A strong social media presence is a must if you want to grow your brand and reach potential customers. However, posting regularly on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn won’t cut it on its own. With all your competitors doing the same, you must find a way to stand out from the crowd and grab your audience by the eyeballs.
And for that, you need to pay attention to every little detail and leave nothing to chance.
Start by optimizing your brand’s social media profile, a crucial yet frequently overlooked step of an effective social media strategy. This will help you make a great first impression, boost engagement, and reinforce your branding.
This article will discuss some best practices for creating a stellar social media profile and ensuring you’re getting your brand message across.
Pin Strategically Valuable Content
Social media is a fast-moving channel.
Its immediacy affects the exposure and longevity of the content you post.
For example, the average lifespan of a tweet is mere 18 minutes, after which it practically won’t be displayed on your followers’ feeds.
Instagram might not be as fast-paced as Twitter, but even with your posts staying comparatively fresh and discoverable somewhere between 21 and 48 hours, you can’t expect some critical information or announcements to reach all your followers.
In a similar vein, posts on Facebook expire from the feed after about 6 hours, while LinkedIn has a better track record of at least 24 hours, although this window is very likely longer since many posts pop up on your audience’s feed a couple of days after their initial publish date.
So, what do you do when you have important and strategically valuable content, and you don’t want to bury it in an avalanche of all the other posts?
You make it visible at all times by pinning it on your Twitter or Facebook profile. As for Instagram, Highlights is a feature that allows you to keep your key content for as long as you need it.
This way, you’ll make the most of your social media profile and turn it into prime real estate that amplifies the reach of your best and most critical content pieces.
The MarketBeat YouTube profile features a video that frames the brand in a specific way and gives a recap of what the company can do for customers. This way, their brand message doesn’t blend into all the niche videos they usually post and become lost on their audience.
Warby Parker’s Instagram is packed with pics and videos of the brand’s snazzy frames and shades. They leverage the Highlights in the profile to categorize their products and collections in a structured and organized manner, as well as keep them highly visible for as long as necessary.
Be Visually and Tonally Consistent Across Platforms
When you scroll through your social media feed, the odds are you instantly recognize certain brands simply by seeing their logos, color scheme, style, or even narrative.
This is what brand continuity, a concept that plays an essential role in the effectiveness of your social media efforts, is all about. Thanks to it, your audience can identify your brand and distinguish you from your competitors more easily. As a result, you’ll be able to build trust and loyalty with your customers who prefer things that are familiar and consistent.
How would you feel if you met someone who changed their appearance, voice, and personality every time you saw them? Probably feel confused and skeptical.
But if you met someone who always looked, sounded, and acted the same way, you would likely feel more comfortable and connected.
The same principle applies to your social media presence.
For example, Wendy’s is known for their quirky personality and cheeky posts — something that a polished tech giant like IBM couldn’t pull off without seeming like its social media channels have been hacked.
That’s why it’s critical to put together brand guidelines and ensure that your brand experience is coherent across different social media platforms.
Grammarly goes the extra mile to achieve brand consistency, and besides staying on point visually and tonally, they also use the same description in their Instagram and Facebook profiles. It allows them to target the same keywords and strengthen their brand identity.
State Your Value Propositions Clearly
Social media is the new search engine.
With Facebook averaging 2 billion searches a day and Instagram doubling as a tool for discovering products and services, your social media channels have become the first touchpoint your potential customers have with your brand.
And this fact adds a new meaning to the adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In other words, if you fail to wow potential customers who find you through social media, your brand will disappear from their radar.
To avoid that scenario, it’s crucial to make sure your social media profile communicates exactly what you do, the value you offer, and what sets you apart. Summarizing all this and placing this statement at the top of your profile where it’s prominent will allow you to capture your audience’s attention right off the bat.
Shop Solar hits the mark with how they introduced their brand on Facebook. The company catches potential customers’ eye and removes one of their biggest concerns by stating that “going solar has never been so simple and affordable.” Plus, that’s the same tagline used on their website, a tactic we already mentioned as essential for establishing consistency.
Similarly, The Body Shop makes full use of their Instagram profile by highlighting their higher purpose as well as the values they champion and share with their audience. The fact that the brand has been all about sustainability and against animal testing since day one is obvious from the planet, plant, and rabbit emojis, and people looking for ethical beauty brands know they don’t have to look any further.
Prove You Exist in the Real World
Online shopping is tremendously popular due to the ease and convenience of browsing and selecting products from the comfort of your own home. Plus, most e-commerce stores are open 24/7 so that people can place an order late at night or during the weekend.
