Your tendency and desire to ensure your social media profiles match does not make you OCD. In fact, it’s something worthy of applause. Social media is ever changing. By the time you finish reading this, some new feature, product or network has launched. How ever will you keep up?
Rather than worry about staying on top of social media, perhaps just focus on how you can best manage your current presence.
Let’s start with the basics.
Do not use blurry images. Do not use blurry cover images. Do not forget to upload a profile and cover image. Whether you’re an individual or a business, do not use blurry images, ever!
Since most people setup a Facebook account before all other accounts, take note of your address and description. This is more relevant for business pages.
Are you spelling out your state and address—road versus rd? What is the full company name you are using for your page’s title? Are you securing a custom URL? If so, it should match the exact title of your company page. If it’s already taken, feel free to get creative; but not too creative.
When it comes to social media, common sense is key.
Now that you’ve created your page and setup your page’s general information, what are you going to post? Is there a voice that will be used on your page? Be sure to connect with other business too and share stories from other pages. Don’t make it all just about your company—aim for about 80% of your own, original content and about 20% of shared content.
Now that you’ve setup your Facebook page, let’s talk about Twitter. When you setup your Twitter account, do so using the same URL handle as your Facebook URL.
Add a description, profile logo/image and other graphic elements that are consistent with your Facebook page. It’s important that there is cohesiveness to your presence on social media.
Ok, for argument’s sake, let’s pretend that you correctly secured your Facebook URL, but your ideal Twitter screen name is already taken. Oh no!
Don’t fret. In an ideal world, you’d be the first one to come up with your screen name and would never experience such a problem. If your screen name is taken, chose one that is a spin-off of your other social media names, but still closely connected. I also prefer an abbreviated version then to remove letter such as @barnhill vs @businessbybrnhll
Do try to avoid especially long screen names on Twitter, as character limitations could prevent people from interacting or mentioning you on Twitter.
Now that you’re setup on Facebook and Twitter, let’s take a look at Instagram. Let me rephrase. Let’s take a look at what you should never do on Instagram. Variation is key so unless you’re a professional body builder, dog walker, hair model, personal trainer or chef, avoid posting only on these subjects. Also avoid pictures that are the exact same. Flat-lay photos takes on white backgrounds are very popular these days, but your feed shouldn’t be just these types of images. Remember, consistency, but also variation is important!
Your Instagram fans, friends and followers will be thankful for variation and will be more likely to interact with that adorable dog photograph when 90% of your Instagram photos are more than just animal pictures.
Let’s talk about selfies. Your Instagram profile should not be filled with just selfies. If you will post photographs of yourself—which is ok—take real photographs. Ask a friend, colleague, or random stranger to take a photo of you instead of taking the classic in-the-mirror-photo. The occasional selfie is ok, but again, variation!
Instagram is a fantastic and very popular photography app for multiple reasons. The primary reason is it allows amateur picture takers to upload halfway decent photos, add a filter, and share with friends. When it comes to these filters, less is more. The less editing you do, the better. The less filters you use, the better. Pick one or two favorite filters and stick with them.
The other two important aspects to remember for Instagram are lighting and the look and feel. Decide if your theme will be filled with bright colors, subtle neutrals or heavier dark shades. Whether you’re posting a photo of a puppy, your latest home remodel or a selfie, try to achieve the same balance of lighting and a consistent look and feel. Which brings up lighting. Use natural lighting whenever possible! Turn off the flash.
Pinterest is one of my personal favorites and has become a go-to search engine for topics such as parties, wedding dresses, holiday décor, recipes and fitness tips.
Pinterest is easy to navigate, find inspiration and is aesthetically pleasing. Guess what is not? Blurry photos, poorly-lit images and low-quality illustrations. Don’t pin these. Focus on quality over quantity. The most popular pins are those that are beautiful, informative or inspirational.
If you are a company, create and regularly maintain Pinterest boards that are representative of your mission. If you are a non-profit or small business, create boards that represent what you do.
Let’s say you have 1,000 Pinterest followers. That’s fantastic! Now, let’s say you focus on childhood education. Think about it—how many of your Pinterest fans follow your board titled “Brain Games,” versus “Shoes & Clothes?”
It’s certainly ok to have fun on Pinterest, but unless you are a non-profit organization dedicated to fluffy animal-owning small businesses, you should not be pinning picture after picture of cute puppies.
Written by Sarah Jane Dunaway, Social Media & Website Development Director