Latest great post by Gus Ryan for us. See more articles by him here.

Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

In the real world you often hear things like ‘You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression’.
That’s why it’s so important, especially in a business encounter or meeting that you put the proverbial best foot forward. This means you also need to optimize your social media profiles.
Sylvie Di Gusto is a world renowned image consultant. She believes you have just 7 seconds to make a positive first impression.

“The professional imprint occurs within seven seconds. It’s quick and indelible. Some studies suggest it takes three seconds or eleven seconds, and they delineate different characteristics you are judged on. The exact length of time doesn’t matter. What matters is that this happens automatically in our brains—no matter whether we are aware of it, no matter if we find it fair or not, and no matter if under our shabby clothes we have the soul of Mother Theresa.”

Sylvie Di Gusto

However…

Sometimes you don’t get the luxury of a face-to-face meeting to own those 7 seconds. Sometimes, people think they know you even if they haven’t met you. The actress Kristen Stewart had an interesting take on what celebrity has done to her brand and her ability to make a first impression… “The strangest part about being famous is you don’t get to give first impressions anymore. Everyone already has an impression of you before you meet them.”

Based on her roles, interviews, chat show appearances some people have decided if they like her or not regardless or whether they’ve met her or not. The internet has blown both the customer journey and the personal/corporate brand wide open. For the customer journey – shoppers now consult 10 to 12 information sources before a purchase and much of these are online. 80% of the customer journey is completed before ever encountering the product, talking to a sales rep or turning up in a physical store.

For the personal/corporate brand – people will Google you, check your Facebook page, view your LinkedIn profile to see about qualification, visit your website, survey product comparison websites and read reviews related to your product/service/work.

Treat your online presence the same as your offline presence.

I know if I’m meeting a person or business, I’ll Google them and check out their website if they have one, look at their LinkedIn profile and maybe have a quick scan of their Twitter feed. Equally after a meeting I’ll probably do all of the above either again and do the same for the people I’ve just met for the first time. So, when considering your first impression, think about what impression you make with your online presence.

Given that social media is both where we spend a lot of our daily internet time and is ‘top of the sales funnel’, this blog post is dedicated to getting your social profile right. I’ll concentrate on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can use these to sign up to a lot of other social media channels so it’s important you have these nailed down. In general, these apply to all social profiles and are pretty standard pieces of information.

ONE – Own your Name

First things first, you need to secure your digital properties. If you’re starting from scratch you can use NameChk.com or KnowEm.com to check to see whether your name has been taken for a domain or for a social media profile already.
If it’s available you should register the domain and claim it on the big social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and any others you think you might use).
If you are claiming a name make sure it is your actual name or business name or a close abbreviation.
Social media profiles will turn up close to the top of a SERP (search engine results page) so if your profile name is close to a likely search term, you’ll get a double whammy.

Adobe Spark (1)

Make sure you customize your link to something like https://www.linkedin.com/in/gusryan100 instead of https://www.linkedin.com/in/jh435hb435hbeffhbujrbf

TWO – Profile Picture

If it’s a personal account you should have a head-shot-esque picture. It doesn’t have to be a professional one but it should be a clear ‘head and shoulders’ of you so people know what you look like. Don’t forget to smile… I did 🙁
If you’re a solopreneur or the figurehead of your business use a head-shot photo for your company accounts rather than a logo. You can add the logo to a header image.

my twtitter

If it’s a big corporate account you can use your logo or a recognisable emblem for your business.
If you don’t have a logo or picture … Get one. Fast. You’ll be able to use them across all your profiles.

THREE – Header Image

The header image in your social profile is the cheapest (free) billboard advertising you’ll ever have. A nice picture will go a long way. However, you can create custom images to promote a product or service or campaign your running. You can also include words in your header image that are a clear call to action.
On Ian Cleary’s RazorSocial Facebook page his header image is highlighting a piece of content he’s pushing at the moment. He also has an arrow pointing to the button you can push to ‘learn more’. This brings you to a landing page where in exchange for your email you can download the piece of content.

ian cleary facebook

Canva is a pretty good tool for creating images and the have header templates for most social media channels.

