It is well known that “everyday is a school day”, especially when it comes to social media marketing, as the industry is constantly growing and changing.

With this in mind combined with many parents recently sending their children back to school for the first time in six weeks, what better time than to look at the basics of social media – and in particular the information that is essential when setting up profiles on the three main social media networks.

Twitter:

Many believe that when it comes to creating a profile within a social media platform, Twitter is the easiest, as it requires the least information. However, when it comes to getting the right information on Twitter for the target audience, many businesses using Twitter to network and reach a wider audience are still making mistakes.

A Twitter profile for any business planning on using the platform for networking is an important tool, as it is the shop window into what the company offers its clients; and as such, it is important to ensure that you include as much information as possible.

Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t make this easy, as it has character limits; but with careful and clever writing, it is possible to provide enough of a window to interest your audience into following you.

First things first, the image. Many professionals and businesses use images on Twitter, which are not appropriate, whether this is because they are too pixelated, an image of more than one person or perhaps the biggest bugbear, the default Twitter egg.

The image used on Twitter, if it’s for an individual’s professional profile, should be a headshot of the individual. If it is for a business, the company logo is enough – and when choosing your image, make sure that it’s a square 73 by 73 pixel image.

Once the image is sorted, you can move onto the “profile”, in which you have 160 characters to sell yourself / your business. Using these 160 characters wisely is important, so don’t use space adding details of your location – Twitter has a separate section for this!

Instead, with the profile, you need to ensure you include details of the services offered and keywords – for example, if you’re an accountancy firm, something along the lines of: “Independent accountants and tax advisers offering flexible, cost-effective accountancy, audit & taxation support to businesses & individuals.

With the logo and profile section complete, you’re halfway there on creating a Twitter account which will begin life on the right footing; all that is left for you to do is add a link to your business’ homepage, and your location within the relevant areas – don’t worry about being too detailed, the city / town that you are based in will be fine.

Facebook:

Whilst Twitter can be considered restrictive on the information and space available to share within your profile, Facebook are at the other end of the spectrum. But this doesn’t mean that you need to write an essay to sell your business; short, snappy and informative content will work just as well.

The copy included within your Facebook page, should be split into short sections, offering your audience enough information about what you offer, without being over the top; and following these rules of thumb will help with this:

About Section – Stick to roughly 200 characters (including spaces), and provide a brief outline of the company, including company name, location and what you offer, e.g.: “_______ are independent tax advisers and accountants based ________, offering businesses and individuals flexible, cost-effective accountancy and taxation advice, guidance and support.”

Description – This section can be much longer in length, and can go into more detail about the services you provide and the background of the business. Ideally five to six paragraphs will be enough to enlighten your audience.

When writing the paragraphs, the first should be a brief outline of the business, such as when it was established and what you do; the second should outline where you offer the services and to who (i.e. to businesses and individuals throughout the West Midlands….), whilst the third and fourth should detail the services provided – and don’t be afraid to use bullet points in these sections to prevent it from being a large block of text.

As for the last two paragraphs, the penultimate paragraph should outline any areas your business specialise within (i.e. agricultural tax), whilst the final paragraph should be a brief summary.

Top Tip: Throughout each paragraph within the description section, ensure that keywords related to your business are included, as this will assist with the onsite SEO, which can and will help your page become more prominent.

Once you’ve added information describing your business, the services offered and the contact details (website address, contact number and business address), it is time to add images to your page.

Previously, this would have involved adding a profile image (similar to the one used on Twitter); however, during 2012, Facebook have rolled out a number of changes, including the introduction of the timeline, which now enables businesses and individuals to have a large image at the top of their page.

It’s important, when creating your Facebook page, that the larger image sells your business, as it is the first thing that your audience will see. As such, an image which showcases the services offered or mirrors your company website is the best option here.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is perhaps the trickiest social media network to utilise as a business, as it is important for all partners / fee-earners within the firm to have a personal profile, which is consistent with their colleagues, but their also needs to be a company page which offers enough information for your audience, whilst remaining within the character limit imposed by LinkedIn.

Starting with the company page, the information used within Facebook, once shortened down is often ok to use within LinkedIn, as it will include the keywords and the information required to appeal to your target audience.

However, before you can create a company page via LinkedIn, you need to ensure that your personal profile on the social network is fully optimised, relevant and sells you as a professional within your chosen field.

Thankfully, once signed into LinkedIn, the platform offers a step-by-step guide on the information required to 100% complete your profile. Whilst this guide can be beneficial, it should only be taken as a guide, as to get the most out of LinkedIn, you’ll need to add more information than it asks for – and you’ll also have to consider the information you share.

However, to give your LinkedIn profile a kick-start, there are two pitfalls which many of us, especially when starting out on LinkedIn, are guilty of.

The first is the “job description” which appears just below our name and at the side of our professional looking photo.

If you flick through LinkedIn, you’ll see numerous profiles which describe the person as an “owner”, “partner” or “manager” of a certain company; whilst this may be their job title, it doesn’t describe what they do – and therefore provides the audience with little relevant information.

As such, whether you are creating your LinkedIn profile from scratch or looking to make some amendments to help your profile perform better, when adding your job roles, say what you do rather than your job title (i.e. social media advice, guidance and support for accountants and legal professionals at…..).

For those jobs where you do a number of regular tasks, such as providing audit advice for business and taxation advice for individuals, use the “experience” section on LinkedIn, to provide a brief of each role – and keep them separate.

The second pitfall is the “summary” section which is often used by individuals on LinkedIn to describe the firm they work for and the services the company provides; when in reality, the section should be used to provide a brief run-down of your experience within your industry, including keywords throughout to help improve search results.

As a rule of thumb the summary section should begin with a brief paragraph explaining either where you trained and when you qualified, or your length of experience within the industry – i.e. “As an accountant with twenty years experience…..” before moving on to the areas that you specialise in and what you can offer your clients.

When writing your summary, do not be afraid to oversell yourself, after all, you want people to connect with you based on the information that you provide. If you’d like more information on how to improve your LinkedIn profile to gain maximum exposure, visit our previously written blog.

By following these simple rules for each social media platform listed above, you’ll be on the right path to creating a successful social media presence; but as with your school days, it is important to continue revising each platform, to ensure that you are reaching the “A Grade” standard.

For more help, advice or guidance on social media marketing, contact JE Consulting.

Categories: Blog