As any growing entrepreneur knows, growing your social media is crucial to making the most of your potential. It’s also something that’s very challenging to get going from scratch
If you want to make an impact in social media—whether for yourself or for your business—the number one thing you need to do is establish a visible, credible online presence.
Why? As you probably know, every day, recruiters turn to the internet to find their next great hire. They want to be able to clearly see that you fit with the company’s culture and make sure the things you post wouldn’t be harmful to the organization in any way.
1. Offer Great Content
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s fundamental to creating a great social media presence for your brand, so it’s certainly worth a mention. One of the best pieces of advice is: don’t make your page all about you. The worst kind of social media pages are the purely promotional ones, and this behaviour is a sure way to lose fans. If you know your audience’s interests(which you should), you can provide them with inspirational quotes, links to industry-related news and useful information.
Varying your content makes your page more engaging and your readers more likely to check back. Great content guesses at the psychology of its readers and paints your brand as not only an expert in your chosen field, but also a go-to source for information. Making your social media pages well-rounded ensures that your readers know how trustworthy your brand is, and will have them revisiting frequently.
2. Make your profile photos consistent across all channels
Across all of your social profiles, you have to maintain a certain consistency with your brand. When people want to learn more about you, they may search for you on a number of social outlets. Presenting yourself in a consistent manner helps you control their perception of your personal brand. You can damage an otherwise impeccable reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t represent you well.
Recognition is key, especially as people quickly scroll through their feeds. For this reason, having consistent profile photos will increase your chances of having people follow you on different social networks.
The more people see your logo (or face if you’re a social media influencer) as they scan their various social networks, the more likely you are to be top of mind when they actually need your product or service.
3. Untag yourself from bad photos and inappropriate posts
Being vigilant about tagged photos can help you quickly clean up your profiles and project a more professional image on social media.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check your photo tagging settings, making sure this reflects your social media policy. Who do you want to be able to tag your business in posts? Would you like to approve these tags before they show up on your profile?
- Facebook allows you to review and approve tags on your photos, as well as untag yourself from other photos
- Instagram allows you to approve photos you’re tagged in before they appear on your profile
- Twitter allows you to restrict who can tag you in photos, and remove any tags
Make sure you review posts you’re tagged in.
4. Ensure your handles are consistent across networks
Just like with your profile photos, consistency is key when it comes to names and handles on social media. With photos, consistency is really about recognition. While that’s one reason to have consistent social handles—in this case, the real driver is searchability.
When you want to mention a brand on Twitter, for example, you probably just throw an @ symbol in front of their name and start tweeting. It’s kind of frustrating when you realize that their handle isn’t just their company name, but some mishmash of words with city names, area codes, or SEO terms.
A simple handle that reflects your name or company’s name will increase the chances of you being mentioned. It also makes it easier for people actively seeking you out to find and follow you.
5. Add keywords to your profile for SEO
Whatever your niche is, it’s essential that you make yourself discoverable in that field. When people Google or Facebook search ‘your busines’, you want your company logo to pop up.
Believe it or not, simply adding relevant keywords to your social profiles can go a long way to helping you get there.
How to do it:
- Identify the terms people search for the most when they’re looking for a professional in your niche or industry. Keyword tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner can help you with that
- Insert those keywords into your social media profiles. These terms should appear in your LinkedIn job title, job description, and skills. It should appear in your bio copy, in photo names, interests, experience, and just about any other category that isn’t your name (that would be a little obnoxious)
Don’t just drop these terms in haphazardly. Work them into your bios in a way that’s logical, professional, and actually describes how you relate to these terms
6. Let it Grow Organically (for the most part)xx
When you’re starting out, it’s surprisingly difficult to build up an impressive social media following, so a lot of businesses are tempted to pay for likes and followers for their social media pages. While this can be of some assistance, your brand will be better off if you allow your fan-base to grow naturally. Twitter is arguably simple enough; it’s a matter of going out and interacting with similar profiles; following them, replying to and retweeting their tweets… Twitter definitely has an unspoken automatic follow-back policy – more often than not, if you follow someone, chances are that they’ll follow you back.
Facebook however, is a little trickier. It takes time for a Facebook page to gain momentum when it comes to fans and likes. Hold off on purchasing them though, because you can always determine whether ‘likes’ are natural or ‘real people’ when you compare the number of likes to the number of people talking about the page. If a page has 30,000 likes but zero people talking about it, the likes are not legitimate – the interactions don’t translate. Social media experts say that putting in the work to grow your fan-base naturally is by far the best option for your brand in the long run. The better the content, the more engagement you’ll receive.
