Twitter DMs: Strategy or Spam?

Twitter DMs: you either love them or hate them.

Twitter DMs: Strategy or Spam?

While I’m not a personal fan, I do see how they can be used effectively. The problem is that I so rarely see them used effectively. Direct messaging on Twitter tends to be highly automated and utilized differently than messaging features on other platforms. Facebook messages are a great way to communicate with clients, further connect with other individuals — personally or professionally and for groups to have conversations or plan an event. Other platforms are noticing as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest have all added direct messaging capabilities.

However, Twitter DMs are often ignored and make some people angry. While I don’t usually get that riled up, here are two recent examples of why Twitter DMs turn me off.

I connected with a local bar/grille and received an automated DM thanking me for connecting and hoping they would see me soon. Fair enough, I made a note that I should check the place out. From time to time, I receive automated DMs about a popular menu item (wings night!) or asking me when I plan to stop by. I responded at one point asking if the bar carried UFC fights. No response — ever. So you’re utilizing DMs to stay top of mind and try to start a conversation, but you don’t respond when someone joins the conversation. What kind of strategy is that?

Here’s another recent example that just confounded me, which often happens when people do things online that they would never do in person. I connected with an individual, who promptly direct messaged me to ask me to retweet a self-promotional tweet on his timeline — link included. That’s like meeting someone at a coffee shop or bar and then asking for a favor 5 minutes later. Would you do that? Probably not, so don’t do it online.

Remember: think before you tweet or DM. Unlike television or other push broadcasting mediums, your recipients can talk back — for the whole world to see.

Join the Conversation

Do you utilize Twitter DMs? How?

Do you utilize direct messaging on other social platforms?

Show me an example of a brand/company utilizing Twitter DMs effectively, even if it’s your own.

Tweet me — or drop your comments below. I’d love to discuss!

Cheers,
Jaime

Want to tweet? Connect with CCC on Twitter!
Facebook logo Google+ logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Pinterest logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo

The Punch (and Tweet) Heard Round The World

With the release of a grainy security camera video yesterday, TMZ made a mockery of the Baltimore Ravens, the Atlantic County prosecutor and the NFL. As if the domestic violence incident wasn’t bad enough, the attempted cover-up, or whitewashing of the facts in the case, is a slap in the face to women everywhere.

The numbers are staggering1 in 3 U.S. women have experienced physical violence, rape and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. 81% of women who experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) reported at least one health-related or other impact. $8.3 billion. That’s the cost of IPV in medical, mental health services and lost productivity costs alone each year.*

Unfortunately, these numbers are also impressive and far more important in some circles. Ray Rice’s jersey ranked #28 in the entire NFL in the last fiscal year. The running back has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 4 out of the past 5 seasons, and he was enjoying a 5 year / $35 million contract, including $22 million in guaranteed money before being released yesterday. In other words, he’s a superstar.

Whether the NFL or any other party had seen the latest video is irrelevant. They knew the facts of what happened on that awful night, and according to TMZ, they never requested the security video from the hotel/casino. (Yes, I just referenced TMZ as a news resource. Unfortunately, they seem to be the most reputable source in this debacle.) What kind of investigation did the NFL — or the Atlantic County prosecution — conduct?

What really amazes me is the Baltimore Ravens’ response. The team held a press conference seemingly to minimize the seriousness of the situation and let the whole world know that Janay Rice was at least partially to blame. The following tweet has since been deleted from the Ravens’ official Twitter account.

Baltimore Ravens tweet

Screenshot courtesy of Mediaite.com

Remember, you can never truly delete a tweet or post. It lives forever somewhere online and could serve to pop up at the most inopportune time. Think before you tweet, especially from an official brand account.

Shortly following the release of the most recent video, the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice, and the NFL indefinitely suspended him, which are far more appropriate actions than the initial discipline — a 2 game suspension. Two games for punching a person in the face, knocking her head against an elevator so hard that she was rendered unconscious, dragging her out of the elevator and through the lobby like a bag of trash (while still unconscious) and spitting on her. Yet a player who tests positive for marijuana can be suspended for the whole year. What kind of image does that send?

