Monday, July 6, 2015

Social Media: Are Your Accounts Healthy?


I'll admit this is a little outside my usual post-genre. However, this is something I've been learning that I find very useful. Hopefully you'll find it useful too and we'll both benefit. I'm an online college student who has one thing in common with most every other person my age on the planet: social media accounts.

Folk my age are mostly using Social Media to connect to other people who share our interests. We're making "Friends" on Facebook and stalking people on Instagram and Pinterest for kicks. But people like me who are in college, or about to go into college, might also have started thinking of using Social Media for other things. Maybe setting ourselves up as a profesional writer, artist, or what-have-you. Adults are doing that all the time! So how can we transition from pure socialization to building a personal brand ready to be used professionally? Simple, we check to make sure our social accounts are healthy, happy, and professionally ready.

From the time I've spent researching this topic myself, I've come across five things a healthy, growing, and professionally ready social media account has.




1. A Core Message

What do you stand for? What vital things do you want others to know about you? These are the building blocks of a core message. Without one, it's going to be difficult transitioning from a purely social account to a professional looking one. Not to say your message has to be something drastic like "Save the Dolphins" to count. Your message just needs to be what best represents you. Take Forgotten Featherpen as an exmaple. I took the time and wrote out the main reasons why I keep writing on this blog. When I condensed the ideas it looked like this:

"Forgotten Featherpen is a blog that focuses on creative writing and ancient history. Through it I hope to encourage other writers and share my Biblical perspective on ancient man."

That's the jist for the core message behind my blog. If I wanted to be more concise I would just say this blog is about creative writing and ancient history. Whatever your core message is that you want to share, it needs to be reflected on your Social Media account. If you Instagram about dogs, then post pictures of dogs. If your pinterest is about DIY crafts, then post that stuff a lot. Periodic randomness is fine (take this post as an example) but a healthy social media account has a predominant core message to it.



2. Regular Updates

I heard this all the time when I started my blog. I needed to post all the time! Well, that's not really what regular updates mean. A healthy social media account is not one where you post incessantly. A healthy social media account is one where you post consistently.

Because of my schedule I only post to my blog once a week. On instagram I try to post twice a week. On Pinterest I pin several items a day. Whatever social media account you have try to update it regularly and consistently. This shows you are present and encourages people to follow you. As an added bonus, when you post good content consistently it makes your social media account look very healthy and professional.

If you want tips and tricks for the best times to post to social media accounts there are lots of infographics out there to help you out. Personally I don't like to tie myself to the clock like that. But I know I've benefitted from having the knowledge anyway.



3. A Balance of Personal vs. Professional

A future client doesn't need to see your swimsuit pictures. A future employer certainly doesn't need to see those pictures from your crazy weekened when you did stupid things. There's such a thing as too much info on your personal life. At the same time, posting about quality time with your family or your volunteer hours is a great idea! A balance of personal vs. professional is a sign that your social media account is healthy, growing, and professionally ready.

Consider it this way, everything you post to social media is like an advertisement for yourself. Think of yourself as a Brand. Represent yourself in a balanced way. People want to see you being genuine, but they also want to see you being mature. So take the time to do some maintenance on your social media accounts to make sure they represent your balance of personal vs. professional.



4. Fair Content

Most people say to keep your social media content "Non-contraversial." I would rather try to keep my content "Fair." Meaning I will still share content that reflects what I believe and stand for, but in such a way that it comes across as a fair representation to my readers. I don't like reading extreme, shout-at-you-through-the-screen type things on the internet. I prefer reading content that is logical, direct, and calm.

Political and Religious opinions are very contraversial right now. Even if you agree with an extreme post or article think twice before you post it yourself. You don't want to be taken the wrong way when people read your content. Try to post fair content and maintain a professional look on your social media accounts.



5. Creating Connections with Others

This cannot be stressed enough. Social Media is about creating connections with others. What starts as making friends online can one day turn into the skill of finding clients online or attracting employers. This doesn't even have to mean "popular." We all know that one person or social media presence who has like a billion followers. But is that person making connections with their followers? Here's a few ways to make connection.

First, be approachable. I'm an introvert so I have to work on that sometimes. It is possible though to make yourself approachable on Social Media by how you present yourself. Secondly, engage others. Slightly different from being approachable, engaging others means giving them a call to action. Ask your followers questions or invite them to comment. Thirdly, when they do respond to you, respond back! Even if it's as little as thanking them for their opinion you need to respond to your followers. And lastly, once you've made a connection keep in touch. This will go a long way to making loyal followers.

A healthy social media account is one that has loyal followers. You get that by being intentional about connecting with others.




So we've gone over the things that makes for a healthy, professionally ready social media accout. These tools are useful for anyone who wants to take their accounts to the next level. Now more than ever Social Media is becoming the place where clients and employers look for personal brands. Now's the time to start maintaining a healthy Social Media account so you'll be ready when the time comes for your personal brand to take flight.


I certainly hope these thoughts and tips were helpful for y'all. It's a pretty simplistic list but I think it's an essential one. What other things do you think are signs of a healthy and growing social media account? What are some danger signs that an account is going down-hill? I'd love to hear your thoughts so don't forget to comment below!




  1. Consistency and responding to viewers to me are the topmost things to do for a good social media account. It's amazing how much more popular you get once you start doing those two things alone.

    1. I agree :) it shows that you're intentional and that what you write about means a lot to you. People see you care so they in turn care too. At least I hope so! :)


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