Social media is still buzzing, even as it has moved from a trend to a mainstream marketing activity. Yet so many people still overlook one of the most important aspects—the profile.
First, let’s focus on the profile picture. This is your first step to legitimacy. It’s hard to take a generic silhouette 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. You can use your company’s logo on your company account, but small business owners may want to use their photo to help create connections with their community. It depends on how you go to market, but it is nice to show people who they’ll be working with and help humanize the cold, digital world.
Contact information. It amazes me how often people list no contact information, even a website. People need to be able to contact you to continue conversations, discuss projects or partner on an initiative. Plus, there’s other benefits. Contact information gives your business or brand legitimacy and allows users to learn more about (and promote) your business. I realize that spam is an issue, and there are steps you can take to address that issue. However, it’s tough to be in business if people don’t know how to get a hold of you.
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 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.
While I do strive for consistency across platforms, I also recognize the unique traits of each platform. 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 most of my social media accounts under my name (with my business noted in my profile) and utilize them for work and play. I believe in transparency, and this is the best way for me to maximize my resources.
Plus, I spent years building a professional network before I opened my own business. When I went into business, my personal brand had more value than my new business brand, so I wanted to capitalize on that. Again, it depends on your situation and how you go to market whether you should have business accounts under your personal or company name. Not sure? Leave a comment below or contact us, so we can discuss your specific situation.
Last but not least, let’s look at 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.)
Keep in mind that a majority of your traffic could be viewing your cover photo and social media profiles on mobile, which affects their viewing experience. View your cover photos on different devices, so you can make sure they display how you want them to look. If most of your traffic comes via mobile, keep that in mind when designing your cover photos. A majority of the traffic to our social profiles does come via mobile, which is one of the reasons why we decided to simplify our cover photos.
What do you focus on in your social media profiles?
Do your profiles accurately represent you or your company?
Do you use the same pictures and profiles across your social network or different ones?
Link to your social media presences in the comments below so we can connect, or say hi on your favorite social network.
Let’s get social!