Understand the Social Media Your Business is Using

Posted by Lisa Smith on Oct 14, 2015 6:36:11 PM



Social profile creation is all about understanding the social media your business is using. Every social media platform varies in its posting display, type of content, engagement model, and active user -- so it’s important to develop a creative strategy that’s going to reach your target audience and ideal buyers.


Social media platforms are as unique as their users. From micro-blogging and 140 character limits, to pinning and following boards -- a proper understanding of social media is essential. 


Getting the terminology, language, and lingo down is just the start. For example, those who follow and interact with your brand may be called something totally different from channel to channel. Typically, they are referred to as users, in a much broader sense. But Facebook refers to them as likes and fans, on Twitter and Instagram they are followers, on LinkedIn they are connections, on Pinterest they are pinners, and on Google+ they are your circle. If that isn’t enough to send your head spinning!


The activity users create is commonly referred to as engagement, and it is just as unique. Facebook and LinkedIn engagement consists of comments, likes, and shares, while Instagram only uses likes and comments. Twitter relies on replies, favorites, and retweets and Pinterest activities include pins, boards, and likes.


Knowing and understanding each channel and its distinct “language” difference forms the foundation for a great social media strategy and goal setting.


If you’ve read our blog on social media strategy development, you should have an in-depth understanding of your social media audience, which will guide you in the strategy and planning process.  


Create Your Company Profile


Start with research. Take a look at your industry, see what your competitors and partners are doing. Wherever they are present and successful -- that’s ideally where you should be.

With the ever-expanding amount of social media channels available, it’s important for users to recognize your brand across all platforms. Consistent branding and imagery helps create a brand awareness for users. The most successful social media profiles have the same look and feel as their company website.


Use photos to draw people in. Profile photos and headers should reflect your brand and company image. Include logos, images, and taglines consistent with your branding. Each social media type uses different header styles, sizes and file types. With the help of an online Google search, you can quickly find the correct dimensions for the platform you’re using.


It should be clear who the profile belongs to, so choose the name of your company. If your company name isn’t available or it is too long, choose a name as close to the actual name as possible. It’s rather common on Twitter to see companies who use adjusted and shortened account names to meet the requirements for Twitter handles. This isn’t as common in other types of social media, especially where there aren’t limits on characters.


Equally as important is to be sure that users understand what your company does. The about me and bio section of your profile is the best place to explain your purpose.  On some social media platforms, the bio sections have a limit on the number of characters available to provide an explanation of your business. (For example, Twitter only allows 160 characters to briefly describe your company.)  Regardless of limitations, a bio needs to be descriptive and reflective of what your company does.


Users will visit your profile, take a look, skim your bio, get a sense of what you do, and then determine whether they want to follow or engage with your brand. Images and descriptions should compel them to follow.


During your social media research stage, create a list of important people to follow. Look at several profiles from those in your industry, determine who the leaders are and connect with them.  Also take into consideration how many followers these leaders have. The higher the number of followers, the stronger the voice and power of their messages. 


Once you have determined which social media channel works best for your audience and created profiles on each, the next step is to develop a creative strategy for each social channel. You can start by using or nifty social media planning tool for help. It’s important to understand the nuances of each channel separately because your strategy will reflect those. The better your understanding of social channels, the better the information you will share with your audience.



Topics: marketing