You want to stand out
You want great people and prospects come looking for you
You want to be known
You want to make money
Social media does all of this. And it begins with a powerful social media profile that creates an instant impact. Your social media profile is one of the first things about you that people come across online. You want to make sure this impression lasts and makes them connect with you.
This post talks about social media profile best practices and will help you create such an impressive social media profile. Let’s start with getting the basics right.
1. Your username and URL
You get a username and an auto-generated profile URL when you sign up on most social networks. Usually, you cannot these details, so choose it carefully.
If it is your personal profile or you’re running a business under your name, the best is to go with your own name (for username, url and the name that appears publically on your profile).
If you own a brand, it’s more appropriate to keep the business brand name for the username, url and the name that appears on profile. Most of the social networks offer business pages to create business accounts. Prefer that.
If you’re the face of your brand, keep the username and url as your business name but let your own name appear on the profile.
Pro tip – Keep your details the same on all social networks. Use tools like Knowem to claim your business name in case you plan to use them later.
2. Your Profile Picture
Go for a latest, professional-looking happy headshot for your personal profile. If it if for a company, use your logo. In case you’re the face of your company, prefer your headshot.
Did you know that the first impressions of people in photographs influence the perception of those people even after interaction with them personally?
Make sure to keep the same photo across all social platforms for better and faster recognition.
3. Your Bio
Most social platforms have two areas to share your bio. The main profile usually has 1-2 sentences. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest showcase a short crisp bio.
After your name and picture, your bio will make the first and last impression. Think of it as your elevator pitch. What would describe best about you or your business in 5 seconds and 15 words?
For platforms like Linkedin, you have up to 2000 characters to write about what you offer and how you’re different. Talk about your recent achievements and how you can make a difference to someone’s life or business. Use this space to show more than your projects. Tell a story that inspires. Use a call to action.
Pro tip – Facebook pages and profiles have an about section. Use this section to rank higher in social search with a well-written bio.
Consider Reading – How to Write a Creative Social Media Bio
4. Your Interests (and other personal preferences)
Over 90% of the users do not fill up the additional details some of the social networks ask for. Those who fill up, they utilize it to attract more interested and genuine people in their networks, especially when they’re using social media for business purpose.
So what happens when you share about your favorite books, movies, and places?
You’re more likely to get like-minded connections, interesting conversations, and more value out of a new online association when these personality details are handy for someone keen to know about you for the first time. Needless to say, it adds to your credibility.
5. Your Cover Photo
A great cover photo adds personality to your profile. Use it to get attention to your business or speak about yourself, it goes far to personalize your page.
Few tips to create an impressive cover photo and background
- Prefer a focused image of lesser elements and few colors than a busy image of too many things and colors
- Write not more than 4-5 words to speak what you do or how you help.
- Share only one of your best contact details.
- Avoid wasting the space with your logo or brand name on the cover photo. Keep it minimal.
- Use tools like Canva, Quotescover etc. to use beautiful ready-made templates and edit them to your brand colors and scheme.
- Be creative, funny & different but clear. Don’t be too clever that people get clueless.
6. Your Activity & Timeline
Once you’re done with creating a great social media profile, what you do with this makes the difference. We use our social profiles for basically 5 things
- To build a new network and stay in touch with our existing network
- To post what we do and what we are up to
- To interact at interesting and useful conversations on timelines and in groups
- To build a reputation with meaningful contributions via groups and posts
- And to learn new things & get entertained at times
While most of the things you do remain private and work slowly in building your online presence, your timeline creates an instant impact on your network.
You need to make sure that you’re posting useful and meaningful things. You’re keeping a balance between sharing personal and business posts. Usually, a good ratio is 70% personal and 30% business if you’re using your personal profile and 30% personal and 70% business when it is a business page. Personalize and humanize your social accounts as much as you can.
Posting meaningful things consistently is more important than posting anything frequently.
Consider reading this – How to Avoid Becoming a Facebook Spammer
Pro tip 1: Contribute and interact on posts you like in your network. You got to be interested in others before you expect others getting interested in your content. You’re more likely to get engagement on your posts if you’re giving your time to read others.
A well-engaged timeline leaves a more powerful impression than an orphaned timeline with no or little engagement.
Pro tip 2: Work on your privacy settings so that you moderate and approve everything before it appears on your timeline. If you skip over this setting, your timeline is most likely to be stuffed with random posts from your network where you were tagged, ruining your image effortlessly.
7. Your Privacy Settings
Not just to remain and look sane, it’s important to work on your privacy settings to keep yourself safe and secure.
- Keep unique and secure passwords and enable two-factor authentification.
