I often teach people how to create social media profiles on specific networks — but did you know that a lot of the “rules” apply to all of the networks? As a matter of fact, you can really boost your visibility and personal brand by being consistent and following these 10 rules.
- Use the same photo on all social networks — and on your website too. And yes, it is better if you get a professional photo done. It is amazing what a good photographer can do.
- Focus on the person you want to attract — and their likes, dislikes, needs, wants and interests — rather than bragging about your own accomplishments
- Match your tone to your audience. Be more formal on more professionally-oriented networks such as LinkedIn and (currently) Google+. Be chatty on Facebook. Be succinct yet interesting on Twitter. And if your niche has a “culture” which includes specialty terms, by all means use those terms. If your niche is internet marketing, talk about affiliates and autoresponders. If your niche is parenting or education talk about no child left behind…
- Write a fantastic (but short) description of what you’re about. Familiarize yourself with the number of characters or words allowed on each network, and tailor your description to fit. Don’t rush through this step — spend as much time on it as if you were writing a powerful resource box for an article directory; or writing a headline for your sales letter
- Brainstorm with your friends, family and peers to come up with a catchy tagline. (A tagline is just a slogan that gives listeners an instant impression of what you’re all about. Example: “I’m loving it” – McDonald’s.
Sometimes people remember your tagline better than they remember your resource boxes and bios — and taglines are crucial for branding, if you need to brand your product or business.
- Find the optimal time of day your audience hangs out — and join them. If you are on Twitter – Tweriod can tell you exactly when your followers are likely to be online and will suggest the best times for you to tweet.
- Be consistent and post regularly. (You’ll soon have people looking for your posts and tips, if they’re valuable or interesting enough.)
- Always remember that you can’t “let your hair down” completely on a social network: Your business will still be judged by your behavior there, if people know you have a business. It’s okay and sometimes even desirable to make personal comments about your dog, kids, etc. — but decide on your policy about these personal areas before you make an off-the-cuff remark. (It’s more important to know what not to talk about than to worry about whether or not it’s too boring or chatty if you tell your Facebook friends you’re “chug-a-lugging a pint of chocolate soy milk”.)
- If you’re brand new, try not to butt in to conversations until you’ve been “introduced” or invited– The only time “butting in” is acceptable is when you’re congratulating someone or sending sympathy (and, even then, express your congratulations or condolences and say nothing more in that post). Once someone responds to you, it’s okay to begin conversations or join in.
- Guard against being sucked into social networking purely for entertainment. They can be enjoyable — but total time-killers and schedule disrupters! (And avoid playing games — you really don’t want potential customers or clients noting that you spend six hours a day on CityVille; or become irritated because you’re pestering them with “Neighbor” invitations.
And most of all — if a social network allows you to create a Page for your business — create one! Straight away! (Worry about tweaking and fine tuning it later.) As of right now, Facebook, Linked In and Google+ have business pages. Twitter does too — but it hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet.© Copyright 2012 Michele A Scism