When it comes to personal or corporate branding, the role of social profile can not be over emphasize. Whether you are just trying to get more exposure online, connect with your fans or customers, or working to purify your online reputation, social profiles are the way to go as they will rank highly in search engine results when people search for your name. I’d like to suggest that you look at your social profiles as a key starting point in building a stronger digital footprint.
What is a social profile?
A social profile is a profile web page that displays user’s Social Graph (Following / Following) and Activity Stream (micro-blog). May optionally display user’s interests and expertise for expertise search.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is an individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. Not every influencer is created equal. There are different types of influencers, and your approach to building your social profile will depend on the category you belong. In this article, I will look at influencers from the following categories:
- Celebrities: Just about everyone knows them. They have very high reach and a lot of people trying to reach out to them.
- Authorities: Usually regarded as an expert in a field. Most motivational speakers fall in this category.
- Journalists: Journalist write for online publications. They can be anywhere from a celebrity to a blogger.
- Connectors: they usually fall between the categories. They like to connect people together to create values.
- Bloggers: They have a blog and hold sway over their reader.
Each of these influencers have different things they need do to attract the right attention. If you are a journalist and you set your social profile as a celebrity, your results will be limited.
So, how can you create a winning influencer social profile that engage? Here are 10 things you need to do to create a powerful social profile.
#1: Your Name
What is in a name? The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name. As an influencer, the name you choose represent your brand. So, the category of influencer you belong determine your approach. Celebrities for instance like to go for a nickname while others prefer their real name. The important question is what would you like to be address with? How do your fans or followers refer to you? How would people search for you on internet? It is worth mentioning that search engine rank your name rather than your username. So be sure to enter the name you want to be found with on SE.
#2: Your Username
So where does the username come into play? Some people who can’t find your social media links may just assume it is something obvious and type it in directly. Think about what people would search you under, and make sure that is your username that is included in the URL. Be sure to think of brand dominance when it comes to this part, otherwise you’ll end up changing your username. I made the same mistake when I was starting out. I put my surname before my firstname but later decided to change it otherwise. I loose some fans but it’s for the good of it. So if you know you are going to become an influencer one day, make sure your username is what you can be proud of.
Not sure if your username is taken? Use KnowEm’s free tool to check your desired username across hundreds of social platforms.
#3: Your Profile Pic
There is great debate when it comes to profile photos / avatars on social networks in terms of whether you should go with your brand logo or the face of a person. My usual thought is that if you are a big enough brand or business with a well-recognized logo, definitely go with the logo. If you’re building a personal brand or you are a public figure like a blogger, politician, musician, artist, etc., go with the personal picture. People are more likely to want to engage with a person than a brand logo.
Once you have selected your default photo, be sure to stick with the same picture as your default photo from one network to the next, that way people easily recognize you across all social networks.
Another thing that helps in SEO value is naming your photo file appropriately before uploading it. Be sure you have named it yourname.jpg or yourbusiness.jpg as opposed to uploading IMG0153.jpg.
This might have some value, especially in image searches, which can be particularly important now that Google has incorporated the first few image search results in their main page of search results, as well as Twitter info. If someone searches you by name, you will want your image to come up, not someone else’s.
Consider the Twitter social profiles Name, Username and profile picture below of some of some Nigeria top influencers and judge by yourself what you will go for.
#4: Your Cover Photo/Image
A customized cover photo will allow you to share additional information and images that may not fit in the fields of your profile, as well as share additional links and icons to other networks so people know your brand can be found elsewhere. It is surprising to note that most of the top influencers don’t have a cover photo. However, these two from @MuyiaAfolabi and @GenevieveNnaji is worth mentioning.
#5: Your Links
This varies from one social media network to the next, but be sure to seek out any opportunity to get your link on the main page of your social profile. For example, many people miss the fact they can add their link on their YouTube channel page, or in the box underneath their profile picture on Facebook. Make sure that your link is front and center so that people can find it quickly and click through to your website.
A good idea is to link to your website or detail bio profile. It is generally advisable to have a personal website branded for you. A close look at most of the Nigeria influencers social profiles indicate that majority use the free service of blogspot, wordpress and other free platform. Except you are Linda Ikeji with her famous blogspot, investing a little in a personal website can make a different. It is noteworthy, that most of the motivational speakers are just on the right track but others seems to be lacking behind. But if you should insist on a free service, a tumblr.com will be ideal for personal profile while a blogspot will do for freelance journalist.
Also, on networks such as LinkedIn, be sure to customize your link’s anchor text by using the Other option instead of just using My Website, My Company, or My Blog.
