Countless research and experiments by psychologists have long revealed that it takes just a few seconds to make a first impression. This is just as relevant, if not more, when it comes to the digital arena.
In today’s world, when you have the opportunity to work with someone new, what is the first thing you do before even meeting them? If you said, “Google them," you are not alone. More and more people head online to “check you out.” In fact, a new study by CareerBuilder revealed that seven in 10 employers check a job candidate’s social media profiles as part of the hiring process. Similarly, your prospective clients are doing the same – checking you out online before they choose you as their preferred travel advisor. Your social media profiles across various platforms and channels are the first impressions people get when they search for you. With so much competition out there, you want to make sure you capture their attention right away with well-created profiles.
In the real world, you often don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so we have created this useful social media profile guide and checklist to ensure your profiles stand out against the rest.
1. What’s in a name?
This one may seem pretty basic, but you would be surprised at how many social media handles sound like this: “billysmom,” “loveroffairydust,” or “barbiedoll51.” Those may all be sweet names for personal pages, but remember, if someone wants to know who you are before they meet you or work with you, they are looking at your profile. Are you more or less likely to purchase a luxury travel experience from you if your profile name appears as @JohnSmith or @juicylumpkins?
We’ve seen a few other missteps when it comes to social media handles. The first is combining the names with your spouse for example, johnandbarbiesmith. Your potential customer won’t know who is actually the one they are collaborating with.
The 2nd common mistake we see is adding a company name. For example, let’s say that you just landed a job as an account manager at South Shore Travels and are using barbiesouthshoretravels. What happens if you decide to change to a different company down the road? All of your efforts to build your online community would be related to the South Shore Travels brand. Always remember that your handle is your opportunity to brand yourself.
2. Don’t be an “Egg Head!”
Not having a profile picture, is like walking around with a bag over your head. If you are going to build a relationship online, people will need to have a visual of who you are. People want to see who they are working with. Even worse than having the empty or the generic “egg” profile image which gives the impression that you are not active online, is the simply inappropriate profile image – I am sure you have seen dozens of them…from boozy binges to half-dressed doozies or a pic of a pet – we recommend forgoing those shots and instead showcasing the “you” in your photo that your prospects would be encouraged to book with…perhaps even a photo with a fabulous destination in the background would be a nice touch. Even on your personal pages/accounts, you may want rethink any images that give people the wrong impression of you.
3. You do What?
Have you ever run across a profile that read something like: “Lover, stargazer, crazy mom of five, I love unicorns!” – Let’s face it, there are some seriously crazy profile bio’s out there that do not convey the best qualities one may want to showcase! One thing is to be creative in your messaging, yet another is to be perceived as loony or unprofessional.
One of our team members recently participated in a Facebook networker. Three comments grabbed her attention. She thought what they said was interesting enough to click on each of those three profiles and she chose to follow two of them. The third had no description in his bio. That person may have been anything from a travel agent to a used car salesman to a video game dealer…or anything really. Ultimately, she didn’t follow him because she didn’t know what she was getting into. People are generally going to follow others on social media who are delivering content and information that is directly of use and value to them.
Here are some examples of effective profile bio’s:
- Physical Trainer: I work with people that want to get fit the healthy way, not matter how busy their schedule.
- Travel Specialist: I specialize in providing unique travel experiences to families that want to create special unforgettable memories.
- Blogger: I make you a Top Chef with my easy to follow delicious recipes. As a mom of three, I know how important it is to create fun, healthy meals for your family that are affordable, healthy, and delicious.
4. Can I have your number?
Believe it or not, even in this age where 91% of all social media users access social channels via mobile devices, many people still do not include contact details on their social media. Check for yourself. You will be shocked at how many people you won’t be able to easily contact because they have not included contact information (at least an email).
Have you noticed how much in a hurry people are these days? 15 seconds is how much time you have to capture someone’s attention online. If your profile offers a solution to someone’s need, that person is more likely to reach out to you. If you wasted your characters on telling people that you like unicorns (I mean, who doesn’t?), you risk losing your potential customer to the next profile they scroll to.
TIPS & TAKE-AWAYS
- Don’t mention your company name in your "one-liner" bio
- Let profile visitors know what solutions your product/service provide. If it’s too salesy, it will put off your intended audience
- Include contact information
- Your professional sounding profile description also serves as your “elevator speech” or quick introduction at networking events
- Include a personal touch so people know you are not all about business
In closing, we recommend doing an audit of your social media profiles audit at least 2-3 times a year to refresh your profile images, update contact information, and make sure links still work!
We hope you enjoyed this piece and will check out the next installment of our “SOS Series” for you, our travel advisor partners. We look forward to sending you new resources on all topics related to your business – Social media, Marketing, Branding, PR, Sales, Blogging, etc. We’re all in this together!
Click here to download the Social Media Profile Audit Checklist