Your online presence is an extension of your brand, but more importantly, it’s the persona with whom your prospective customers will do business. As such, your profile on any given social media site is one of the first aspects of your brand that a prospective customer will see, for better or for worse.
At worst, your profile will drive leads away who find your social persona either unprofessional or irrelevant. At best, your profile can become a valuable piece of content that sparks interest in your leads and inspires them to learn more about you and your business. Here are five traits of social media profiles that I’ve seen successful marketers use to generate leads.
State Your Value Proposition
People want to know your interests and what you do for a living, but more importantly, they want to know the value of adding you to their networks. How can you help them? This simple question should be the basis of your value proposition and should be focused on solving a specific need, not selling a product or promoting your business. Your profile value proposition should be similar to your business’s call-to-action, explaining the solution, rather than the method.
Here’s how I state my value proposition on Twitter: “I help marketing & sales teams generate leads and manage relationships on Twitter.” A lot of information is packed into this statement. Prospective customers who visit my profile know that I have expertise in social media marketing, lead generation, and social selling. Even better, it’s targeted towards my ideal customer: marketing and sales professionals who need more leads.
Social media is the place to show your human side. On LinkedIn and Quora, join groups not directly related to your business. On Facebook, enhance your “About” section by liking pages around your personal interests. On Twitter, use the 160 characters in your bio to your advantage. Share your job title, company, and value proposition, but make sure to include a humanizing element. Try to avoid the cliché! Too many people call themselves a “marketing nerd” or a “tech junkie.” What makes you different?
Our Socedo marketing coordinator calls himself an “Oxford Comma Advocate” in his profile, and people love to message him about it, sometimes with in enthusiastic support or with very strong opinions to the contrary. A unique profile can serve as a conversation starter, and it will also make followers feel more comfortable about adding you to their networks.
Watch Your Follower Ratio
Did you know that Twitter has a following limit? Once you reach the 2,000 threshold, you can only follow 10% more than your number of followers. In other words, you need to keep your follower ratio above 90%. Ideally, though, you’ll have more followers than the number of people you’re following, in order to establish yourself as an influential user.
This is true across all social media sites. In fact, your Klout score is partly based on this ratio. Automatic following is a great way to build an audience, but remember to clean up your list once in a while, by removing users with whom you’re no longer connected.
Keep It Updated
Facebook and LinkedIn post updates in your stream when you change your profile, which is a great way to get back on someone’s radar or spark interest in a lead who wasn’t sure about you at first. Even for sites without public updates, your business priorities and market focus don’t stay the same over time—neither should your social media profiles. Tailor your keywords and hashtags to your current marketing strategy, and keep your value proposition consistent with your goals.
On many sites, like Twitter and LinkedIn, your most recent activity is immediately adjacent to your profile, so you want to keep this content updated as well. T.A. McCann of Rival IQ recommends that, for every 10 posts on a social site, 5 should be sharing others’ content in your industry, 3 should be your own thought-leadership content, and 2 should be personal and humanizing.
Connect to Other Sites
This seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t include links to their websites in their social media profiles. However, on sites like Twitter where you only have room for one link, be strategic. If you have a great landing page for top-of-funnel visitors, use that. Otherwise, consider linking to a piece of helpful content, like an info page or your corporate blog, where your new leads would be most likely to visit next anyway.
For the best connectivity across your social media sites, create a common username or persona, if possible. This will make it easier for leads to find you and know that it’s you when you connect with them on a different channel. At the end of the day, you social media persona is an extension of your brand. Attract leads with a profile they trust and find interesting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aseem Badshah is the Founder and CEO of Socedo, a web platform that helps to automate lead generation and engagement at scale on Twitter. He has been a leader in the social media marketing space for more than 8 years. Before Socedo, Aseem founded Uptown Treehouse, a marketing agency for Fortune 500 brands focused on social media. You can learn more from Aseem at blog.socedo.com.