It’s no secret that social media is the number one way for businesses to get in front of their audiences these days. With over 70% of consumers making their purchasing decisions for products and services that they want or need based upon the information available online, it’s more vital than ever before to ensure that your business is being properly represented. And while we all understand the top social platforms to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram-
it’s just as important to know how to properly set up and manage your profiles for success.
Here are our 6 key elements to social media success for businesses:
Let’s start with the basics: your profile picture. If you are an individual or have a personal brand, your profile picture should be a high-quality and professional photo of yourself. While it doesn’t have to scream corporate headshot, you certainly want to make sure it isn’t cropped from a run-of-the-mill photo you shared at some point on your personal page. Instead, spring for a small photo shoot, and feel free to get creative. Weave your branding throughout your shoot to ensure the headshots you end up with express who you are while still looking professional. Businesses that aren’t personal brands tend to utilize their company’s logo for the profile image- and that’s perfectly fine. Most importantly, your profile image should be clean and crisp- and used throughout all of your various social platforms.
Expresses Your Mission
On every social platform there are various spaces to inform your audiences about what you do and what your mission is. Unquestionably the two most difficult platforms to do this are Instagram and Twitter, which only allow minimal words or characters in the ‘bio’ sections. However, even there the use of creativity and carefully chosen words can help you to successfully explain yourself.
For others, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which allow for longer bio sections, even prompting you to fill out more information for your readers to see, use these to their fullest potential. These sections will be what your audience sees and reads first to begin understanding who you are- and what your business has to offer them.
Updated Contact Information
Nothing could be worse than having a fully functional social profile that engages and excites your audience to the point of action- only to have your contact information incorrect and ultimately hurting your chances of securing new clients or customers.
Always have these points of contact updated and accurate:
- Business Name
- Phone Number
- E-Mail Address
- Physical Address (If Applicable)
- Additional Social Channel Links
How many times have you opened your business page to see X amount of unopened messages that somehow got through without a notification? This can be the kiss of death for some businesses depending on the social platform- especially for those that provide time-sensitive products or services.
Facebook takes it one step further and indicates how ‘responsive’ your page is to answering messages, which begins to look unprofessional should your rating fall below a certain percentage. There are a few ways to defend your communication reputation against this however:
- Double check that your notifications are turned on for all messages and comments on your page.
- Set up an auto-responder that replies to any messages thanking the person for contacting you and ensuring that someone will respond quickly.
- Assign someone the task of checking and replying to messages once a day to guarantee nothing slips through the virtual cracks.
Now that your profiles are set up don’t forget to be present in them. Engaging with your audience not only helps your customers and clients to feel connected, but also helps your account to stay relevant in the news feed. The more engagement on a page, the more visible your page will be according to the algorithms in place.
Don’t shy away from setting up- and asking for- reviews on the platforms that allow it. One of the most beneficial tools of the Facebook business pages is the ability to have past or current customers rate your business and leave glowing testimonials. Of course, this goes both ways and negative reviews could be left as well- warranted or not- so it’s important to stay on top of the reviews that come in.
While it’s always a great idea to respond to positive reviews, thanking them for their kind words and inserting a personal touch to the conversation, it’s even more important to respond to negative reviews. The last thing you want to do is to leave the possibly damaging review on your page without replying or trying to remedy the issue at hand. Take a proactive approach and publicly express your interest in helping to work out whatever issues were the genesis for the complaints.