It’s arrogant to assume that ALL eyes are on you… but you should be aware of how you present yourself to the eyes that ARE on you. Watch how you present yourself on your social media outlets! Read on to see how to make sure your personal life doesn’t kill your business.
Social Media Basics in 7 Steps
No matter which social media outlet you use as your platform (Facebook & Twitter are the most popular/common, but you might also like to use LinkedIn or Google+), there are a few simple things to get you on the right track right off the bat:
- Put a Face to Your Name. Get rid of the default image and add a profile pic! Either a picture of yourself or of your business logo would work just fine. Personally, I like seeing a face–that way, when I interact with them, it feels more like I’m speaking with a “real” person. If you’re a “one (wo)man” operation like I am, I would go with your face; however, if you’re a larger company, I would go with the logo. Just make sure you put something up to represent you!
- Link to Your Site. The whole purpose of interacting on social media as a business owner is to get people to visit your business. Make sure you link back to your website!
- A Description of You/Your Business. Sure, you’ve added your picture and a link to your website–but if people don’t know what your business is all about, none of that is going to matter! You don’t get a lot of room to describe what you do, so choose your words carefully. Be concise and always keep your “brand” in mind. If you had to describe what you do in one sentence, what would you say?
- Actually…You Know…Post Stuff! Having a great profile picture, links, and description mean nothing if you don’t actually make updates on your accounts! If you don’t plan to keep your social media outlets updated, then you might as well not have any. (Note: Don’t get mistaken for a spammer. Don’t say the exact same message again and again or you could find yourself blocked or even banned!).
- Look to Your Competition. Still not sure how to get things rolling? Take a peek at what your competition is doing! How often do they update? What do they say when they do? What kind of reaction do they get, if any? (Note: If you’re not sure who your competition is, the easiest way to find out is to Google the keywords you want to be known for and see who pops up!).
- Use What Works for YOU! Just because “everyone has Facebook” doesn’t mean that you have to. It’s easy to feel anxious about social media. When my peers were hopping on the Google+ bandwagon, I started to get worried–however, I stuck with what works for me and I haven’t regretted it. Don’t go after “the next big thing” just because it’s new. If you hate it, you’ll never use it, and you’ll have wasted your time.
- Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep. I’ve come out with some personal issues on my website and the goals I have for fixing them. But, if I don’t make the effort (and succeed!) then I’ll be branded a failure or–worse!–a liar. If you say you’re going to do something: Do it. Don’t make the mistake of sharing your plans without following through on them. It could be the death of your business. If you aren’t sure you’re going to put in the effort and make it happen, then keep it to yourself.
Business You VS. Personal You
I like to keep my personal social media accounts, well, personal. I set the privacy settings to max and only let my closest friends see what I’m up to. However, every once in a while a client will be asked to be let into the inner circle. I guarantee this will happen to you eventually too! And that’s when you’ll have to make the tough decisions.
The “personal” you will probably be different from “business” you… But is there a risk of “personal” you killing business prospects for “business” you?
For me, my personal life is so tame, I don’t usually have any qualms about letting business connections see into my “real” life. Here’s a glimpse at the last two picture of myself I posted on my personal Facebook page:
See? Pretty tame stuff. Nothing that I’d have to scramble to explain to my business prospects.
I’m lucky though. I live a nice “boring” life. My business pretty much is my life. That makes things easy!
However, if I were the type (or if you are!) to post pictures of myself drunk or half-naked or doing something completely controversial… Then I would think twice about sharing.
When it comes to your business–especially in social media–make sure that the “you” you present is always the “Business you.”
They’re watching. And you will be judged.