Yesterday I was talking to a friend who is just starting to use social media to promote his new business. In the conversation, I mentioned that he should have a professional head shot taken to use as an avatar to help build his online brand. I wanted to give him the contact information for two local photographers I recommend. While I was talking on the phone, I told him I was going to look it up, and proceeded to multitask online. I thought I could quickly and easily find the information and read it off to him.
It turns out, one of the photographers had set up his online presence so it was very easy for me to find and share his information, even while multitasking. The other photographer had a more traditional setup, and it was impossible for me to find what I was looking for while I was talking on the phone.
Social Media Passport
What made the difference? One has a nicely designed and located social media passport easily available on his website. The other has both a contact page that contains only an input form, and a blog with some of the information. I later found the information I needed, but I had to check three places and collect information from two of them.
This exercise pointed out to me the importance of having an effective social media passport. I am a friend who was highly motivated to find the online presence information. What if I was a potential customer who gave up after the first two attempts failed to show me what I needed?
Here’s what I recommend:
- Have one list that clearly shows all of your online presence.
- Provide hyperlinks to your pages, don’t just list “I’m on Facebook as Joe Smith.”
- Organize your accounts by social media category if you have many accounts. You can make up the categories. The idea is to clump like with like. Don’t list a blog, then Twitter, then a different blog.
- If you have separate accounts for personal and business, mark them clearly and explain the difference. People want to connect with a person, so explain that your personal blog is where you talk about your weekend plans and family activities, for example. That’s the information I need to decide which account I want to access.
- Link to this passport from every online account.
- Put the link to your social media passport where I can easily find it without scrolling.
- Make sure that you check your passport regularly so it is current and complete.
- Try not to duplicate part of the information in other places. This increases the chance that you will fail to update a link as you have changes.
If my photographer friend had done this, I would have been able to recommend his work easier. I’m sure he would appreciate that.
You are using social media to make it easier for people to find you. Don’t make them resort to yet another Google search after they have already found you one place.
PS – I’m going out tomorrow to make sure that my own social media passport meets these recommendations.