7. Use a Call-to-Action or Ask a Question
A Call-to-Action tells the user what to do. The most common online are the words: Buy, Donate and Subscribe, but in terms of improving your social media presence, the most effective are those which instruct your fan or follower to like or share a post. A simple “Like if you agree” or “Tag a friend” can be most effective.
Asking questions also prompts your fans to comment and engage with each other, which is awesome news for your audience reach. The more interaction happening on your page, the more people your social media platform shows your post to.
8. Give. Give. Giveaway
Sometimes, your fans may need a little icing on the cake before they click ‘like’ or ‘share’. Giveaways are a great option for getting them across that line. Combine this with a call-to-action such as: “Like this post to be in the draw to WIN something really awesome”. Your follower will automatically weigh up the effort/risk-to-gain ratio and click ‘like’ straightaway almost every time.
9. It Never Hurts to Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask. Inbox a handful of established pages and ask if they’d be willing to post a link to your page or a ‘shout-out’ on their wall – the worst that can happen is they say no… The best that can happen is that your page gets some really great exposure to your target audience. Inviting your friends to like your page is also a fantastic starting point. This helps boost your numbers initially, which encourages other users to like your page.
10. Pay it Forward
Interact with other brands: like, share and retweet their posts. This not only gets your brand name out there in social media, but it also encourages other brands to interact with yours. Think of it as social media karma. It’s a simple, yet effective way to really improve your presence across a range of platforms. It also makes sure you’re always in the loop when it comes to the competition. Check out Pinterest paying it forward on Twitter with mentions and links!
11. Make sure your links work
While we’re on the topic of links—what’s the point of including a link if it doesn’t go anywhere? There’s no reason to host a broken link on your social media profile—not only is it confusing for users trying to learn more about you, it’s also a waste of space.
Make sure every link on your social media profile is active by clicking on them every so often. A link on your social media profile might be used as a CTA, a redirect to your website, or to point someone to your business’ landing page.
When someone clicks a link on your social media profile, it’s because they want to find out more. There’s nothing like a broken link to further deter a prospect or destroy the credibility of your brand’s social media presence. You can avoid this by doing your due diligence when posting any kind of link.
13. Ask a few friendly clients/customers for reviews or endorsements
People trust their friends and family far more than any advertisements. Having positive reviews on your social media profiles can go a long way in earning people’s trust and increasing your chances of turning strangers into followers, and followers into business.
While an hour might not be enough time to actually get reviews up on your profiles, it is definitely enough time for you to write messages to a few of your brand advocates or friendly clients, asking them to leave you positive comments.
How to do this:
- Use LinkedIn’s endorsements section. People can endorse the skills you’ve added to your profile, or leave unique endorsements. The latter is very powerful if they’re willing to put in a little extra time to write you one
- Use the visitor post section on Facebook pages. This is where people can highlight the good work you’ve been doing
- Pin positive tweets on Twitter. Take a positive tweet about your business and pin it to the top of your stream—anyone visiting your profile will see it. Plus, you can always ask for endorsements and actually turn those into content you can share on your profiles (think an Instagram or Pinterest photo of a quote from a client)
Whichever way you slice it, it only takes a few minutes to ask someone for their feedback. This quick act can pay off huge in social proof.
14. Showcase your best content with pinned posts
Unlike other posts, pinned posts—on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn—stay put. They are the first things people see when they look you up on the three platforms.
Choose a post that promotes a strong piece of content—whether that be an important message, landing page, offer, blog post, video, or other media asset. There are no real limitations on what you can pin. But pin something. Otherwise you’re just wasting one of your Twitter profile’s biggest assets.
15. Add media to your LinkedIn jobs
LinkedIn isn’t the most visually appealing of social networks. People tend to focus less on videos and gifs, and more on the concrete stuff that’s going to get them hired. But there’s a reason digital resumes have grown in popularity—they allow you to showcase more of your work in compelling ways.
A prime example of this is the media option in the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile—one of the most widely underused features on the social network. The media option allows you to showcase your work. In other words, rather than telling people that you worked on a huge project or wrote a blog post, you can show them through an image and a link to the work.
Including media within your profile will help people get a more extensive picture of your experience, all while adding a little bit of visual appeal to your profile.
You can also add media to the Summary and Education sections as well.
16. Rotate the link in your Instagram bio
Instagram might just be the social network with the least detailed profile. Fill in your name, bio, website, and you’re done. It should come as no surprise, then, that some businesses don’t see Instagram as anything more than an awareness tool. This complaint is being addressed by many savvy users in a very simple way: rotating their website link.
