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Having a strong online presence is vital when competing in today’s bustling marketplace, you already know that. You don’t need us to tell you (again) that digital content is crucial for promoting your business online and generating great customer engagement. However, books are judged by their cover in the world of business so the visual aesthetics of your social media profiles are just as influential in building a respectable and recognisable brand identity.

If you had an important meeting coming up in the diary with somebody you really wanted to impress, you wouldn’t head there wearing your Sunday sweatpants stained with last week’s takeaway would you? Of course you wouldn’t, especially when you’re trying to project a certain image and entice serious interest and it’s exactly the same when it comes to the look of your social media pages. Knowing your stuff and having awesome content is all well and good but if it’s not pleasing on the eye, you can forget it.

Social media profiles are very easily edited and we’re here to run you through some pointers when it comes to setting up your business page. The most important thing to remember, no matter what platform you are using, is consistency is key. Customers love consistency. If you were a mobile hairdresser and turned up to your appointment dressed as a construction worker, your customer would be left very uncertain and confused. Similarly, if your social media profiles aren’t on-brand and don’t consolidate your business identity, you will leave customers unsure of who you are and what you do.

We’ve chosen the main features from some of the most popular social media platforms that are used for successful business marketing and promotion to push you in the right direction. You can take these guidelines and apply them to most other profiles as the fundamental concepts are all pretty much the same: consistency, quality and professionalism.

URLs – This is the stuff that comes up in the web address bar when somebody lands on your page. It’s best to keep this short, sweet, straight to the point and easy to remember. Most people just use the name of their business and this does the trick just perfectly. For example, our Facebook URL is www.facebook.com/theaccountancypartnership.

Profile pictures – Personal profiles and business pages are very different so bear this in mind when selecting your profile picture. Nobody wants to see a picture of the business owner drinking flaming shots off a stripper’s stomach in Vegas five years ago – save that for your own profile.

The best looking business pages use a company logo or other graphics relating to the business here. Make sure the image is cropped neatly into the given dimensions and is of high resolution. Poor quality images don’t reflect the professional and polished image you’re trying to portray to your online audience.

Cover/header photos – Just like with profile or display pictures, cover photos need to be good quality, visually appealing, on-brand and complementary to the profile as a whole. Cover photos are much wider in dimension and landscape, while profile pictures are square so bear this in mind when making your selection. Cover images can also be graphic or even used to display a team picture, product placement or work in action. If you are going to go with the either of the two latter options, seriously consider getting them professionally snapped to ensure a professional finish.

About/info/bios – Treat these in the same way you would an ‘About’ section on your main website only with less words. You need to give a clear and concise overview of what you’re about in accordance to the platform’s respective character limit. Twitter allows up to 160 characters, while Instagram’s cut off is 150 but you can afford to expand a little further on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Customers are as likely to search for information about you on your social media profiles as they are on your main websites so you need to ensure you include all of the necessary information. There will be space for details like websites, contact numbers, opening hours and email addresses, depending on the platform but your main aim is to make customer usability as seamless and functional as possible.

Handles/usernames – What we’re talking about here is the characters that come after an @ sign on popular platforms like Twitter and cult image sharing application, Instagram. This is your unique ID that people can search you by, contact you with and share content via so it’s vital that it is on-brand and easy to understand. Our Twitter handle is @AccountancyPart, which is taken from the name of our business and doesn’t contain any confusing symbols or numbers. Taking this route makes it easy for your customers to reach out to you and conveys what the company is all about.

A ‘username’ is often different to a ‘full name’ when setting up your account and filling out all of the necessary details. When creating a commercial social media profile, never use the names of individual people as you want the company to have its own stand-alone brand visibility. Feel free to set up your own personal accounts in conjunction, to supplement the content on your business pages but make sure it is easy to distinguish between the personal and the professional.

Privacy settings – With personal social media profiles, most people prefer to have tight privacy settings so prying eyes aren’t privy to any of their private details. However, it’s quite the opposite when it comes to business pages as you want as many views, follows, likes, shares and clicks as possible! For example, having your Twitter privacy setting turned on means only people who are already following you can see your feed and share your tweets. This completely defeats the object of social media marketing and wouldn’t make a whole lot of business sense!

 

 

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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