Social Media Basics - Getting Started on Twitter & Facebook

One of the things I do is get companies set up on Twitter/Facebook and any suitable forms of social media for their given trade. If they're already set up and just inactive, I help them polish and/or manage their accounts. What a lot of people who aren't personally versed in social media find is that they don't know what to do beyond setting up their account/s. Here's what I usually advise they start with:

Twitter

Give Yourself A Face:

Get rid of that egg that Twitter gives you by default (that just screams "scam account") and put a face to your name. Replace it with either your picture, or something that's meaningful to you or significant to your business like a logo or a product you're known for - Think: How do you want people to identify you?

Make sure that the picture quality is good so when people click on it to get a closer look, they can see it clearly. Note that the maximum file size is 700k, which isn't very big but if you're not photoshop savvy, just make sure, when you open the picture, it's not the size of your monitor. So far, a 500 x 500 pixel picture works well at 72 dpi. Ask a friend who IS graphics savvy to help you if you must.

Tell Us About Yourself

You have 160 characters to grab our attention. This is your elevator pitch, but this elevator's moving really fast so get it out as succinctly and in as interesting a way as you can. Don't sweat it TOO much, you can always change it.

Here are some examples of good bios. If you know of any others that you like, please do send them my way!

@Gobbledygook?

What does your username mean? Say it out loud, read it from the perspective of someone who has no idea who you are or what you do and see if it makes sense at all. Sometimes even abbreviations or your company's acronyms work better when alongside a logo but if you're left with few options for an ideal username, make sure your profile and your actual name spell out who you are.

As an example, a catering company I consulted with has a very VERY long company name. All they could fit in was the first word in their name and the first letter of the second word. That's not going to work. It didn't tell me who they are or what they do, so that had to be changed immediately. Luckily, @TN_Caterer was available. It's not the most glamorous of usernames, but it says, hey! We're a caterer in Tennessee.

Now if I can just get them to tweet more.

Facebook Pages

Everything goes hand-in-hand. If you're on Twitter, you could probably benefit from being on Facebook. If you're on Facebook, definitely get yourself a Twitter account. That said, after you've set up your Facebook Page, you want to go through the same basic steps you made on Twitter. Add a profile picture and a cover photo and edit the information on the page to include your website, what you do/what you're about and hours if applicable.

Cover Page/Profile Pic

Your cover page is the big banner that goes across the top of your timeline. The dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels. Anything bigger and it won't be centered and may end up being cropped. Anything too small and you're left with weird white space on either side.

Keep the resolution of your profile pic (as well as the cover pic) a decent size. 160 dpi is good, but I think anything larger than that tends to become distorted after FB compresses it to sit in that little square*. Just like website graphics, you don't want it to look like you don't know what you're doing.

Facebook Page Name

Facebook's Page feature lets you have a vanity URL (facebook.com/businesshere) with no numbers and extra letters to it so it's easy to plug in an tell people. NOTE: You can change your page name if you're still under 200 followers. Once you hit 200 likes or more, that's it, it is set and you can't change it. So find something that works and make sure there are no spelling errors.

Always read it out loud, spell it out loud, see if it sounds wonky or if it rolls of your tongue nicely.

About/Profile

Information you fill in the About field will show up on the landing page. Now, I'm not saying "type in all the information that you can" in there because that's just messy. This is where your elevator pitch goes and if you want, you can include your webiste URL. Fill in the other fields as succinctly as you can as well, and pick the right categories for your business.

What's Next?

Next comes followers, content and other fun things I get to do for my clients. But I'll leave that for another day. Please don't hesitate to send me questions you might have, I am always happy to help!

*Web designers/graphic designers, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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