I know there are exceptions such as corporate policy maybe for Media staff or celebrities who use their social profile links to promote a movie or a deal. But generally, your link is your promotional tool and should link to your personal website.
#6: Your Bio
Your main social profile’s bio is usually just a sentence or two about yourself or your business. Think of it as a perfect place to put your elevator pitch and include your main keywords. I don’t mean in a salesy way, but just if someone were to ask you to tell them briefly what you or your business is about, what would you say?
Be sure to fill out your bio to its full potential. While some networks allow you to only have a limited amount of characters, others encourage more robust and lengthy bios. Take advantage of this to share only the best about yourself and your brand. Also make sure you include the keywords of your profession for search engine optimization.
If you have a bragging right you are free to share it. That is what @TaraDurotoye did in her Twitter profile.
You can even have a funny one like @basket_mouth if you are a comedian.
Please check out the Social Media Bio Best Practices Guide
#7: Your Interests
Some profiles allow you to have additional extended information about yourself in the form of favorite books, television shows, movies, and so on. A lot of people skip over this, especially when it comes to business profiles, but that is a big mistake.
Look at these fields as an additional place to get some great keyword value. I doubt there is a niche out there that doesn’t have at least one or two published books. Find books, documentaries, and profiles of influential people in your industry and add those in these additional fields.
#8: Your Privacy Settings
So after you have all of your profile filled out, pictures uploaded, and cover designed, the next thing that you will need to take a look at are your privacy settings. These vary from network to network, but you will want to make sure that the information you would like to be public is viewable.
I would suggest making sure your basic bio / summary, links to your main website, and default profile pic / avatar is available for everyone to see. This is especially important when you are looking to connect with others who may not necessarily recognize your name, but will recognize your photo or website affiliations.
If you are just starting out and don’t belong in the celebrity category you may also allow people to message you such as in Facebook and Twitter.
#9: Your Activity
Once your profile setup is complete, your on-going mission will be to maintain a healthy level of activity on your main social networks, which for most will be Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. These are four open ended yet important guidelines to follow on any network.
- Don’t just add friends – engage with them!
- Don’t just join groups – participate in them!
- Don’t just post updates to update – think about what your connections want to see and share!
- Don’t just read feedback – thank them whether is it positive or not
#10: Your Promotion
Finally, there is nothing like a little promotion of your social profiles to help more people find and connect with you, giving you more people to engage with! Be sure to add your social networking profile links to:
- Your website.
- Your email signature.
- Your forum signature.
- Your business card.
Also, don’t forget to interlink your profiles to each other. If you can share multiple links on a social profile, make sure some of those are to your main social profiles!
Some Parting Thoughts…
As a final thought, if you have not given thought to your social profile before, now is the time to do so. If you are thinking of some of the best influencers to imitate, I have done a little work for you. However, use your discretion on who to follow or imitate. Please note that the list is not in any specific order.
If you feel that this information may not apply to your field or wish to add something, leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear your input, even if you read this several months down the road. If you apply the information and it works for you, I will like to hear from you. If you are an influencer you can share your experience here. And if you think I goof, give it to me.
- Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde @RealOmosexy
- Stephanie Okereke Linus @StephanieLinus
- Mercy Aigbe @realmercyaigbe
- Tiwa Savage Balogun @TiwaSavage
- Ini Edo @iniedo01
- Mercy Johnson Okojie @realmercyj
- Ali Baba @ALIBABAGCFR
- 2face Idibia @official2baba
- Basketmouth @basket_mouth
- Niyi Adesanya @Nadesanya
- Sam Adeyemi @sam_adeyemi
- Fela Durotoye @taradurotoye
- Muyia Afolabi @franklyafolabi
- George Essien @mightygeorgeng
- Ogbo Awoke Ogbo @ogboawokeogbo
- Samuel Okocha @samokocha
- Sunday Dare @gebusites
- Femi Asu @asufemi
- Arukaino Umukoro @rukaino
- Ibanga Isine @Ibykul
- MITCHELL OBI @mitchellobi09
- Theophilus Abbah @Theophilusa
- Fisayo Soyombo @fisayosoyombo
- Juliana Francis @julianafrancis
- Tolu Ogunlesi @toluogunlesi
- KUNLE SOLAJA @KunleSolaja
- Funmi Iyanda @Funmilola
- Obinna Emelike @ObinnaEmelike
- Adedeji Ademigbuji @AdedejiAdemigbu
- Musikilu Mojeed @Musikilu
- Oluyinka Alawode @oluyinkaalawode
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