But as I was going through the list of people following me, a few things stood out to me. And I thought it might be valuable to you as you set up your own social networking profiles.
- Always, always, ALWAYS include an appropriate photo. I am shocked at the number of logos and questionable photos people use on their social networks. But I’ll tell you one thing…no photo (or gross photo)? No follow! If I don’t see a photo, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re a fake account that’s up to no good. If you want someone to follow you back, make sure your photo represents you and your business well.
- Put some effort into your bio. It amazes me when people completely skip the info section of the bio on social networks. It says, “I want to get to know you, but I’m not offering you the same courtesy.” Again, spammers and the like set up dozens of fake accounts that are photo and bio-less. Most people who see these things missing automatically assume you are a spammer, and will not follow you back.
- Protected tweets. If you don’t want people to see what you’re putting out there, use Facebook. Twitter is about the free flow of information. When you protect your tweets, you’re putting out an artificial disconnect that doesn’t work in this environment. It also makes you look a bit stuck up, as if you think your information is more important than what others are sharing. Most people I know won’t follow back anyone with protected Tweets.
- Using a business name instead of your name. Now this does not apply to your company. But for you, the independent consultant, you should be using your name on your account, not some pseudonym. Otherwise, you look like you’re just another yahoo that wants to sell me something. Who wants to be stalked by marketers? There are way too many people like that on Twitter. Don’t be one of them. Your real name says you’re interested in building a relationship with me first. I’m a lot more likely to follow you if you lead with your name.
- Avoid acronyms. I just love it (this is sarcastic) when I get a follower whose bio is full of an alphabet soup of acronyms. If the only people you’re interested in connecting with are people who understand what those acronyms mean, then maybe that will work for you. (But then why the heck are you following me???) It just comes off as a little arrogant. Your bio should welcome people in, not alienate people because they don’t understand what you’re talking about.
If you’re going to go to all the effort to set up a Twitter account and follow people, at least take the extra five minutes to set up your profile properly. Otherwise it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good.