Small businesses know by now that they need a website AND visibility in the popular social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and maybe Twitter, YouTube, and others too. It’s not just about having your own website anymore.
So most of you have got at least one social media profile kinda sorta thrown together, like a basic LinkedIn profile. But then I hear: uh, what, huh? What now? One of the goals of my blog (and my business) is to help folks get past those stuck places. So here are some tips.
Sorry to say, you won’t actually be that visible in social media without some optimization of your profile, for starters. So let’s focus there for this post.
As a business coach and as someone who gets a lot out of social media, I often get asked how it works.
Both beginners and regular users of social media can benefit from these tips. I see even the most advanced users skipping key steps.
At Least Do These Things for All Your Social Media Profiles
- Link to your website within your profile description.
Can’t believe how often this gets left out! Add a link even if there’s no stated place for a link. For instance, use the About area on your Facebook Page to include a link.
- Add links to your social media profiles in your email signature and on your website.
You’ll need a custom URL to make it look nice in email. See below.
- Include a real photo of yourself to make it more human.
Virtual world connections increase when there’s a real face.
- Use real names so people can find you.
Use your real name and your real business name wherever those fit. Avoid abbreviations and lesser known names for your business. (If you or your business have common nicknames, use those in the description so that you’ll be found by those names too.)
- Use your target keywords throughout.
Use them in your profile description, tags, your “interests,” your summary, video tags, and in some of your posts. Don’t stuff with keywords. Use them as would be helpful for a real member of your audience.
- Connect with others; be helpful; recommend others.
The more you give value to others, the more they’ll do the same for you. You link to them, they’ll often link to you. Play nice. Kindergarten rules still apply.
- Focus on connecting with influencers in your niche.
Focus more attention on people who might influence your ideal customers. This includes popular bloggers in your subject area. It also includes people who might commonly refer to you. Consider where your influential folks are active on the web and focus more attention there. (This is one of the main reasons Twitter is so popular and effective. Bloggers and other influencers hang out there.)
Specific Optimization Instructions for Your Profiles
- LinkedIn Profile Essentials: Why and How (2014, by me)
- Where to Get Your Custom URL for Facebook (Facebook)
Facebook Pages have long URLs that are tough to add to your email signature. Here’s how to change that.
- Online Marketing Grader (Hubspot)
Get suggestions for your online profiles with this free tool.
- It’s Time to Prioritize Video (AKA YouTube) (by me)
Includes why and how to optimize videos and YouTube profiles.
Taking It to the Next Level
- Ask for ratings, comments, and “likes.”
Don’t just sit there and wait for them to come to you. Suggest it by doing things like adding a Facebook “like” widget on your website so people can spread the word about you with one click. Also, send people to your online videos, slideshows, online business listings, and other postings and invite them to post reviews there. Reviews, ratings, and “likes” lead to higher ranks.
- Don’t forget blogs.
Blogs are social media too. Blogging puts your website on steroids. Even if you don’t have your own blog, you can comment on other people’s blogs and gain visibility.
Where to Learn More
Of course there are zillions of resources about getting the most out of social media. Here are my favorite resources for staying on top of my game:
- Search YouTube for your particular question and you’re bound to find answers.
- Hubspot – leading-edge web marketing business offering lots of free webinars and tools
- Mashable – THE social media news and web tips blog