Although Instagram only supports one link—the one your choose for your profile—there’s really no limit as to how often you can update that link. Smart businesses have figured out that they can change that link every time they have a new promotion or campaign.
Post a new photo to support any online initiative you want, then in the description, say “See our profile for a link to this campaign!” Then change the link. It will take you about 30 seconds to update, and can help turn your Instagram profile into an instant business asset.
17. Like relevant pages from your Facebook page
We all know that Facebook encourages us to share our interests with our followers. Not many people consider this decision strategically,
though. When you make your interests or the Pages you like a public part of your profile, you’re giving people another means by which to
judge you. If those likes are “blue cheese” and “Justin Bieber,” you may not be giving off the impression you’re going for.
Have a look at your Likes and interests and delete or unlike anything you don’t want people to associate with your brand, or your company’s brand. Then, consider the things you do want to be associated with. These could be:
- Industries or fields, like “marketing” or “finance”
- Partner brands or industry leaders, like “Mailchimp” or “Unbounce”
- Thought leaders, like “Elon Musk” or “Richard Branson”
- Positive interests or associations, like local charities or unions
- Casual interests you’re proud of, from local sports teams to public speaking
18. Find the Right Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn both offer great opportunities to join groups focused on specific topics or industries. If you can find groups that line up with your area of expertise, then you’ll be able to share that experience and build authority around your personal brand.
19. Engage Regularly
Building a brand takes a lot of effort, and it should be treated like a job. Every day, you should be sharing and producing content. Adjust the frequency and types of content based on the audience presence.
“A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything, “For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.”
20. Diversify Your Content
I recommend crafting a communications strategy for your personal brand that includes an editorial calendar and a diverse content plan so that you won’t resort to publishing the same types of articles every single day.Be sure to include images, videos, articles, and even questions. I see a lot more reciprocal engagement when I change up the type of content that I post daily.
Another benefit is that this diversity prevents you from oversharing your own content. Even if your own content is fantastic, your followers will appreciate when you source and share authoritative content from other people.
21. Study Influencers
Connecting with and even collaborating with influencers is a smart way to build your personal brand and get yourself seen, but it takes time. You have to develop a relationship with influencers before they’ll want to work with you.
Once you’ve found the top influencers in your niche, analyze their networks. Note the types of content they share and how their followers respond. Try to build your own following by using their strategy for inspiration.
22. Give as Much as You Can
If you want to create a memorable brand, you need to give people a reason to remember you. While I’ve grown my personal brand considerably in recent years, I still like to reach out to contacts directly and ask them what I can do for them.
Matt Sweetwood, CEO of beBee, believes this is a fundamental way to grow a brand.
“This personal connection makes the customers feel that you care about them, and that they are more than just revenue to you,”.
You’re not trying to sell or pitch anything. You’re legitimately asking if there is anything you can do to help them. Give away some of your time, your advice, and any other resources you have available to help your connections.
When you first start out, make it a habit to contact at least one person every day with an offer to help.
23. Ask Questions
Questions are a great way to spark engagement and improve the visibility for your brand while others chime in. Engagement will happen slowly at first, but be persistent. Keep your eyes open for potential opportunities. A response from one follower could lead to a burning question from another that could fuel great conversation.
24. Jump into Discussions
Don’t be afraid to add your voice and make yourself visible in a discussion. This is especially true if you have unique insights and value to add. You won’t have much luck when it comes to building your brand if you remain a wishful lurker.
Being responsive will keep you on track to grow your personal brand and your network of connections.
25. Monitor Your Name
Businesses set up all kinds of alerts for branded terms and product/service-related search phrases. Those alerts notify them when someone creates a post that includes their name or other branded terms.
Do the same for your personal brand and don’t forget to include alerts for common keywords involving your area of expertise. Between your alert systems and manual searches in social media, you won’t miss out on opportunities to respond or join discussions.
26. Post Regularly
Don’t assume that a post is seen by every follower. It’s not, and this is due to numerous reasons: algorithms, the fast-paced turnover nature of social media itself and the people factor (when people choose to log on and how often etc.). Posting regularly increases momentum and boosts your chance of having a wider reach across social media. Consistency makes it more likely that people will recognise your brand and interact with it (liking, sharing, retweeting…) which then in turn, also increases your reach.
Additionally, posting regularly is the best way to keep the fans of your brand loyal and lets them know when to check back for new information. If you look at this data, you can see that the most successful brands post once a day each week, even the most recognizable like Redbull and iTunes.