This is for all our professionals, businesses, and anybody that has an Instagram, Twitter, or any social media account. Chances are you either can or can not live without your phone. Nothing in-between. Nobody is arguing that it is a necessity, especially in this political and social landscape. Here are some resolutions to reflect on with some afternoon champagne. 

1. Determine What You Want

Setting this intention and then establishing yourself via social media will change the way you engage with the medium. This is a basic commitment you have to make when enacting on a certain goal or outlook for your particular account or branding. Without this, you lose the focus and concentration needed in delivering your message or branding. Whether it be personal or professional, it is always important to take a distance and consider the actions and decisions needed to preserve your best vision. 

Figure out, “Am I on a certain app for the content?” Or “Am I looking to broaden my following base?” Getting to know each platform and the tools at your disposal is a crucial foundation before making decisions and wasting time or motivation. See whether or not you want to begin at a primarily professional take or a personal take. Then, intertwine the two whenever necessary and always with intention. 

2.  Establish Distance

Social Media can become a spiral taking you more and more farther away from what you originally came to express. Again, whether personal or professional, it is always a good decision to take a break or distance yourself from the never-ending feed of content and stimulus. 

This focus can lead you to seeing a clearer vision for your own personal branding and figuring out whether or not you should act on decisions. Even if the internet is never-ending, you can make the decision to stop or take the time to think, which is, of course, easier said than done when everything is at the push of a button. 

This guy needs a break!
This guy needs a break!

3. Screen Your Following

As a business, professional, or personal account, your following list should always be monitored and sifted through for personal and brand-associated relevance. For any business or professional account, your following tells a lot about your company, yourself, and/or the interests of your account personality. 

It’s important to monitor this following. Your following list delivers a message to your followers that you associate yourself with whoever you follow, and/or you are interested in their content. 

It becomes a different story when dealing with a personal account. How many of us are still following our distant acquaintances from high school? You should not feel obligated to keep on following them. Or, a softer approach, mute them! Instagram now offers its users to mute stories and/or posts completely from users you feel obligated to follow. Even Facebook allows their users to mute friends by unfollowing their posts or muting their conversations. 

4. Interact With Your Audience 

This resolution is aimed towards those with a business or professional account. Monolithic business social media accounts can get away with thousands of unread comments, ranging in seriousness and peculiarity. Chances are you’re reading this and wondering how to even get an audience to engage with your content. Here it is: you need to engage with them

Happy Holidays, Love Denny's
Happy Holidays, Love Denny’s

Even the bigger companies like Denny’s gets a kick out of the younger generation due to their quick and witty responses to haters. You really do not have to be edgy to garner attention, although it is a quick and easy way to associate wit with your profile. Lots of bigger companies jumped on Denny’s trending behavior, but only so few come off successfully. Many others fall into irrelevance or cringe. 

For bigger companies, they established themselves so well that it is hysterical to see them sassy or mean online to the average user. For your case, we do not recommend taking that approach, unless, of course, you want to. It’s a great, humorous approach for your audience’s entertainment.

If you’re establishing a professional account, you may want to tread lightly on the jokes. A lot of formative moments come from responding to your audience as well, one person to another. This allows you to appear more than just an algorithmic robot. Any robot can tell you “Thank you for your feedback,” but it takes personal smarts and authenticity to respond with wit or with kindness to your inquisitive and even meaner audience. This leads to… 

Don’t be a robot!

5. Know Your Audience Better

With the thousands upon thousands of users online varying on different platforms at different times of the day and parts of the world, you need to stay grounded. In order to know your audience better, you need to know your content and engagement strategy better. How do your users engage with your content on a personal level? Does your userbase see your account as solely associated with your business? Do your users make the effort to get to know you or your business more? 

By getting to know your audience’s needs and wants, you can gauge how to engage with them even better. When engaging with your audience, figure out whether or not you are using the right tools and timing. There is such thing as too much social media. For instance, if your Instagram or Snapchat stories look like diced onions, it’s probably worth it to cut out a few for less aggressive visual consumption.

These two are probably swiping out of your story.

6. Post Consciously

There are apps and tools to help you plan and figure out a feed or fact-check anything and everything. Preview is great for the square-photo rule on Instagram, and even utilizing their Draft tools is a great way to think about organizing before posting. 

Consider colors, subjects, and space when figuring out a consistent feed. For personal accounts, its worth it to be more experimental and fun in your layouts. For businesses and professionals, if you have to lay out your entire feed again after deleting at least twenty posts on Instagram, you should definitely consider planning/draft secondary apps. 

