SMO Series: Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles
Recently we kicked off a series about social media optimization (SMO), discussing what SMO is and how it has increased in importance over the last decade.
In this article we focus on the first steps of any SMO (social media optimization) campaign — getting your social media profiles set up for success.
Long before you post or share any content, you need to have set up your profile so it is easy for potential new followers to find and contains important information about your brand. Some elements of this are easy — you likely already have a logo or profile photo you can use, and should have already put work into designing a cover photo. But there are certain other aspects of setting up your profiles that could take some further consideration.
Create branded URLs for your profile that are consistent across networks
One of the first steps you will have to take when setting up a new social media account is choosing your username, which will be part of your social media page’s URL. Whenever possible, you should keep your username consistent across every channel to enhance brand recognition and keep things simple for people who follow you across multiple platforms.
If you find your brand name is not available on a particular platform, you should still try to stay as close to it as possible while still making it easy to market and remember.
The way you customize your URL differs across platforms:
- Facebook: Navigate to the “about” section of your profile and you’ll see a field that says “username.” Click it and you can easily edit it.
- Twitter: Twitter automatically creates a custom URL for your page based on the username you sign up with (@______). You are able to choose this username at any time, though for brands it is highly recommended you stick with the same username forever once you’ve chosen it to avoid any confusion.
- LinkedIn: On LinkedIn, it is best to set your company name as the username for a Business Page. The network creates URLs in the form of linkedin.com/company/companyname. On personal pages, you can create your own unique URL like you would on Facebook.
Complete all profile fields on your social media pages
Once you have a custom URL for your company social media profile, the next step is to actually fill out the various fields in that profile with relevant, important information.
You should complete every relevant section under the “About” category, and go into as much detail as you think is necessary. Remember: the purpose of SMO is to get people to land on your social pages, so this could be the very first place prospects find your company and learn about it.
For this reason, you should think of your social media profiles as being a second website. Rather than copying and pasting content from your existing website, you should create entirely new content.
There are a couple reasons for this. First, duplicate content gets punished in search engine algorithms, so you could actually be doing more harm than good by putting that content out onto another platform. Search engines are now indexing content published on social media, so the more detailed you get (in an original way), the better.
Second, the experience you are aiming to provide on social media should be different (at least to an extent), even if the voice of the brand is the same. You may have found in your market research, for example, that the people who tend to interact with your brand on social media are of a slightly different general demographic than those who interact with your brand via email, telephone or live chat on your website. Your content should be adjusted accordingly.
In addition to providing some background about your company and what you do, you should include information on your social media page such as the services and products you offer, operating hours, locations, links to your website, ways to get in contact with your company and more.
Add calls to your action to encourage more engagement from prospects
Finally, before you begin creating and sharing content on your social media pages, you should take advantage of the call to action features many of these platforms have. Ultimately, the goal of your SMO campaign is to drive more conversions, and calls to action can help you accomplish that.
Facebook, for example, recently added a brand new call to action feature on top of the cover photo to help you create more engagement among your audience.
You can also write calls to action into your profile content under the “about” sections.
As you kick off your SMO campaign, make sure you put plenty of time into setting up your profile so you are preparing yourself for success rather than making the process harder on yourself than it needs to be.
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