Considering how much time people spend on social media everyday, it’s kind of funny—or is it sad?—that most of us find ourselves too busy to actually update and improve our profiles.
Everyone’s busy, yet so many improvements to your social media profiles can be made in just a few minutes. Here are 13 easy ways to improve your social media profiles that, altogether, shouldn’t take you more than an hour.
Time to close that game of Solitaire and get to work.
Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence with Hootsuite.
13 easy ways to enhance your social media profiles
1. Make sure you’re using the right social media image sizes
Take a few minutes and optimize your profile photo and your cover photo on each channel. This means ensuring that photos fall within the dimensions recommended for each network—often all it takes is a quick crop.
Many people think that a square is a square, or the social networks will make sure the image fits right. In reality, you never know when profile images will be reused elsewhere on a social network. How will it look when expanded? How does it look when it’s small in people’s streams? How does it look on mobile compared to desktop?
The social networks provide us with optimal image sizes knowing that these photos will be used in a variety of instances. You should probably trust them. The following information comes from our post, Social Media Image Sizes: A Quick Reference Guide for Each Network.
Standard image sizes for major social networks are as follows:
- Facebook profile picture: 170 X 170 pixels
- Facebook cover photo: 828 X 465 pixels
- Twitter profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels
- Twitter header image: 1,500 X 500 pixels
- Google+ profile picture: 250 X 250 pixels (minimum)
- Google+ cover photo: 1080 X 608 pixels
- LinkedIn profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels (minimum)
- LinkedIn custom background: 1584 X 396
- LinkedIn cover photo: 974 X 330 pixels
- LinkedIn banner image: 646 X 220 pixels
- Instagram profile picture: 110 X 110 pixels
- Pinterest profile picture: 150 X 150 pixels
- YouTube profile picture: 800 X 800 pixels
- YouTube cover photo: 2,560 X 1,440 pixels on desktop
Once you’ve optimized for size, you can optimize the picture itself—using a survey to judge how competent, likable and influential you’re perceived to be. This post by Andy Raskin will walk you through the process.
2. Make your profile photos consistent across all channels
Do you really like some photos of yourself and hate others? We all do. Let’s face it—we’re not always ready for our close-up. So how many of your profile photos are current images you actually like? Right. That’s exactly why you should be using the same profile photo across all of your social networks.
Recognition is key, especially as people quickly scroll through their feeds. For this reason, having consistent profile photos will increase your chances of having people follow you on different social networks.
The more people see your logo (or face if you’re a social media influencer) as they scan their various social networks, the more likely you are to be top of mind when they actually need your product or service.
3. Untag yourself from bad photos and inappropriate posts
Being vigilant about tagged photos can help you quickly clean up your profiles and project a more professional image on social media.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check your photo tagging settings, making sure this reflects your social media policy. Who do you want to be able to tag your business in posts? Would you like to approve these tags before they show up on your profile?
- Facebook allows you to review and approve tags on your photos, as well as untag yourself from other photos
- Instagram allows you to approve photos you’re tagged in before they appear on your profile
- Twitter allows you to restrict who can tag you in photos, and remove any tags
Make sure you review posts you’re tagged in regularly to catch any bad photos or inappropriate posts.
Note: Some might ask why you don’t simply shut off tagging altogether. That’s because there are benefits to allowing people to tag you in photos—especially for businesses. On Instagram, for example, you want customers to tag your business in photos of your product or service, so that they appear in the “photos of you section.” These tagged images are valuable for engagement purposes, providing additional photos of your product for anyone scanning your profile.
Don’t close off this source of content. Be aware of it and spend a few minutes cleaning things up.
4. Ensure your handles are consistent across networks
Just like with your profile photos, consistency is key when it comes to names and handles on social media. With photos, consistency is really about recognition. While that’s one reason to have consistent social handles—in this case, the real driver is searchability.
When you want to mention a brand on Twitter, for example, you probably just throw an @ symbol in front of their name and start tweeting. It’s kind of frustrating when you realize that their handle isn’t just their company name, but some mishmash of words with city names, area codes, or SEO terms.
A simple handle that reflects your name or company’s name will increase the chances of you being mentioned. It also makes it easier for people actively seeking you out to find and follow you.
5. Add keywords to your profile for SEO
What do you want to be known for? Is it family law? Curtain sales? Whatever your niche is, it’s essential that you make yourself discoverable in that field. When people Google or Facebook search ‘curtain sales’, you want your company logo to pop up.
Believe it or not, simply adding relevant keywords to your social profiles can go a long way to helping you get there.
How to do it:
- Identify the terms people search for the most when they’re looking for a professional in your niche or industry. Keyword tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner can help you with that
- Insert those keywords into your social media profiles. These terms should appear in your LinkedIn job title, job description, and skills. It should appear in your bio copy, in photo names, interests, experience, and just about any other category that isn’t your name (that would be a little obnoxious)
Don’t just drop these terms in haphazardly. Work them into your bios in a way that’s logical, professional, and actually describes how you relate to these terms
6. Fill in every field of your bio (with engaging copy)
While you’re busy adding keywords to all of these fields, you should probably take the time to make sure that, indeed, all of the fields are filled out.
Leaving a field blank is a surefire way to come off as unprofessional or lazy. But you can’t write just anything. It’s important that the text in your bio clearly and succinctly explains what your business is, and what it has to offer.
