Let us Fill You In: Writing Social Media Profiles for Businesses

For businesses, “maintaining a social media presence” means juggling a plethora of platforms, all with unique parameters. Before you start stressing over individual posts that fade into your feeds, it’s crucial to create a solid social media profile.

Your social media profile contains the content that helps followers find and connect to your brand, while funneling them to your primary properties on the web. While we’re not social media managers here (though we applaud those brave of heart), our MarketSmiths are experts writing compelling social media profiles for businesses. Here are some tips on crafting socially successful profiles.

Step 1: Nail Your Username:

This is generally a no-brainer: Your username should contain your company name, exclusively, if possible. If the name is unavailable, try to add terms that might be readily associated with your brand. New York-based businesses, for instance, often add “nyc” to indicate location..or a certain cache.

TIP: Here’s a tool that will help you find out if your username is available on different platforms: http://knowem.com/

Step 2: Craft Your “Nutshell” Statement

The About Section ( or Bio, Profile, Description, as it’s alternately known) of your social media profile is not only your brand introduction, but the text that shows up in search results for your brand, much like the meta-description for your website.

Since Google search only returns 150-160 characters—and many social sites limit the bio section—it’s good to stick to a low character count in all profiles and prioritize the most important information. Here’s a list of platforms where you can craft smart social media profiles, and a list of their corresponding character counts.

LinkedIn: 2,000

G+: Not Specified

Twitter: 160

Facebook: Short Description – 155; Long Description – Not specified

Pinterest: 160

YouTube: 1,000

Vimeo: Not Specified

Cramming the right information into under 200 characters is something of an art, but we’ll give you our basic formula for capturing your brand in a nutshell!

Getting the Jist

Hit the Who and What first sentence—introduce your company and describe your unique products or services you provide. The Where usually goes in a separate location field, so don’t waste characters by adding it to the bio.

Next, you want to connect directly to your target audience. This is where the Why and How come in. Add a line that speaks to your brand’s mission or values. If you’re trying to reach conscious consumers, for example, talk about your sustainable materials or processes. Or if you’re a fashion brand targeting the tween sector, let them know why they’ll feel fly in your clothes. Speak your audience’s language, but only if you’re fluent (perhaps don’t say “fly” for instance…we’ll keep that 90’s throwback between us adults!).

Keywords

Identify your top-level keywords and make sure those get incorporated into your social media profile, as naturally as possible (pitchy profiles are the worst). Think of broad, singular search terms (i.e., “copywriting”), but also phrases containing secondary terms and attract specific user segments (i.e., “copywriting and content marketing for businesses”).

Hashtags

Including a hashtag in your social media profile can help people find you when they click or search for that tag on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even Google+. They also provide a unique branding opportunity. If you plan on launching a social campaign, hashtags are a way to band together a niche group of followers and make people feel like they’re part of a movement. Plus, we copywriters love coining them! #realtalk #factchecked #letshashitout

Links

Most social media profiles include individual input fields for a website. Make sure you post a link to your site or landing page. This is particularly important on Instagram, where your bio is the only place to publish active links. You can direct users to an external pages in your posts by adding “click the link in our bio” to your descriptions.

Other social sites, like LinkedIn, Google +, Vimeo, YouTube contain ample space in the bio section to include more URLs—but these will generally be plain text, not hyperlinks. You can still include links to your other social media profiles or website content if you clearly delineate where each will go. It doesn’t hurt to remind visitors to copy and paste the url into their browsers! Always go with a clear and friendly call to action whenever you post a link.

Step 5: Hit Up All The Outlets

Be a Video Star

According to AOL’s “digital prophet,” David Shing (a.k.a. Shingy), Generation Y audiences are simply “freaky for video.” If you’re a brand creating content, it’s a good time to jump on the video train (c’mon, someone on your team has an iPhone, right?). Vimeo and YouTube aren’t just hosting sites, they’re social platforms in their own right that provide additional opportunities for businesses to be discovered.

Both YouTube and Vimeo offer space to create social media profiles (“Your Bio” and “Channel Description,” respectively). Though these offer more writing real estate than Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s best to stay brief (our young video-freaks, unfortunately, are also notorious skimmers).

On YouTube, the first few sentences show up most frequently across the site, so prioritize your most important info and relevant keywords.

YouTube also recommends that you give your audience an idea of your publishing schedule, so that they know to tune in for more content. Wrap up your social with something like: “We post weekly interviews with our favorite designers—and daily clips of our cats chasing feathers on a string!”

Link up with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform where you can connect to employees, customers, and potential partners. In terms of social media profile content, it offers the most space to elaborate. Use it wisely: keep your nutshell statement at the top, then spend the rest of your whopping 2,000 words diving into products and services.

Get on Google +

While Google+ is known to be the social underdog, businesses who ignore Google+ profiles are missing out. As MarketingLand writer Allison Zeringue cleverly puts it, “The truth is, whether the network is popular or not, Google loves it when you play in their sandbox.”

Good Google+ content can give your greater search visibility, especially in conjunction with other Google products like YouTube, Maps, and Google+ Local. The first step is filling in the profile with those keyword-packed statements that tell Googlers who you are and what you do. Your Google+ profile also includes a tagline that shows up front and center in the SERPS. (That’s where a clever Copywriter can really help you shine!)

Step 6: Keep Your Profiles Up-to-Date

As your business evolves or you launch new initiatives, keep your social media profiles fresh by making sure descriptions and keywords still make sense. If you’ve added additional products or services, integrate those into your business descriptions. Also, consider switching up your links, especially if you’re running a campaign and want to direct more people to your landing page, Kickstarter page, or a new section of your own website.

The nice thing about social media profiles is that once you’ve cracked your nutshell statement— those couple of sentences that capture your businesses—you can that content as a foundation for all your social media profiles. If you want to learn more about creating great social media profiles for your business, our MarketSmiths are here to fill you in!

social-media-bio-best-practices-guide

Janine’s passion for words is rooted in her lifelong study of literature. Following a stint in boutique publishing and a beloved job as a journalist, she discovered an aptitude for marketing that led to SEO work, marketing strategy, and copywriting for (then) startups like FAB.com and major brands like Aeropostale. When Janine found that she could expound on T.S. Eliot, pen a hard-hitting piece on vernal pools, and promote panties with equal éclat, she knew she’d found a calling.

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