Does your business have some social media skeletons in its closet? Perhaps you inherited a plagued social profile, or you’re haunted by old logos and graphics from the past. Even worse, there may be negative comments and reviews to contend with. Attempting to revive a neglected social media profile can be challenging. However, many social media channels offer opportunities to efficiently and effectively meet business goals. With our guidance, you can take your current profiles from wicked to winning in just a few steps.
Step 1: Identify Your Why
Reinvigorating a forgotten social media profile is not for the faint of heart. However, by wanting to do so, it’s safe to assume that there are goals you wish to achieve with their use. It’s important to go into the creation of a social profile, whether new or old, knowing what the profile is used for and whether or not that aligns with your business goals.
For example, if you’re looking to sell more directly through a social platform, Twitter will do little to help your efforts. In opposition, if you’re trying to build a community page and develop more awareness for your brand, Facebook is an excellent option. Below we have a very brief synopsis of the major social media platforms and what they’re best suited for in terms of marketing endeavors:
Facebook boasts nearly 2.7 billion worldwide users, making it the most-used social media platform in the world. Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that Facebook does two things very well:
- Building Communities
- Providing an opportunity for brand learning and sales
Facebook can be a great social media option if the goals you have outlined for your business are to increase brand awareness, build a community for your consumers to interact with you, and put your product in front of more eyes with the hope of purchase.
Instagram is an image-driven platform (but we probably didn’t have to tell you that.) With its use of images, stories, IGTV, and newly introduced “Reels” options, Instagram offers a variety of native ways for consumers to interact with content. That being said, Instagram is great for:
- Discoverability and Brand Expression
- Community Engagement
If your business goals are to increase brand awareness and customer engagement, as well as create a curated portfolio for your brand then Instagram definitely has the potential to make a positive impact on your business strategy.
While Twitter boasts fewer users overall when compared to our first two social platforms, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. The nature of Twitter is based on engagements between followers, meaning that acquisition has an air of referral about it. Twitter offers a great opportunity for brands to:
- Establish your brand voice and share useful information with your followers
- Utilize the platform as an opportunity for customer support
Twitter is the most timely of all social platforms, as it is one of the few remaining that allows for the option of a time-based home feed. This offers an opportunity to speak with your followers in real-time, which can serve in a similar fashion as a support chat. With that being said, Twitter is a great option if your business goals are brand awareness and audience acquisition and retainment.
Pinterest offers, perhaps, the most unique user experience out of all of the platforms we have listed. As a social channel driven by interest algorithms and images, it actually does perform well at driving traffic to outside sources. Pinterest can offer great opportunities for brands to:
- Establish a brand portfolio/aesthetic and share relevant resources
- Drive website traffic and online sales
As Pinterest lends itself as a catalog of resources, images, or inspirations, the platform itself is meant to drive traffic to outside resources. However, in order to communicate your ideas within the space clearly, it’s best to make sure that images on the platform follow those that appear on it natively. Pinterest is a great channel to grow your brand awareness and to drive traffic to a specific website, landing page, or another online channel.
LinkedIn is our professional representative in regards to the channels we are looking at. Made originally to connect professionals, LinkedIn is actually one of the oldest platforms out there (older than Facebook and Twitter). The nature of the platform makes driving traffic outside of it less than ideal, however, it can be good for:
- Growing company talent
- B2B Business lead acquisition and brand awareness
Since Linkedin is a professional platform, it makes sense that it lends itself to the B2B world. Sharing thought leadership resources, new job openings, business awards, and more can all offer opportunities to achieve your business goals of qualified lead generation and brand awareness through this platform. Since the platform is made for professionals, B2B businesses will likely find that LinkedIn provides the most qualified lead generation out of the options we have listed.
Step 2: Audit Like It’s Hot
We know where we’re working, and why we’re working there. Now it’s time to take a keen eye to what exactly it is that we are working with.
The depth of a profile audit is subject to the know and wherewithal of the business owner, marketing manager, or whoever was overseeing the profile at the last point it was active. For example, perhaps the profile was abandoned after some employee turnover. Prior to that employee, the business owner may have been managing the profile themself and know that the content during that period of time is accurate and follows brand guidelines. Given that, their priority for audit might be the period of time in which the previous employee was managing the profile.
(Note: Even if you know the content in question during a period of time is passable, it’s good practice to go over old posts to make sure that their formatting, links, and language still match best practices for updates that may have taken place to your business and the social platforms themselves.)
When we say Audit, we mean audit. Leave no gravestone unturned. Now is the time to get in front of old posts that may haunt your active account in the future.
