20 DAY PR CHALLENGE – DAY 3

by helen on July 5, 2011

First impressions count!

How to set up or complete your Twitter and Linkedin profiles to make sure they attract the right people

I’m not going to spend time talking about why it’s important to get involved in social media. As you’re here already, chances are you’ve decided it’s worth investing some time and effort into using the latest communication tool to connect with your customers.

What you’re here to find out is: how do I get myself noticed using social media?

So let’s get started.

Twitter

A great place to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you are, live and work in the same area, and most importantly, are interested in your products/services.

The aim of the Twitter game is to build a community of followers who will engage with you, retweet you and help you achieve your objectives (finding more people to do business with, discovering what people want in relation to your business, learning about what people think about your business).

So how do you attract the right kind of people?

Your Twitter name or “handle” should be one that makes it easy for people who know you to find you. Use your business name if possible, and if you can’t (someone beat you to it) think creatively about what you’re offering and use an industry phrase people recognise and search for.

Your Twitter profile includes a picture and bio, link to your website or blog, and information about your Twitter community (number of tweets, followers, following, lists).

THIS IS WHERE YOU MUST MAKE THE RIGHT FIRST IMPRESSION.

If you are an individual, use a photo of yourself – people like to see who they’re connecting with. Many corporate Tweeters use their logo as their bio pic – but I think it’s always preferable to have people in the photos, perhaps a team shot – or an image which represents how your company makes a difference. Some people use cartoons. It’s really up to you – but if you make the effort, people will notice. If you just stick your logo in – people might recognise it, but I think it looks like you can’t be bothered to come up with anything else.

Here’s how I think you can write a bio to attract the right followers.

Have a look at your competitors or companies you buy from. Are their profiles complete – do you know how their tweets will help you? Do they make you want to follow them?

Still confused about what to put in your profile? Try this.

Linkedin

Like Twitter, Linkedin is a great place to meet people – to network – and because it’s a platform for professionals it’s much easier to find the people that matter to your business.

Whether you’ve had a Linkedin profile for a while (like many people) or are yet to join, you need to make sure you complete your profile 100% for it to really work. Linkedin makes it really easy for you to know how close you are to hitting your target and even makes suggestions about what you need to do to complete your profile.

You need a photo – might be worth using the same image as on Twitter, then people will soon recognise you when they see you online – details about your current position, two previous roles, information about your education, a summary of your background/experience, details about any specialties and at least three recommendations or testimonials (from other Linkedin members).

Get found on Linkedin in five simple steps is a short YouTube film from communications consultancy MRM which has some great ideas about how to write a profile that will help you get found.

Now, your task for the day, is to check your existing profiles (if you’ve already set them up) to see if they’re up to scratch. If you haven’t set up your accounts yet, I hope this gives you inspiration to get started.

When you’re ready, post your Twitter and Linkedin profiles in the comments below – and we’ll let you know what we think!

Tomorrow’s post goes into more detail about how you can get your profiles working well for you.

P.S. I hate having my picture taken, so I was dreading the prospect of going in front of the camera after years of “supervising” client photo shoots. A PR photographer I have known for a while, Shaun Flannery Photography, offered to help – and it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be! Thanks to Shaun for his patience, generosity and my Twitter, Linkedin and website photos. If anyone needs their picture taken, he’s based in Doncaster– check out his website, follow him on Twitter or visit his Facebook fan page.

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