Are your social media profiles hitting all the marks? Do you feel like maybe you are leaving too much social opportunity on the table? Not sure where or why you are losing ground to your competitors online?
Follow these steps to set up your social media profiles in a professional manner and maximize your impact when people look for and find you online.
Select a consistent username. Ideally, this will be your name or brand. Do not select something you like, such as ShoppingCart197. Use your full name or brand when you can. Your username typically is also the URL of your social profile.
https://www.instagram.com/iamlichtman or https://www.twitter.com/iamlichtman for instance. Ideally, you want to keep your username the same across all the social networks. That brand consistency is huge.
For Facebook, set up a business page, not just a personal profile. For example, your Facebook page username would be https://www.facebook.com/iamlichtman to keep people on your branded page. This is better than allowing people access to your personal profile. Keep a separation between your business and life.
Select a secure password. PASSWORD is not a password!! You are not Deadpool. Ideally, this password will be a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols that are impossible for anyone to guess. Don’t use an easily guessable password such as your last name or your birthday. Tools like LastPass are here for a reason, consider using one if you have trouble remembering passwords or just want to keep everything organized. Also never use the SAME PASSWORD over multiple accounts. That is just asking to be hacked.
Upload a professional headshot or your brands logo. Hire a photographer to take your headshot and ensure that it’s professional looking. Don’t use an illustration, graphic, landscape, or family photo as the headshot. Unless it actually depicts who you are. Make a clever illustration of yourself it can be a great way to get more eyeballs, especially for people who work in the arts realm.
Upload a cover photo. Your cover photo is the landscape photo that sits behind your profile photo. The default image is always garbage. If possible, include your slogan that describes what your brand is about on the cover photo. Take that shot at showing your value when you have it. If you don’t know Photoshop or have someone at your disposal to help Canva is a great tool that makes it easy to add text to photos.
FYI – on Facebook, you can also upload a video in place of your cover photo. This could be an opportunity for you to talk about your brand and the specific ways that you help people, share a moment of your live performances, show a behind the scenes moment. Or spin plates, that’s up to you.
Thoroughly fill out your “About” section. Include website links and your bio / company description. Talk specifically about how you help people. What problems do you SOLVE? Also, if you have enough space (and this depends on the social network), tell the story of your business and how you arrived at where you currently are.
Enter all your contact information. This should include your business email (not personal), website, business phone number, business address, and links to any other social media profiles that you have. If you are a consultant or run a business from your home, I would consider omitting your home address and use a post office box as an alternative.
Enable two-factor authentication to keep your profile safe. Two-factor authentication requires two distinct factors, such as a password and a pin from a text message, in order to login. Enabling two-factor authentication keeps your profile from being hijacked by hackers and in this day and age it’s worth the extra moment to login. One of my favorite bands recently had their Instagram hacked. They did not have 2FA on at the time and it took them the better part of a week to recover and fix the damage done. It could have been avoided!
Adjust your privacy settings so that everyone can see your account. Because your goal is to build your brand, you want as many people as possible to be able to see your account. Don’t keep it set to private. Allow anyone to see your profile and posts.
That should get most social profiles humming like a machine. Now if you are on LinkedIn or YouTube here are 2 additional strategies you can implement on your profile today that will help gain extra traction.
- Enter your complete work experience (LinkedIn). Enter all the dates of your previous jobs, as well as the job you are currently employed by. Make sure to enter your education, as well as any awards that you have received. If you have been published in any high-profile newspapers / magazines / video or audio media remember to add those as well. This is your place to show off. Take advantage of EVERY field LinkedIn has to offer. Make that profile ALL-STAR or bust. Request and give recommendations to people as well. It helps build social proof that people know and trust your work.
- Upload a channel trailer (YouTube). A channel trailer is a brief video that explains what your channel is all about. It is a fantastic place to talk about what you do and how you help people. Do not forget to mention what people can expect to learn from subscribing to your channel.
Working with these basic ideas on how to build your social media profiles should help get you out of the gate and putting your best foot forward.
Remember when creating business profiles, they are about your business and not you. Keep anything divisive off your business profiles. No obtuse opinions unless they are about business. Put your value on display and use it to build trust with people who are just learning about your brand.