Have you just launched a startup? Then you’ll likely create new social profiles specific for your business. This is where you don’t want to drop the ball. Facebook alone drives almost a quarter of all web traffic to websites; with stats like that, you want to make sure people are able to discover your social profiles, connect with you, and find value in your social content.
Not sure how to make that happen? Check out these ideas for what you should do first when you launch your startup’s social profiles. They may seem obvious on the surface, but many startups are ignoring one or more of these steps.
1. Add a Unique Profile Image
You’d be surprised at how many startups create a profile without customizing it first-thing. You don’t want to be one of those startups. The thing to focus on when uploading your photo is to be sure it brands you in some way.
Your profile image is usually the first thing people will see that they’ll associate with your business, so you want them to recognize your business both now and in the future. Your company’s logo makes the perfect profile image since it’s something you can use consistently across the web.
Bonus tip: If the network you’re using offers header images on profiles, be sure that is unique, clear, and attractive as well. Your header image should always relate to your industry or your brand somehow.
2. Write a Compelling Description
Most people will include a quick description on their social profiles, but there are ways you can make yours more appealing. Since most social profiles limit how many characters you can include in your description, you want to be concise about what your business does. The biggest thing to keep in mind, however, is that you should show visitors how you can solve their problem whenever possible.
For instance, let’s say your startup is a job search website for Pakistani job seekers. Your description could read as follows:
“We are a job board listing the best openings in the area. Visit us at www.example.com.”
That’s not bad, but what if you shifted the focus so that you’re concentrating more on your target audience?
“Example.com helps Pakistani job seekers save time and a headache on their job search.”
The first description shows what you do, but by talking only about yourself, visitors won’t feel as welcome. The second description puts your target audience right into your content. A few tweaks here and there can make a lot of difference and drive more traffic to your site.
3. Include a Website Link
Including a website link is important for driving visitors to your site once they’re compelled to learn more about your business. Be sure you don’t miss this step. Most social networks will provide a section in your “edit profile” form that allows you to insert a website link on your profile. If the network you’re using doesn’t, be sure you mention your website somewhere, such as in your profile description or “about” section.
4. Follow Industry Experts
You don’t have to have a single follower on your social profiles to start connecting with industry experts. This step can do a couple of things for you.
- Other users may notice your activity, and since you’re poking around in your own industry, you’re likely to gain the attention of people who are already interested in your niche.
- Following industry experts can help you learn something from their successes on social media, and you might find that the things they share on your news feed are helpful to growing your own business.
It’s also worth connecting with other startups in your industry; you might end up forming a partnership that can benefit both of you.
5. Start Sharing Content Right Away
One mistake startups make with their social profiles is that they don’t start sharing content until they have followers. Waiting, however, can turn away visitors who were thinking about following you. If you aren’t sharing any content, it makes your profile look like it’s been abandoned. You wouldn’t follow a profile that looks dead, would you? You don’t want to give that impression to other people, either.
A good rule of thumb for sharing content is that 20 percent of your shares should be your own content or promotional material while 80 percent of your posts should be promoting other people’s content.
When you choose to promote someone else’s content, be sure you’re sharing something that will be helpful to your target audience. When a visitor lands on your profile, they are likely to look at your previous posts, and if you’re already sharing content they’re interested in, they’re more likely to follow you to keep up-to-date on that content. Once you have more followers, be sure you’re focusing on the type of feedback you’re getting, and don’t be afraid to tweak your sharing habits to meet their wants and needs.
** Before you get started, be sure you’re choosing the social networks right for your business. You don’t have to have a profile across all the top networks. Instead, choose two or three, and focus on which ones your target audience uses most and which ones have the best platform for you industry.
** Once you have your profiles set up, be sure you’re linking to them from your website. A sidebar or header follow widget with social media icons that link to your profiles is a great way to drive readers to your profiles and convert them into followers.
** If your website has a blog, you’ll also want to include social share buttons on each post. Be sure to configure your plugin to mention your profile when your content is shared (if your plugin allows this option).
Have you just launched a startup? What’s your social media plan, and what tactics will you use to make that plan come to life? Share with us in the comment section.