This week we interviewed two of our very own, Hannah Lewis and Victoria Chapman on all things Instagram/ Facebook/ Twitter. We're excited to share with you everything we know when it comes to having a quality account with quality content. We hope you enjoy this practical blog with three tips on how to have quality social media platforms.
Choose your purpose + know your audience. For us, these two go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other.
Victoria (V): When you're starting from the basics with an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter account, you want to first brainstorm the type of account you are creating. Is this a business account (representing a company or a brand) or is this account for personal use? Once you get that settled, decide on who your target audience is. Who are you marketing to? Who do you want to engage with you? Identifying this is the first step.
Hannah (H): The next step is knowing the purpose behind your account. (i.e. What do you want to accomplish through your account? How do you want your audience to feel?) Knowing this will help you narrow your focus in this brainstorming process and help you decide on what content will actually make it onto your social media platforms. It’s easy to want to post anything and everything, especially when you look at all the “trends” on social media right now. It’s much harder to 'do you' and not do what everyone else is doing. Being true to your purpose and posting in lieu of that is what will set you apart. Once you know the purpose behind your account, you need to examine what your audience wants and likes. To find out what they like, "stalk" other platforms who are doing it well, and learn from them.
V: From there, you can begin to brainstorm the types of photos you are going to post ALONG with the types of captions based upon the audience you are speaking to. Lots of people think a great photo is enough with an ok caption or that a great caption with a poor quality photo does the trick. We truly believe it's both. Once you get both, then start posting! Use the captions and photos you think will capture your purpose and speak to your audience and remember to keep an eye on what your audience likes.
H: Meaning, what photos are getting the most engagement. As time goes on, you will be able to get a better idea of what your audience wants and likes based on the comments, shares and number of likes from your posts. This information is key and your measure of “success” when trying out new things on your platforms.
Choose your image & writing style
V: It’s super important to choose a color scheme for your account. Aesthetically, if you know your overall look is going to be with warmer tones, focus on creating photo content based on that color scheme. For instance, for my personal account, I always try to post photos that look like my personality. That being said, I have a lot of bright colors or vibrant hues. Since I know the original design of my account (bright colors and vibrant hues) and the purpose behind it (displaying my personality), that makes it much easier to know what I am going to post prior to me posting. It’s so important to create a color-scheme that is achievable. You don’t want to try to use a random color that you never capture; work off the content you already have and look for themes of color within that. Choose something that makes sense with your “vibe” and mood of your purpose.
H: Think of your social media as your catalogue for your business. When you receive a catalog in the mail, you are getting a snippet of what that store is offering that season. The overall goal of the printed catalog is to get you to actually go into the store (or online) and purchase something. Your social media (especially your Instagram) is your printed catalog that people receive in the mail. Only it’s free (you are not having to spend a ton of money on printing, can I get a hallelujah?) and people can access it anytime they want literally at the touch of a button. Having this perspective will help you focus on the quality of what you produce.
Next time you get a catalog in the mail, take note of the cohesiveness that pulls it all together and try to implement that with your business’ (or even your personal) social media presence (again, especially Instagram). I say especially Instagram because in my opinion, Instagram gives you the most potential for you to show yourself off to the world and gain customers in return.
V: When we created our accounts for We Are Unveiled we first went back to our mission statement. The main reason we were created was to give women a safe platform to share their story of Victory in Jesus’ name. That being said, we designed our look based off of that. The minimalist appeal and clean look we hope to create was originally taken from the verse we founded upon 2 Corinthians 3:7-8:
“..and we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
When we pictured We Are Unveiled, we pictured all that comes with being unveiled before the Lord. We wanted to capture that as best we could and used that as we created our look. It did take us a while to get there, we experimented with different looks and different types of styles but as we continued to create, our brand organically morphed into what it is now. If you go back and stalk our Instagram from the beginning, you’ll be able look and see how we changed over time. For every account, I think it’s normal to transform as your audience develops.
H: And we honestly found our brand through our definition of success. Success for us is when we invite people to be a part of our social media presence. There's power in a person’s testimony and story (not just spiritually, but also experiences with your business and product). When you give people the opportunity to share that, they are going to in turn share that with their audience, which ultimately gives your business more exposure and reach. Coupling that with an awesome image will appeal to both groups of people who are moved visually and those who are moved by hearing a personal story.
V: And lastly, a very practical tip that can help you as you are creating your image and writing style is this: go back to your roots. Create from that place and see what happens. My hope is that every business or nonprofit or private company that has an online presence would represent their brand well. Because in the end, that is all what this is about. So if you’re in a rut, go back to who you are and create from that space.
Our last piece of advice would be to measure your success, celebrate it, but don’t be afraid to re-evaluate.
H: Give yourself grace. Managing multiple social media accounts truly is a full-time job (despite what others might say). It takes time to build an audience and create content. Keep track of the numbers (followers, likes, shares), but don’t let those numbers and stats keep you from celebrating your wins. It’s easy to stay focused on the growth; to help avoid this, re-evaluate every once in awhile if need be. Your focus should be fulfilling your purpose, not your numbers. For us, we tend to “check our temperature” at the end of every month to make sure we are staying in line with our purpose and audience. And we know we have success based off of our user engagement.
V: We also use a simple tactic of not holding too tight to our ideas. It’s easy to get attached to something you come up with and be upset if it doesn’t work out. We try to create a culture where your ideas are part of a hypothesis. For example, if we try this new idea, then we hope to get a certain result. And if we do get the result we are hoping for, then we just discovered a successful hypothesis. (Eureka!) If the result doesn’t turn up, then we scratch the theory and come up with a new hypothesis to try.
H + V: Lastly we both think it’s important to ALWAYS remember to keep it real and whatever you do, do not find your identity or overall success in social media. It’s a very helpful marketing tool, but there’s a fine line between helpful and unhealthy. I think this is especially important not only for your business, but for your personal accounts as well. You are worth far more in the Father’s eyes than the number of followers, likes, and shares you have on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
He is forever and always proud of you. Never forget that.
Photography courtesy of Alexa Mihalick