Start with the basics. Check that your profile information is accurate. The depth of this is dependent on the platform that you’re revitalizing, so it’s good practice to go through all aspects of profile information; from “About Me” to “Location”. Check that all outbound links are accurate and live. If your company slogan has changed, make sure that the update is reflected in your profile. From top to bottom, make sure all areas where you have the opportunity to share with your audience are accurate and updated!
Check that profile image! When was the last time you updated the company profile? Was it after your graphic designer made the company Christmas profile avatar in 2016? We’ll want to address that ASAP.
Make sure that your profile image reflects your latest company endeavor, or at least boasts your most accurate company logo. Since most profile images don’t offer a terrible amount of real estate, we do recommend that you use a truncated logo if at all possible. Some channels also offer cover photo options that will also need to be looked at for the same accuracy as the profile image.
Below we’ve shared the individual social media profile image best practice specs as of 2020:
Business Profile Image: 180x180px
Business Profile Cover Photo: 820x312px*
(*There are a few size options for your Facebook Business Profile Cover Image, but we’ve settled on 820x312px as a good standard. Feel free to click here for a more in-depth explanation.)
Profile Photo: 400x400px
Cover Photo; 1500x500px
Profile Image: 110x110px
Company Logo Image: 300x300px
Company Cover Photo: 1192x220px
Profile Image: 165x165px
Now comes the time to confront the past. While it might be time-consuming, it really is best practice to go through your profile and look into all of your past posts so you have an understanding of what you are working with. If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend looking at the native metrics offered by the platform, and beginning with the top-performing posts on the channel.
When you’re looking at past posts it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Does this post contain broken links or unavailable merchandise?
- Does this post follow my business’s current image-standard?
- Does this post follow my business’s current voice/copy-standard?
- Does this post contain customer comments/reviews that require attention?
Any posts with broken links and/or merchandise that is no longer available for purchase should be deleted or archived. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow edits to past posts so those may be edited and left live. However, Twitter’s inability to edit means that if anything is broken, the post will need to be removed.
In terms of your business’s copy and image standards, those may or may not be different from the images reflected on the social profile you are auditing. It is important to consider brand continuity across platforms as it helps to establish presence and credibility. It may be required that all past posts are archived and the profile goes through a hard refresh if your business has undergone a large rebranding project. Alternatively, you may have had an established voice and brand identity that has remained evergreen. In that case, maintaining outbound link integrity is still important.
Finally, you may find yourself in a position where you have old customer reviews or comments on posts to contend with. As a best practice, we always recommend prompt community management whenever possible, no matter the platform.
While that may not have been how a team in your business’s past addressed audience communication, it is never too late to start! You may not be able to fix communications that happened in the past, you can learn from the issues those consumers were facing. Learn from those issues and make sure they are addressed in some way. This information may even assist in developing content such as an FAQ page.
It’s notoriously difficult or impossible to remove negative reviews from all platforms that allow them. Soliciting reviews from your consumers is also likely against any platform’s user agreement, but sharing the ability may assist customers in understanding how to do so.
Instead of putting your efforts towards trying to remove old comments or reviews, as we said it’s likely a lost cause, you can remind your customers that there are options when it comes to sharing their experience. A tutorial on how to leave a review, a reminder of where the feature is located, or even a reminder that the option exists during a happy customer interaction are all ways you can actively address that issue without risking non-compliance with a platform.
Now that your profile images are best-practice approved, your posts are driving traffic to live links, and you’ve addressed any past issues facing your current audience, you’re ready to move on to the final step.
Step 3: Plan Your Return
This absolutely depends on the platform, and also depends on how long you spent inactive on it. Did you have a relatively engaged Twitter audience that will be excited about your return? There’s absolutely an opportunity for promotion there.
It’s important to consider the platform you are returning to and to remember how you left it as well. Are you looking to start posting to your forgotten Pinterest account? Odds are, your followers may not have been as aware of this inactivity as they were when your daily Instagram stories stopped. Understanding the platform, and how much of an opportunity a return to said platform presents, will help to determine your return strategy
Regardless of whether or not your business’s return to a particular platform offers a promotional opportunity, it is VITAL that you plan prior to reinstating the channel. Use your metrics from your social media channel to determine the type of content you should create moving forward (check out our Social Media Reporting Checklist for guidelines and templates for analyzing your social media presence). Plan your content in a content calendar. If part of your content calendar includes measurable lead generation, purchases, downloads, etc., make sure that you have some sort of tracking, either native to the platform or otherwise, to measure the success of your efforts.
It can be scary stuff taking on the revitalization of a forgotten and neglected social profile. However, with fear, we also find opportunities to start fresh, learn from the past, and work towards our new goals.
Social Media is constantly changing and updating and it can be hard to stay on top of it all. Our Free 2020 Social Media Guide outlines the need-to-know basics to get you up to speed. Download it today!