As bloggers and online business owners, it is more important than ever to have a strong online presence that extends past your website.
That is where social media comes in.
But it takes a bit more of an effort than just hoping on a platform that you would for personal use.
You NEED to have a cohesive social media presence across all platforms. This will start to make your brand recognizable to potential clients and readers. This starts to develop trust with your followers as well.
Now cohesive doesn’t necessarily mean identical.
I will be sharing the 7 secrets to a cohesive social media presence and will be pointing out what should be the same and what is okay to differ a little.
1. Same username and name
This is probably the most important one.
Your username should be as close to your business or blog name as possible. I understand some platforms have character restrictions or the username you want might be taken, so you may have to get creative.
I recommend using a site like KnowEm to search to see if the username you want is available on ALL platforms you want to use now and possibly in the future. If it’s available, go snatch them all up even if you do not plan on using the platform right away. This will ensure you have it when you need it.
I was lucky enough to get blogmelovely as a username on all platforms. Well, except Google+. I had to use blogmelovely1 for some reason, even though I can’t find a page that uses blogmelovely as the username. Since Google+ isn’t a very popular platform in my space, I didn’t worry about it.
For my lifestyle blog Peace Love Sequins, I ran into an issue with character count. While I could get peacelovesequins on most platforms, it was too long on Twitter. By one character, literally one character. So my username on all platforms is simply peacelovesequin, no s. That was my work around.If the username you want is taken, but just being used for personal reasons, don't be afraid to ask for it! Click To Tweet
For the name, this should be consistent on all platforms as well. But don’t be afraid to add more description if that is typical on the platform – like on Pinterest for example.
2. Same (professional) profile photo
Using the same photo across all platforms is one of the things that makes you immediately recognizable.
I would recommend using a photo of yourself if you are a blogger or soloprenuer. You are the face of your business and it brings a human element to your accounts.
If using a photo of yourself is not an option or does not fit with your business model, then using your logo or the same branded image on all platforms works too.
You might have noticed that I said a professional photo. This does not mean that you need to hire a professional photographer if that doesn’t fit your budget right now. The key is to have a well-lit and clear image without any distractions. This means no kids, no significant others, no pets, no distracting backgrounds.
Now if your brand is you and your cat, then, by all means, a photo of you two would totally fit. But that is not the case for most.If you are your brand, then be sure your profile picture is you! Click To Tweet
Bonus: Have the same image as you showcase on your blog! This ties your blog/website to your social profiles even more!
Confession time, this is something I still need to change. The image on my sidebar is a bit busy and differs from the image I use on ALL of my social profiles.
3. Same header image
Not all platforms allow you to have a header image. I have found that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ do though.
This is another place where you should use the exact same image across all platforms. You will need to tweak each version as the size varies, but it should essentially be the same.
As you can see, all three social media headers for Blog Me Lovely are pretty much the same. They have the same message, but due to size differences, the photo isn’t cropped exactly the same. But that is totally ok.
4. Same bio/description
Most platforms give you the opportunity to provide a bio or description. However, the length of this section varies by platform.
I suggest having the same basic message and elaborating when possible. Also, keep in mind the fun quirks of each platform – like emojis are standard on Instagram!
Here are examples of how I make this work:
Facebook allowed for a bit more space so I kept my basic message “I help bloggers + creative entrepreneurs navigate the digital space with actionable content” and elaborated a bit more about the exact topics while personalizing it with my name. Since I was able to use the “Sign Up” button to link to my opt-in, I did not need to include it in my description.
I wanted to include my opt-in in my bio. Using the basic message and a reference to the opt-in filled out the space quite nicely while still being cohesive to the other platforms.
Pinterest allowed for a little more space than Twitter. I used the same message as Twitter but was able to personalize it with my name.
Instagram in my trouble-child you could say. I am still working on creating the perfect bio. But for now, it exactly matches the basic message used on the other platforms. For Instagram, I need to get more visually creative and use emojis while still maintaining a consistent message.
5. Use the same image styles for your own content
As a designer and branding specialist, this is huge for me. Each platform seems to be getting more and more visual and this is a great way to extend your brand.
For me, I have templates created for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They are the same design, just sized down to fit each platform.
They use the same colors, fonts, imagery, style and feel as you would find on my blog. This makes my social media channels an extension of my website and brand. This makes it easy for readers and potential clients to recognize my work. Your goal is to have a style that people will recognize even without your logo, URL or brand name.
6. Consistent message
This is key. You need to make sure that your message is not only consistent on your blog but across all of your social media channels.
This starts to position yourself as an expert and builds trust with your audience. They also learn what to expect from you.
Now, this does not mean that you have to post the same exact thing on each platform. In fact, I encourage you not to! I mean you need to give people a reason to follow you on multiple platforms! Would you want to see the exact same thing on all platforms or would you rather see a variety of content?Your social media content should be tailored to the platform. Click To Tweet
7. Update your social media when you make changes to your website
When you get new branding on your website or you add a tagline or just rework your message, be sure you make those changes to your social media channels! This can be an easy step to miss!
Having a cohesive social media presence can have a major impact on your visibility and really catapult your blog forward. Readers and potential clients will start to recognize your blog/business name, your pretty face, your logo and the topics you consistently talk about. The more they see you, see your consistent high-value content and your consistent brand, the more they will trust you and treat you as a go-to resource.
What steps do you need to take to create a cohesive social media presence?