Again, use your resources. You should look for what your users find aesthetically pleasing and brand-related. It is worth it to break the tradition every once in a while, especially when businesses bring in real-time topics promoting transparency. This transitions great into #7…

Don’t let your phone take you through two hours of Holy Mountain! 

7. Be Transparent 

…but not too transparent. If you’re CEO of Deceim and you’re posting about your business for the entire world to see, you’re not only disruptive to the entire business’ future, but to yourself. For instance, if you’re a musician or artist looking to establish a following through a professional account, maybe consider using the live stream or story option on both Instagram and Facebook. Instagram is great for sharing visually, and by consciously choosing what to portray yourself or your business as can really affect audience engagement.

Sharing your process or your work before it’s officially established is also a great tactic. Your users want to see you and your business behind closed doors. It is an extension of what your business or professional life stands for. Fashion and beauty business accounts take advantage of this opportunity by sharing what’s coming up next and creating a community of people looking forward to familiar faces and models. 

Even in a more formal setting, businesses have the opportunity to really get creative and give their users an insider look into their business and outlook. 

8. Be Consistent 

This ties directly to every step starting at #1. You have to stay consistent and attentive to anything that comes up. The challenge of keeping up a following or a pleasing feed or personality is to keep it up in the first place. This doesn’t mean posting all at once every day every second, but instead, moderating a schedule or routine. Make this routine reasonable and obtainable. 

The words of Dr. Dre in Kendrick’s Wesley Theory calls to mind: “Anybody can be number one, the hard part is keeping it, motherf*cker.” 

IG is great for linking back to different networks. 

9. Use Links 

If you’re trying to intertwine your account with your business, you should already know links play a pivotal role. Since Instagram is such a visually-based interface, users are able to share photos directly and without heavy filtering. Although their rules and regulations shift and differ between unique situations, usually links are on your side. 

Product-based businesses are able to share new products directly from their website and not necessarily list it as an ad. Users are able to sponsor their posts as well, which enlarges the viewing to anybody in the general proximity of their following base.

Links can be attributed to a profile’s heading, a post, or even a story. Instagram is also cool because with the swipe-down feature, users have direct access to a website or product via Instagram without having to jump into Safari or Chrome. 

Take advantage of your tools and time. Use links when necessary and try to fashion them towards a mobile audience. Whoever says they use Instagram or Twitter on their laptop more than their phones are flat-out liars. 

10. Bring Together A Community

If you’re working towards a professional account or an up-and-coming business brand, you’re going to need to naturally attract followers and interests. This does not mean buying them or sponsoring your brand to the point of visual exhaustion. Money only buys you so much.

Pop-up events, visual media, and Q/A’s via Live Streaming or Youtube opens up opportunities for your audience to see you as more than just your social media account. Connect your followers to all sorts of mediums. Add your different social media accounts on every medium for seamless interaction. This involves constant, deliberate consistency and honesty.

If you’re a creative professional looking for a bigger audience, filming yourself or taking an account of your every day shows your dedication to yourself. Especially alongside bigger projects that take a longer time to produce, it’s important to keep consistent with your community even if its a simple post on your story. 

11. Ask “Why?”

This calls back to the important #1. “Why am I posting this?” or “Why do my followers like this post more than others?” is an important reflection process to make. This incites a better bridge towards your followers and viewers/subscribers. By figuring out what your audience is engaged in, each post becomes a learning process. 

This could, of course, be intertwined with the day-to-day, but for the purposes of this article, you need to be asking “Why?” with every action you partake in. Everything is intentional, especially if you’re an up-and-coming business or professional. Think larger about the purposes of your vision and your needs before engaging with your wants. Follow the audience, but also be aware of the intricacies of online, how some may have a higher like ratio than others due to the chance of you putting a particular hashtag on or a specific color. This goes back to being intentional with your posts, make each move important.

12. Take Breaks

You’re not going to get your desired account overnight. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. It really is important to remember #2. If you fail to measure a healthy distance, your intentions for your vision may become warped due to the natural hazards that happen and affect your everyday social media experience. Taking a break does not mean breaking your routine. It means knowing when to stop and remembering your boundaries. 

Having a personal account is similar in this way. There are thousands of books and articles that can tell you how bad social media is for you but one thing is for sure: it is going to be around indefinitely. 

From Martin Heidegger, who had loads to say about technology as an entire construct during the turn of the century, “The question concerning technology is the question concerning the constellation in which revealing and concealing, in which the coming to presence of truth, comes to pass.” Technology brings each individual closer to their individuated truth. What people decide to or not to show depends on them, which makes social media so damn entertaining.