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Personal Branding

5 Steps to Create a Great (& Professional) Social Media Profile

I’ll cut right to the chase… below you’ll find the exact steps to create a memorable, professional social media profile.

No filler, no fluff and no needless information to wade through; instead, you’ll learn how to ensure your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media profiles are ready for primetime.

Ready?

Let’s dive in.

How to Create a Professional Social Media Profile (in 5 Easy Steps)

1. Choose a Good (and Consistent) Username/Handle

It sounds obvious, but…

You need to choose a username (aka “handle”) that:

  • Reflects your brand’s identity, and
  • Can be consistent across numerous social media platforms.

The former is pretty straightforward. But why bother with the latter?

Well, because if you can have the same username (or a close variation) on every network, it’ll be easier for people to find you. So if you can be consistent across various platforms, be consistent across various platforms.

As an example, I chose @liveyourmessage as the username for my business:

It’s my company’s username on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

But what do you do if your preferred name is taken? Do what Jon Morrow did for his Smart Blogger business: choose a close variation.

With “smartblogger” unavailable, Jon pivoted to “smartbloggerhq” (as in Smart Blogger Headquarters) for his various social media profiles.

Tip: Want a quick way to see which usernames are available (so you don’t have to check every platform manually)? A free tool like namecheckr makes the process easy.

Enter your desired name and the tool will tell you on which platforms, if any, it’s available.

2. Create Accounts on Multiple Platforms (Even If You Won’t Be Using Them Right Away)

Once you’ve found a great username/handle that…

  • Your audience will associate with your brand,
  • Is available on the social media platforms that matter to you

…it’s time to create your accounts.

Yes, accounts (plural). Even if you only plan on utilizing one or two social platforms, you’ll want to reserve your chosen username on as many platforms as possible.

One, you might change your mind and decide to use the platforms at a later date. But, two, it gives you a better chance to build advocates that will mention or tag your brand – even on platforms where you aren’t active.

The steps for account creation will differ from platform to platform, but here’s what you’ll do for some of the more popular ones:

How to Create a Twitter Profile

  1. Go to twitter.com/signup
  2. Click the sign up button
  3. The “Create your account” pop-up that appears will guide you through the sign-up process

How to Create a Facebook Page

  1. Go to your personal Facebook profile (you’ll need to be logged into your account in order to create a page)
  2. At the top of the homepage, select “Create” and choose “Page”
  3. In the steps that follow, you’ll name your page, select a category, add your business info, and more (just follow the instructions)

How to Create an Instagram Account

On a computer:

  1. Go to instagram.com
  2. Click “Sign up”, enter your email address, and create a username and password (alternatively, you can click “Log in with Facebook” if you’d like to sign up with your Facebook account)

On a mobile device:

  1. Download (and open) the Instagram app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android)
  2. Tap “Sign Up With Email or Phone Number” if you’re on an Android or “Create New Account” for iPhone (iPhone) and enter your email address or phone number (alternatively, you can tap “Log in with Facebook” to sign up using your Facebook account)

How to Create a Pinterest Account

  1. Go to pinterest.com
  2. Enter your “Email”, “Create a password”, and enter your “Age”
  3. Follow the instructions for selecting language, country/region, topics, and more

How to Create a LinkedIn Company Page

While logged into your personal LinkedIn account:

  1. Click the “Work” icon in the top-right corner
  2. Click “Create a Company Page”
  3. In the steps that follow, you’ll enter your “Page type”, “Page identify”, “Company or Institution details”, and more (just follow the instructions

For any other social platforms you’d like to join, just enter “how to sign up for <name of platform>” into Google and find the official documentation.

Once you’ve created your accounts, it’s time to add the details that’ll make them stand out.

3. Upload Your Profile Picture (and Use the Same One on All Accounts)

This step is simple, but it needs to be emphasized. Your profile picture should:

  • Be your brand’s logo (or your photo, if you’re the brand), and
  • If possible, be the same on every single social media platform.

Don’t try to be cute. Don’t use a picture that has little (or nothing) to do with your brand. And don’t use a different picture on different platforms unless there’s a really good reason to do so.

Be professional, be consistent and make sure you’re using a high-quality image.

Follow these simple rules and you’re golden.

4. Choose a Professional Background (Cover) Image

If the platform allows it (not all do), you’ll next want to upload a high-quality cover image that’s relevant to you and your brand.

