Social media is still all the rage, even as it has moved from a trend to a more mainstream marketing activity. (Of course, there’s still those who snub their nose, but they’ll come around.) But many people still overlook one of the most important aspects — the profile.
What’s in a social media profile? Everything.
First of all, the profile picture. This is your first step to legitimacy. It’s hard to take an egg head (Twitter) or empty silhouette (LinkedIn) seriously. Not photogenic? Neither am I, but you need a good head shot. With today’s technology that’s easier to obtain than ever. Some will disagree, but I see nothing wrong with cropping a candid shot or using a personal picture if it projects the image you want to project. Yes, you can use your company’s logo, but it’s nice to put a face with a name and help humanize the cold, digital world.
Contact information. It amazes me how often people leave contact information blank. Aren’t we on social media to be social? That means people need to be able to contact you to continue conversations, discuss projects or partner on an initiative. Plus, there’s other benefits. Fully completed contact information helps give your brand legitimacy (there’s that word again!) and addresses allow users to check in at (and promote) your business.
The profile. This is your chance to shine. Think of it as your elevator speech in 160 characters or less. OK, that rule applies to Twitter, but keep it in mind for all of your social networks. Our attention spans aren’t much these days, so you need to be able to capture someone’s attention (in a positive way) before they jump to another profile or task.
Who are you? What do you do? Show your personality. Unless you just invented something that no one else on Earth has, you have competition. Why should a user follow, become a fan or connect with you (or your business)?
This is where the magic happens. Show people who you are. Intrigue them enough to follow, like, connect, befriend. Spark an interest that makes them want to reach out and say hello. Your profile can be a great conversation starter if done right.
Update: My Instagram handle is now @jaimeshine for consistency.
While I do strive for some consistency across platforms, I also recognize the unique traits of each platform. I want my personality to shine. As a small business owner, I want clients, prospects, fans and followers to know who’s behind the Clearly Conveyed Communications banner, so they can connect with a real person. That’s why I’ve made the decision to keep some accounts under my name and utilize them for work and play. I believe in transparency, and this is the best way for me to maximize my resources.
Yes, my personality’s a little offbeat. Hence, my not hesitating to use my current profile picture on Pinterest (and Google+) in a plaid fedora or my favorite one, which is on Instagram (yes, that’s me after a cold weather run).
Last but not least, the cover photo. More social networks have followed Facebook’s lead and maximized the cover photo on your profile. This is a chance to powerfully convey your or your company’s brand visually. Ask impartial friends or family members to take a look at your photo. What does it portray to them? Make sure you utilize a photo that displays well in the frame provided and follows the platform’s policies. The last thing you want is to have your profile or page pulled down because you’re violating terms. (Remember, it may be your content, but you don’t own your Facebook page. Facebook does.)
What do you focus on in a profile?
Do your profiles accurately represent you or your company?
Do you use the same pictures and profiles across your social network or different ones?
The pictures above link to some of my profiles, and you can see the remaining ones below. I’d love your feedback! Let me know what you like and what you don’t. (No worries, I’m not easily offended.) Seriously, I would love to hear your input.
In exchange, I’d be happy to take a look at your profiles too. Leave them in the comments below or say hi on a social network.
Let’s get social!
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