Few freelancers or businesses today can afford to ignore social media. Used well, it’s a great chance to promote your services and brand, and attract new customers. But use it badly, and you could just be wasting your time – and throwing away business.
Little stands still in the world of social media today. But while the best practice suggestions and tips for each site may change on (what can feel like) a daily basis, there are a few basics that remain the same.
And to help you ensure that your social media efforts are not in vain, social media expert Ginny Carter reveals five ways you may be throwing business away on social media sites – and how to stop doing it!
The basic social media mistakes so many people make
I bet you’ve said ‘Find us on Facebook’ or ‘Follow us on Twitter’ a heap of times when promoting your freelance work or business. But what do your prospects find when they look at your bio, your About section or your profile info?
This is where many freelancers and businesses lose the interest of potential clients and customers at the first hurdle. And the worst thing is, you’ll never know how much business you’ve thrown away as a result!
But the good news is there are some simple ways you can ensure that if someone does click through to your profile, they’ll have a clear idea of what you’re offering, and know what you want them to do next. All you need to do is avoid these five mistakes!
Five ways you may be throwing away business
So here are the five main mistakes you may be making, with suggestions on how you can put them right.
I’ve made them applicable to all social media platforms, as the principles are the same for each – although there is obviously a big difference in the amount of information you can put in a Twitter bio compared to a LinkedIn profile!
1) Not telling people the main benefit you offer
This is especially relevant for your Twitter bio, where this nugget should jump out at a glance. Here’s mine as an example, with the benefit in a red box:
How many times have you thought of following somebody, only to be mystified about the purpose of their business, or why you should link up with them at all? Don’t be that person!
2) Not explaining who you are, who you help and how you help them
Granted, this is tricky to do on Twitter, but eminently do-able on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and any other social network with a reasonable amount of ‘About’ space. So make sure you tell people:
- Who you are – what you do, your background, and your products or services.
- Who you help – this is very important as you want to speak to the right people. Spell out your target market so those who are in it know they are in the right place. For example, ‘I help people in the Nottingham area who are struggling to find their dream home’.
- How you help them – this is where you become unique. How do you work in a way that’s different from how your competitors do it? What special insight or expertise do you bring? Why would someone want to work with you rather than with anyone else?
This can feel a bit daunting, but it’s so important. If your ideal customers aren’t clear right away that you’re the person for them, then you’re throwing business away before you start.
3) Not using keywords
Facebook pages and Linkedin profiles are searchable on Google and also on Facebook Graph Search, which is rolling out.
You’ll often find that if you search for someone’s name and location on Google, their LinkedIn profile comes out higher than their website or blog. So you want to make sure that yours is found for the right reasons.
Make sure you sprinkle your keywords throughout your bio and About sections, but at the same time ensuring that the copy reads naturally.
4) Not making it easy to click through to your website
Of course you’ve got your web address in all the relevant places, but is it displayed in the best way? It should be the first thing in your Facebook page bio so it gets shown in the truncated version on the page, and not hidden in the full ‘About’ section which people have to click on to see.
And in your LinkedIn profile you can make your website or blog more appealing by putting a description. Here’s a section of my own profile in edit mode, so you can see what to put where:
5) Not being yourself
There’s no room in social media for corporate speak or formality. Does your personality shine through in the way you describe yourself? Would you get an idea of the sort of person you are, if you didn’t already know you?
We follow people on these platforms because we want a more real version of their business than a glossy website would show, so please don’t shy away from being the real ‘you’.
Of course, LinkedIn will require a bit more formality than, say, Twitter, but there’s still scope for your unique identity to take centre stage!
Check your social media profiles now!
If you’ve made one of these five mistakes, don’t worry – so have hundreds of thousands of others!
The important thing to do now is check that you’re making the most of your social media profiles and About pages, and ensure that they’ll attract (and convert) the right customers in future.
Ginny Carter is a social media expert, business book ghostwriter and book writing coach. She’s on a mission to turn coaches and experts from aspiring authors to actual authors with the credibility to charge more for what they do.Ginny Carter