How Can I Create an Effective Social Media Profile?

Creating a social media profile shouldn’t be hard. After all, you have just a small amount of space  to fill. But it’s common to draw a blank when faced with all those empty boxes. You have a lot to share, but what portion of it should you put there? Here are some ideas for creating a social media profile that works for your business:

The Right Image

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this definitely applies to Internet profiles. Remember, when a person reads your profile online, he doesn’t have the benefit of looking into your eyes or judging the firmness of your handshake like he would in person. As such, you have to use your profile to make an impression. How can you do so? Start by including a professional-looking headshot, and be sure to smile. And no matter how messy your desk looks or how much you love your children, keep the clutter and the kids out of the profile image you use for business networking.

Use a photo that shows your best smile. Victoria Beckham gets away with pouting and scowling in photos, but you can’t. A professional headshot lends your profile credibility, and your smile makes you look approachable and friendly. Don’t risk turning potential clients and business owners off with anything less.

Contact Information

This may seem a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to learn how many people forget to make their contact information easily visible. You want to make it as simple as possible for interested parties to contact you about your business, so don’t bury your information. Put your email address and phone number front and center. Provide the link to your website as well. If you keep regular business hours, list them, so prospects will know when to contact you.

Description

Provide an upbeat, easy-to-understand description of your business. People who view your social media profile should be able to read your brief description and get a good idea of what you have to offer them. Write your description in terms of benefits for your prospects. Avoid talking too much about you and how great you are, and focus more on how your business will make your client’s life or business better. If you have enough space, include your mission statement in addition to a description of your business. Be careful, however, about using too much technical jargon in your description. The average person should be able to figure out what you do without getting a headache. Last but not least, include a call to action. If you want your audience to contact you right away, be sure to say so.

Links

Your profile is no place to put links to your best friend’s site or that great information you read last week. This is the place to include links to your business website or online portfolio. If you have more than one site or many samples of work available for inclusion, make sure you post only the very best in your profile. Additionally, you may find it beneficial to include a link to updated information related to your business. For example, if you tweet on a regular basis, make it easy for your clients and prospects to find you on Twitter.

Personality

Inject your social media profile with some personality. Though your profile is meant for business, a personal touch adds appeal. Add something of interest about you or include your personal motto. Add a creative line of text you came up with or a brief boast about an interesting achievement. Your personal tidbit could be about your new pilot’s license, the fact that you speak four languages or your commitment to a particular charity. The point is just to add something that makes people remember you and helps you stand out among the competition. Just stay away from taboo topics like sexuality and politics.

What does your social media profile say about you and your business? How do you leverage it effectively?

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Christina Strickland

Vice President at Crackerjack Marketing
As Vice President of Crackerjack Marketing, Christina works closely with clients to develop and execute world-class social media strategies and creative influencer marketing programs. Her mantra is “measure, measure, measure!” because size really does matter - at least when it comes to growing her clients’ social media presences.
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