Social media is more popular and saturated than ever. Chances are you’re already on there, but do you want to do more with it? Whether you’re looking for clients, jobs, business contacts, it’s important to come across professionally.
Why is it important to be professional on social media? Your social media profile might very well be the first glimpse a potential client has of you so it’s important that you are presenting yourself effectively. It can mean all the difference in sales and growing your business.
Whether you are planning to actively market through your social media accounts are simply aware that you need to think about maintaining your online image, here are a few things you can do to make sure your profiles are more professional.
Social media: the clue’s in the name. Be sociable! Don’t just post and info dump, actually engage with people. Engagement shows that you are willing to discuss. It shows that you are actively engaged with a community of like minded individuals and are adding value to that.
Engagement can help you to reveal your brand’s personality and present a friendly face for your audience or customers to relate to. You can use social media to share information or respond to enquiries in a friendly, timely way.
Links to website or blog
Whether you’re an individual trying to make a name for yourself or a business looking to grow, having a website is becoming more of a necessity.
An important feature of many successful websites is a blog. A blog can increase traffic, engagement, support branding and demonstrate authority and expertise in your industry.
So having links to a professional website or blog where people can find more information should they need it, is going to elevate your social media profiles straight away.
Personal vs professional profiles
If you’re serious about your social media presence then it’s well worth creating separate personal and professional accounts. You’re then free to use your personal one for fun without worrying about how it impacts your reputation. Just keep your personal one private and then use your professional one to promote yourself.
Make sure you do a search of your name at some point, just to see what would come up if a potential client or investor did the same. If there’s anything that paints you in a less than favourable light, then get rid of it wherever possible.
Choose a niche
If you’re going to have a professional profile, it’s a good idea to focus on a niche for your posts and discussions. Rather than just posting about anything that pops into your head, you could focus on posting about your industry, sharing news about it and tips for others.
This will also give your social media profiles a sense of purpose and will make it easier for you to create goals for what you want your profile to achieve.
This means you’re then seen as a valuable source of information in your industry that people are going to keep coming back to. This will lead to a larger audience and higher engagement levels that will look impressive to potential clients or customers.
Make sure your profile photo is clean and professional looking. While some people you do business with might not care, it’s always best to avoid the nights out/holiday snaps for your profile picture.
First impressions are incredibly important and the photo is usually the first thing that anyone sees. Having a good headshot shows you understand the importance of professionalism and how social media is important for personal representation. This is where having separate profiles helps.
Have we missed anything out? What do you think is the most important thing for professionals to remember on social media? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.