As the first day of spring arrives, it’s time to spring clean your online world and streamline your social media.
You’ve just about polished off all those Christmas chocolates (or palmed them off to your office workers every Friday from January through to February), and before you know it, spring comes knocking and your life starts calling for a much-needed refresh. The infamous ‘Spring Clean’ has come to mean any process that involves a deep cleanse, such as a room or a house, but it can also be used as a metaphor for simplifying and invigorating our lives or businesses.
Shrouded in roots of mystery, the act of spring cleaning takes us far back into the distant past with cultural significance all over the world. Iran celebrates the Persian New Year on the day of the vernal equinox (21st March), by adorning their streets and houses with symbols of burning and planting to signify renewal; a time for optimism and reinvigoration, their tradition of ‘shaking the house’ includes cleaning the home from corner-to-corner, buying scented flowers and wearing new clothes. The ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home before the spring-time memorial feast of Passover is among one of the most important festivals of the year, and in China, they believe that spring cleaning in preparation for the new year brings in good fortune.
With all this in mind, and as life gradually depends more and more on the online world, we thought the first day of spring would be the perfect opportunity to clean up your social presence. Whether you’re a business, a blogger or even just looking to refresh your personal account, cleaning up your social media has countless benefits. It might be looked over by your new employer or your new client, and the last thing you want is for anyone to get the wrong idea about you.
Facebook for businesses.
Firstly, make sure you have all the basics covered.
If you’re a business or entrepreneur, make sure your profile picture is up to date with your current logo or a professional headshot.
Update your cover photo with a compelling image – one which represents you or your business. Consider a high-quality shot of your office, your team, or location of work.
Check over your ‘About’ section and make sure that this tells your audience every they need to know about you. Double check your business hours, ensure that all your links lead to the right places and check that people can contact you appropriately through this section – whether it be by your business contact or email.
Then look at what your posts say about you as a business.
Highly opinionated, political, religious or similar posts run the risk of alienating clients with different beliefs. Although we’d never advocate squashing your personality, or hiding who you are, just always bear in mind that once your content is out there, it’s out there.
Clean out your ‘friends’.
We’re not suggesting you stir some drama and clear out any real friends, but it could be worth skimming through accounts and checking you only follow/like ‘real’ pages – otherwise this could skew your advertising.
Personal Accounts on Facebook.
What about those treasured picture galleries?
Back in the day, Facebook was the easiest way to share every photo from every night out you ever ventured on. You may have had an amazing time in Corfu with the girls back in 2014, but do you want the world to know about that time you went skinny dipping at midnight?
It can be easy to forget about those pesky pictures you were tagged in, or those albums you uploaded years ago. We’d suggest you take some time to scour through these, and like your very own PR manager, consider how you’d like to represent yourself online – especially to prospective new employers, or even clients who just fancy a cheeky stalk before they give their business to your boss. It’s easy to lock your albums on private, or close them to just you and your friends.
And perhaps the most satisfying part of all – declutter your feed.
Firstly, if there are any businesses or people who you’re no longer interested in, consider ‘unfollowing’ them, so that they no longer show up on your feed. This way, you can avoid the awkwardness of unfriending, while still decluttering your news feed. Nobody wants to see 50 pictures of someone’s baby every day.
Secondly, think about grouping individuals into ‘acquaintances’, instead of friends. This means you’ll still see their posts, but just not as often.
Look at the groups you’ve joined – if they’re no longer relevant, leave the groups. The same goes for pages you’ve liked – if they’re no longer to your taste or brand, unlike them.
Revoke permissions for games and apps you no longer use. Protect your privacy wherever you can.
This platform is a little more simple.
Check over all the basics…
Complete or update your bio, highlighting your personal or business traits that you want people to take notice of. This could be your website, your portfolio, or a link to a competition that you’re currently promoting.
Consider updating your profile photo and header image – is it appropriate? What does it say about you or your business?
Update your profile colours so that they’re on brand and fully refreshed.
Skim through your posts – especially the recent ones.
Are there any inappropriate posts that might come back to haunt you? Flippant comments or poorly executed jokes can have long-lasting consequences.
What do your followers say about you? This may seem tedious, but it could be one of the most worthwhile actions you can take to spring clean your Twitter feed.