Unlike your profile picture, it’s perfectly fine to use different cover images for different platforms. Just make sure they’re professional, high-quality and the proper dimensions for the platform in question.

As of this writing, the cover image dimensions for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are…

  • 851×315
  • 1500×1500
  • 1128×191

…respectively.

Not sure where to find a good image?

There are many sites that offer royalty-free stock photos you can use. Simply enter a search term and browse the different options.

5. Craft a Compelling Bio

With your accounts created and your images uploaded, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and tell the world what you’re all about.

The bio on your social profile lets you sell yourself or your brand in a few words.

You can highlight what you offer…

Offer evidence of your influence or expertise…

Or even given readers a peek behind the scenes:

Whatever path you choose, make sure your bio is clear, professional and captivating.

Note: Each platform has its own character limits for profiles. With Instagram, for example, you’re limited to 150-characters, so brevity is key. On the other hand, LinkedIn allows you up to 2,000 words.

3 (Bonus) Social Media Profile Tips to Remember

Now that you’ve created your various social media profiles, here are a few tips to remember (for the platforms you’ll be actively using):

1. Pin Your Best Content

With social media, the posts and tweets you share one day are ancient news the next.

There’s nothing you can do about this when it comes to people’s feeds, but you can ensure your best work is easy to find when someone looks you up and views your profile page.

By “pinning” a post, it’ll be the first one people see when browsing your profile.

Not every platform supports pinned content, but for those that do (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), it’s an easy way to keep your best work front and center for people to discover.

2. Don’t Go Overboard With Hashtags

Hashtags can be effective – when used appropriately and sparingly.

This is okay:

This is not:

3. Have a Consistent (and Realistic) Content Strategy

Some would say that having a wonderful social media profile is fairly pointless if you never (or rarely) publish content to it.

And that’s true… to an extent.

But, that doesn’t mean you should try to be active on every single platform. You’ll stretch yourself too thin.

Instead, just focus on a few (or even just one). Choose the platform or platforms most relevant to your brand or business and ignore the rest – at least initially.

Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Missinglettr make planning and scheduling social media posts much easier and each offers a free plan.

In as little as 5 minutes, these tools can let you schedule a full week’s worth of content. It’ll make your profile seem very active even though it isn’t (at least not yet).

Check out even more amazing social media marketing tools for content creation, scheduling, analytics and more here.

A Few of My Favorite Social Media Profiles

In case you need more examples of stellar profiles to chew on… check out 3 of my favorites below…

Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool, uses both their Twitter header image, bio copy and pinned tweet as a promotional tool. This gives their audience not one BUT three touch points to get them to take the action Hootsuite is after — downloading their report.

Entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Marie Forleo shows you how to make the most of the strict character limit on Instagram. This is a great example of using your bio to offer evidence of your influence or expertise. 

 

Sure, Starbucks probably has a billion dollar social budget (I kid, sort of) BUT this is one of my favorite Facebook profiles because of how timely and cohesive it always is. Starbucks updates their cover photo and pinned post when they want to promote a new item. This may just inspire you to do the same (and you don’t need a huge budget!).

Also, take note of how carefully crafted their “About” section is — this is an often neglected part of your Facebook profile, but you can really use it to showcase your mission and direct new and old visitors to the right place(s).

There you have it — 3 more profile examples to help give yours an extra punch!

Ready to Build a Professional Social Media Profile?

If yes, let me know in the comments below!

And if you’ve already created your social media profiles, let me know if there are any tips or tricks you think I should add.

Just keep in mind that whatever social profile(s) you choose to focus on, you need to make sure your social strategy works hand-in-hand with your overall business strategy… otherwise, you’ll just spin your wheels and get little tangible results.

And while you’re optimizing your digital presence, be sure to sign up for my free training that’ll help you turn your website into your own virtual ATM (yes, really!) Just a few tweaks can make ALL the difference. You’ll learn how a single, non-technical (yet easily fixable) home page mistake could be the reason why your website isn’t reliably bringing you new leads & sales… and so much more. Join me for The 3 Tweaks to Turn Your Website into a Lean, Mean, Money Making Machine.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. taj muhammad

    I want to join the class as I am eager to learn how to craft a killing social media profile.

    Reply ·
  2. Kassem

    Great tips!

    Reply ·
    1. Shannon Goodell

      Thanks, Kassem… we appreciate it!

      Reply ·
  3. Bohdan

    Marisa – good!

    Reply ·
    1. Shannon Goodell

      Glad you found the post valuable, Bohdan!

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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