Do you remember the days when Facebook was just a way to check out what your friends were doing, see pictures of their kids (and dogs) and share your various weekend exploits?
Long gone are the days…..social platforms have become marketing giants, some would argue larger than television. In addition, social media offers business valuable data about their customers and best of all, a (for the most part) free way to reach them.
Now that you’ve decided to start using social media to do business there are a few things that will need to be considered.
We all know that using social media for small business is not an option anymore. On top of gaining valuable information about your customers, as mentioned above, you are also able to:
- Increase brand awareness and loyalty
- Run laser-targeted ads
- Generate leads for your marketing list
- Increase website traffic
And that is just to name a few; there is a long list of benefits.
In today’s post we will be talking about step 1 to getting your business “social ready”.
Let’s dive in.
Setting Up Your Social Media Bio for Success
There are many improvements that you can make to your profiles to put your best foot forward without spending all day. Considering you are now using social media for your livelihood, isn’t it worth the time to make it the best it can be?
- Optimize your cover photo
Now that we are in the day and age of most everyone having access to a smart phone, (if you do not have one of your own, I bet you have a friend who does) there is really no excuse to have a poor quality photo in your profile. In addition, the top social networks have recommended sizes.
Ninja trick: Use Canva to create your photos. They have the dimensions build in to their FREE templates already.
- Keep your photos consistent across social networks
Once you get that perfect photo and add it to Facebook, head over to Instagram and Twitter and upload the same photo. Your followers don’t know you as well as you think they should, so having the same photo across networks help the recognition factor. This reinforces your brand, and keeps you at the top of the minds of your potential buyers when it comes time to look for your service.
- Make your names consistent across networks
When possible, make sure that your names are the same across the big networks. This way, if someone wants to mention you in a post, all they have to do is type “@” plus your name and they will easily find you. This also stays consistent with your brand recognition.
- Optimize your profile for search
Do you know that you can use keywords in your social media profiles? There are two search engines that you need to optimize for: the social media network itself, and, of course, Google.
When Google returns a search, they will only pull information that is available on your public profile. Make sure that your profiles are set up properly; everything that you want the public to be able to see, needs to be marked public. You can see how your Google returned search looks by logging completely out of each network.
- Facebook – Google’s search results use the Facebook page name, short description, the number of likes and the number of people talking about this page. In general terms, pages with keywords in the page name rank better in Google.
Facebook search uses more than just your page name to rank the search. When you first start to search you will be first brought to Pages. (a compelling reason to have a Business Page for your business) In addition, if you choose not to click to Pages, you will find search results under People, Photos, Pages, Places, Groups, Apps and Events. For a local business owner, this is key; you will show up under Places based on proximity.
In our article, Using Facebook for Business: Personal Profile or Fan Page, we went over the pros and cons of using both for your business. Included are some important points to consider, namely that Facebook states clearly in their Terms of Service, that personal profiles should not be used for commercial gain. However, there is room to breathe in that definition, if you do it right. The main point of this, though, is to make sure you don’t end up in Facebook jail!
In short; for Google, make sure your page name has your keyword, and for Facebook, make sure to include it in your subcategory.
Optimize your Instagram name similarly. Google search will return profile name, username and bio in the search results. Make sure to include your keyword in your Instagram name to return higher in Google search.
Your Twitter profile must also include your keywords in the name or username. While your Twitter description is still important to tell people who you are and what you do, Google does not return this information in search. For Twitter profiles in Google search, your latest tweet, profile name, user name, number of followers, photos and videos, and number of tweets will be returned.
In Twitter native search, your profile keyword must be relevant to what you are tweeting about. Make sure your Twitter bio is congruent with the message you are sending with your tweets.
- Your social media profile URL
This one has been saved for last because it may be the MOST IMPORTANT!! If you take anything away from this post, please take this away.
Facebook includes a website field. Instagram includes a website field. Twitter includes a website field. USE THEM.
When setting up your profiles on social media, use this section wisely and consider your goals. Do you want to send traffic to your website? Do you want your visitors to take your free offer in exchange for their email address? Add the link here and be sure to include your call to action.
All of the tips we have reviewed above point to one simple concept: Make your social media profile as succinct and branded to who you are in your business as possible. Keep your name, photo, and descriptions as consistent as you can across channels so when your buyer goes to search for your product or service, your business will return and be the same wherever they find you. Most importantly, include a CALL TO ACTION and relevant URL link to take the next step!