You also want to make sure the copy is fun and engaging. This will encourage people to continue looking at your profile and feed.
Also note that social networks often update how many fields are available in bios. If it’s been more than a year since you’ve updated your business’s Facebook page, for example, there’s likely a new field to fill out.
7. Link to your other social media profiles
One of the fields in a few of your social profiles will probably be “Website.” Many of us take this field too literally, and just drop in our website before moving on. Don’t stop there. Use this field to link to your other social profiles as another means for cross-promotion.
Facebook allows you to add multiple links to their websites field. There are also apps which allow you to display Instagram and YouTube accounts in Facebook tabs. LinkedIn allows you to add your Twitter account to your profile. Pinterest allows you to connect both Facebook and Twitter, in addition to having a website field within your profile.
The opportunities for cross promotion are there. There might not be an easier way to quickly improve your accounts.
8. Make sure your links work
While we’re on the topic of links—what’s the point of including a link if it doesn’t go anywhere? There’s no reason to host a broken link on your social media profile—not only is it confusing for users trying to learn more about you, it’s also a waste of space.
Make sure every link on your social media profile is active by clicking on them every so often. A link on your social media profile might be used as a CTA, a redirect to your website, or to point someone to your business’ landing page.
When someone clicks a link on your social media profile, it’s because they want to find out more. There’s nothing like a broken link to further deter a prospect or destroy the credibility of your brand’s social media presence. You can avoid this by doing your due diligence when posting any kind of link.
9. Ask a few friendly clients/customers for reviews or endorsements
People trust their friends and family far more than any advertisements. Having positive reviews on your social media profiles can go a long way in earning people’s trust and increasing your chances of turning strangers into followers, and followers into business.
While an hour might not be enough time to actually get reviews up on your profiles, it is definitely enough time for you to write messages to a few of your brand advocates or friendly clients, asking them to leave you positive comments.
How to do this:
- Use LinkedIn’s endorsements section. People can endorse the skills you’ve added to your profile, or leave unique endorsements. The latter is very powerful if they’re willing to put in a little extra time to write you one
- Use the visitor post section on Facebook pages. This is where people can highlight the good work you’ve been doing
- Pin positive tweets on Twitter. Take a positive tweet about your business and pin it to the top of your stream—anyone visiting your profile will see it. Plus, you can always ask for endorsements and actually turn those into content you can share on your profiles (think an Instagram or Pinterest photo of a quote from a client)
Whichever way you slice it, it only takes a few minutes to ask someone for their feedback. This quick act can pay off huge in social proof.
10. Showcase your best content with pinned posts
Unlike other posts, pinned posts—on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn—stay put. They are the first things people see when they look you up on the three platforms.
Choose a post that promotes a strong piece of content—whether that be an important message, landing page, offer, blog post, video, or other media asset. There are no real limitations on what you can pin. But pin something. Otherwise you’re just wasting one of your Twitter profile’s biggest assets.
11. Add media to your LinkedIn jobs
LinkedIn isn’t the most visually appealing of social networks. People tend to focus less on videos and gifs, and more on the concrete stuff that’s going to get them hired. But there’s a reason digital resumes have grown in popularity—they allow you to showcase more of your work in compelling ways.
A prime example of this is the media option in the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile—one of the most widely underused features on the social network. The media option allows you to showcase your work. In other words, rather than telling people that you worked on a huge project or wrote a blog post, you can show them through an image and a link to the work.
Including media within your profile will help people get a more extensive picture of your experience, all while adding a little bit of visual appeal to your profile.
You can also add media to the Summary and Education sections as well.
12. Rotate the link in your Instagram bio
Instagram might just be the social network with the least detailed profile. Fill in your name, bio, website, and you’re done. It should come as no surprise, then, that some businesses don’t see Instagram as anything more than an awareness tool (see our post on How to Use Instagram for Business to see why that’s not true). This complaint is being addressed by many savvy users in a very simple way: rotating their website link.
Although Instagram only supports one link—the one your choose for your profile—there’s really no limit as to how often you can update that link. Smart businesses have figured out that they can change that link every time they have a new promotion or campaign.
Post a new photo to support any online initiative you want, then in the description, say “See our profile for a link to this campaign!” Then change the link. It will take you about 30 seconds to update, and can help turn your Instagram profile into an instant business asset.
13. Like relevant pages from your Facebook page
We all know that Facebook encourages us to share our interests with our followers. Not many people consider this decision strategically, though. When you make your interests or the Pages you like a public part of your profile, you’re giving people another means by which to judge you. If those likes are “blue cheese” and “Justin Bieber,” you may not be giving off the impression you’re going for.
Have a look at your Likes and interests and delete or unlike anything you don’t want people to associate with your brand, or your company’s brand. Then, consider the things you do want to be associated with. These could be:
- Industries or fields, like “marketing” or “finance”
- Partner brands or industry leaders, like “Mailchimp” or “Unbounce”
- Thought leaders, like “Elon Musk” or “Richard Branson”
- Positive interests or associations, like local charities or unions
- Casual interests you’re proud of, from local sports teams to public speaking
Updating your interests is an easy way to tell people a little more about yourself and your business in a way they can relate to.
With files from Kaylynn Chong.