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10 Actions Small Businesses Can Take To Look More Professional on Social Media

Did you know that there are more than 1.79 billion people that are active on social media? If you want to look more professional on social media then read on….

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.

Great social media profiles are essential 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 using a more corporate image may be the best way to go.

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. 

It Started with a Tweet…..

Then:

One day, after signing up for a Twitter account, my perception of social media changed. 

I signed up for a Twitter account because it seemed like the EASIEST social media network to use.  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.  

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!!!!

(60 thousand) 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

Ss in your first and last name to all of your profiles. 

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….

 

KimGTwitterPic

>>> 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:

 

DesignYourOwnBlog Bio

>> 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:
Marie Forleo Facebook Cover

>>> 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.    

Canva Graphic Templates

>>> 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:

Rebekah Radice 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

BONUS CHECKLIST: Brand + Create your social media profiles like a PRO with this 10 Step Checklist. Click here to Download the Checklist now.

Free Checklist: the 10-Step Social Media Profile Audit 

Enter your name and email address to get this 10 step checklist sent straight to your inbox!

Kim
 

Kim, YourChicGeek is a tech savvy diva + founder of YourChicGeek.com. She is passionate about teaching small biz's how to create a web presence for growth + impact. Kim has created several online courses that help small businesses grow and flourish online. You can contact Kim to hop on a quick 15 minute call to chat about your online marketing goals.

  • Venessa Baez

    Hi Kim! I think your article is a great resource for those looking to boost their reach through social media. Great post.

    • Hello there Vanessa. I am so super grateful that you’ve stopped by to comment and am glad that you found the content useful. Cheers and wishing you a great week!

  • Thanks for the great reminders, Kim. Lots of good stuff here!

    • Hello there Kathy! Why thank you sooo much. Glad that you enjoyed the post.

  • Kim,

    Great information on social networks. I have done most of those things but there are a few that I am going to go back and do.

    I have not been very good about using social media in the recent past and am trying to get going again.

    This post was a great reminder to me of what I need to go and do. I know I need to update many of my cover images because they are either personal or out dated.

    I am in the process of getting a new picture of myself which I will start to use. The one I am using is about 4 years old so I should really replace it with a new one.

    Great post and lots of really good information.

    Dee Ann Rice

    • Hey hey heyyyy there Dee Ann! So very nice of you to drop by to comment. Glad that you liked the blog post. 🙂

      I am a hugeee proponent of using social media these days…especially for networking and branding.

      You wouldnt believe how many opportunities have opened up as a result of using these networks and reallyyy building relationships with folks. I wish you all of the best in your social endeavors. I would love to also know if any of the changes and resources mentioned make a difference for ya.

      Take care…and wishing you a grand week!

  • Hello Kim,

    Thank you for this very important post as you raised some issues that I had completely overlooked when it comes to optimizing our social media presence.

    First impressions are absolutely so critical and an essential part of our branding strategy must take this into account. I have branded myself as The Village Marketer but now after reading your great article I realize that this does not say what I do. Will need to do something about this.

    I always end all my blog comments with the sentence “Best wishes from a remote Thai village blogger” and this has in fact resulted in some emails and contacts simply based on my unusual location. I guess thats branding as well.

    Thanks for the simple gem of an idea re doing a search for relevant hashtags in my niche. To be honest I have not really got my head around the importance of hashtags so this is my big take away from your post today.

    Thanks again Kim for sharing your experise – greatly appreciated

    Best wishes from a remote Thai village blogger

    Peter

    • Heyyyy there Peter!!! How are you bud? I’m sooo thankful and grateful that you have gotten a big takeaway from the post regarding hashtags.

      When it comes to social media marketing, they are super duper important for “social search”. Another tip that I will leave you with is to use them in your social media posts as well.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment my friend. Wishing you a fantabulous week 🙂

      • Thanks for the extra tip Kim. always have something special to share and say – awesome indeed.

  • Hey Kim,

    Well you’re spot on with what you shared here regarding social media.

