You are a brand!
I know this sounds like marketing rhetoric, but it’s true.
What you say, what you wear, even the places you go are a reflection of you and, to a great extent, your personal brand. Most send their “brand” messages through social media, but many don’t keep their branding cohesive across channels.
So to all my fellow social media mavens… let’s get in formation!
Step 1: The message!
Each platform takes on a different tone. While it’s easy to share the same message across multiple channels, content is more engaging when it’s inline with the audience of each platform.
For example, it’s pretty much mandatory for everyone with a voice on social media to discuss what they’re eating, but how you share it should vary based on the platform.
On Facebook, you might share a video of a recipe you’re going to attempt to cook. On Snapchat you may share a short snap of all the ingredients you’ve harvested for your feast. Instagram lends itself to sharing a decadent image of the final product with a carefully chosen filter. Even on Twitter you might be inclined to share 140 characters describing the ‘sweet, yet savory, crunchy, yet smooth and all around delectable’ meal for the perfect #InYourFace @GordonRamsay tweet.
Step 2: Imagery.
Angles, backgrounds, lighting, and filters are all factors to keep in mind.
How many selfies have you come across where the person posing posted a pretty horrific image because he/she failed to keep the above in mind?
Wait! Let’s switch sides.
Whether your images look better from above, below or at an obtuse angle, keeping your style consistent is similar to maintaining a “look and feel” that is harmonious with your brand.
“What is that guy doing behind you?”
This comment is usually followed by something along the lines of “Ew”, so be sure to check your backgrounds before posting, because photo-bombers (like myself) will ruin some of the best shots by adding the dreaded “once you see it” component.
Too dark, no too light…
Lighting & filters, often one in the same, are great, but not always necessary. Some of the best photos you’ll come across are posted with the #nofilter badge of honor, so just like many things in life, keep in mind that sometimes ‘less is more’.
Step 3: Community management.
Your friends and family or, if you’re like me, your fans, are the ones that truly keep you active on social media by—in a sense—stroking your ego.
Now, we’re not all on the same attention-seeking level as Taylor Swift, but sometimes it’s nice to be recognized for your art, so when you do receive positive feedback, be sure to show your appreciation by responding. I know it may be tedious to go back and say thank you to the hundreds of people that comment on your content (I’m still saying thank you for birthday wishes from 7 months ago), but it helps boost engagement. Think of ‘likes’ and comments as digital X’s and O’s.
Furthermore, be sure to show love to those who show love to you. Share friends’ content if you like it, ask questions when you have them or simply give a friendly double-tap to show that you saw and appreciate the content in your feed.
Step 4: Stay true to you!
One of my colleagues recently said that “Our phones are… a true extension of ourselves, physically and emotionally” and I couldn’t agree more. The same is true for our social channels. We are giving people a peek into our world. No, we definitely shouldn’t share every moment, but the moments that we do share with the inter-webs should reflect on who we are as individuals within the world.
These days nearly everyone that you connect with, you’ll end up connecting with digitally as well (more often than not, on social media), and the person you are face-to-face, should mirror the person that people see face-to-screen.