For anyone who is any tiny bit of serious about their social media, be it for a blog, for work, for interest’s sake, you will have undoubtedly heard about having a theme for your social media. Does every single one of your Instagram pictures feature the same filter, with the same colours, with the same subject? Well, you don’t have a theme, and if you want to be any sort of successful, you need a theme. Do all of your pins have one of three to four layouts within a specific image size, with a set number of keywords in your description? You don’t have a theme, either. Good luck getting any traffic… or so that is what we are told.
I suppose it all starts at what you want to get out of your social media, but I would guess most of us more or less want the same thing- more traffic. If you are in any large scale blogging groups or have read blogging posts pinned on Pinterest, you will have read a thousand times and more that you have to have a brand across all social media and that someone should be able to look at any one of your accounts and instantly recognise you (and your brand). Which is all well and good, until you slowly realise that there tens and tens of thousands of lifestyle blogger who use overexposed, light pink images across all of their social media that looks identical even though they are different people with different blogs. And when you look at one of these Instagram or Pinterest accounts, you start to question if they even all get their images from the same place and just reuse them throughout their feed.
As human beings, we aren’t one specific thing. You aren’t always freshly cut peonies, you aren’t always an artful latte with a handwritten message from the barista, and you aren’t always an $8,000 luxury handbag resting just so in the crook of your arm. You are hopefully a complex individual with diverse and varied interests in any number of topics, areas, hobbies, and passions that can’t be summed up into a single colour scheme and a subject. Maybe I’m wrong on that one and I’m bizarrely spread across far too many interests, but I don’t think I’m too unique in this. I actually prefer to follow people’s social media when it looks like they are real person and not just a curated pile of photos.
My theme-less Instagram account!
On Pinterest, I have a specific layout I use for my pins. That is less for my Pinterest and more for the fact that I like consistency on my blog, and that image is the first in every blog post. I have seen raging debates on whether or not you should delete every pin on your Pinterest- yours or someone else’s- that doesn’t fit a specific size and layout. Again, it may just be me but if every pin on Pinterest looked identical, it would be fairly boring for all of us, and would defeat the purpose- why search amongst a sea of the same? And if you feel compelled to delete every underperforming or “less than perfect” pin on your account, remember that we all aspects and parts of ourselves that might not be what we want them to be but they are still a valid and wonderful part of us.
A typical Pin for one of my posts- straightforward, and easy to figure out!
In regards to blogging specifically, I like to follow bloggers that appear to be real people! I would rather see a plain ol’ iPhone photo where your hair is perhaps a little messy but you are genuinely having a wonderful time with your friends even though you can’t get the picture “quite right”. If I wanted to follow a perfectly curated account, I would just follow a clothing company or a magazine. If you want people to follow your personal brand, you have to be a person. That seems to be the part that is missing is the person.
So, my questions to you are: am I way off base? Do you prefer to see themed or varied social media accounts? Do you unfollow people if they stray from a theme? Have you found more success on your accounts with a theme or without? Do you want to follow bloggers who might not be perfect but seem like someone you could find in your life, or would you rather follow an icon/idol that you aspire to emulate?