The Social Media Professionals Series is an informational and educational collection of reports on the sub-specialties of the Social Media vocation. Each weekly article is dedicated to a different aspect of the occupation, and features an associated thought-leader.
Concentration – Web Design
Professional – Leora Wenger
Web design is at the very foundation of eCommerce. With WordPress-based sites on the rise, a convergence between Web design and Social Media has been realized. Further, a need for social network design is also being comprehended; one only need look to LinkedIn’s private discussion group Social Media Design, now with over 300 members, to validate such a claim. Today’s Web designers are often finding themselves having to incorporate various Social Media icons within their projects. Designers are taking this mandate to the next level with artistic abandon.
In this, the final chapter of The Social Media Professionals Series, we hear from Leora Wenger, Web designer and Social Media pundit. Leora and I have followed each other on Twitter since I first joined, and we are now fellow members of Journalism 65, a closed Facebook discussion group. Let’s join Leora for her thoughts on Web design as applied with Social Media.
GSM – How do you best define your practice in Social Media? What specifically do you do that is different, unique, and special in this wide ranging field?
Leora – My role in Social Media is in two parts: I participate in Social Media both for my own business and for that of my clients. Oh, and of course there’s the third part, of socializing through Social Media: the distinction between business and pleasure does get blurred, because people tend to do business with those they trust, and social conversation is one way of gaining trust. Regarding clients, I watch how other businesses or organizations use Social Media, and then, as I build a website for my clients, I can make suggestions on how they might use it to market their business or achieve their goals. I have found that my Social Media suggestions are beneficial in convincing potential clients of my varied skills as well. When I first started building Websites, it was unheard of to include Social Media icons. Now the question is: which Social Media icons to include?
GSM – What do you consider the most currently pressing issue you are faced with in your everyday duties?
Leora – Balance would have to be the most pressing issue. Do I help this client first or that one? How do I balance my family obligations with working on business? How much time do I spend networking or learning new skills vs. using current skills to make money?
GSM – How do you approach your profession? What special techniques/procedures give you an edge?
Leora – Attention to clients is one of my top ways of bringing the clients back and again. I also have a range of technical, design and business skills that allow me to produce a Website or pieces of a Website quickly within the client’s budget. I find coding and WordPress fun, so when a client sends me a challenging project, I enjoy the process as well as the product.
GSM – What advice would you offer to others active in your field of interest or in Social Media generally?
Leora – If someone wants to build Websites, one needs to pay attention to detail. Whether the person chooses to specialize in coding, design, marketing or content building, the product has to be done well. You also need to enjoy the learning process; technology advances quickly, and there is always some new way – one doesn’t always know if it’s a fad or not.
GSM – Any other thoughts you’d wish to share?
Leora – One of the pleasures of Social Media is how one can network online and really connect! I met you through Shari Weiss, who I met through Larry Brauner (Authors note: Larry is a full time Social Media professional and founder of Online Social Networking). Social Media opens new paths – it used to be when I had a technical problem, I needed to find someone to ask. Now I can search Twitter, forums or blogs and find solutions. I always enjoy when I hear a potential client say, I’ve followed you on Twitter for a while, so I’m wondering about my own Website …
Grannelle’s Social Media is grateful to Leora for her participation in this, the last chapter of The Social Media Professionals Series. We hope you have enjoyed this series presentation!