In terms of followers/following, it’s actually really easy to manage that balance on Twitter. Simply go through the people you follow, and check who doesn’t have a ‘follows you’ symbol next to their name. If they don’t follow you back, or they’re not relevant to you or your brand any more, simply unfollow them. It’s also worth making sure you’re only following real accounts and vice-versa; otherwise, it might look as though they have been bought.
If you’re unsure about an account, check to see if they’re still active and how often they post. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can now mute accounts on Twitter – so you don’t have to unfollow and they’ll be none the wiser.
The gorgeous gateway to social media, Instagram can be so aesthetically enticing. As the online world’s most impulsive platform (in terms of both user and audience) it’s really important that this platform stays fresh AF. Start with updating your profile picture to your most recent logo, or an image which reflects you and how you’d like to be perceived by the world. If you’re spring cleaning your personal account, use this time to consider whether you want to make this private or open to the world.
Use this opportunity to update your bio too. Instagram is the perfect opportunity for adding a little sparkle, so go ahead and use appropriate emoijs. Check all of your URLs and contact information sends users to the right place and consider whether the link in your bio should be permanent or updated depending on your content posting.
This is especially important for business profiles. Go through your profile and look for content that’s time-sensitive; this might be a flash sale at Christmas, or a one-off promotional event. It may have served its purpose at the time, but it’s highly likely that it’s no longer important and if there’s a good chance it ruins the aesthetic of your grid – get rid of it.
Clean up your copy.
People are on Instagram to look at beautiful pictures. They might read your copy, but if we’re honest, they probably won’t (which is why it’s annoying when algorithms call for lines and lines of copy content). With all that said, your copy must always follow your tone of voice; whether you’re eliciting a response from your followers, or drawing some sort of ‘link in bio’ CTA.
If you held a competition which you don’t want to take down, consider updating the copy content with the winner, or take this opportunity to cement your brand narrative and values, rather than being post-specific.
Delete your hashtags.
No shame here. As a way of justifying exposure, even on your best Instagram photos, hashtags are a necessary evil, especially for accounts on the up. The caveat, however, is that hashtags are only really effective for around 24 hours. After a day, feel free to either tag again or delete the hashtag cloud.
Spring clean your following.
Who you follow is as much a reflection on your brand as the content you put out there. Did you go through a period of being a little over-zealous on the follow-backs? Reign that right in and make sure you’re only following accounts you believe to be real or relevant to your brand. This task might take some time, but we promise… when those ‘followers’/’following’ numbers even out, it’ll all be worth it.
Removing unwanted content.
This is what it’s all about – whisking away those old cobwebs. If your account has been tagged in a post that you don’t feel reflects your brand, just tap the three dots in the right corner of the image, hit the ‘photo option>>>hide from my profile’. Et voila, like it never existed and the account which posted it will be none the wiser. There’s also another sneaky way of hiding posts which no longer fit your feed. Simply tap the three dots and select the ‘archive’ option – this removes the image from your grid, but doesn’t delete it from history.
This platform is especially important to keep up to date, especially if you’re a bit of a high-flyer in the corporate world. Take a look at your profile and make sure your headline is well-written and contains quality key words; more people will see this section that anything else, so it’s worth deliberating over.
Consider whether your profile picture is appropriate – an old graduation photograph just won’t cut it. Nobody loves that picture more than your nanny.
Work on your summary to highlight your most recent experience and skills – do you have a new set of experiences your peers and colleagues should know about? Use keywords carefully, and make sure they’re helping you show up in relevant searches.
Make sure your contact information is updated so people can contact you the right way.
If you can, it’s always worth asking happy customers and clients for recommendations and testimonials.
Remove people from your network who aren’t relevant, helpful or positive; spammers, people who never return favours, or far-afield recruiters (you know the types, the ones who message incessantly).
Finally, it might be a good idea to update your passwords across the board. Security is becoming harder and harder to attain, and changing your passwords regularly is just one way to help keep the hackers at bay.
Rebekah is Content Manager at One Agency. She is responsible for creating engaging content and managing the development of social strategy. She was previously on the editorial team, and PA to the chief editor at lifestyle publication VIVA Manchester.