Social profiles are known by everyone nowadays as the way to reach a whole lot of people really quickly and of course once a cascade has begun – your ‘friends’, then theirs, then the next line down etc. – you can soon have your name on the tongues of a lot of people, really quickly. But even so, there are ways and ways to go about using social profiles – it is easy to make a reputation and just as easy to break it, so make sure you are very strict about who uses your social pages; a few unwise words from a drunken employee can undo years of effort. But with that said, there are some simple rules which will help to make your brand more widely known and score better in rankings
Make sure your name and your username are something obvious, which is clearly you. If your forename happens to be a famous brand, sorry, but it’s best if you choose something else, or all the searches people make will end up there instead of with you. This is hard luck on some people who share a name with the famous, but it can't be helped – Apple Martin is going to have to give it some thought in years to come, if she goes into business, for example! Of course, the real you will turn up eventually, way down the list, but it is important to be in the first screen view, to all practical purposes in the first five or six. Your customers have to be quite dedicated to go more than a couple of pages at the most.
If you use affiliates or partners to promote your business then they too can help in improving your brand identity. For example Lead Forensics have a number of partners that use the Lead Forensics name and have things like Lead Forensics review or pricing as a page on the partners website.
Keep it simple
When you fill in all the social bits which make social media such a popular drop-in place for most people, don’t go overboard. This is mainly a business opportunity and while you want it to show your human face, keep it simple. If you breed rare guppies, that’s fine – but no one will hang around to hear their names and how you buried Hamish III in a humanist ceremony on the beach last week. Eccentric and kooky is just about fine; weird isn’t and sometimes it’s a fine line. When filling in this kind of area, keep things relevant but most of all, keep the grammar and spelling accurate. There’s no need to turn yourself in knots to get the grammar absolutely spot on; no one ever died of ending a sentence with a preposition after all. But do check spelling with care and especially these days, make sure you don’t antagonise the apostrophe police – comments from this kind of punctuation guru can wreck your online profile.
How private is private?
If you have grown your business social media site from a personal one as many do, watch that you have adjusted your privacy settings to suit. Whereas you may want to keep things just between friends as an individual, clearly when using social profiles to get business, you need everything to travel far and wide. Depending on which platforms you are using you may be able to fine tune the privacy settings quite delicately, others employ an all or nothing approach. But whichever it is, make sure you can be seen by as many people as possible.
Don’t just sit there – do something!
Many people are members of loads of social media sites and quite literally are invisible because they never say a word. Make sure that you engage with everyone who engages with you but take care – don’t reply with a witty riposte is you are not sure how it will come off; this can attract adverse commenting and you certainly don’t want that. At the very least, ‘like’ as much as you can, make sure you get tagged or tag loads of people yourself. This means your name spreads and that is what you want to happen. Start a group if that is something appropriate to your business, but if you can’t start one, join one! The art of using social media in business is ‘see and be seen’. Unless your business is based on a political or religious stance, stay away from these subjects if you can – nothing inflames public opinion more than these and it is a fine line to tread because if there is one statement that applies to online dialogue it is that you can’t please all of the people, all of the time!