Monday, May 5, 2014

Social Media Monday—5 Simple Things You can do to Keep Your Social Media Identity Consistent

by Edie Melson

As writers in today’s digital world, we all know the importance of having an online presence. The savvy writer works hard to leverage social media to do everything from building a platform to interacting with readers.

Even armed with the knowledge of how important engaging online is, many authors have missed one vital component. 


So today I’m sharing 5 simple things you can to do keep your social media identity consistent.

Does it really matter that I seem like one person on Facebook and another on Twitter? To a certain degree, it definitely does. While interaction styles do vary from network to network, our audience will still expect us to be recognizable. Think about it from this perspective. Do you really trust someone who is drastically different from situation to situation? I don’t. The same thing holds true with your social media personality. It needs to ring true, no matter where you audience finds you.

So now we know that we need to have a certain level of consistency, what exactly does that entail. Here’s my list of 5 things that will help you build the trust of your audience, while still interacting normally on a given network.

1. Keep your profile photo consistent. It doesn’t have to be the exact same picture, but it better be pretty close. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to find someone on Twitter by looking at their Facebook photo as a reference and missing them entirely. I have several different photos I use for profile pictures. They were all taken around the same time and are a large enough shot of my face, that people can tell who I am.

2. Write your updates like you talk. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, or present yourself in a way that’s not natural, it will show.

3. Be consistent with how often you post updates. Today’s audience has a short attention span and even shorter memory. To build a consistent picture of yourself online, you have to be online often enough for people to remember you. What does consistent look like? It varies from person to person, but I would say, at least a couple of updates a day, per network, four or five times a week. This is different from growing your platform, this is just to remain in the short term memory of your audience.

4. Don’t change the basis of your message from network to network. For example, if your online identity is built on being a YA author on Twitter, don’t make narrative nonfiction the basis of your posts on Facebook. Let the independent networks work together to paint a more complete picture of who you are. Don’t be an alligator on one and a fuzzy bunny on another.

5. Keep your online information current. If you update your Facebook bio because you’ve signed a new contract, don’t neglect your Twitter or LinkedIn bio.

These are some of the more obvious irritants that can stand between you and social media consistency. They also happen to be some of my pet peeves, and things I’ve been guilty of. Learn from my mistakes.

What about you? What inconsistencies have you seen online? Be sure to share your thoughts below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. This is interesting and something I'll have to mull over. I actually intentionally have a little seperation in my Facebook Author Page and my Twitter Author Feed. I have two very different audiences since I write inspy romance and fantasy YA and need to be approachable to both without making one or the other group feel like they're getting a stream of social media interaction that doesn't apply to them.

    So I've set up my FB Author page to serve as a meeting place for my inspy readers and there I keep things tame and encouraging :) And then my Twitter feed is more for my YA readers because Twitter often has a younger engaging crowd. On Twitter I fangirl and live-tweet and use my sass.

    I keep my voice consistent but my content is not. So far it seems to work for me because I have very different followers for both accounts. Its something to think about though.

    1. Jess, I'm interested to see how this works. I certainly don't have all the answers. I also have two distinct groups of followers - writers and military families. I hit a roadblock until I started sharing both topics on all my networks.

      Yours may work better than mine because of the age difference (I can't separate either writers and military families by age). FB has an older user base than Twitter. So you've divided yourself correctly.

      Like I said, please keep us posted on how this works. And thanks for starting the conversation! Blessings, E

  2. Great list, Edie. You are exactly right about the short-term memory of our audience. I need to work on improving my visibility. I'm not consistent about posting.

  3. Edie, I forgot to check the little 'notify me' box when I commented a minute ago.That always aggravates me. So...I'm going to hijack the discussion with a question completely off topic. Every time I comment to a blog, I have to remember to check the little "notify me" box so I can read what everyone's saying. Is there some way to choose "I always want to receive an email when someone comments" when I subscribe to a blog?

    1. Sherry, there isn't a way to subscribe to comments and the blog. Feedburner doesn't offer that option. Actually you're an exception, most people don't want notifications from comments. I'm like you though. Anytime I comment on a blog, I check the notify me box. Thanks for asking. Questions are ALWAYS welcome, whether they're on topic or not! Blessings, E

  4. Pictures--I shy away from pictures even though I KNOW they are necessary. I didn't want to be 'vain' when I was young, and now that I don't have to be concerned with vanity...just saying it's a hard thing. May I ask a question that is kind of off topic as well. How to decide between a critique group, or some one to critique a manuscript?

    1. Deboraw, pictures are tough, but they're a VITAL connection point between you and your audience. Think about it this way, who do you connect with easier, someone with a picture or someone without a picture. It truly is that simple.

      As far as deciding between a critique group or an individual, the decision is for which one suits you better. Here's a blog post I wrote about critique groups/partners: Either situation can be good or bad, it depends on the people involved. I hope this helps a little. If you have more questions, just email me. Blessings, E

    2. I don't know as much as Edie, but I'll pipe in with what I do know. I have two types of people helping with my manuscript. One is an independent, professional editor. We have an friendly but not close relationship. She helps me with correct phrasing and other grammar issues as well as on the logical flow of my writing.

      I am also part of an online critique group. We get to know each other and to understand what our hopes are for the books we're writing. We understand the messages we each want to share and we help each other to present those messages in the best way possible. We encourage each other and celebrate with each other. We've become good friends and we trust each other.

      To me, both things are invaluable. I benefit from both an objective review and a more personal one.

      I probably haven't told you anything you don't know but I'm sharing my experience.

  5. Thank you both. I will check out the critique group post as well. I was wondering if since I've been polishing the one manuscript I want to send in, maybe it would be best for the independent pro. editor. I know that it won't ever be 'perfect', but I would like input for polishing. Thank you again so much.