By Bill Corbett
People often ask me for tips and pointers for growing a brand.
I tell professionals to start by assessing how they are presenting themselves both online and in the real world today. The strategy behind this first step is to develop and project a consistent message.
To convey a consistent message, individuals should be utilizing a variety of online and social media platforms. Professionals and business owners should start by creating and regularly updating online profiles that include updating photos and videos. When creating online profiles, convey a message that aligns with who you are, why you do what you do and why you are an expert. For example, business owners must use a professional head shot to create the right first impression. By dressing professionally or in company uniform for photos and in person, you will avoid a disconnect between your real world and your online image. Studies even show that people will not even call somebody if they don’t have a photo or complete profile online. On the flip side, if you have a profile and at least something in common, response rates increase dramatically.
How often should social media profiles be updated?
After creating social media profiles, remember to keep them up-to-date and active. This means having a bio that is current and posting content frequently and consistently. All profiles should use current photos so that your brand has a face connected to it. Online profiles should be updated any time there is a significant change in your career such as a promotion or being named a board member.
LinkedIn profiles, for example, are an essential networking tool that should be looked at every three months. I like to do a complete refresh of my LinkedIn at least once a year, including removing services I am no longer offering and adding new services. I also like to look at my skills and remove items to keep a concise list and to avoid confusion. As for your LinkedIn business page, I suggest updating it several times a year. Additionally, Facebook Business pages get a lot of traffic and you should tweak them at least every six months.
How often should you post on Social Media?
I believe in having a consistent message and providing content that helps my audiences to overcome challenges and achieve business success. I am always giving tips, strategies, videos and helpful information. I want people to know I am a giver and care about their success. Do I expect an immediate return? No. I expect awareness and for people to get to know who I am and what I do. My goal is to stay top of mind.
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Social media posting recommendations:
Facebook: For Facebook, I recommend posting on a personal page several times a week with a video, photo and share content from others and content on this with your own opinions. Stay away from politics, religion or controversial issues as well as hard selling. These actions drive people away instead of drawing them in.
Facebook Business Page: I suggest doing posts every day. Yes, even weekends. People are always on social media, and they are on it for many hours over the weekend and at night. Remember that Facebook Business Page posts are only seen by 5 percent of your likers unless you pay to boost them. So frequency in this area is critical for reaching more people. To improve success with Facebook Business Page efforts, you should establish a budget to help you get more attention and likers.
Facebook Live: Whenever you are doing something interesting or have an idea that can assist others, do a Facebook Live video. Make this video at least 10 minutes long. Why? You need to build an audience, and it takes a few minutes.
Twitter: The lifespan of a tweet is only a few seconds. For this reason, you should post as often as possible on Twitter. Always post with images, videos and graphics this increases likes and re-tweets. It is hard to do too much on this platform.
LinkedIn: I believe anyone in business should post on LinkedIn five or more times a week. Post every day if possible can. Always post with an image or video. Posts with video or pictures are looked at longer, shared more often and ready seven times more often than those without. I encourage LinkedIn users to post their content using the LinkedIn publishing platform (basically a blog that is free and on your profile page). I suggest doing a long-form article once a week or several times per month. It is also useful to like as well as comment on the posts of others. Don’t sit back and watch, get in the game and talk with people. Comment, ask questions and start conversations.
LinkedIn Video: Now that LinkedIn allows you to post videos directly, I strongly recommend that you do this several times per week. These videos will show that you are an expert as well as explain your brand.
Hints: Two quick tips relating to video: if you are shooting video with your smartphone, ask somebody to hold it for you or use a tripod. Use the camera that faces away from the screen (the back). Why? It is 30 times larger than the one on the front and gives a better image. Lighting is also important. If you shoot video on a smartphone, it is often better when shot outside with natural light.