How many times have you stumbled on a new social media profile and gone to the profile only to find very little information?
It happened to me the other day. I came across a Twitter profile. I loved the content the person was sharing. I wanted to find out where I could learn more about them so I looked at their profile, but didn’t find much information.
At that point I did some googling, but felt kind of annoyed about having to do that. I guess it’s not the person’s fault or anything like that. I’m the one that’s curious.
But if you’re looking to get the most out of your social profiles then it’s good to make sure your profiles are filled out in a way that provides followers with the information they want.
Here are some general tips for all social media sites and a few custom tips for popular sites.
Tip #1. Recent, Professional, Copy-Friendly Photo
I believe just about all social media sites have profile photos. It seems basic, but it’s important to have a photo of yourself that is recent if it’s a personal profile. If it’s a business profile then you want the most recent logo.
It seems obvious, but I’m guilty of this. I could update my photos on a few social profiles. It’s amazing how fast time can go by and before you know it your photo is a few years old and you look different.
People appreciate updated photos. They want to know what you look like right now so when you meet in person or if you have a video conference or something that they recognize you.
Also use professional photos. You can do pretty well with an iPhone, but I can’t really hold my phone still enough and my photos come out out-of-focus. And that can be distracting. There can also be weird things in the background and a whole mess of issues. Get it professionally done.
Finally, also make sure that the photo is copy-friendly. By that I mean that people can copy and paste and save the photo if they want to use it somewhere. That might seem weird, but it’s a good thing.
If you’re interviewed for an article, blog post, podcast or something like that the host will want a photo and social media is an easy place to get one, but only if the photo is large enough to use.
Tip #2. Clear Title & Description
I like simple, clear titles. When it comes to business or your professional title it’s important that someone knows what you do within about one second; possibly even shorter.
There are many titles that people can instantly understand. CEO, Owner, CFO, CMO, Manager, etc. etc. etc. But there are also some other titles that are very confusing. Senior Strategist is a little confusing. Chief Visionary is another odd one. There are a number of things that can confuse people and you want to avoid that. So find the title that best describes what you do so people instantly know.
Next comes the description and you want to do the same thing. You have a few more words to play with, but that can actually get you into more trouble.
There are a number of different ways to approach descriptions. LinkedIn gives you some pretty good space to fill out your descriptions. The ones I like are the ones that are in first-person. The person talks about what they do; specific tasks. They talk about a vision they have for their company or their work. They might share some information about themselves personally.
Basically I like the descriptions that mimic what you would tell someone if you were meeting them in person. If you tell someone what you do in person and they don’t understand then you have to tweak what you tell them. The same is true for your social profile descriptions. You want to make sure people understand what you do and that they aren’t confused or don’t have questions.
Tip #3. Appropriate Links
The link or links you have in your profile, depending on the site, are important because people looking at your profile are looking for certain information.
Usually, they’re just looking for your business website homepage if you’re the founder of a company. Here’s an example, for a personal blog I have I have reviews of new country songs. I often go to the artist’s Twitter page, grab their photo and look for the link to their website. But it’s not always there. If it’s not I have to google to find it and that’s not always easy.
I think it’s also important to use the actual URL and not a bitly or something like that. I like bitly as a service, but people have become suspicious of links in social profiles over the years. They can lead anywhere so those types of links can look suspicious and people often won’t click.
The best Facebook pages and profiles I see are the ones that are filled out really just as Facebook intends. Businesses have recent and professional photos. They have their hours listed. They have their address and location. There is a basic description that is clear and easy to understand. You can fill out a lot of info on Facebook and it really seems that the more you fill out all those areas and the more you keep them updated the easier it is to understand.
We’ve talked a bit about Twitter. Good photo. Clear description. Nothing too confusing or anything like that. A good link that isn’t a bitly or anything like that. It’s also good to list your location. Be proud of the city where you’re located. It can even endure you to others that are from your country, state or city.
Simple and clear title. I think that’s the most important along with a professional photo. LinkedIn is especially not a place for iPhone party photos or things like that. You have a bit more room for a good summary, but don’t get carried away. Talk about what you do for work. Explain it just as you wold if you were talking with someone new at a networking event or something like that. Talk a little about yourself, hobbies and things like that. Treat it like a real world introduction.
Filling out your social media profile can seem easy and relatively basic and unimportant. But it’s a critical component of your social experience and effort. If you’re looking to make connections and possibly drive business it’s important to take care of your profile and to audit your profiles from time to time. Follow the tips above and audit things every six months or so and you’ll be in good shape to make connections online just like you do in the real world.