Customize Social Media Profiles to Win Social Fans

Marketing is all about reaching out and forming a connection. Whatever product you market and whoever you target (e.g., youth, mothers, honeymooners, local businesses, big corporations, etc.), it’s all about people. This is why social media is important. It allows you to have a direct dialogue with those who matter to you. As Kelly has noted, social media might influence different categories of business in different ways but there is no question that they do influence.Blog (July 22, 2013)

With that in mind, how do businesses build and customize their social media profiles to stand out and attract “key decision makers” and “influencers”? Brands need to create images that are transparent, inspire trust and allow open communication. The first step is building customized social media profiles that provide insight to the actual businesses.

Here are some examples how you can keep your social media profile fresh, leverage the latest platform designs and support larger brand objectives.

Spruce up Google Plus profiles:

Use Google+ plugins: Tell your website visitors that you’re on Google+ with the Google+ badge and let them follow you with a single click. You can also help them quickly recommend your brand and content with the help of +1 button. Mashable experienced a jump in followers after rolling out the Google+ badge on its homepage, which increased its Google+ page audience by 38 percent. Mashable also uses the +1 button on articles and across the site to empower sharing on Google+.

Upload high-resolution cover photos: The Google+ design requires an image size of 480×270 pixels. A high-resolution picture enhance the images of brands and a short and smart tagline sets the right mood for the audience.

Post content for maximum visibility: As Google+ is all about visual appeal, post updates, blog posts, promotions and more with images and/or videos. Make sure you select “public” for all posts, so they’ll be visible to everyone. Updating your page regularly with new inputs increases your chances of high ranking in Google searches.

Cadbury directly connects followers around the world with Cadbury products, promotions and personalities via Hangouts On Air.

Cadbury UK on Google+

Add personality to your Twitter profile:

Some features introduced by Twitter last year help you customize your profile and add spice to your company’s presence on Twitter:

Brand your profile header:Twitter allows you to add profile header images to your account, making the main image look much like the Facebook timeline format’s cover image. You can build the background with various color palettes and patterns, as well as design a custom profile background.

Use updated photo streams:Twitter’s mobile apps introduced “photo streams” that aggregate photos uploaded in tweets over time in one location within the Twitter application. It’s a swipable feature which makes sharing by followers much easier.

Get visual across multiple platforms:Twitter can be shared across all platforms including iPad, iPhone and Android with slight differences. A custom background which displays on the web is not seen on mobile platforms. Conversely, the photo stream doesn’t show up on the web.

Jeff Zucker, CNN‘s new president describes Twitter as a frenemy. The brand tweets about latest news as well as social/political issues to create a lot of buzz and engagement.

CNN Twitter profile

Adopt the “New Look” on Pinterest:

New and updated design features on Pinterest help viewers by offering simplified navigation, larger pins and enhanced social sharing tools.

Increased size of pins: Pins that were 600 pixels wide earlier are 735 pixels wide now, which give you a bigger window to show your creativity, feature pictures of new products and share pictures uploaded by fans.

Offers multiple actions for pins: Pinterest empowers viewers by enabling them to perform different actions beyond the usual Repin or Like. On expanding the pin, visitors see more pins from the same boards as well as from the same websites. They can see the number of pins, repins and the links to the images above the pins. The share button on the top helps viewers to share the pins on other social networks and even gives the option to share pins with their friends via email or through Facebook.

Affinity Express Twitter page

The new and improved look helps brands form new connections and source pins easily from followers, making their profiles more interesting.

Dress up business pages on Facebook:

The constant updates in Facebook profile layouts, keep marketers on their toes thinking of what they want to showcase and share with others.

I found the Kellogg’s page warm and welcoming—what you expect at a family’s breakfast table.

Kellogg's FB page

Experiment with cover photos: Cover photos are the large images (851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall) that display on the Facebook profile pages. As the image will represent your business, use one that captures the essence of your brand. It could be a popular menu item for a restaurant, image of a ride for an amusement park or picture that shows people using your product. A creative image captures attention.

Add a profile picture: This is not the large cover photo of your profile page but a smaller, square image in the bottom-left corner overlaying the cover photo. It is small in size (180 × 180 pixels) so make sure the image does not have much text that might become unreadable. This image accompanies all your posts as a thumbnail.

Share links in the About Us section: While sharing your company’s description, mission and vision, it is a good idea to include links to company’s website as well as other social media profiles. This will help visitors to get a clear understanding about your business and build trust.

Update your company’s LinkedIn profile:

LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals with more than 200 million users from around the world. Business-to-business companies should absolutely create company pages on this site and use them to network with potential customers, get referrals and build their fill the top of their sales funnels.

Dell’s profile page has a cover image that portrays the brand as one which delivers work-life balance. Choose cover images to support diverse campaigns and business priorities.

DELL LinkedIn page

I explained LinkedIn marketing tactics in detail in a previous post How to Market your Business on LinkedIn. Some key points that add impact to your LinkedIn profile are:

Showcase products and services: Products and Services tab of your LinkedIn profile allows you to share images of your products with descriptions, linking them to your website section where customers can go and make the actual purchases. They work like banners linked to landing pages where you can talk about the benefits of your products and services.

Choose a dynamic cover image: The cover photo appears at the top of the home page of your LinkedIn company page. Choose a cover photo that draws people in to take a closer look at your content. It is a good strategy to include your business vision or a brief message in the cover photo that helps connect to the interests of prospective clients. You can frequently update the cover image to reflect a variety of business priorities, ranges of products, milestones achieved and events celebrated.

How have you customized your social media profiles to reach out to your social followers and fans? What features or updates have you used to maximum advantage?

About Kriti Adlakha
I have been working in the field of marketing and brand development for more than eight years. My experience ranges from hospitality to media and IT products to outsourced services. During my journey, I have worked with print and new-age media and have enjoyed developing content. I have also learnt and worked on marketing tools like adwords marketing, analytics, CRM and the list is steadily growing. Having acquired post-graduate diploma in business management from IIM, Calcutta, I love new challenges and learn from each experience. In my blog, I share marketing strategies that enable small and medium businesses to market in a small budget. I also discuss how to use different online tools that can help businesses to monitor returns of their marketing investments. Above all, I love to hear back from my readers!

One Response to Customize Social Media Profiles to Win Social Fans

  1. msienicki says:

    Such great tips, Kriti. Passing them on to the rest of my company. Thanks!

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