However, there’s the other side of the coin: online shopping holds the second spot on the list of the top 10 fraud categories. No wonder some people are reluctant to share their personal information with online sites and rather opt to do their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
To remove this barrier and show your potential customers you’re legit and safe to do business with, add as many details that prove your store exists in the real world. In other words, populate all the fields and areas that show your physical presence, such as contact details, address, maps, and landline phone number.
Atlassian, although an already established company, still displays its physical address with the exact location shown on a map and a landline phone number on its Facebook profile. This way, potential customers can rest assured they can use the company’s online services and provide their credit card details without worrying about fraud and scams.
Besides stating their address and other relevant information, LARQ, a brand producing self-cleaning water bottles, added another trust signal to their LinkedIn profile — a field displaying that the company raised $10.7M via Crunchbase funding. This detail is enough to corroborate the legitimacy of the brand and vouch that they’re legit.
Pay Attention to Changes in Profile Trends and Features
Staying up to date with the latest social media trends and feature updates is a must. The sooner you jump on the bandwagon and start leveraging novelty, the greater impact your social media strategy will have.
Until a couple of months ago, you had to use a third-party app such as Linktree if you wanted to add multiple links to your Instagram bio. Now, all you have to do is click the Edit button in your profile and add up to five external, clickable links.
Twitter started out as a microblogging platform with a 140-character limit and recently expanded the character count to 25,000 for registered users.
LinkedIn’s post-scheduling feature rolled out in March 2023, allowing users to better target their prospects. The social networking platform introduced other new features, including an alt text option and the ability to generate video captions.
When we’re talking about the latest trends that went viral and took the social media landscape by storm, it’s impossible to overlook breaking the new frontier and dabbling in the metaverse. Big brands such as Target and Macy’s had several metaverse activations, while Gucci has launched Gucci Town, a permanent digital destination hosted on Roblox with buildings, theme rooms, and a cafe.
In short, with such a fast-paced evolution of social media, you risk getting outperformed by your competitors unless you keep up with the latest trends.
Leverage Social Proof
87% of buying decisions start with online research. This means your potential customers want to check whether your promotional claims are true and what existing customers think about your brand, products, and customer service.
Your social media profile is a perfect place to showcase social proof as a powerful way of elevating credibility. First-time customers want the people who have already purchased from you to vouch for the quality of your products before they decide whether they can trust you.
Facebook allows you to display Page ratings, calculated based on customer reviews and recommendations. Why let prospects drift away from your social media profile to find what others say about your brand when you can display the ratings and reviews yourself?
Kiehl’s Facebook profile features a 4.1-star rating based on 103 reviews coming from different sources. This way, potential customers are encouraged to try out the products, as they have proof that other people have positive experiences with the company.
AWeber, an email marketing tool, found a clever way to display social proof on Twitter since the social media platform (as well as other social media giants except for Facebook) doesn’t have a rating and review system enabled. The brand inserted a happy customer’s remark in a pinned tweet
Use All the Profile Fields the Platform Provides
According to research, LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 21 more views than those without it, and we can logically conclude that it’s even worse when brands leave fields unpopulated.
Make an effort to fill out all the fields in your social media profile. Believe it or not, many brands have incomplete profiles, a mistake that has at least two implications:
Wasting an opportunity to include keywords in their descriptions. Profiles optimized for keywords are more discoverable and will show up in searches.
Leaving an impression of a ghost town where nothing happens, or even worse — potential customers might come to the conclusion that your company is defunct. By not explaining what your company does, you also show your potential customers you don’t particularly care about them. As a result, you can’t expect them to interact with your brand.
So, to get your audience to interact and engage with your social media content, make sure your profile is well-crafted and contains all the necessary information.
Spotify’s Facebook profile checks all the boxes. The ecommerce brand really exceeded requirements, as their About section also contains community standards. Combined with regular posting and responding to their followers’ questions and comments helped them generate significant engagement and turn their Business Page and spark conversations.
Casetify uses all the available fields in their LinkedIn profile, and besides the About, Jobs, and People sections, the brand also included a Life tab. Clicking it takes followers behind the scenes and shows their offices, culture, and events. There are also photos and videos shot by the company’s employees. Needless to say, such a genuine approach to social networking encourages interactions and helps build more meaningful connections with their followers.
Optimizing your social media profile can make or break all your efforts to engage your audience and build trust with them. That’s why it’s essential to implement the tips we discussed and keep tabs on the latest social media trends. By laying a strong foundation, you will increase your brand exposure, build trust with your target audience, and create new business opportunities.