The only good news that has come out of the backlash generated by this disturbing situation is the NFL’s much tougher stance on domestic violence. A first offense receives a 6-game suspension without pay, and a second offense is punished with a lifetime ban. The policy applies to all NFL personnel, including executives and coaches, but there is a caveat that allows multiple time offenders to apply for reinstatement after one year. Is it tough enough or overboard?

How far will the fallout of this incident and cover-up reach? The Baltimore Ravens’ front office? NFL commissioner Roger Goodell? The Atlantic County prosecutor’s office? Who knew what when? Why was Ray Rice given such a light punishment — by the league and legally — before this video leaked?

“[Roger Goodell’s] push to increase NFL punishment of domestic abusers to roughly one-third that of repeat pot smokers, his decision today to suspend Rice indefinitely after the Ravens had fired him are elements of classic tragedy wherein the right thing is finally done only after it is too late to matter. Roger Goodell’s existence, who he is, what he has turned the NFL Commissioner’s office into is now symbolized by Ray Rice’s brutal left hand striking Janay Palmer, and striking her again. Mr. Goodell is an enabler of men who beat women. His position within the National Football League is no longer tenable.”  –Keith Olbermann, ESPN talk show host

My only hope is that someone, or multiple women out there, who are suffering from domestic violence will see the ugliness of this incident and make the choice to get help for their own situation. It’s so easy to blame the victim in domestic violence situations, but women stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons. If you want to hear from real women on why they stayed, just browse the #WhyIStayed hashtag on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who continues to share their stories and encourage others to get help.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic violence abuse, please call 1.800.799.7233 or visit a local shelter. Don’t become another statistic. You’re worth so much more.

Sadly, I agree.

A disappointed NFL fan,
Jaime

*Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) statistics courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Go Beyond 280: Hold a Tweetup

Every time I hear the word tweetup, this classic dances into my head.

 

What’s a tweetup? It’s a face-to-face meeting of people who are on Twitter. That’s it. The concept is simple, but it’s not always easy to pull off. If you’re thinking about holding a tweetup at your next event, keep these tips in mind:

posing for the camera

At a tweetup? Have fun and talk to people!

Location, location, location. Just like in real estate, it’s all about the location. Pick a spot that can accommodate the expected number of attendees and is accessible, but not in the main drag, so to speak. If everyone’s already in the lobby or at the hotel bar, then don’t hold your tweetup there. It will be too difficult to figure out who’s at the tweetup and who’s just hanging out there. (p.s. It’s helpful to pick a location with strong phone service and/or WiFi so people can actually tweet at your tweetup.)

It’s all about the plan. It may seem like everyone just shows up, but that’s not the case — especially if you want everything to run smoothly. Besides scouting the location, you need to figure out the other aspects. Prizes and special guests will help draw a crowd while hors d’oeuvres or snacks will be appreciated. You can also have a theme for your tweetup; raise money or collect canned goods for a cause or tie it to your overall event (i.e. recharge at your tweetup at a racing-themed event with snacks, seating areas & phone chargers)

Hello, my name is… Yes, you’ll probably have some type of badge or name tag if you’re at an event, but it won’t showcase your Twitter handle. Remember, Twitter handles aren’t always people’s names, so it’s helpful to have name tags (and pens/markers) for people to write their handles on. It also gives attendees something to do when they first arrive and serves as an ice breaker. You can design a custom template for your event or offer different colors of name tags to differentiate between attendees (i.e. green for exhibitors, blue for staff). Whatever route you go with the name tags, make sure you can see the Twitter handles. That’s what you’re there for!

Tweet about it! Let people know the tweetup will be happening and then fill in the details once they’re available. You don’t have to promote the exact details too far in advance either. In fact, some people wait until the night before or morning of the tweetup to tweet the exact time and location. Keep other promotion to a minimum. A tweetup is specifically for people on Twitter, so there’s really no need to promote it on Facebook or Instagram (that’s an InstaMeet, anyway). Onsite promotion isn’t necessary either. While you need people to find the location, you don’t need to attract interest from the passing traffic. (p.s. Creating a specific hashtag is your call. If you already have an event hashtag, it may only cause confusion.)

The tweetup day’s here! Arrive early to make sure everything’s ready to go and begin welcoming your Twitter followers. Introduce yourself to attendees and remind them about the name tags and snacks along with any prize giveaways or special guests. Encourage them to check in at your tweet up or tweet pictures and updates.

