Social media power influencer and a columnist at Huffington Post, Sean Gardner, states, “Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.”
That statement perhaps sums up the importance of social media profiles for any business organization. If it is a question of making the right kind of investment, then businesses should definitely think about optimising their social media profiles. When it comes to optimization of social media presence, there are a few things that are paramount.
The right mix
Yes, everybody knows about the more popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But, there are plenty of others which are slightly “less famous” but can form an essential ingredient in your social media strategy. It is also important for you to know what the strengths of each social networking site are.
Choosing from YouTube, Google+, SlideShare and even Instagram and Pinterest can give your business organization an interesting mix which caters for all members of your target audience. It is also important for you to “cross link” between all your social media accounts. Thus, from your Facebook page, people should be able to go to your Instagram account or your Pinterest page and so on.
One of the biggest strengths of this social media platform is the fact that it gives you ample opportunities to link up with all your other social profiles. It also becomes important for your website to have all your social media profile ‘buttons’ displayed prominently. For instance, Design World does this rather effectively on its website designworldonline.com:
The one thing that you must remember when it comes to your Google+ account is to have an interesting and effective YouTube account and connect the same as well. Considering the fact that there is a Comments section on YouTube which is powered by the Google+ it gives a business organization major visibility and control over feedback as well.
In your G+ ‘About’ section, you can include the links to pages you want to lead your audience to. In addition to that, it’s a good idea to use your company name in your G+ business page instead of making it keyword heavy; Google won’t appreciate it much.
You can of course use your target keywords in the ‘headline’ and ‘Introduction’ fields.
Apart from the fact that you need to pay attention to the image dimensions, you should also ensure that your Facebook page is monitored constantly. You can get as creative as you want with your profile picture and make sure you also link your Facebook page to your website and other social media profiles as well.
Pay attention to choosing an interesting and relevant name for your fan page. Keyword optimization is important on Facebook also so ideally you should be able to use your SEO title in your fan page name itself. Also, let your meta description be prominently visible in the ‘About’ section in Facebook. One example of a company that has used this effectively is Exact Target:
In the above image, Exact Target has incorporated the SEO Title in its name and the meta description in a short 3 line paragraph on what it does.
Your social media profile has to be driven by the right kind of images and videos. It is also important for you to pay attention to the way each social network treats your image dimension. For instance, if you were to add your logo to your cover image on Facebook, the end result will be a large, almost billboard like image. Take a look at how Instagram has used this to great effect for its Facebook page.
This is because Facebook has dimensions of 851×315 for the cover photo whereas LinkedIn will give your cover photo a dimension of 646×220. Each social network has different dimensions when it comes to your images. It would be worth it to optimise your cover images or profile images to make use of these dimensions.
No discussion on optimization of social media profiles can be complete without delving into the question of which social network is right for a particular business organization. While Google+, Twitter and Facebook seem to rule the roost, there are just a few more things that you can keep in mind while coming up with your social media strategy.
Since this is a microblogging site, it is rather important for you to ensure that your keywords figure right at the beginning of your description or tweet. Almost every business organization can benefit from Twitter since it allows you to garner followers with just 140 words of text message!
The ‘Bio’ section of Twitter is one of the most important ways in which you can optimise your social media profile here. A good Bio will follow a few important aspects such as:
- Indicate your areas of expertise
- The USP of your company
- Creative portrayal of your brand image and your message.
- Brevity is important when it comes to Twitter. For instance, instead of saying “20 years experience in hospitality management” you could try “hospitality management veteran”.
One example of an interesting and memorable Twitter user profile is that of Peter Shallard who seems to have followed all the ‘right rules’ when it comes to creating an optimised profile.
Porsche has been able to touch 85% engagement rate and HubSpot reports a 150% increase in sales – just 2 of the success stories of businesses using Twitter. (Source – https://business.twitter.com/). If you take the case of Porsche, this auto brand started with the need to introduce the 2012 model of the original 1963 911 sports car. Porsche chose to use their Twitter profile to connect with car aficionados everywhere by creating a campaign that brought them together. For this, the company did the following:
- Used Promoted Tweets to build excitement about the launch
- Seeding the hashtag #2012Porsche911
- Using images and videos, including teaser videos. Interestingly, the videos also had owners of the seven generations of this car too.
- Talked about the history of the car
- Integrated the #2012Porsche911 Promoted Trend with the rest of their campaign across print media, television etc. on the day of the launch of the car.
Throughout the Twitter profile, Porsche focused sharply on making it feel personal and unique and this led to a major connect with its target market.
It is apparent that LinkedIn is a professional network rather than a social network, it has shown tremendous growth in the past 10 years. This network is also ideal for you to present your “thinking” side.
One thing to remember here is the fact that LinkedIn has an ‘in-house’ tracking system, which is a good way to see what impact your profile is having. You may have to go through a trial and error process before hitting on the right combination but here are a few things you can keep in mind.
- Like a meta description, your profile on LinkedIn needs to start with the right headline.
Depending on the kind of profession or field your business is in, you can choose to go with something really creative such as Glenn L who is a content developer and uses the headline of “Master of my own ship” or Ed Han who has chosen a longer headline which describes his profile succinctly:
- It is also a good idea to use the summary section provided to you by LinkedIn and use your keywords in the first 100-150 words in the section. It is also rather important that you treat this summary section as a professional picture of what you do. Stuffing it meaninglessly with keywords is probably going to come across as insubstantial.
- A little-known tip about LinkedIn is the use of customizable anchor links. In your LinkedIn profile, you can add up to 3 links for other sites that you consider relevant to your profile. This could be your website, blogs, social media accounts on other networks and so on. You can do this by going to the ‘edit contact info’ in your profile and choosing the ‘edit’ icon next to ‘Websites’.
- Finally , when it comes to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, it is also important for you to manage endorsements. This will allow visitors to your account to know exactly what you are good at and how your profile supports a particular endorsement.
Use of keywords
While each social networking site will give you specific advantages and disadvantages, the one common point that you must take into account is the use of the right kind of keywords. Depending on the social media account that you are operating in, you can use keywords keeping in mind a few points:
- Use your keywords in the ‘About’ section of your Facebook account and also in your posts
- Twitter has a Bio section which is certainly have your keywords which also be repeated in the tweets that you put out
- Google + is something that you should handle even more carefully than other social media accounts because an ‘oversaturation’ of keywords might result in some penalty so it is a good idea to use your keywords in your business page and in sections such as ‘Headline’ and introduction
- YouTube allows you to use your keywords in ‘Channel Description’ and replicate the same in the descriptions of your videos as well.
While there is no denying the fact that there are certain social media networks that are more equal than others, you may certainly like to consider a mix of profiles that’s most apt for your business. You may pay maximum attention to your professional profile on LinkedIn or on Facebook, but it can also get equally interesting to pay attention to a ‘Chatter’ or an Instagram as well.
Thus, keeping the specific strengths of each social media profile in mind will allow you to exploit its best features to gain better social traction and visibility in the online world. Leveraging the right kind of social media tools can indeed become a huge productivity enhancer for your business organization.
Emma is a search marketer who enjoys the way SEO is always changing and she currently writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that caters to SMBs in North America.