Today I want to talk to you about your social media profiles. This is your individual account in tools such as Facebook and Twitter. These profiles are the foundation of our work in social media marketing for our direct sales and network marketing businesses. Yet I often see direct sellers missing out on so many opportunities to optimize these presences, and they either come across as unprofessional, or desperate to make a sale.
Here are three things that should be included in an optimized social media profile. Have you done all three on yours?
- Profile Photo: First (and I’ve said this before), make sure you include a picture of yourself as your profile photo. Not your kids. Not your dog. People aren’t doing business with them. They’re doing business with you. (By the way, make sure it looks like you and not the skinny version without gray hair that you’re walking around with in your head. 🙂 We’re going for transparency here, folks.) And don’t stand so far away from the camera that I can’t make out who you are, because you’re so tiny. An ideal profile picture is a headshot, which shows you from the top of your head, to halfway down your torso (or so). The sides of the photo frame your shoulders. You should be looking directly at the camera, so we feel like we have eye contact with you.
And this doesn’t have to be a professional photo, taken by a pro. My husband took my profile photo, and it works fine. Although if your company is offering photos this year at convention, be sure to get one taken. And the best part is, once the photo is taken, you should be using the same photo on all your social networking profiles (so people always know it’s you, no matter where they meet you), so you only need one good photo.
- Use Your Real Name. Next, be sure your profile is in your own name. Not “Sue XYZ Company.” First of all, this is in violation of the terms of service for some social networks, such as Facebook. But second of all, it tells people that you’re there to sell them. And people don’t like to be sold on their social networks. By avoiding the alias, and using your real name, you can begin where you’re supposed to (and where it’s most effective)…at the point of the relationship. And people won’t run in the other direction when they see you coming, because they think you’re there to try and sell them something.
- Website Links. Include your links to your personal website, and your blog if you have one. This is such an easy one, and yet I see people neglect it all the time. If you’ve got a personal website through your company, or a blog you use to market your business, make sure you’ve got a link to it on your profile. Both Facebook and Twitter give you an area to include a link…Twitter gives you one link, so include a link to your blog if you have one (personal website is 2nd choice, because typically when people click it, they want to find out more about YOU, not your products yet. An About page link is ideal.) On Facebook, you can include multiple links, so put them both up.
Your social networking profiles are the places that relationships online start. You meet people, listen to them, and get to know them. These can be a great place to introduce people to your business through conversations, as opposed to outright sales pitches. But there are things we can do to help that curiosity along, so people don’t run in the opposite direction because they feel like they’re going to be “sold.”
Take a minute today to go through your social networking profiles. Where can you make adjustments so that you come across as a human being, rather than a sales attack waiting to happen?
What tips do you have about profiles? Do you have any stories about your own profile, or the profiles of others that you’ve seen? Share your thoughts in the comments!