Have fun! You’ve done the work, now enjoy yourself. Go beyond 280 characters, and get to know attendees beyond their Twitter handle. One last thing… don’t forget to stop tweeting long enough to actually talk to the people in front of you. 😉

Tweet about it

Have you attended or organized a tweetup?

What tips would you add? Is there anything you tried that did not work?

Would you recommend a specific tweetup hashtag?

Rockin’ Robin video courtesy of Buddha Mist YouTube Channel

Tweet, Tweet, A Tweetin’,
Jaime

Until we meet at a tweetup, let’s connect online:
Facebook logo Twitter logo https://instagram.com/jaimeshine Pinterest logo LinkedIn logo

 

Social Media Savvy: It’s Still All About the Brand

One of the more popular posts I wrote last year was about social media branding and its importance to your brand’s reputation, especially if you’re in the marketing, social media, technology or related fields. After reading Dustin W. Stout’s excellent post on the subject, I realized an update was in order. The major social networks were busy editing, tweaking and re-branding in 2013.

Why does it even matter?

  • Your reputation — If your social media branding is out of date, what else is?
  • Respect — You’ve carefully cultivated your brand and want people to use it as intended. Extend that courtesy to others, including social media networks.
  • Brand police — The networks may not notice that you’re using their out-of-date branding unless you’re Coca-Cola or Apple. But remember, you are renting space on their platforms so it’s not a good idea.

spotlight shining on the major social media network logos

Your brand conveys who you are and what you’re about. Make sure to always comply with other company’s brand guidelines.

Facebook rolled out a new like button this year, but the social media giant’s main logo has remained pretty consistent. The company uses a white ‘f’ in a blue square and does not allow use of the full Facebook logo.

Google may be a brand master, but it’s social network Google+ is still figuring out which way it wants to go in that department. This platform has changed its branding every year of its short existence, and has currently settled on a centered ‘g+’ on a red background.

Twitter‘s flying high from its splashy IPO earlier this year (which has since come back to Earth), so its fresh branding with its legendary bird angled up makes sense. Stay away from the old ‘t’ or full Twitter logos, or the dreaded Fail Whale may appear.

Instagram is a new addition to this year’s post as the visual social platform has exploded over the past two years. The company has added video to its repertoire, been purchased by Facebook and moved to the web — a major reason to grab a badge and promote your account.

                 Facebook logo     Google+ logo     Twitter logo     Instagram logo     Pinterest logo     LinkedIn logo     YouTube logo

The current branding for the major social platforms is shown above. (Keep in mind that some offer additional options, depending on use.) For your convenience, I’ve linked each logo to the current branding guidelines for that social network.

Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you about social media brand compliance.

Is using current social media branding on your website, blog and other marketing materials important to you?

Is it as important if you’re not in a related industry?

Is there another social media network or platform you’re interested in?

Need to update your social media branding? As a special treat, Dustin has shared a downloadable file at the end of his aforementioned insightful post.

Well blog readers, it’s  been an eventful year. Thank you for reading along, joining the discussions and sharing our content to your connections. We really appreciate it, and wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

Spotlight photo courtesy of Virgin Mobile’s Wallpaper Swag Gallery // Social media icons were added

Stay safe and enjoy ringing in the New Year!

Jaime

Join the conversation: 
Facebook logo Google+ logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Pinterest logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo

Trick Out Your Tweets: Tips to Stand Out on Twitter

Tips to Help You Stand Out on Twitter

Do you tweet? (Or as someone once asked me, “Are you on that Tweeter thing?”) Does it feel like you’re accomplishing anything? Or, at the end of the day, are you just confused what the buzz is about? (When Twitter went public, it was kind of a big deal. As in, it created 1,600 new millionaires big deal.)

Twitter bird

What’s all this buzz over a little bird?

Whether you’re tweeting  for personal or professional reasons, the following tips should help you stand out from the crowd.

Join the conversation! You may notice that CCC is always asking you to join the conversation. What exactly does that mean? Talk to people! Respond to tweets that interest you. Retweet them to share them with your followers. Favorite them for later reference. Thank others for retweeting you, or return the favor if it makes sense. Search hashtags that interest you or your company and jump into discussions that you can add value to (not necessarily with a sales pitch though).

