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How To Optimize Social Media Accounts

One of the reasons social media marketing is so powerful for small businesses is that it gets you in front of your target market and allows you to engage with them. However, if you don’t optimize social media accounts (for you or your company), your target market probably won’t be able to find you.

Not only do search engines scan and index your social accounts, each social media platform also has built in search functions. Super optimized accounts will absolutely influence your search results and make you findable.

Here’s what to do:

Fill out your profile completely

On most social media sites, this is pretty easy to do. On Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, you only need to add a brief description to your “bio” or “about.” On LinkedIn and Facebook, you can add a lot more than a brief “about.” Take 10 or 15 minutes to completely fill in your profile.

Obviously, if you leave your profile half empty, it will affect your search results. But it could also turn off potential clients. If you can’t be bothered to complete your profile, they might wonder where else you cut corners or if you even care about attracting and working with clients.

Also, don’t say, “I’ll get to it later.” As busy small business owners, you and I both know that “later” is never going to come. Block time on your calendar for “optimize social media” – and stick to the appointment.

Integrate keywords

Keywords are critical to your search results. Though this article on Social Media Examiner points out that having the keyword in your account name delivers the best results, that really isn’t practical. I’m not going to change my Facebook Page to “Copywriting and Social Media Marketing Services.” That seems a little excessive, not to mention ridiculous.

Simply integrate the keywords you want to be found for in your bio or about. And don’t forget to use them in the file names of your images! Adding keywords in both of these places will help get the job done.

On Pinterest, the rules around keywords are slightly different. You’ll want to go one step further and add keywords to both your Pins and board descriptions as well.

Research and use hashtags

For Twitter and Instagram, hashtags function as keywords, and they’re the main way people find you. Research the hashtags out there using both platforms search functions. Make a list of the ones you want to be used, associated with, and found for.

On Instagram, you can add as many keywords you want to each “gram.” The more you add, the more findable you’ll be. On Twitter, you have to work within the 140 character limit (for now – rumors are that will change), so choose your hashtag wisely.

Add high quality, professional images

Yesterday I saw a profile photo on LinkedIn of a woman posing with someone dressed in a guerrilla suit. Swear. To. God. And no, she didn’t work for a circus or a zoo.

Always use high quality, professional images that are either of you, your brand or directly connected to your brand. This goes for both your profile picture and cover image. And ask your graphic designer for a high resolution copy of your logo – no blurry images need apply.

Include your location

Always include your address and a map showing your location if you have the option. If you work from home like me, rent a mailbox at a UPS store (you’ll have a street address rather than a random PO Box). The reasons to go through the trouble: 1) local search is big, and 2) it can have a major impact on driving more clients to you. Moz covers this topic in detail here.

Add ways to reach you

Now that you’re easy to find, make it super easy for potential clients to contact you. Add your phone number and website. On Facebook, you can even add a “Contact” button.

Continually grow your followers/fans

The more active your social media accounts are and the more you work to grow your following, the better. It not only makes you relevant in the eye of search engines, the number of followers/fans you have actually show up in search results. While I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, that number can add credibility to your small business – or detract from it.

If you are really feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing, we’ve got your back.

Don’t worry about the calendar appointment that says “optimize social media.” Contact us today to learn how our social media marketing services can help your small business grow!

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