This is part three of our guide to social media for business, read part one to find out about setting objectives and part two for advice on choosing the right social media channels.

Now you know who you’re targeting with a social media campaign and how you’re going to target them. So the next step is to get all of your profiles set up and ready for you to start posting.

I won’t go through every step of setting up every social media profile – I want to get straight to business and explain how to optimise your profile. However, if you’re stuck, here’s some advice on setting up accounts on the big players:

Facebook

Google Plus

Twitter

YouTube

Pinterest

LinkedIn

In most cases, setting up your profiles is the easy part. The difficult part is knowing what to do to them so that you get the most out of your social activity.

Use the same photo/logo on all your profiles

You want people to be able to recognise you/your business instantaneously, so it’s important that the main profile picture on all of your accounts is the same.

For a company profile, your company logo will likely be your best bet for all profile pictures. If it’s a profile for a personal brand, choose a close-up head-shot, ideally taken by a professional.

Remember that as much as you might like looking at photos of you and your family on holiday, a photo in which you can barely make out your face is not a great advert for your personal brand!

This is the sort of photo you should be using as a profile picture:

Amy FowlerWrite a brilliant description

This isn’t something you should rush over. Remember that in some cases, a social media profile could be the first bit of contact someone has with your business. Your company description therefore, is almost – if not as important – as the description on your website.

Remember to take the nature of the social media site, and any constrictions (i.e. character limits) into consideration. However, the most important thing is to ensure that your company description makes people want to know more.

Complete as much of your profiles as possible

This takes time, but it’s worth it. Just to reiterate what I said above – a visit to your profile could be the first time a potential customer comes into contact with your company. Therefore, you need to give them access to as much information as possible, directly from your page of said social network.

Of course, each site has its limits. Twitter doesn’t allow you to include as much information as Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance. However, where you can include lots of information – make sure that you do.

Include images, opening times, contact details, menus (if relevant), and details on your products and services. If it’s on your website see if there’s a way for you to include it in your social media profiles. For example, you can get the most out of Facebook for business by using custom tabs.

Link your profiles together

Most social media sites will allow you to include links to your profiles on other sites as well as to your website. If the option to do this is there, use it. This will help to ensure that all your social efforts aren’t contained to one site.

For example, here’s a section of the Boom Google Plus page, including links to our Twitter and Facebook profiles:

googleplusAvoid auto-updaters

While it’s a good idea to ensure all of your social profiles are interlinked, it really isn’t a good idea to use software that automatically updates one site when you update another – however tempting this might be.

Every social network operates slightly differently. On Twitter, you’re only allowed to use 140 characters, and you’re encouraged to use symbols such as hash tags (#) and @ signs.

As a result, if, for example, you use a tool that automatically updates Facebook each time you send a Tweet, your Facebook update could look something like this:

cupcakes So remember:

  1. Choose a great profile picture and use it on all of your social media sites.
  2. Write a great description that sells your company.
  3. Fill in as much information as you can.
  4. Link to your website and your other social media profiles.
  5. Don’t auto-update your sites – it looks lazy and often makes no sense!

Watch this space for part four of ‘Boom’s Guide to Social Media for Business’, when we’ll be look at identifying thought leaders within your industry, and discussing the benefits of building relationships with influential people.