FOUR – Bio/Description/Summary Info

Your Bio Info is both your elevator pitch and a place you can put keywords to help you appear in searches both within the channel and in SERP’s. For example, instead of using words like ‘small business owner’ or ‘industrial company’ you could use more searchable terms like ‘low cost insurance provider’ or ‘Multiwall Polycarbonate Plastic Solutions Manufacturer’… I have no idea what the last one is but I bet if someone is looking for that plastic solution they wouldn’t use ‘industrial company’ as the search term.

In Twitter, you can also include #Hashtags and other social profiles in the bio info too.
Here’s a good example of a LinkedIn profile. You can see that Melonie doesn’t describe herself as CEO of Topdog Social Media, which would yield a narrow set of search results. Rather, her bio has keywords pertaining to the work she is doing.

melonie linkedin

Facebook has a short description and a long description. You should fill out both.
The more complete your profile the more chance you have of getting found in searches especially in native.

FIVE – Links

Most social media profiles give you the option to include a link to your website.
This doesn’t have to be a link to your home page. It could be used to promote a specific piece of content or to take people to a landing page to convert a lead into a sale or for email capture.
LinkedIn allows you to add three links in your contact details in your profile. But it also allows you add links to rich media (audio, video, page links) in different sections of your profile page – Summary, Experience, Projects.
Facebook has included a ‘Call to Action’ button on business Pages. Remember – On Ian Cleary’s RazorSocial Facebook page his ‘Learn More’ call to action button brings you to a landing page where in exchange for your email you can download the piece of content.

SIX – Location

Location has become increasingly important in Google searches. Google SERP’s will give preference to local businesses where applicable.
Searching by location is also possible in some social media channels.

People want a convenient solution, hence location is becoming more important…

local google

 

But an online search doesn’t mean the transaction will be completed online…

google 10

Equally, if the search was conducted on mobile and a local solution was found, the searcher will probably show up sooner rather than later.

local search

SEVEN – Advertise your channels

Once you have your social profiles filled out and you have some posts regularly flowing through the feeds make sure you draw attention to them where ever possible.
• Have clear and prominent icons on your website
• Link to your profiles in your other social profiles – LinkedIn allows you include your Twitter and Facebook profile links
• Use your channels to draw awareness to your other social profiles – Tweet about the good stuff you are doing over on Instagram. Or a common one now is to use your Snapchat Ghost/Code as your profile picture on Twitter or Facebook.
• Include clickable links to your social profiles in your auto-email signature
• Include your profile addresses on your business card and printed marketing material – it helps if you’ve customised your profile link
In truth, there is no limit to where you can squeeze in your social profiles. If you encounter any blank space you need to fill… why not stick a link/icon/address of your social profiles.

Eight – Etiquette

Sometimes people get fixated on the social MEDIA bit and forget about the SOCIAL media side of things.
I did a comprehensive blog post on social media etiquette called ‘The Coffee Shop Approach to Social Media’. It outlines some common sense do’s and don’t’s for social media account management.
You can read the post here and I’ve summarised the main points below
• Turn up regularly
• Know your audience
• Listen
• Think before you speak/post
• Converse – don’t forget to be social
• Solve problems/Add value
• Build relationships not numbers
• Migrate your engaged audience off social media
Basically, lots of common sense and you’ll be fine

What did I miss?

Have you any top tips you’d like to share about social media? Did you learn a lesson the hard way? Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.
If you’d like to book a consultation on how to get better results through social media for your company, get in touch today. You’ll find all my contact details HERE.
And, of course, connect with me on social media if you like… I’m probably on Twitter the most @GusRyan100
Thanks for reading.


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