I received a social media message the other day from a colleague who has been in the business a while and was shocked by what I saw. Actually, I should say I was shocked by what I did not see - I almost missed the message because their profile for this particular social media account did not have a picture, a sure sign of a spammer at work.
I nearly deleted the message and moved on, but I recognized the name and was pleased to get some very helpful information.
But the more I thought about what happened, the more concerned I became. What if I was not a friend, but a customer, or a potential lead? Would I have opened the message - in this case a tweet - from what appeared to be an incomplete account profile if I did not recognize the name?
Truthfully, the answer is no. For the most part, a social media account profile that is neither current nor complete is usually a sign of a spammer or a dead account. Who has time for that?
What really shocked me as I thought about it was this was a person who should have known better. I have already chastized them but I see a lot of folks engaging in social media who have not completed their account profiles.
As more and more businesses owners use social media to grow their businesses and engage with prospects, it's an important lesson to learn - and hopefully not the hard way.
The fixes are easy. Here are four steps you can take today to ensure your social media account profile is current to improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing:
Add a current picture. I can't tell you how many tweets I receive in a day featuring the default twitter egg instead of a picture, or how many LinkedIn profiles I see with a silhouette where an image should be. Without that picture, no one pays attention to you.
Complete the profile description. Almost all of the social media platforms allow you to type in a short description of who you are and what you do. Use that opportunity. This may be the first and last time you get to sell your expertise to a prospect. Make it count.
Use your keywords. In addition to being great tools for communication, social media also influences search returns, so make sure you are using relevant keywords in your descriptions. The better you get at integrating keywords into your account profiles, the more likely you will be found. (Hat tip! For a great exercise on determining your keywords, use Wayne Breitbarth's Power Formula Keyword Worksheet. It's designed for LinkedIn, but can help improve your other account profiles as well.)
Make updates regularly. You need to capture the attention and gain the trust of your prospects. You can't do that by remaining quiet. Make sure you communicate your content regularly so they know you are there and recognize your expertise.
Of course, there are a lot of other things you can do to improve the overall effectiveness of your social media accounts, and my colleague Frank Isca has done several outstanding blog posts to help you further optimize your accounts: