Spring Cleaning Your Social Media Graphics

Spring Cleaning!  Does it bring up pleasant thoughts of airing out the house and getting everything shining clean and fresh?  Or is it a task you dread each year?

A number of ideas have been proposed for how the practice of spring cleaning developed.  Some say it is rooted in the ancient Jewish tradition of cleansing the home before the celebration of Passover in the spring.

Catholic churches traditionally clean the church and the alter right before Good Friday, while people in Greece and other Eastern Orthodox countries clean their homes at the beginning of the Lenten season that leads up to Good Friday and Easter.

Some propose that spring cleaning dates back to the Persian (ancient Iranian) culture where the new year began on the first day of spring.  Everything in the house was thoroughly cleaned to prepare for the new year.

Carpet Washing

In North America and northern Europe, before electric vacuum cleaners, spring was the best time to dust, sweep, and shake rugs because it was warm enough to open windows and doors to let the spring winds carry the dust out of the house.  But it was not yet warm enough for bugs to be a problem.

Of course, in most Western countries, we have all the convenience of modern appliances to help with our cleaning, so we no longer need to carry rugs down to the river to wash them by hand. And we no longer need to wash the coal soot off the walls when the furnaces are turned off in the spring.

National Spring Cleaning Week in the United Kingdom has a website to inspire you about why and how to spring clean your home and your life!  http://www.springcleaningweek.com/

Cleaning Up Your Graphics

Since spring is a great time for starting afresh, I think it’s the perfect time to take a look at your social media graphics and see what needs attention.  I recommend checking on these 3 areas:

1.  Make sure your profile photos are up-to-date and high quality

Susan Joy Schleef

Your social media profile photos are one of the primary ways you have to show clients, customers, and prospects that you are a serious, professional business owner.  It’s so important to have professional, good quality photos of yourself posted on all your social media profiles.  They don’t necessarily have to all be formal photos, but they should still present a professional image.

Also make sure that you use a photo that shows your face clearly, not a shot taken from so far away that you’re barely visible and definitely not a picture with you and other people.

It’s also a good idea to use a fairly recent photo.  You don’t want to have other people thinking you look like your photo from 10 or 12 years ago!  When they meet you at a networking event or you talk with them on a Skype call, they will be startled to realize that you’ve been less than honest about your age and your current appearance.

2.  Review your cover images to ensure you’re sharing a consistent branding image

The 2 biggest mistakes to avoid for your social media cover images are:  a) not having a cover image at all, and b) stretching out a low-resolution photo to fill the cover image space so the picture looks blurry, grainy or pixelated.

Social media cover images are such a fantastic piece of internet real estate, yet I see so many people who have never bothered to post a cover image on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

You can find pre-made designs for a fairly low cost, but the best approach is to have something designed just for your business.  You want your cover design to be eye-catching but also to express something about you and your business.

Of course, it depends on whether we are talking about your personal profile or your business profile, since many people have both types of accounts on some social media platforms.  But you really should have good cover images for both your personal and your business accounts.  Personal branding is important too, especially for solo-preneurs and professionals.

3.  Do an audit of the visual posts you share on social media

Go through your posting history, if possible, and delete any posts you feel no longer represent you in a good light.  Maybe it’s time to take down those pictures from the office party where you had a little too much to drink or photos from your college frat parties.

While you’re reviewing, notice what you typically post and see if you want to make changes going forward.  A good guideline is to share only about 20% promotional posts related to your business and the remainder should be general interest, networking, and relationship building.

Also most social media sites now allow video and visual content where they did not before.  Make sure you’re sharing lots of visual posts — including some original content, not just sharing what others post.

If possible, add a consistent branding element to your original posting content as well.  It’s just one more way to build your brand and your reputation on social media.

Your Best Practices

What are you doing with your social media graphics?  Do you have some personal best practices you can share?  Please leave a comment – I love to hear from my readers!

Join me Saturday, April 9th, 2016, on Creative Marketing TV at 11am Eastern for a free training hangout.  I’ll be sharing more tips about:

  • keeping your social media graphics up-to-date
  • easy, low-cost tools for creating your own Facebook cover images
  • design guidelines for professional-looking covers

Go to the Google+ Event page at Google+ Event and click “Yes” or “Maybe” to let me know you’re planning to attend.  That way you’ll receive an event reminder and a link to join the hangout on Saturday morning.  

Plus I’ll have a special written tips and tools checklist for anyone who registers in advance — whether or not you can join us live.  Just click the bit.ly link below:

Google+ Event

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