Is your social media profile hitting all the marks? Do you feel like maybe you’re leaving too much social opportunity on the table? Not sure where or why you are losing ground to your competitors online? The first step is to educate yourself on the basics, which are outlined below.
Take your time with the article and see which items you can action today in a few minutes, which you may need help with, and those that may not apply or you just don’t want to do.
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.facebook.com/rokstarlabs or https://www.twitter.com/rokstarlabs 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/rokstarlabs 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.
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/who you help on the cover photo. If you don’t know Photoshop or have someone at your disposal to help that’s ok… Canva is a great tool that makes it easy to add text to photos.
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.
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.
Protect Your Social Media Profiles
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 and you should seriously consider using this or a similar tool if you have trouble remembering passwords or just want to keep everything organized and more secure. Also never use the SAME PASSWORD over multiple accounts. That is just asking to be hacked.
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. Also remember it’s ok to block the crazies and curate your online experience. Afterall, it’s YOUR online experience and nobody else should be taking away from that… ever!
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 where you are currently employed. Make sure to enter your education and 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.
- YouTube Shorts – We live in a world now with short burst videos. TikTok started a lot of that push but many of us have existing YouTube channels with long form videos on it, often being overlooked and underappreciated. Re-shoot your most basic tips and thoughts into 15-20 second videos and upload them to YouTube Shorts. Best part is that people can now SUBSCRIBE to your channel via the shorts, thus increasing your channels reach. Great way to blow new wind in your sails for a channel getting a bit dusty.
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.
Please note this page is always evolving and I’m updating it when I can to help provide people with up-to-date tips on how to get the basics together for their social media profiles. Latest update on October 6th 2022.