Social Media Best Practices for the New Year
Best Practices to Build Dynamic Social Media Networks
Things are always changing on the social media networks, but keeping the basics in mind is important. With these guidelines in place you will be spot on and ready for the other changes (especially changes in the algorithms) when they come.
Follow these “best practices” as you post and build your accounts.
1 – Set up your Instagram account and link it to your Facebook Page if it is a business account, use your name and appropriate key words and hashtags so you can be found in search
2 – There are 4 ways you can post content on Instagram:
1 – Post an image or video up to 60 seconds
2 – Create a Story/Reel using video or images in 15, 30 or 60 increments
3 – Create longer video (60 seconds+) and share in your posts and in your Reels
4 – Create Stories from image or video in 5-15 second intervals
3 – Be consistent with your posts – daily or more frequently – here are some ideas for posts:
- Behind-the-scenes posts: Give followers a look at what happens behind the scenes in your business
- Inspirational quotes or quotes from your photos/podcasts/blogs with or without background images
- Branded Videos – keep them short, put your longer videos on Youtube.
- Reels with music.
- Action shot posts showing you in action with your clients, traveling, preparing your work, etc.
- Introduction to your business, why and what it is all about, your passion for doing it
- Announcement of upcoming events, podcasts, open houses, new listings, product launches, etc., include photos and details
- Repost relevant cool posts that compliment your IG brand.
- Post questions, polls, countdowns, etc in Stories, utilize all the tools there
- Add links to your Stories
4 – Instagram is a visual platform so use compelling images. Here are the acceptable sizes for images on Instagram:
- Instagram profile picture size: 110 x 110
- Instagram photo sizes: 1080 x 1080 (square), 1080 x 566 (landscape), 1080 x 1350 (portrait)
- Instagram Stories size: 1080 x 1920
- Recommended Instagram video sizes: 1080 x 1080 (square) 1080 x 567 (landscape), 1080 x 1350 (portrait)
- Carousel posts & ads: 1080 x 1080 (square) recommended, 1080 x 566 (landscape) and 1080 x 1350 (portrait) are also supported, can be video or static image
- Instagram photo thumbnails: 161 x 161
- Instagram ads size: 1080 x 566 (landscape), 1080 x 1080 (square)
- Instagram IGTV video size: 1080 x 1920
- IGTV Cover Photo Size: 420 x 654
- Instagram Reels: 1080 x 1920
I recommend using square and vertical formats when posting on Facebook and Instagram. Why? Because this maximizes the space you take up in the feeds as most people use their phones to browse through these channels.
5 – Write great captions for each post: Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, so you can use them for everything from a quick quip to detailed storytelling. That said, only the first two lines of text appear in news feed without tapping MORE, so make those 2 lines count.
6. Use relevant, branded and trending hashtags but don’t overdue it. You can have up to 30, but I have found up to 10-12 is better.
7 . You cannot share links in a post on Instagram. You can share links however in your Stories.
8 – Engage, engage, engage! Like and follow, comment, and share posts.
9 – Utilize your Stories and share posts and other content there in 15 second increments. The recommended size is going full screen with a content sized at 1080px by 1920px. This applies to both photos and videos. Images will display for five seconds and videos will display in 15-second increments. You can record a video for a full-minute that will be divided into four 15-second parts.
10 – Create Stories Highlights to boost your profile and create a library of stories that will live on your profile page.
1 – Properly size your images, optimal Facebook image sizes:
- Facebook profile picture size: 180 x 180
- Facebook cover photo size: 820 x 312
- Facebook link image size: 1200 x 630
- Facebook image post size: 1200 x 630
- Facebook highlighted image size: 1200 x 717
- Facebook event image size: 1920 x 1005
- Facebook group cover image size: 1640 x 856
- Facebook video size: 1280 x 720
- Maximum Facebook video length: 240 minutes
- Facebook image ad size: 1200 x 628
- Facebook video ad size: 1080 x 1350 (ratio 4:5), at least 1080 x 1080, ratios from 16:9 to 9:16 are also supported
- Facebook Story ad size: 1080 x 1920
- Facebook messenger image ad size: 1200 x 628
The attention span of the audience is extremely short on social, so try to keep Facebook videos as short as possible. While the maximum video length is 240 minutes, Facebook recommends keeping them as short as 15 seconds!
2 – Engage your audience with questions (relevant to your brand):
What is your favorite holiday movie ______?
What’s the most important feature you want in a home?
3 – Post daily. Best times can be weekends, weekday mornings and afternoon. Just watch your post time and responses to develop your own cadence for posting.
4 – Post short videos in Reels and Stories for better engagement.
5 – Use relevant hashtags for each post as well as your “branded” hashtags, i.e., #insiderspodcast #sandyhibbard, #homestaging #marketingtips, etc.
6 – Utilize Facebook Stories. Photos play for five seconds each, and videos up to 20 seconds are supported. Each individual story disappears after exactly 24 hours. When you go Live, the video is available in your story only for as long as you’re broadcasting.
7 – Be authentic and real, create a conversation, Always include a brief description/message with each image you post.
8 – Share other people’s content and posts, if you like it and it’s relevant to your brand and theme, show them some love and share it on your accounts.
9 – Links are great, so you can share your links from other networks, blogs, websites, on Facebook.
10 – Spend 15 minutes or more each day, scrolling through your feed, liking, sharing and engaging with other posts. Engagement = growth on your network.
- Build a complete LinkedIn profile that will best show who you are and what your brand is all about, use a professional headshot for your profile image.
- Optimize your profile with keywords so people can find you when they search.
- Use 1-3 relevant hashtags on every post.
- Post frequently and consistently with specific content developed for LinkedIn.
- Take advantage of the LinkedIn ARTICLES page and write deep articles to post and send out to groups/people you follow.
- Ask questions (#2 on Facebook above) also work on LinkedIn.
- Share links and content from your other online blogs, networks, and websites, as long as it is relevant to the platform and your brand.
- Share great imagery with detailed but brief descriptions on your posts (nobody wants to read a lot of text on social media posts).
- Spend time on the network, following, liking, commenting and engaging with other people’s posts.
- Share other people’s posts and content that is appropriate for you brand and the network.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL.
Keeping these BEST PRACTICES in mind will help you build and grow your social networks. If you need help, Sandy HIbbard Creative has programs for all budgets – We can curate and manage your content, post for you every day, create graphics and videos for your brand, and manage your suite of social media accounts. Contact me for more information or visit sandyhibbardcreative.com for more details and to get started!