands social media channel is to direct people back to your business website. Be sure to have a link back to your main corporate site on all of your online profiles and pages.
  12. Conversely, on your main website and email signature, you should have social media icons linking to your each of your various social media channels.
  13. Experiment. What works for a young edgy internet start-up probably won’t translate to a more buttoned down corporate communications firm. Find what works for you and can be integrated easily into the culture at your studio.
  14. An evolving strategy and a sustained effort will trump individual efforts in the long run.

What are your thoughts? We encourage everyone to join in the discussion below and post their feedback, suggestions and ideas.

By John Luu
Published February 22, 2011
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