Social Media isn’t just for tech-savvy millennials! Hollywood stars, athletes, politicians, CEOs — they all use at least one social media profile to keep in touch with those important to their business. These channels allow you to build your personal brand and promote your expertise in your field, as well as promote your company’s brand and better its reputation. Interacting with others on social media helps in building relationships with potential and current clients; these relationships are key to gaining new leads, nurturing those leads, and establishing trust and credibility.
“All right,” you say, “I’m convinced! Now what?”
Now what, indeed. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to get yourself ramped up on social media without forming bad habits!
Create Your Professional Profile
- Choosing a Username: Your username should be your full name or some variation if that’s not available. Be sure it looks professional– “JohnSmith2015” is way better than “SeahawksFan1212”
- Add A Profile Picture: Use a professional photo, smiling, personable-looking. Neutral background preferred.
Give A Little Background Info
Make sure your description is short and succinct People should know who you are and what you do just by glancing over it.
Customize Your Profile
Keeping the default template looks lazy and having no customization at all just screams “unworthy”. Customizing your social media channels is’t difficult to do, and usually consists of uploading a background for your page and/or a header image, and maybe picking colors of fonts. When in doubt, Googling how-tos is the easiest way to figure out what you’re doing.
Find People You Know
Identify the accounts of professional colleagues, past customers, and current customers. In the case of customers, make sure you follow both their personal (if they have one) and company’s accounts.
Set a goal for yourself of 1-2 tweets a day and 1 LinkedIn/Facebook Post per week. Share content that is relevant to your company/industry regularly so people now you’re active and up to date on what’s going on.
Share Others’ Posts
Re-Tweeting/Sharing relevant content from other individuals gets you noticed. Make sure you tag their accounts so that they can see what you’re doing! When you want to tag another account, write “@” and then their username.
Join The #Conversation
Many social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr) use hashtags (#) to identify conversations about a particular topic. On Twitter, you’ll want to use your company hashtag(s) (like #Target, #Macys, #WeLoveToSeeYouSmile) when talking about your company, but also industry-related topics such as #HolidayShopping, #CloudTechnology, #B2BMarketing, etc. so that your tweets are included in the conversation, too. For more on hashtags, check out my other blog here!
Be Easy To Find
Include your social media URLs on your signatures in emails and other places where you’d put your contact information.
Shorten your links
Use services like goo.gl and bit.ly to make your posts look nicer and more organized. Using a link shortener will also let you keep track of what links got clicked the most, and help you identify what topics your followers are most interested in.
Organize important followers into lists.
This one is Twitter-specific, but super helpful. Keep track of customers, coworkers, friends, and influential accounts in lists. Your home twitter feed will go a million miles a minute, especially as you follow more and more people. You can filter out the noise by putting the most important accounts in lists and simply check those feeds when you need to.
And that’s all there is to it!
No, that’s a lie. I can’t just finish off this article saying “and now you’re on the path to become a social media guru!” because that isn’t true. Social Media is forever changing, updating, and evolving. There are no ‘gurus’. There are only people who strive to keep up with this ever-evolving social phenomenon. And that’s okay! What matters is that you’re taking the first step — and that’s usually the most difficult part of any job.