You Can, But Should You? Six Questions to Answer Before Creating Your Social Media Account

What questions should you ask before you create an Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter account?

What questions should you ask before you create an Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter account?

I manage social media as part of my job, and over the last 10 years, I've heard a myriad of questions.

Today I'm focusing on a simple one - why do you want to create a social media account?

If you can't answer that one question, stop reading, it's not for you.

Creating a social media account is easy. But posting, engaging and maintaining those accounts are more challenging than you may realize.

Know is your limits. Can you manage Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest accounts?

Creating an account and letting it wither does not serve your audience or help build your brand.

Here are some notes to consider before moving forward with creating a new social media account.

1. What is your goal with the page/account?

When you've identified your goal, you will have a better idea which social media accounts to start. Are you attempting to sell a service, product or build your name into a brand?

2. Who is your audience?

This goes hand-in-hand with the first question. If your goal is to reach 40-50-year-olds, then Snapchat is not the account to start.

Once you identify your target audience, then research to see which accounts fit. Some of your demographics will change, depending on your product, but this 2018 Social Audience Guide from Spredfast will get you started.

3. What is your content plan?

This may be the biggest thing to wrap your head around before you start. In my experience, everyone has a week or two of content ideas, but a day will come when you don't know what to post. Letting a day, or two, go by without posting is okay, but that lethargy can stick. Create a plan and map it out. I have a week, month and yearly plan sketched out. My yearly plan doesn't have concrete posts planned out, but I have ideas penciled in.

4. Who maintains the page and who’s the backup if the primary person is on vacation/sick/out?

If you're a one-person show, you'll want to explore the variety of social media management tools. At some point, you're going to want a day off, and posting will feel like a chore.

Carve out a few hours a few times each week to schedule posts.

I use Buffer for the non-profit I run, but I also use Sprout Social at my full-time job. I've also used Tweetdeck, so try them all and see what works for you. Knowing your preferred platforms will dictate which you'll steer towards.

I know Later is a popular Instagram client now as well.

5. How often do you intend to post?

Part of your planning process? More doesn't equal more engagement either. Focus on quality posts and make time to engage with your audience. People follow personality, so let yours come through in your posts.

Inc.com has this to say about post frequency:

Facebook: 1 post per day

Twitter: 15 Tweets per day

Pinterest: 11 Pins per day

LinkedIn: 1 post per day

Instagram: 1-2 posts per day

6. What type of information do you intend to post?

This depends on what the answer to No. 1 is. If you’re selling Are you going to be informative? Funny? Witty or sarcastic? Develop your voice and experiment.

My favorite marketing commercial of 2018 is from Använda (be warned, this has NSFW language.

This should give you a few tips to get you started creating your social media identity.

Did I miss something or do you have a question? Drop a comment below.

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Mike Loveday

I started my journalism career in college as an entertainment writer and eventually moved into the Sports Editor position. After graduation I worked as a Stringer for the Wilmington Star-News and covered Track & Field and Lacorsse. After eight months I was hired as a General Assignment Reporter for the Topsail Voice. In 2006, I was hired by Student Sports as a general assignment writer and moved into the role of Editor for MDVarsity.com. Purchased by ESPN in July 2008, Student Sports relaunched as ESPNRISE.com and I was promoted to the Contact Sports Editor in charge of football and lacrosse. In 2009, I took over lacrosse full-time. I am currently the Founder and COO of LaxRecords.com and the Mid-Atlantic reporter for US Lacrosse and where I manage the Nike/US Lacrosse Top 25 voting panel and a staff of four freelance journalists.