Last week, I watched a great a Facebook video by Guy Kawasaki. In it he says:
“ Your (social media) profile is a window to your soul ”.
Meaning, the way we post, share and react on social media, hints on our opinions, way of living and professional status. Our social profiles project inwards and in some respect shapes our online persona.
However, since Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are all connected in a “mish-mash” of personal data, these online profiles also shine outwards and impact our business (sometimes unnoticeably).
It has become quite difficult these days to separate between the personal and professional within the social realm. When your name and brand coexist on the same news feed, what you share and how you present yourself, could reflect on your professional reputation.
So, going back to Guy Kawasaki’s video, your social profile is indeed a ‘window to your soul’ but also a “gateway” to a potential client meeting or contract offer by a future employer.
As business owners, our Facebook profiles aren’t there just for sharing extremely cute cat videos. They are also there to improve our online presence.
Here are a few tips to help you utilise your social media assets more effectively.
Profile Picture & Cover Photo – Your visitors will judge the book by its cover!
Naturally, images on your profile are what visitors will be attracted to first. Therefore, try to choose a profile image and a cover photo that captures the spirit of your brand and show who you are as a person.
For example, if you manage a health products shop, using an open green field profle image would be more appropriate than a ‘selfie’ taken in your car.
You might not realise it, but as a small business owner, you are the ambassador of your brand. Hence, a good profile picture and a compelling cover photo can either help reinforce its message and make it more believable or downgrade its authenticity and the way the brand’s narrative comes across.
To get the best results, it might be worthwhile hiring a photographer who will help you visually express the brand’s message and narrative.
Posting – Share it, don’t “spray” it!
Social media is filled with inappropriate, controversial content. It’s no secret employers and recruiters frequently use social platforms to evaluate personality characteristics of candidates they’re considering.
For example, IBM has recently launched a ‘Personality Insights’ tool, which can analyse a user’s personality by their recent Tweets.
So think twice about what, when and where you post.
Privacy settings – Play it safe
It might be common sense, but check your privacy settings and decide how much of your personal information you’d like to make publicly available to those who are not friends with you, linked to or followed by you.
Search keywords – If they are looking, help them find you
Make sure you write a clear description which includes relevant industry keywords, professional titles and certifications. This should help contribute to your profile ranking both on search engines or LinkedIn. As mentioned above, recruiters and prospective employers rely on online research to spot new candidates.
Build Your Reputation – Share your knowledge
Again, it sounds simple, but make your profile stand out from the crowd.
Post, tweet, blog, vlog, provide in-depth analysis, hold webinars, online interviews and spontaneous live streams, share ‘hot’ industry news, join relevant groups, comment and help others find solutions and collaborate to make new business connections.
Once you’ve implemented these adjustments, I suggest you start planning a complete social media strategy.