Social media is all about getting social, so talk to people as much as possible. Try not to just broadcast information all day long. People are social creatures; they want to interact with you. I’ve connected with so many people just by thanking them for a retweet and asking a question or commenting on something in their profile. Profiles are dynamite for conversation fodder, which is why it’s so important to have a good one. Profile and cover pictures are another fantastic icebreaker.

What’s in a social media profile? Everything

Forget the rules — Everywhere you look, someone is laying down the law about something on Twitter, or social media in general. Tweet every hour. Don’t tweet more than 5 times per day. Automate. Don’t automate. Schedule. Don’t schedule. Don’t self-promote. You have to self-promote. Respond to people immediately. Unplug once in a while. Send direct messages. People hate DMs.

No Photo on Twitter Profile

Include a picture on your Twitter profile. Don’t be a silhouette!


Honestly, it all boils down to common sense.
Would you contact someone 30 times a day? Probably not, so don’t do it on Twitter. Would you say that to someone’s face? Probably not, so don’t say it on Twitter. The problem with rules is that you can become paralyzed by them. Pay attention, treat (or tweet) people with respect and you’ll be fine. Plus, you’ll start to find your style and settle in. One good rule to follow? Give people a heads up when you’re going to live tweet an event or webinar, participate in a Twitter chat or tweet a lot more than normal. (h/t @kathyyoho)

Be Yourself. Stay true to your self (or brand voice), and do what’s comfortable to you. Let your personality show. People shouldn’t be surprised when they meet you in real life, because you’re really different from your Twitter persona. It’s difficult to keep up a fake persona anywhere online, so don’t waste your time. Plus, when people find out who you really are (positive or negative difference), it can be unsettling and hard to trust you. Would you want to work with, hire someone or recommend someone who’s put up a false front? Neither do other people.

Automation also falls into this category. To automate or not to automate? If you’re going to automate tweets, make sure that you trust the source completely. It’s not that a blog or site is likely to post offensive content (although that happens); they may blog about a topic sometimes that you don’t want to share. Also, if you schedule, it’s imperative that you or someone you trust has access to modify or delete these tweets before they go out. Some brands have gotten into hot water due to pre-scheduled tweets that went out as scheduled when they were no longer appropriate.

Treat (or tweet) others with respect. Don’t say something to someone (or even retweet something) that you wouldn’t say to their face. Remember, everything that happens online affects your life. You can delete a tweet, but you can never really delete a tweet. It’s stored somewhere. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid sarcasm or never joke around. Just make sure that people understand the situation. If you’re pissed off about something, venting on Twitter isn’t a good idea.

Thou shalt not destroy your reputation online.

Also, don’t smother famous people or standouts on a particular platform. Feel free to follow and engage with anyone (that’s why they’re on Twitter), but don’t ask special favors of or get upset with people if they don’t agree with you or respond immediately. We’re all human; sometimes we miss tweets or are busy in real life. Think about it. Would you want to engage with people when you have 500,000 followers if all they do is ask you to RT them, donate to a cause or recommend them to someone? No, you wouldn’t. So remember to treat others as you’d want to be treated on Twitter and elsewhere. Life usually works out when you do.

Join the Conversation

How do you use Twitter—personally, professionally or both?

What tips would you add to stand out on Twitter?

What other advice would you share about using Twitter effectively?

Tweeting since ’09,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Twitter, your marketing efforts or otherwise):

Tweet Some Love, Gain Some Respect

We all have them in our lives. A babysitter that’s always available when you really need a night out. A loyal friend who’s willing to interrupt her day to hear your latest crisis over coffee. A lifelong customer who loves your business’ story. A super fan who engages with and shares your content more than you do. People who just make your world turn a little easier. Now there’s a cool, new way to thank them.

Starbucks continues to embrace the digital realm and social media by partnering with Twitter to introduce tweet-a-coffee. After quickly connecting your Starbucks and Twitter accounts, you can easily send your loyal friend, awesome customer or super fan a $5 eGift card. Seriously, it’s that easy.

