While many people are using the warmer weather and clearer skies as an excuse to start getting rid of the accumulated junk in the house and in the office, we’re using it as a reminder to clean up our social media accounts. It’s not good enough to schedule content and casually interact with your fans and followers; a business’ social media channels need regular maintenance to keep them running like a well-oiled machine. Here we offer our best practices for annual upkeep:

Update profile photos and descriptions

While we generally recommend to keep your profile photo pretty static, it’s nice to change it up if you have an alternate version of your logo – for example, a reversed white-on-black, or a glyph. However, make sure you keep the profile photo completely recognizable for those who are searching for you. You can use the header, timeline or background photo as an opportunity to refresh your profile in a more unique way. The views from your office, a staff photo, or a photo of your brand’s work in action are all great examples of visuals you can regularly switch up in these spots on your social channels.

In the same vein, your profile description may need a refresh if your brand’s mandate has narrowed or broadened. Has your tone or position changed in the last year; do you now use your social channels for fun campaigns or serious public relations with the community? Make sure your brand description accurately reflects your position in the industry and how you appear to your target audience(s). Also, make sure you have relevant keywords and #hashtags in your description.

Change your passwords & double-check your account emails

To prevent your social channels from being hacked a la Burger King, it’s a good idea to regularly switch up your passwords. With the many DIY hacking videos available on YouTube, this is a must. You may want to consider doing this more often than once a year – especially if you might have disgruntled ex-staff with the power to control your brand’s channels.

Has the email associated with your social media channels changed in the last year? Double-check that you still have access to this account, or update it if need be. There’s nothing worse than losing the password and being unable to reset it because the default reset email no longer exists or is associated with a colleague who has moved on.

Another surefire way to open your door wide to Twitter hackers is to click on suspicious links in a tweet or direct message. We remind our clients regularly that these links – even if they appear to be from a friend or a trusted source – are most likely spam or a hacker phishing for your account password. If you receive a message or direct tweet along the lines of “lol I thought you would like this {insert suspicious link here]”, DO NOT CLICK. If you are unsure, just tweet or send a message back asking if they did, indeed, write that message. Better to be safe than sorry!

Ensure your website design has accurate and clear social media links

One of our biggest pet peeves is when we visit a website and the social media icons and links are either difficult to find, or not listed at all. Your website design should be the main source of information about your business, and potential customers should not have to go on a treasure hunt to find what they are looking for. Because it is common for brands to have social media handles other than their complete brand name – and often it is difficult to search for this on the social channel itself – this information should be clearly visible to the average website visitor. Also, because the average length of time spent on a website is less than a minute, the social media icons should be displayed on the home page, and again on the ‘Contact’ page. Remember, things may not be as obvious to the consumer as they are to someone who lives and breathes the brand or website everyday.

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For more spring cleaning tips and tricks, stay tuned for Part 2!

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