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How to Rock Social Media, Part Two: Designing & Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles

POSTED BY doug ON December 14, 2015

How to Rock Social Media, Part Two: Designing & Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles blog post jandralee pr by the book prbythebook

Social media. Whether you’ve recently decided to dive into it or you’ve been swimming around for years, you now understand why social media matters.

The problem is that it’s easy to understand why something matters and a little less easy to understand how to make it work for you. If you’re looking for what to do and how to do it (better) on social media, our “How to Rock Social Media” blog series is definitely the right place to begin.

When using social media, one of the most important factors isn’t just what and how you say things, but it’s also how you look. That’s right, presentation matters too.

On average, you’ve only got 7 seconds to capture someone’s attention. Designing and optimizing your social media profiles helps you stand out from the pack.

For those of you joining us for the first time, be sure to check out Part One of the “How to Rock Social Media” series, “Which Networks Should You Use” to make sure you’re using the right social media network for your brand, your audience, and your goals.

Step One: Figure out a username and claim it. Everywhere.

Pick something simple, easy-to-memorize (not just for you), and timeless.

While you might be catlover109 today, the same might not be true tomorrow.

A username like that doesn’t make it easy for your followers to know who you really are. This is fine if you want to remain anonymous online. Not so fine if you want to use social media to build your audience, attract new followers, and boost your career.

Stick with something simple like firstnamelastnameIf it’s already taken or you have a common name, be creative!

Here’s my username on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. If you Google “jandralee” you will find only me because I branded myself under the same username everywhere. It’s even my website URL!

Twitter username jandraleeThis is your chance to be a little unique if your name is more common – good usernames include firstnamelastnameauthor or firstnamewrites. 

Be careful picking a username to brand yourself as from here on out, such as @Book_PublicistThis is a wonderful username for our very own Jason Jones, but it takes time for that type of username to be commonly associated with you.

If you’re going to create a blog or a business and brand yourself as that – make sure the name sticks! If you’re launching @thebookbeautyblog, be sure to keep it up. Otherwise, if the blog dies, you might decide you need to change your username down the line. (Which is totally doable, but we’re talking about long-term here! Swapping your username every few months is confusing and can prevent you from gaining new followers.)

Remember, this is how people are going to find you on social media.

PRO TIP: Even if you’re only using a Facebook Fan Page right now, go ahead and claim that username on other social media networks like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram if there is a remote possibility that you might expand onto those networks in the future.

Don’t forget to populate the profiles with your photo, a brief description, and a link to your website/main social media platform so anyone who stumbles across your currently un-used Twitter profile knows where to find you!

Step Two: Write a compelling bio.

Be descriptive and original, including all of the relevant information you want to share with your followers.

This isn’t an autobiography, however, so keep it brief.

Also, think of a short tagline that describes you easily in 160 characters or less. (Twitter restricts its bios to this number, but Facebook also has a spot for a shorter “About” section.)

Think of keywords that you want to highlight – perhaps “author” or your latest book title – and make sure what you write in your bio matches what you’re going to share on social media.

Twitter bio jandralee

My bio has a lot of information about me in not many words. (And I still had space to talk about my love for Pluto!)

If this is an account for a law firm, keep it on topic. After all – you probably won’t be sharing 24/7 cat videos.

PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to inject a little bit of personality into your bio to keep it from being boring. What makes you stand apart from the other thousands of authors on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram?

Step Three: Pick a perfect profile photo, and make it square.

A blurry photo of you and four other people drinking margaritas probably isn’t your best option.

If you have a professional headshot, that’s great. Use it!

profile photo jandralee twitter

This is my profile photo everywhere. Everywhere.

Yes, I mean everywhere, even if it seems boring. You can change your profile photo on your personal Facebook page, but your Fan Page is meant for the public. It’s called branding! Your goal is to make it easy for people to find & recognize you on all networks.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have a professional headshot, use these tips from Buffer on selecting the best profile photo.

Step Four: Select a cover photo.

Your cover photo is the header at the top of most social media profiles, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

It should be unique, attention-grabbing, and visually pleasing.

Here’s a cheat sheet to some of the standard image sizes on social media in 2016 (including cover photos).

PRO TIP: Size your cover photo for each individual social media network. Otherwise, you might end up with a wonky, pixelated cover photo that does more harm than good for your brand.

cover photo jandralee twitter

I used Canva to create this cover photo for both Twitter and Facebook. The background photo is an image I took myself, but you can use a free stock photo if you don’t have a high-res image.

If you want to take it a step further, you can create a cover image for each social media network that is identical (or at least matches) by using Canva. (Canva is a great free tool that has templates for each of the social networks and helps you design great-looking graphics without being a graphic designer.)

Step Five: Go forth and conquer!

Now that your profiles are dressed up to the nines, you’re ready to move onto the next step in our series, “Who to Follow.”


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