As a business owner, I immediately thought of some priceless opportunities for brands. Giveways? You no longer need to retrieve a winner’s physical address to mail swag, just a Twitter handle. Thanking loyal fans (and customers)? It’s easy on your end but is appreciated by the recipient. Your fans and customers will enjoy being publicly recognized for their loyalty, contribution to your digital marketing efforts and fabulous ideas. In turn, your business receives positive PR and the warm, fuzzy feeling associated with being good corporate citizens. And don’t forget about acknowledging employees!

I had to try this new service, so I tweeted a coffee to one of Clearly Conveyed Communications‘s super fans, Lance Wyllie. Lance is always willing to engage in thoughtful conversation, add insightful comments to discussions (on the blog and Twitter) and is so generous with sharing others’ information.

The process couldn’t have been easier. After quickly connecting my Starbucks and Twitter accounts, I sent a personalized message to @tweetacoffee to @LanceWyllie (as seen above). Starbucks’ @Tweetacoffee account immediately tweeted Lance a clickable link to redeem his eGift card (which can be scanned from your smartphone or printed out). On the back end, Starbucks sent me a receipt confirming my purchase and separately emailed me when Lance viewed the gift. A seamless process.

It’s always exciting when a new tool becomes available to add to your marketing mix. Just remember: tweet some love, gain some respect.

How can you or your business utilize tweet-a-coffee?

Who would you tweet-a-coffee to?

Tweets from my (@jaimeshine) Twitter feed
Tweet-a-Coffee video courtesy of Starbucks

An espresso addict (and Starbucks fan),
Jaime

p.s. As an espresso addict, it’s hard for me to fathom people who don’t drink espresso or coffee. Rest assured, Starbucks offers tea, fruit juices, water, fresh bakery items, delicious breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal, among other favorites, for all of you non-coffee folks out there. 

p.s.s. To help spread the word, Starbucks is giving a $5 eGift card to the first 100,000 people who participate in the tweet-a-coffee program before 11/06/13 and fund the purchase with a Visa card. Full details here.

Coffee lover or not, connect with me… 
Facebook logo  Google+ branding  Twitter bird icon  Instagram  Pinterest logo  YouTube  LinkedIn_Logo60px

#Hashtags: Big Business or Bust?

Hashtags

Hashtags — love them or hate them? Are they good or bad for business? Photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan via Creative Commons License

Let’s take a closer look at the world of hashtags…

On the positive side, hashtags open up your social media updates to a whole new world: non-subscribers, non-fans and non-followers. Searching hashtags brings potential fans, followers, subscribers — and customers — to your doorstep. Whenever I use hashtags, I always receive more traffic from those outside of my network. I’ve also come across brands — both personal and corporate — on Instagram and Twitter that I probably never would have found otherwise.

Hashtags are also a wonderful way to have a conversation online. Stay up to date with webinars, events, ad campaigns, sporting events, etc. by searching for the hashtag and participating in the conversation. As a marketer (or event professional), designating hashtags for your campaigns and events is a great way to invite attendees to join the conversation, build momentum pre- and post-event, involve those unable to attend and integrate your online and offline marketing efforts.

#Olympics hashtag search

The #Olympics hashtag: insight and insanity

For example, Twitter noted that the #SuperBowl hashtag was used 3 million times over an approximate 5-hour time period. As a marketing professional, you’re probably excited to jump in! But slow down — and do the math. That breaks down to an average of 167 tweets per second. And remember, anyone can use a hashtag — not only brands, companies or excited fans talking positively about your product or service. Someone complaining about a sideline reporter’s outfit or a celebrity that’s spotted in the crowd will show up in that hashtag search as well. As Oreo showed us, hashtags don’t make the tweet.

Power outage? No problem says Oreo.

Oreo stole the show on Super Bowl Sunday. No hashtag needed.

Another negative aspect is what I like to call ‘overhashtagging.’ I’m pretty sure that’s not a word, but it is in my dictionary. #Have #you #ever #read #a #tweet #like #this? #Probably #not #because #its #so #annoying. I’ve spoken to Twitter users regarding hashtag use and come across research that noted readership (and engagement) drops after 2 – 3 hashtags. Of course, it’s not just on Twitter; we’ve all seen photos maxing out the 30 hashtag limit on Instagram. As my mom always says, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. #justsaying

In summary, hashtags have good and bad qualities like most things in life. They can be used correctly or abused as some of the pros and cons below show.

