There’s no escaping the fact that we live in a digital world. From blogs like ours, to online editions of our favorite magazines, to Instagram stars like Gigi and Kendall…It’s hard not to get caught up in the hype! But social and online media doesn’t have to be your enemy. It’s a great place to find new recipes, travel destinations, wardrobe staples…and to show off you own skills in all those areas too! This is how you can make the most of your social media presence.
Know your audience
First, decide who your accounts are for. If it’s just for you or your friends and family, then you have more flexibility in posting exactly what you want, when you want!
However, if you have a blog account, a professional account, or want to use your social media presence to build a business, it’s important to tell a story.
Part of that story needs to be a consistent look and tone. Be it Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you want people to be able to look at your whole feed and see a continuous story. Pick one color tone (saturated, blue tone, bright whites etc) as well as shooting style (from above, close-ups, food-focused etc) for your photos so they all flow together. Use consistent hashtags, phrases and tone in your text so your followers can get a peak at who you are and what you want to show.
Make good use of your “camera”
Sure, we definitely use our cameras, or work with photographers, for our larger photo shoots, but on a day to day basis, your camera phone will do just fine for social media. In fact, there is a lot you can do with your iPhone!
- New versions of the iPhone now have a front-facing self-timer (perfect for your selfie stick!) as well as a front-facing flash that is more subtle than previous editions
- You can take photos and videos all at once by tapping the white button to the left of the big red record button while you’re grabbing funny action shots
- Take quick photos by pressing down on the Camera app icon on your home screen to bring up shortcuts like “Take Selfie,” “Record Video,” “Take Photo” or “Record Slo-Mo.” You can also snap sneaky photos by using the volume button on your headphones
Be personable, but not too personal
Even if you have a completely personal account, there are things you should never put online. With more and more future employers looking on social media before making final hiring decisions, I always adhere to the rule: If I wouldn’t want my boss to see it, I don’t post it.
Be careful about offensive language, political or religious-focused posts, or anything that could potentially offend a group of people. It might seem like overkill, but you really can’t be too careful. Find ways to show who you are and what you believe in without putting other people or beliefs down.
Leave them wanting more
Unless you’re a Kardashian or Justin Beiber, posting 10 or 20 times a day might lead some people to unfollow you. That’s what a website, blog, or (dare I say it?) Facebook album is for. Don’t overload your followers with tons of photos unless it’s a special occasion like a wedding or vacation. It keeps your followers from getting overwhelmed, and forces you to take a good hard look at what photos are really worth sharing.
This is especially true for brands who want to create a more cultivated online image, but also applies to Aunt Susan’s 7-a-day cat photo posts.
Be inspired, not overwhelmed
There is certainly a lot of content out there online! Quotes and recipes on Pinterest, funny quizzes and round-ups on Twitter, travel albums on Facebook and serious #OOTD envy on Instagram can make for a lot to digest. But don’t feel that you have to compete with or “live up” to the standards that are found on Instagram. One thing to always keep in mind is that people are most often showing their best and most beautiful sides on social media.
Some celebrities, and the magic of Snapchat, have changed that somewhat. Remember, behind every great photo or inspiring article, there are real people just like you (and they also love that puppy filter) So just look at those social media champions as inspiration for your next best adventure!
Craft your own best life
This is a phrase a friend of mine uses, and I have latched on. I think it’s such a good idea to remember that WE (not our bosses or boyfriends or moms) are in charge of creating our own best life. And while the phrase “Did it for the Insta” has taken on a mocking tone, sometimes certain life experiences are worth going out on a ledge for. Take a new class, try an unknown food, re-connect with an old friend, plan a trip…and snap photos of your latest adventure! You never know, you could become someone’s #InstaEnvy just by living your own best life.