- Change your password every 3 months.
- Add “require” phone number or email for a password change.
- On platforms like Linkedin, turn off notification for profile updates.
- Enable stealth mode if you review others’ profiles frequently.
- Avoid keeping a private account if you’re using social media for business.
And lastly, do not post anything that can create an issue in the future. Trust your instincts.
- Consider reading this – How to Choose The Right Social Network for Your Business
12 Things That Make Your Profile Stand Out
1. Write in 1st Person
Unless this is your company business page or you’re a celebrity with a team managing your account, write your profile bio in 1st person. It shows that you’re taking ownership of your account and it makes you more approachable and trustworthy on social media.
Won’t you feel more comfortable sending a message or a note to someone who will read you instead of having your message go through 3 people before it reaches (or may not reach) the person intended?
2. Avoid Overused Industry Terms
This is a tough one. Can you write about yourself without using the overused and abused industry terms such as expert, Guru, creative, passionate etc.? Try writing. You’ll find your profile description clean, amazing and compelling.
Find your way simpler way to introduce yourself.
You’ll stand out!
3. Avoid Repetition
On social platforms like Linkedin where we have good space to talk about us, most of us become repetitive in summary, bio and job descriptions. Keep it short, to-the-point and useful. Nobody has all the time to read through those details when they’re only keen to scan you.
4. Practice Brevity
The power lies in the brevity.
If you have 300 words available, you don’t have to max it out. Nothing scares more than a long text full of paragraphs in a profile. People only SCAN. Make it easy for them.
Write only what makes sense, is essential and gives a quick idea of what you do and what makes you different. Rest, leave it to the conversations you’ll have after they connect to you.
5. Try Story-telling
Every business, career choice or yourself has a story behind. Nothing can beat an interesting story done within 3-4 sentences. It will not give the whole idea about you but it certainly will trigger the spark and make an instant impact.
It humanizes your brand and gives a glimpse of your personality.
If you can’t write a story, it’s okay. Just be to-the-point in your bio.
6. Be Direct
Never hesitate to talk about how you can make a difference in one’s life and how you have done already. If you don’t tell, they will never know. Be clear, simple and direct in stating what sets you apart from others. Share what makes you stand out.
If you breathe what you do, they will hire you.
7. Use Active voice
Over 80% of the people write in a passive voice without even knowing it.
Make a conscious effort to write in the active voice; be it your bio or your social media routine posts or comments. It denotes power and authority. The more you practice, the easier it becomes for you.
Moreover, anything in an active voice is easy to read, hear and fast to comprehend.
8. Make it Visually Appealing
A good looking bio is anytime better than a boring text-only bio. Give emotions and cool icons to your words. Don’t stuff it but just enough to make it look cool.
Apps such as Kika Emoji Keyboard and Textizer Font Keyboards might be helpful here.
9. Use Keywords
Keywords are not just for search engines. On social media, they are primarily for people to help scan the best and the most relevant as fast as possible. Use keywords that people are looking for. Use simple words over clever phrases and cliches.
10. Keep Your Social Media Bio Updated
We grow every day and we usually see significant progress every 6 months. Update your bio every 6 months for any major changes and achievements about your work or yourself.
A well-written and updated social media bio can do more good than you can imagine. Think of it as an effortless opportunity to let people evaluate you and see if you’re worth their time, trust and money.
11. Never Forget Call to Action
A great social media profile is never complete without a call to action. You’ll never get anything until you ask for it. Help and direct people about what you want them to do. What can be the next step? Share if you have a free give away to offer. Show them the next step.
12. Write from Your Heart
The mind can fool. The heart can’t lie. When you write every detail in your social media profile, ensure that YOU show. Be authentic and write what’s true. People can figure out everything, seriously. It can do serious damage to your image and you wouldn’t even know about it.
Few more concluding notes:
- Don’t forget to add your website or blog link
- Make sure you sound like an exciting and interesting personality
- Write more around what you can do instead of who you’re unless you’re a celebrity where people follow your name.
We’re building over 60% of our new connections and networks online. Your profile is your first impression. Make sure it counts.
Whether you’re starting out or already been here for a while, it’d be worth your time and effort to review these notes for a powerful social media profile.
Got any questions? Anything to add? I would love to see that in the comments. Bring it on!
Sunita Biddu is a digital business coach and power blogging mentor helping coaches and small business owners. She helps with building a strong and profitable online presence and reputation that creates a self-sustaining business. Sunita writes on this blog once a week about easy-to-use guides and articles about business, coaching, social media and blogging. You can grab some of her free resources and ebooks from the resources section.