Pros

  • gain new followers, fans, subscribers and possibly customers
  • have a conversation online
  • bring event attendees into the conversation, including pre- and post-event
  • integrate online and offline marketing efforts
  • help a campaign go viral

Cons

  • new followers may be temporary or fake
  • aesthetically unpleasing
  • overuse is distracting / hard to read
  • overuse lowers readership / engagement
  • get lost in the sea of popular hashtags

I came across an insightful comment by Daniel Victor, social media staff editor at The New York Times, which sums up my opinion of hashtags well.

“Here’s where I’ll join the rest in unquantifiable hoodoo: I believe hashtags are aesthetically damaging. I believe a tweet free of hashtags is more pleasing to the eye, more easily consumed, and thus more likely to be retweeted (which is a proven way of growing your audience). I believe for every person who stumbles upon your tweet via hashtag, you’re likely turning off many more who are put off by hashtag overuse. We need not banish the hashtag, but let’s start putting more thought into when we’re using it.”

Your Thoughts

What do you think? Are you a hashtag user or recovering abuser? Refuse to use them?

Have hashtags been beneficial to your business? Or hurt your online brand?

Please chime in with your thoughts on the wonderful, wacky world of hashtags! Feel free to link to articles, blog posts, studies, etc. (including your own) on the subject in the comments as well.

Additional Reading

#EnjoytheWeekend!

Jaime

p.s. Sunday, June 30th, is Social Media Day 2013! Join CCC as we celebrate (virtually) the power of social media in our lives. View the event invite for details and social media resources.

Join the conversation: 
Facebook logo  Twitter bird icon  Instagram  Pinterest logo   LinkedIn_Logo60px

Why do you want to be a silhouette?

Jaime Shine | Clearly Conveyed Communications Twitter Profile

It’s the first thing that makes me second guess following you. If you can’t even add a profile picture—something, anything—I really question the value of your tweets. Of course, there’s debate on what works best as an avatar; but first, you need a profile pic. Period.

I realize this is basic knowledge, and one of the first things you learn when deciding to use social media. So why do so many people still want to be a silhouette? 

No Photo on Twitter Profile

Include a picture on your Twitter profile. Don’t be a silhouette!


A little history…
Twitter changed to its current default avatar in late March 2017 to encourage users to upload a photo. The previous default avatar, an egg, debuted in September 2010. Previously, the micro-blogging platform used a strange, pseudo face with a brown background followed by a bird. I’m always amazed at the uproar that follows a default avatar update. Why not just customize your avatar?

previous default Twitter avatar     previous default Twitter avatar     egghead avatar on Twitter

I get it. I’m not photogenic and would much rather be behind the camera. However, your face, logo or place of business is as much a part of your brand—personal or business—as your tweets. Let people put a face with a name and establish more of a connection with you. Add a little warmth to the oftentimes cold, digital world.

Jaime Shine | Clearly Conveyed Communications Twitter Profile

Personally, I would recommend a head shot. It doesn’t have to be formal or professionally taken; just make sure it sends the vibe that you want your audience to receive. I do change up my profile picture from time to time, but I do have the same picture on nearly every social platform. I recognize that I have different audiences on different platforms, but I want them to recognize me (and my business) if we connect on various platforms.

If you absolutely refuse to use a head shot, then at least use your logo, place of business or something that is meaningful to you. Remember, your profile picture is one of the best ways to make a first impression. Plus, it’s a good way to continue to build a relationship after meeting someone at a networking event or business function. Be recognizable! Don’t be a generic silhouette.

What’s in a social media profile? Everything.

Avatar Feedback

What are your thoughts on social media avatars?

Do you use a default avatar on any social network? If so, why?

Does a default avatar affect your impressions of someone?

Chime in… let’s discuss!

Not a silhouette,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about your avatar, social media marketing efforts or otherwise): 

Say Hello: How To Make Connections With Your Social Media Profiles

Utilize your social media cover photos to share your message.

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.

Jaime Shine | Clearly Conveyed Communications Twitter 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.

Include your contact information on your social media profiles.

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.

Grab attention with your social media cover photo!

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.

Your turn…

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!
Jaime

Let’s chat (about your social media profiles, social media marketing needs or otherwise):