From the team: 5 tips to social media success

Feature image by Karen Dunn.

This month we’re helping you get to know the team behind Mollie Makes. There’ll be blog posts from our Editor and Digital Editor, wallpapers from our Art team and takeovers from our Production Editor and Commissioning Editor over the next few weeks. We’ll all be BFFs before you know it.

But, to kick off this week of bonding, I’m going to share my tips for social media success with you all. My name’s Phoebe (you can see a rather large photo of my head here) and I’m the Digital Content Editor here at Mollie Makes. I’m the one behind all the social posts, blog content and customer queries so hey!

I’ve worked in social media my entire life so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way. Social media is forever changing and it’s different for every business and person but here’s five things to keep in mind when you’re posting, tweeting and scheduling.

1. Consistency

If I can stress anything to you about social media it’s the importance of consistent, regular uploading. Posting once on each channel, or spamming one channel and abandoning the rest, will not help you grow. Social media is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ types so the more you curate, design and post, the better your chances are of being recognised.

Channels such as Pinterest rely on regular pinning – and I’m talking a good hour of pinning a day. Pinterest’s algorithm is great as it spreads out your pins so as long as you’re doing a good amount of pinning per day, your followers will see your content dispersed through their homepage and at different times.

Instagram is similar. When Instagram first began people were posting everything and anything onto their feeds, but with the arrival of Instagram stories that’s no longer necessary. Make your feed a beautiful, consistent, portfolio of your best work and then pop all your chats, faves and random content on your stories. I’d recommend maybe 2 or 3 quality images for the feed throughout the week and then at least a few stories a day.

For Mollie, I aim for 2 Facebook and Twitter posts a day too but it really depends on where your audience is. Where are they most active? Post there. Reply to their comments. Share makers work. Build a community on all your platforms and keep them coming back for more.

The key takeaway of this tip though is that if you stop connecting with people, your following won’t grow. Give them reasons to follow you. Think about what they get out of everything you do. A wallpaper every Wednesday, a spotlight every Tuesday perhaps? Consistency is difficult (trust me I feel you) but if you can get into the swing of it you’ll be on a roll.

2. Platform specs

image of phone

Platform specifications are key to not only making your content look good but even it being posted in the first place. Pinterest has very specific photo dimensions as does Instagram. Generally, you can use the same sized files for Facebook and Twitter although Twitter does have restrictions regarding the size of video content. Understanding each platform will help your content perform better – no-one wants a awkwardly cropped, fuzzy image.

Here’s the dimensions I use so you can spread your content across allll the channels.

Instagram

Grid size: 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels (px)

Story size: 1080px by 1920 px

Mollie Makes Instagram account

Mollie Makes Instagram account

Facebook 

Facebook is quite flexible regarding sizing but I tend to make sure images aren’t wider than 476 px.

The maximum video size is 1.75 GB and the length is around 45 minutes but be warned the larger file, the longer the load time which may have users click off. You want the video to play automatically in the feed and not slow the user’s phone/computer down.

Twitter 

Again, Twitter is pretty flexible but aim to make your images smaller than 1024 x 512 pixels.

For video content, you can upload videos up to 512MB but you’ll be prompted to edit videos to less than 2 minutes and 20 seconds. GIFs higher than 5MB also won’t work on mobile so keep them small!

Mollie Makes Pinterest Board

Mollie Makes Pinterest boards

Pinterest  

Normal pin size: 238 px x adjusted to height.

Expanded pin size: 735 pixels x adjusted to height.

3. Hashtags

Interestingly, for lots of other businesses and accounts, hashtags have seen a drop-off in usage but not in the maker community!

Hashtags aren’t always relevant and it’s important to only use ones which fit with your content to avoid your accounts looking spammy.

For Twitter, there are loads of tools you can use like Ritetag which show you current trending hashtags to use in your tweets.  Whereas for Instagram and Pinterest, I often do the good old fashioned ‘type a keyword into the search bar and then copy and paste the suggested hashtags’ method.

If you’re looking for Instagram hashtags specific to the crafting community have a look at our ‘hashtags for…’ blog posts. I know, I know, shameless self-promo but I honestly use these blog posts frequently when posting on Mollie. 

Here’s a few I use regularly:

4. Editing

Unfold App image

Image taken from Unfold’s Facebook page

Editing is key with platforms like Instagram. Here at Mollie I’m lucky enough to have an amazing art team who edit using Photoshop but I know that’s far from reality for many small businesses.

While DSLR’s and Adobe suite are always preferred, there are plenty of great apps you can use to edit on your phone. Here’s a few of my faves:

  • VSCO – free with a range of great filters
  • Lightroom – a simplified version of Photoshop
  • Unfold – great for Instagram stories allowing you to play with layouts

P.S. I know sometimes it’s a struggle having the time to take your own images, especially for blog posts, so check out Unsplash for beautiful images all of which are free to use and download. And, if you do use someone else’s image, always, always credit them.

Phoebe Burts VSCO feed

Examples of images I’ve edited using VSCO

Although high res images work great, it’s short-form video content that works brilliantly on social. Studies have shown video content like GIFs performs best on Facebook and Twitter as it cuts through the endless text (tweets, Facebook updates) on the scree. The goal is to stop the scroll!

Apps like Boomerang and Pixaloop (Pixaloop effectively makes what are called ‘cinemagraphs’ in the industry, which mean only one aspect of the image is moving, compared to a GIF where the whole image moves or flashes) and of course, the good old screen recorder which you can find on most phones and is an easy way of making video content.

Try screen recording you scrolling through your site, your feed or other social feeds. Showing your various platforms helps show your followers there’s so much more they’re missing out on and makes all your channels (in our case all our social, blog and print mag) cohesive, positioning you as a brand not just a designer with an Instagram.

Example of a cinemagraph via GIPHY.

 

5. Personable

Here’s me having far too much fun on Mollie Makes‘ 100th birthday, meet the rest of the team here.

Finally, be nice. It’s simple and obvious but the amount of brands who hide behind the screen is crazy! Let your followers know who you are. Engage with them, make content which features pictures and videos of you making, illustrating or working.

People relate to people and showing the personable, human side to your brand or account is always a winner. It’s why we love takeovers so much because it allows you to meet the people behind your favourite products and brands.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top social media tips and I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all better. If you’ve liked my tips do me a favour and go and give Mollie’s Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook a follow. It will make this Digi Editor very happy indeed.

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