    You definitely need to be very consistent on all of the platforms you’re on because you definitely don’t want to confuse people when they visit one profile and it says something totally different from another one they just visited. I know when I’m updating things I do my best to just hit one right after the other.

    Social media has opened a lot of doors for me too so I definitely know it’s power. Congrats on that tweet, mention and connection right out of the gate. And this my friends is the true power of what can happen when you generate awesome content that others want to share.

    Bravo Kim, thanks for sharing this and of course you KNOW I’ll be sharing it as well.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend. It’s almost upon us now.

    ~Adrienne

    • Adrienneee! Hello my fellow #Texan! Thank you soooo much for the comments on the blog post. I hope that I am helping others to understand the importance of just simply looking your best on social media….:-)

      Wishing you all of the best this week as well and thank you for all of your continued support.

  • Hi Kim.

    How are you?

    More than 1.79 billion people active
    on Socia media, wow!

    We did not know this, thanks for
    sharing.

    We are a married couple from Mumbai,
    India, new to blogging, in fact we started our blogging venture only in the first
    week of January 2016.

    We are very interested in knowing how
    to use social media to promote our blog and we are sure that these tips you
    have provided, are sure to help us.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Best wishes and regards.

    • Heyy there Vee! Woo Hoo….so glad that you and your wife are jumping on the social media train. Believe me, social media is a powerful communication channel that I think that every blogger and more specifically small business should use to market and promote their brands.

      Wishing you all of the best 🙂

  • Yusuff Busayo

    Hi, Kim,

    Found your blog through Sherman Smith’s blog. Thanks a lot for commenting on my guest post there.

    I love your blog; the branding and all. Good work, Kim.

    it’s great to use the same photo on all platforms.

    I have seen a couple beginners use different photos across all platforms. This doesn’t create brand consistency and would likely make it difficult for your prospects to even understand you.

    And I totally resonate with all the other points. Back when I still treated social media like trash, I didn’t care much about using beautiful cover images, but now, I noticed that counts much and made the change.

    Thanks for the tips, Kim. I’ll be sure to share and keep in touch.

    Yusuff Busayo

    • Heyyy there Yusuff!

      Thanks for dropping by my friend. Yes, you are sooooo right about brand consistency. It plays a hugeee part in branding online especially for social media platforms.

      Thanks for the compliment on the branding as well too. 🙂 Cheers and have a great week Yusuff!

  • Hi Kim,

    I’m glad we connected through that new mastermind group of ours.

    I think that if we have a business, whether it’s online or offline, it’s crucial to have a presence on social media.

    I am not as active on social media as I would like to, but it’s really the best way to promote ourselves and our business.

    A news that surprised me, which I heard not too long ago, is that Twitter is going down and they are predicting a decline of subscribers on twitter within the next couple of years. I was wondering what you thought of that?

    Great post,

    ~Sylviane

    • Hey there Sylviane! Sooo glad that we are connected as well via our mastermind group and thanks so much for commenting on the post.

      You should def get out there and get active on social media. I cannot tell you how many doors of opportunity have opened as a result of networking and getting to know other peers on social networks.

      To your question regarding Twitter: I am going to continue to keep using Twitter until they shut it down. It is by far one of the most powerful platforms that I’ve used so far for this brand.

      Additionally, it’s not the only network that I have a social presence on. I am pretty active on Google Plus and some other social networks so there are def an abundance of alternative channels that I can use to continue to promote and grow this brand.

      Thanks sooo much for stopping by and showing some love. 🙂

  • Hi Kim!

    Great points for social media. Having universal branding across all platforms is key to customer confidence and brand recognition. I love this! Profile banners like facebook and twitter, as well as always writing your website/blog link where you can is the best and easiest way to get started! Speaking of… I really need to up my Twitter game, haha!

    • Hellooo Amber! Thanks so much for your commentary on this post chica. Yes, brand consistency is the key. Its something that I’ve learned over the years as a blogger and entrepreneur active on social networks. 🙂