Did you know that there are more than 1.79 billion people that are active on social media?
Yes, you read that correctly. There are a ton of people that are jumping aboard the social media train these days.
Chances are, you’re currently one of two people: you’re a new small business owner that wants to create a presence on the web for your business + use social media networks to promote and market your business.
Or, you’re already active on social media platforms but want to find more ways to stand out from others competing in your space.
Either way, no matter where you are in your journey, setting up your social media profiles the right way is super important to establishing your brand and boosting credibility on the web.
The Importance of Looking Professional on Social Media for Your Small Business
You ever hear of the term “first impressions are lasting impressions”? Well, your social media profiles are no exception.
If you are planning to use social media for personal use, then using a casual photo is the way to go.
However, if you are using social media for business purposes (and I am going to assume that you are) then looking the part is important.
So here’s the thing. I know that a lot of people think that social media is just a place to post pictures of puppies and unicorns (and that is completely okay if you do) 🙂
Heck, just a few years ago, I was one of those people.
I thought that using social media was a COMPLETE waste of time and that there was no point in using it for business purposes. Then one day, my perception of social media changed and I really started to take it seriously and get my profiles set up the right way.
I signed up for a Twitter account + threw up a shabby looking profile cover because it seemed like the easiest social network to use at the time. I created a profile there, tweeted out a blog post that I had published and that was it. Queue the crickets
Well what happened next totally blew me away.
A columnist from the New York Times (yep you read that correctly) — had actually retweeted one of my posts out to all of his followers (60K) of them to be exact!
Not only did he retweet the post, but he also cited the post on the New York Times Small Business blog! #HappyDance
And best of all, guess how much it cost me? Absolutely zero in marketing dollars. That my friends is the sheer power of having a social media presence + sharing content on there.
Why Social Media Matters + A Few Reasons Why You Should Create Profiles for Your Small Business
Having multiple social media accounts means that it is easier for potential customers to find you online and also helps you:
- Establish a recognizable brand + presence for your small business
- Become recognized as an authority and expert in your industry
- Build relationships with peers in your industry
- Reach potential customers
- Drive traffic back to your website and get more visibility for your business
10 Tips for Looking More Professional on Social Media
Just as in “real-life” you are judged by your appearance online. When someone lands on your social media accounts, you want to give the absolute first impression possible.
Here are some suggestions for doing so:
1. Add your name — as in your first and last name to all of your profiles. (Time: 10 – 15 Minutes)
You don’t want to add any nicknames (BookyBear or HotChick81) — that does not read professional at all. Besides, adding your name to your social media profiles makes it easier for people looking for you to find you.
>>> Your Action Item: Add the name that you want to be found under to all of your social media profiles
2. Add a professional photo of yourself.
As stated initially, my guess is that you are planning to use social media for your small business.
As such, it would behoove you to add a professional photo of yourself to all of your profiles.
Why? Well for several reasons: brand consistency and also for brand recognition.
Besides, think of this way: if a business associate or a potential client were to view your photo, would they be turned off or would they want to learn more about your business?
The picture below is the one that I use for all of my social media profiles….
>>> Your action Item: Get a professional photo taken and add to all of your social media profiles
3. Create a username that accurately represents your brand.
Your username should be closely tied to your brand /small business name.
This makes it easy for people to find you under your business name — in case they are not able to locate you by name.
You should also use the same username or variation of that username on all of your social media profiles — again for brand consistency.
As an example: My brand is YourChicGeek
On all of my social profiles, there is some variation of YourChicGeek added:
Twitter — YourChicGeek81
Instagram — YourChicGeek
>>> Your action item: Create a username tied to your brand and add it to all of your social media networks
4. Add a brand statement to your social media profiles + use it consistently.
I have to be honest here, I didn’t fully understand the importance of creating a consistent brand statement on all of my active social media profiles, but now I do.
Your brand statement or mini bio just simply states what you do and who you do it for.
Here is an example of an excellent bio/brand statement by Marianne of designyourownblog.com via Twitter:
>> Your Action Item: Create a brand statement/tagline that describes what you do and who you do it for. Add it to all of your social media profiles.
5. Create branded social media profile covers.
Again, for brand consistency and a professional and polished look online, it is a good idea to invest in having professional covers created for your social media profiles.
If you don’t have a ton of money to spend or any graphic design experience, you can use a free resource like Canva or enlist the graphic design expertise from designers on Fiverr to create your covers for your business.
Marie Forleo’s Facebook profile is an example of a well branded and well designed one:
>>> Your Action Item: Create branded profile covers for all of your social networks.
6. Use the correct dimensions for all of your social media profile covers.
From cover photos to profile images, every social network has specific requirements and guidelines that you will need to follow.
However, the thing I love about using Canva is that they design templates that you can use with all of the correct dimensions and sizes for all of the major social networks.
>>> Your Action Item: Make sure that you are using all of the correct sizes and dimensions for all of your profile covers.
7. Add links to your website or blog on all of your profiles.
To drive traffic and visitors back to your website, blog — or for that matter any page that you want people to see, you should add the appropriate URL to all of your social profiles.
>>> Your Action Item: Add a valid URL to all of your social media profiles
8. Use Relevant Hashtags related to your industry on your profiles.
When you optimize your profiles, content, and updates with hashtags, they become more visible to others on social media platforms..
As an example, if you are a Small Business Coach, you could use #SmallBusiness Coach in your brand statements, bio’s and even content.
Social media rockstar Rebekah Radice does an excellent job of this on her Twitter profile:
>>> Your Action Item: Search for relevant hashtags in your industry, and add them to your social media profiles.
9. Add your brand name to the URL’s of all of your social media profiles
Again, this goes back to creating a consistent brand across all of your social media profiles.
As an example, my brand is YourChicGeek, so I have setup the majority of all of my social media profiles and have added YourChicGeek in the URL’s or some variation of it.
So my profiles are setup like this:
My URL for Twitter: Twitter.com/yourchicgeek81
My Facebook URL: Facebook.com/yourchicgeek
My Pinterest URL: Pinterest.com/yourchicgeek
>>> Your Action Item: Create branded URLs for all of your social media profiles
10. Make sure that your profile can be viewed publicly.
So you’ve done all of the work to get your profiles set up on social media, now you it’s time to go live!
You will need to check make sure that your privacy settings are set to allow folks to view information about you and your business. Please be aware that these settings will vary from site to site, but nevertheless, it is very important to make sure they are set correctly.
>>> Your Action Item: Check your privacy settings on all of your social profiles to make sure that they are setup correctly.
Alrighty peeps, over to you. Are there any additional tips that you would like to share for looking more professional on social media?
If so, please feel free to add them below or let me know via Twitter
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