Making sure your business’s various profiles are consistent across all the digital touch points where your current or future customers can find you is really important.
For small businesses especially, this will help to ensure your brand is recognisable, discoverable, and not confused with another brand.
Whether you’re at the stage of establishing your social presence, or if you already have several accounts across platforms but need to bring them in-line, read on for some top tips.
When setting up your business’s social media accounts, it is crucial to keep the naming and handles as consistent as possible. Ideally, you’d use your business name and keep it the same across every platform!
Sometimes though, a name will already be taken - for example, the handle might be available on Instagram, but not Twitter.
Try to carry out a bit of research before you start naming your accounts to check that the name you want will work on every platform.
If a username is already taken on one platform, you could always try putting an underscore in, or adding the location of your business as a way to work around it. For example, one business might have the accounts shown in the image on the left hand side, where it wasn’t possible to have one single name.
However, it really is preferable to have the exact same name across all your profiles, and this should really be considered right at the beginning of your business journey, when you are researching business names. It’s just as important nowadays to check that the handles associated with your business’s name are available on social platforms.
You can change the handle of your account on all platforms, at any time. Are your profiles named differently, in a way that might make it confusing for somebody trying to find you on a new platform? Look over your profiles, and if the answer might be yes, you can update the handles and names accordingly.
If your options are limited because of names already being taken, following the examples of alternatives above could help you to align them better.
Do you have several branches, which all have their own thing going on? Consider whether you really need to have separate accounts for them. If you do, try to name them as closely as possible, following the same conventions ie.
Having multiple accounts might be beneficial, for example if products in one branch aren’t the same as another, if they have different offerings, or if you would like to try to segregate enquiries towards the correct branch.
In this case, some owners have a main page, as well as location pages:
Keep in mind though, updating several social profiles is very time consuming, so it might be worth considering if there is somebody at each branch willing to take on this task, to ensure content remains fresh and relevant, or whether you should just stick to one account.
Just as naming is important, so is your profile picture - the first thing many users will see when discovering or connecting with your brand! Many businesses make the mistake of thinking ‘one size fits all’ with their profile picture, but don’t be fooled!
If you upload a profile picture in the wrong size, it could blur or even get partially cut off.
Use the highest resolution possible. To get your pictures to the sizes above, you can use free online tools such as this one which allow for custom input.
The logo of your business should be your profile picture in nearly all instances. If you want to showcase your premises, staff or product, a cover photo is a better place to do this than in a profile picture.
Visit this handy tool online for the most up-to-date image size guidelines.
Completing your profiles
When starting your digital audit, you should go into each profile you have on every platform and ensure all of the details in each profile section are complete.
Filling these in is extremely important, as it helps the platform to select your business profile to appear in relevant user searches, and it helps customers to understand more about the business.
The ‘About Us’ section on different platforms or sites is a commonly missed out section. You can write a fairly long description on Facebook and Youtube.
Why? Filling all of all of the available sections in properly boosts the SEO quality of your profiles, making it more likely to appear in various searches. Use them as a prime opportunity to squeeze in lots of SEO keywords which are relevant to your business.
You should also check every few months that these are up to date. Social media platforms are constantly adding new fields, so keep an eye out!
Bios on Twitter and Instagram are much shorter, so use the word count wisely! Try to tell the user what exactly your business does. On Instagram, you can insert hashtags to increase your profile’s visibility.
i.e. We’re a bespoke #weddingflower service in Orkney, offering both custom and off-the-shelf bouquets.
Additionally, Facebook have introduced an ‘Our History’ section, which is a great opportunity for businesses to reveal their journey to starting up. You can get really personal here, showing the evolution of your business, and even listing it's achievements.
Social channel linking
Make sure you cross-link to your other main social channels where you can and to and from your website. Youtube and Facebook profiles both allow you to enter the links to your other social accounts - this can be important for growing your following across platforms.
Tags and descriptions
On Youtube, the title, thumbnail and description of your video are the most important pieces of metadata. Provided you don’t add excessive tags and breach Youtube’s spam policy, then adding hashtags in the description can help you to connect your content with other related content on the platform and make it easier for viewers to find. Tagging the location of the video through Youtube Studio can be helpful too.