Chances are, the aesthetic of your social media channels will undergo significant changes from the day you start your accounts. In fact, for most burgeoning businesses, they should change; experimenting with your brand voice is an important part of finding your niche in the world of social media. Even companies that are extremely well established and have a distinct brand identity should be experimenting with new types of content on their social media to stay relevant!
However, at some point, most companies will also look back on their past content and see things that they are less than enthused about. Clashing color schemes on Instagram, cluttered Pinterest boards, Facebook posts with broken links, blogs that were written before you got really good at writing them… the list goes on. It might be tempting to leave this content up because after all, it’s your history. Your company is telling a story, and much like a bad tattoo you got on your 18th birthday, the posts serve as a reminder of just how far you’ve come.
You may also ask yourself: “Will my fans think I’m schizophrenic if I post something, and then change my mind and delete it afterwards?” The short answer is, probably not. Social media is the place to put your best face forward, and you have a lot of control over how people perceive your brand. Almost everyone deletes photos off their personal social media accounts (pictures of exes, lapses in wardrobe judgment, tagged photos from wild nights out on the town… you get the picture.)
While it’s not a good idea to continually post content and immediately remove it if it doesn’t get the response you want, or to be careless about what you post, you are absolutely entitled to revoke an occasional post, and to do some regular social media channel clean-up.
When you boil down your feed to only show your best content, your existing fans will appreciate seeing streamlined, polished content that accurately represents your brand, and new fans will get a clearer sense of your overall voice and aesthetic right off the bat. As an added bonus, some platforms like Pinterest will even reward you for cleaning out your feed; Pinterest search results give preference to pinners with the highest ratio of overall engagement per number of pins, rather than pinners who have the most amount of pins.
So what should you keep, and what should you toss? Think of editing down past social media posts the way you might think of doing a spring closet cleaning. Ask yourself these questions as you evaluate each piece of content:
– Is it visually unappealing, unflattering, or distracting? If yes, toss it.
– Are you vocalizing a value or opinion that is no longer relevant to your brand identity? If yes, hit delete; you’re not going to use it again.
– It is a classic, timeless piece of information that will always add value to your brand identity or something that generates a lot of web traffic, and can be categorized as a “staple” in your social media repertoire? If yes, then keep it!
– Is your content bold and fresh, and has it generated a good deal of excitement? Flaunt it, and take note of why it worked for you. Then keep an eye out for similar content in the future.
There truly is an art to cleaning up; you’ll feel better about your brand’s online presence, and you’ll achieve a greater sense of direction for the type of content you’d like to create for the future. Editing down your feed allows you to get a “big picture” view of what’s truly working for you and what isn’t.
Just remember, when it comes to content, less can most certainly be more – so don’t be afraid to hit the “delete” button every now and then.