DesignCrowd founder Alec Lynch says Facebook offers small businesses a quick web presence.
Photo: Jim Rice
Emerging businesses are becoming more sophisticated with their social media presence, increasingly paying designers to help make more compelling Facebook cover photos, offers and online competitions.
Some are turning to design crowdsourcing platforms like 99Designs and DesignCrowd, where individuals and businesses submit a brief and designers around the world compete for it. DesignCrowd has seen a 400 per cent increase in businesses seeking Facebook designs when comparing 2012 to 2011.
“The reality is that logo, web and graphic design are still by far the most popular categories on DesignCrowd, but we’re now seeing other types of design – including Facebook and Twitter and WordPress design – increasing dramatically over time,” says DesignCrowd founder Alec Lynch.
A number of small businesses have grown quickly by leveraging social media. Sydney entrepreneur Jane Lu attributes the fast growth of her online clothing business Show Pony to Facebook campaigns, such as a competition where people competed to model for her fledgling site. She now has almost 140,000 Facebook fans and her business has surpassed $300,000 in turnover some months.
Businesses use a number of strategies to stand out and amass an audience on social media. They use designers to create attractive background photos on Facebook or Twitter, which incorporate a design, a logo and sometimes an encouragement for viewers to “like” or “follow” the business.
They then share giveaways or sales with their users, often using eye-catching designs. They also run Facebook ads, share news about new products or hold competitions.
Wildfire, acquired by Google last year, helps businesses run promotions on social media and collect additional fans. Facebook’s F-Commerce also allows businesses to sell directly through Facebook, although it is still in its infancy.
Lynch says businesses are increasingly realising Google Adwords, and optimising their website so it appears high up the Google search rankings, aren’t the only ways to spread the word about your business online.
“I think in the past a Facebook presence was a must-have for a big brand, but increasingly it’s becoming a useful tool for small businesses,” Lynch says. “It’s a way for small businesses to get a web presence really quickly and it can be a quick source of sales for an existing small business.”