1. Keep on a schedule and engage, engage, engage. Social media is a community, not an echo chamber. I recommend a color-coded calendar in the kitchen that shares the posting load between members of your family. Maybe on Tuesdays Brayden creates an engaging Facebook post, Jaxxon comments on Brayden’s post, and little Margot does Instagram selfies. This ensures that your family is always posting, which is important. The family who isn’t posting, isn’t gaining clout. (Or Klout!) Even baby Tyson has a schedule on our calendar!
2. Don’t underestimate the impact of a good old-fashioned press release. Has Sonja moved up to first trumpet in middle school band? Let the press know. Your little angel has a story and we want to hear it.
3. A press release doesn’t replace social media announcements. They compliment each other. That’s the new world of marketing and brand identity. You can’t have a complete family branding agenda without both. But also don’t preempt your press release by being overzealous with your social media. Pick a schedule and stick with it.
4. Be sure to make those announcements across platforms, and ALWAYS change up the language. Your note to friends on Facebook shouldn’t be the same post you put on Google Plus. Tailor each announcement to the platform. On Twitter you might #humblebrag about Dad’s promotion, but on Instagram it’s all about finding the right combination of trending tags and tags that could potentially trend in the future. I recommend adding a minimum of 8 tags to all Instagram pictures, a maximum of 24. On G+, drop the name of a popular brand to get extra attention. Say, “Dad just got promoted to shift manager at the kosher butcher shop. Must be all those crisp uniforms. Thanks +Downy!!!” If you get good at this the brand may even feature you in a commercial. Testify!
5. Add media! How are you going to announce Sonja’s big news about her trumpeting? Get a video of her moving over into first chair for the first time as she lets the other trumpets know that it’s a new regime in the trumpet section. Aiden’s not so hot now is he? If you can’t get into your child’s school to get a quick video, you can always do it vlog style at home. Can Sonja play “We Are the Champions”? Done!
6. Don’t underestimate the small platforms! Pinterest might not seem huge right now, but who knows where it will go. Start to build your following now and don’t look like a johnny-come-lately when it blows up. What better way to share your nightly meals with the world! Rearranging your living room? Create an ongoing history of room arrangements with a Pinterest board! Did Baby Jayden tell his first joke? Capture it on Vine! Addison is singing in the middle school talent show? Get her “tour dates” up on MySpace! Turn her performance into a GIF and post it to Tumblr! Let the world know they’ve missed out by not paying attention, but that if they want to pay attention in the future, you’re on whatever social media they’re on. Case closed!
7. Start young! A friend recently said to me, “We feel like two was the exact right age for us to start a Facebook account for Grayson.” Wrong! Now he’s two years behind a classmate whose mother started a Vine account for her baby and live-Vined the birth in six-second bursts. (How much fun is that?!? You can do that on Instagram now in 15 second bursts, but I find that Vine’s shorter videos give you time to film, post, catch your breath, then push.)
8. Put it to a vote! No better way to engage your online community than to let them make decisions for you. Can’t decide between the black or the red Jetta for Julio’s 16th birthday? Facebook Poll! Can’t decide if you want to name your pending daughter Ava, Olivia, or Emma? Take the temperature of your friends on Twitter! How huge are those contests that let you name someone’s child? I vote every time. Make sure to give yourself a unique hashtag for the voting. You can really up your profile with a successful hashtag. #pickthenameB4webreakthemembrane
9. Ditch the family crest. Get a real logo. Something identifiable and shareable. That’s key. Your family needs to be shareable. Have a family plaid? Replace it with a llama wearing a hat. (For fun!!)
10. Engage and be funny. Did Jenny P. from high school have a baby? Leave a comment on her wall. Make yourself visible. Accept a new friend request? Leave a comment on their wall. Say something like, “Hello [New Friend]. Glad we’re friends. My new real estate job is going great! Hit me up if you ever need the hook up. Also, this is my personal website: [link] I can’t stop deco-paging! LOL!”
11. There’s no such thing as over-sharing. For instance: I have hemorrhoids. They only cause problems about once a year, but that’s social media gold. I know, you’re saying, everyone on Instagram shares stores about their boils, kidney stones, and hemorrhoids. The truth is that you have a unique story to tell. Get creative. How do you tell the world about your hemorrhoids in a way that no one ever has. Let that special something leak out of you. Show the world your creative side!