Don’t be a goof! Tips on creating powerful social media profiles.

The stupid selfportraitFirst impressions are important. When using social media sites for your business, you have a great opportunity to present yourself to millions of online viewers…make it count! Like it or not, people’s impression of you will be a factor in their decisions to befriend you on social networks.

1. Choose a professional picture.

If you want people to take you seriously, have a quality head shot picture. There are different opinions on this but I think it’s best to try to use the same picture on all social media sites to develop your brand so that people can easily associate you with your service or product.  You want people to know and recognize your brand instantly.  A face shot, with eye contact and a smile is the best approach.

Tips:

  • Extreme close-up can be scary.
  • Blurry pictures look unprofessional.
  • Too much skin will attract the wrong people (unless that’s what you want).
  • Avoid pictures with you drinking alcohol, goofy look, kids or pets in picture (unless you’re marketing strategy involves kids or pets).
  • Avoid using your business logo as your profile picture (I see a lot of this both on twitter and Facebook). Social media is about connecting with people and people want to know that there is a person behind the corporate image.

2. Write an interesting biography.

You should include what your business is and what you have to offer. You should have clear message so that people know who you are and what you do at a glance.  Different social media sites have different ways of presenting a person’s profile, make sure you pay attention to details and fully take advantage of the space and tools provided.

Tips:

  • Don’t use a sales pitch in your bio.
  • Tell a story and be creative.
  • Twitter: You have 160 characters to impress the world.
  • Facebook: With the new Facebook profiles, emphasis is on personal details. Check out these amazing and creative profile pictures from reface.me. If you’re going to use Facebook for your business, then you’ll have to decide what you are willing to share through your privacy settings. You should at least make your website and workplace visible to everyone. When using Facebook in your marketing strategy, a business page is a must (not a group or community page). It will give you more flexibility and is much more effective than simply having a personal profile (you still need a personal profile). Don’t forget that pages are indexed by search engines.
  • LinkedIn: According to LinkedIn, users with 100% complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. What makes your profile complete?
  1. Your current position
  2. Two past positions
  3. Your education
  4. Your profile summary
  5. A profile photo
  6. Your specialties
  7. At least three recommendations

3. Optimize your profile for each site.

  • Twitter: Picture standard size is 73 by 73 pixels.
  • Facebook: Although you can go slightly bigger, Facebook has previously announced new profile picture size to be 180 by 540 pixels (down from 200 x 600).
  • LinkedIn: You picture should be no larger than 80 pixels by 80 pixels.

4. What else to include.

  • Link to business website
  • Email address
  • Links to all other social networks
  • Key words

Do you have creative examples of social media profiles? Share them in the comment box below!

Image source: Daniel Horacio Agostini via Compfight

Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »