Rules to Better Social Media


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  1. Branding - Do you know you should use overlay on photos shared on your social media?

    ​​​​​​​​Putting overlays on images creates a professional look to any photo, helps to hide messy desks or floors if needed, and it gives it a consistent contrast and feel to the post. 

    It’s a good way of adding text to a photo as well following your branding guidelines at the same time.

    ​See some bad and good examples from SSW's social media below:

    Figure: Bad Example – An overlay could have made this post look nicer
     Figure: Good Example – Overlay on a social media post used to have some text on it
     Figure: Good Example – Overlay on a social media post to fill in the 4 square gaps that a wide photo can have

  2. Do you follow image standard sizes on social media?

    For a better visual across all your social media accounts, ideally, you should follow the standards that each platform requests. They have variations of sizes according to the placement, for example, banner, profile icon or a post​. If you are creating an image for an advertising campaign on Facebook, they will offer you a hand full of placement options, like news feed, Facebook marketplace, video feeds, right column and many others.

    As all of them will have different specifications, so it’s best to check their support if you have any question regarding this. Hootsuite is a reliable source, for example:​


    On Twitter, we have the following variations for images:

    • Image post
    • Cover photo
    • Profile image


    On Instagram, we can have a lot of variations if we use all their placements. See next:

    • Image post can now be a variation of a square, vertical or horizontal photo
    • Stories
    • IGTV
    • Profile image


    On Facebook, they have the following variations for images:

    • Image post
    • Images with Shared Links
    • Cover photo
    • Profile image
    • Facebook Stories post

    Facebook Ads

    Besides following the size of the images on Facebook Ads, you should also have limited text on images as there’s a better chance of your design or video getting approved more easily. If you need more information about Ads placement, check Facebook support​ for clarification.

    • News Feed Ads, Marketplace Ads and Messenger Ads
    • Collection Ads
    • Carousel Ads
    • In-Stream Video Ads
    • Search results
    • Stories (Instagram, Facebook and Messenger)

     Figure: Good Example – Our designer David Berkes created a set of images for ads on Facebook and Instagram that were consistent with SSW’s branding guidelines and also with the SSW's Clean Architecture Superpowers​ training solution sub-branding
    LinkedIn is like Twitter and Facebook:
    • Business Profile image
    • Cover photo
    • Post image


    On YouTube​, you will find:

    • Profile image
    • Cover Photo
    • Video Thumbnail

  3. Do you keep your content consistent across your different social media platforms?

    ​Being consistent on your content across the different platforms you use is key to have a consistent online brand presence. It will help you grow audience engagement across the social media platforms you use for your business by following your branding guidelines, the personality you defined for your company, basically.

    ​​​The content of your social media posts should be consistent across your different accounts, which means having the same caption (text), URLs, videos, images, and hashtags on each one. If your post exceeds the character limit of a site such as Twitter, you can write a separate, shorter version of the post to use instead.

    Be aware that if you decide to update or edit the content later, you might not be allowed to do so. No social media platform allows you to change the original image or video after it's published, and some sites have additional editing limitations. For example, on Twitter you cannot update anything, you would have to delete the tweet and start again. On LinkedIn, you cannot edit a video thumbnail (whereas you can on Facebook).

    Across all platforms, you will find that they have some limitations and recommendations regarding character limits. See them on this blog post from HootSuite.

    ​Also, Sprout Social has an interesting social media character counter that you can test your content before putting your post out.

    Some tips:

    • Hashtags are really popular on Instagram and Twitter, but not as much on LinkedIn or Facebook.
    • Note: that this does not apply to Social Media Ads. If you run campaigns with repetitive ad copy, you will fail in every single campaign. To be able to prove that you have a good ad copywriting on a certain campaign, you will need a variety of text to see which ad is performing better and driving more conversions.
    • LinkedIn is a professional platform, so it is good sense to avoid using emojis or sharing memes where possible. For more information on this topic, check out our Rule Do you know why you should use memes as part of your business social media content?​

  4. Do you know how to take great photos for your socials?

    ​Taking photos can be difficult when you don’t have a 24h available photographer. 

    So, don’t discourage your team members that don't have the right skills to keep sharing photos with your Marketing team. Instead, we asked some hot photography tips from the SSW TV team to help you out.

    Here they are:

    • ​​​​​Framing: Being eye level with the subject and using the rule of thirds, which involves mentally dividing up your framing using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as a professional camera would do – if you are not using one. Also make sure there isn’t too much empty space and that you are not missing anyone important, if you have a big group, for example. 
    RuleOfThirds.pngFigure: Rule of thirds visualisation


    • ​​Composition Checklist:
        • What is in your photograph? Is it well-positioned?
        • Is the desk clean?
        • Are there things that shouldn’t be in the photograph? E.g. confidential information
        • Lighting: Get the most out of lighting, especially if you are taking indoor photos. Try to avoid taking photos behind bright windows.
        • Make sure your lenses are clean before taking photos.
    • ​​Perspective choice: If possible, use portrait mode on your camera for taking photos of developers, as there’s a better chance of making use of the whole frame and photo composition. Also depending on what you are trying to capture, choose from landscape or portrait (camera position) when taking the photo.

    • Photo Style: Regarding the photo style, it’s better to smile in photos, so try and get your models (aka employees) to naturally smile in their photos. This makes the business seem more inviting to clients, besides giving the photo a warmer tone. It’s always good to take natural photos as well, like a shot of our team working together. When possible, it’s great to show a bit of diversity, as the techie community is pretty much consisted by the male sex.
    Figure: Bad Example – Bad framing and background
    Figure: Good Example – Good framing for a profile​ photo
  5. Do you know what type of content marketing you should post on your socials?

    Sometimes it can be hard to keep generating content daily for your social media, and even more when there’s not much going on.

    ​So, here are a few examples taken from our social media of what you could post on yours:

    • Internal projects, services or products that your business developed or offers
    Figure: SSW’s devs doing a scrum retro with General Manager Uly after working on SSW TimePro​

    • ​​Projects that your company worked on​
    breast.jpgFigure: SSW's developer Kosta being recorded by SSW TV about the web app that SSW developed for Sydney University​

    • Video content​
    ​Figure: SSW TV Tech tips recorded during NDC 2019 on YouTube​ - Watch the playlist here​

    • Events that your company organised
    Figure: Clean Architecture Superpowers paid training promotion on SSW's socials

    Figure: Angular Hack Day post-event post

    • External events that you and your team attended to
    ndc.jpgFigure: SSW’s team in our booth at NDC Sydney 2019 with Alumnus Tiago Passos

    • Your team members profile
    kikisprofile.pngFigure: In profile photos, you can show your employees in action

    • Your employee's blogs posts
    Figure: Use the same image from the blog post for consistency

    • Your business blog posts
    Figure: When you promote your own business' blog post on your social media, try to use the same design & branding

    • General content wrote by your team on your website
    Figure: Even though some of your content doesn’t have a photo, you can add a relevant one from free stock photo services, like the above

    • Employment opportunities
    hiringpost.jpgFigure: Hiring post following branding guidelines

    • Teamwork, parties, etc
    Figure: A team shot just before NDC with part of the SSW China office

    • Relevant news for your industry
    Figure: If you don’t have a catchy photo to represent your news, try free stock photo websites like Pexels or Unsplash​

    meme.pngFigure: A meme once a week on weekends can help you boost your social media engagement