In the wide and highly competitive world of social media marketing, it’s all too easy to get caught up in chasing the latest social media marketing trends and the busywork of posting content and maintaining your social media presence on numerous platforms. Ideally, you aren’t spreading yourself too thin for the sake of participating on each. After all, it’s better to commit to building an excellent presence on one platform than having inactive profiles on every platform. While embracing trends and engaging on each platform are important tactics in your social media marketing strategy, make sure you’re haven’t neglected one key aspect of your social media marketing campaign—the foundation of your social media presence: your social media marketing profiles.
The Power of Your Social Media Profiles
When you catch the attention of a new social media user, where do you think they go to decide whether they want to follow your account or just like the one post? The answer is your profile. When prospective customers are wondering whether to buy from you or hire you as opposed to one of your close competitors, what’s one of the three places they’ll check? Your social media profiles. And when a business alliance is considering partnering with you but wants to make sure your marketing content doesn’t contain anything that conflicts with their own marketing, where is one key place will they look? You guessed it: Your social media profile.
The Purpose of Your Social Media Profiles
Your social media marketing profiles help tell prospective customers and alliances who you are and whether or not you are established, active in your marketplace and approachable. Your social media marketing profiles are like a virtual handshake and elevator pitch, so you want to take some time to ensure your profiles are showcasing you and your brand in the best and most authentic light possible.
So, regardless of which social media platforms you’re currently using to promote your business, here’s the first 6 steps in optimizing your profiles. Here we go!
#1 Choose a Purpose Before Designing Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Profiles
Before deciding on the look your social media profiles will have, consider the overall mood, tone, language and personality you want your profile to reflect and how cohesive it is with the rest of your marketing.
What impression do you want to make on your visitors? What do you want your visitors to see, think, and feel when they check out your brand’s social media profile? Do you want them to think “This is one hip brand, they really have their fingers on the pulse of what’s trending” or “What well-informed professionals, I would trust them with my business” or something else entirely?
Build every aspect of your social media marketing presence on this purpose and consider subtly altering your message between platforms to appeal to each platform’s audience. For example, the messaging and content you post to appeal to your Instagram audience should be different than the content you share on your LinkedIn company page. While each platform will have some audience and content crossover, it’s how that audience uses each platform that should dictate what kind of content you share on each.
#2 Create an Image Size Template for Each Platform
Every social media platform is different, and not just based on who their community is made up of, how they post, and the etiquette expected. In this case, we’re referring to the form fields and image specifics that you will need for creating a complete profile on each platform.
Some allow you to only upload your individual profile picture, some give you a profile pic and a cover image, and some allow you to upload a reel of images for the profile as well, but the differences don’t stop there. All the images are also different sizes.
For each platform you’re using for your social media marketing, make a template of the images you’ll need by size and number. Note the size (and sometimes shape) of the profile image, the size and presentation of the cover image, and the ideal size for reel images if they’re allowed. While you’re at it, make note of each platform’s ideal image sizes for post types. With a complete template for each of your social media profiles, you’ll be able to quickly and easily resize any assets you have to display well on each social media platform.
#3 Choose the Right Profile Picture
Is the profile you’re creating for a real person, an organization or a brand? Decide on whether you’ll use a photo of yourself or your brand’s logo for your profile picture or avatar. If you choose to use your logo for your profile picture, make sure it’s the proper resolution and legible when displayed on each platform.
#4 Make Your Screen Name Memorable
Depending on you and your brand, there are a lot of ways to craft a screen name but once you hit ‘submit,’ you’re pretty much stuck with it. Except for Twitter, which allows you to change your public name pretty frequently (but not your @username).
If you are a well-established brand looking to build awareness, make your screen name as close to your brand name as possible, unless you are posting as a person, in which case you should use your real name.
However, if you’re building something other than a traditional business brand—if you are your brand and you work in the arts, fashion and creative field—you have a little more freedom to get creative. Make it memorable and clever (so long as it’s relevant) to capture the attention and intrigue of the audience you wish your social media marketing efforts to target.
#5 Use the Same Profile Picture and Screen Name for Every Platform
Once you decide your screen name and profile picture, keep it consistent: use it across all of your social media marketing platforms and change it as little as possible, except perhaps for one-day special occasions. Doing so will build consistency and familiarity. When a member of your Twitter community recognizes your account on Instagram, they’re likely to follow you and every repeat impression you make helps build your brand awareness and online presence.
#6 Craft a Beautiful Cover Image
Most social media platforms allow you to add a big beautiful cover image to your profile, which displays as a large vivid banner at the top of your profile and is the first thing most of your profile visitors will see.
Cover images are almost always horizontal rectangles but the dimensions change wildly from platform to platform. This means that you’ll need to fall back to your templates to design the right cover image for each platform. It is less important that your cover images be the same. If they are, you gain consistency but if they’re not, you may be able to more effectively target each platform with select cover images. Consider what you want your cover image to convey about your brand and offerings, and don’t be afraid to get creative. While you should keep your profile image the same, you can change your cover image up seasonally.
Visit Part 2 of How to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Profiles for the Final 7 Steps
Now that you’ve crafted the look for your social media marketing profiles, it’s time to carefully craft your profile bios, utilize keywords, and optimize your content. Check out part 2 for the final seven steps on how to optimize your social media marketing profiles, or contact our inbound marketing experts at McAllister Marketing for help in growing your online presence with a solid social media marketing strategy.