5 Traits of Successful Social Media Profiles
A strong social media presence starts with a strong social media profile. Your profile pages often serve as first impressions for potential customers, clients, and donors, so it’s important to make them memorable and engaging.
And while there are a ton of social media networks available these days, each structured a little bit differently, there are a few key traits that all successful profiles share regardless of network.
To set your social media profiles up for success – and to ensure they make a strong, lasting impression on potential clients or donors – follow these five simple, battle-tested rules.
1. Make Your Social Media Profiles Public.
Making a profile private is like building a (completely unnecessary) wall between you and your clients or donors.
Requiring that people “request” to follow you adds a whole extra step to the process of connecting with you online – and that extra step is driving away followers who may otherwise have engaged with you.
Privacy settings also keep your content (photos, updates, tweets, etc.) hidden from non-followers, so if someone visits your profile they have very little idea of who you are and what you do. Without first seeing what kind of content you’re sharing, people are much less likely to hit “follow.”
If you’re keeping a business profile set to “private” in order to protect personal updates, I encourage you to create a separate, private account for your personal content and keep your business account public and biz-focused. It’s very easy to switch between multiple social media accounts on most platforms, so there’s no reason not to have a public business account and a private personal account at the same time.
The bottom line: Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for your customers or donors to connect with you – and that means eliminating unnecessary obstacles like private profile settings.
2. Use Consistent, Properly Sized Photos
Distorted, stretched out photos are no fun to look at. Keep your social media branding consistent by using the same images (with the same proportions so they don’t look squished!) across all of your social media profiles.
If you’re a business, use your logo as your profile photo on each network. If you have a long logo that won’t fit into the square format required by most networks, you may want to come up with a secondary, square logo with the same design elements to use across social channels.
If you’re your own personal brand, opt for a professional headshot. Consistent imagery makes it immediately clear that your profiles all belong to the same business or organization – and makes you more recognizable when followers from one network see another one of your accounts somewhere else!
3. Include Your Website Link and a Call-to-Action
Almost every platform has a designated space to link to your website from your profile page – so there are no excuses for a missing website URL! Be sure to include a link to your website in every social media profile you have.
To make your social media profiles work a little harder for you, though, don’t just link to your website’s home page. Direct social media followers instead to a special website page where you encourage visitors to take one specific action – like signing up for your email list or making a donation – rather than sending people to a home page with lots of links but no clear direction.
Asking people to take specific steps – a “Call to Action” or CTA – can dramatically increase engagement and give you a higher return on your social media investment.
4. Write Clear, Descriptive Bios
Think of your bio as your social media elevator pitch: a short-but-detailed introduction to your work.
In most cases, you have a limited number of characters available for your profile bio, so craft a clear but succinct description of your business or organization. Avoid vague phrases like “Changing the World Since 1981” and opt instead for specific information, such as “A nonprofit bringing 100 free meals each day to low-income neighborhoods through partnerships with local restaurants.”
New visitors should be able to tell immediately who you are and what you do. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for new followers to connect with you, understand your mission, and become your loyal, raving fans!
5. Use Similar Usernames Across Social Media Profiles
Just like consistent images, consistent usernames make it clear that your various social media profiles are all tied together. Make your usernames as similar as possible across all social platforms – and make sure your usernames are as close to your actual business or organization name as possible!
If you’re running a business called “Pete’s Pistachio Palace,” for example, you aren’t going to want a username like @PeterPumpkinEater. Choose a username that clearly reflects your business, and use an identical username across your other social media platforms whenever possible. If for some reason you do need to vary your handles a little (it happens!), just keep them as similar as you can (For example, @PetesPistachios and @Petes_Pistachios).
Some social media networks do have character limits for their usernames (Twitter cuts you off at 15 characters), so keep that in mind as you choose your social media usernames.
If you already have social media accounts, don’t worry! You can easily change your usernames on most social media accounts without losing any data or followers.
Want more step-by-step guidance as you get started with social media? Click here to sign up for my FREE 10-day Social Media Marketing Boot Camp Email Course and I’ll walk you through my practical, easy-to-implement marketing strategies!