Market your company with online profiles

Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel

Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel

Why are online profiles so important for your brand?

One of the tasks we handle at Fletcher Prince is helping individuals and companies craft online profiles and bios that work well for their brand.  As you may know, online profiles appear in a number of social media platforms and online directories: Google Maps, Google Profiles, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, for example.  You may have an “About Us” page or biographies of your staff on your company web site.  Each online profile presents different opportunities to market your brand, and requires different approaches.

Online profiles are prime Internet “real estate” to present key messages about your brand, so it’s worthwhile to create good ones.

Basic Ingredients of an Online Profile

  • A description of your company, or your personal or professional biography. Think about what people would like to know, and how you are unique among your competitors.
  • A link to your web site (include http://) or blog.  Make it interesting and brief.
  • At least one high-quality photograph of yourself and/or an image of your company’s logo, in appropriate resolution.  If that image is supposed to be square, as it is in YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, and Facebook, then have a square version of your logo designed for this purpose (we can handle that for you at Fletcher Prince).  It’s a worthwhile investment for your brand recognition.  If you can upload more photos to the profile (as you may do on Google Maps and Yelp, for example) take advantage of that potential by showing off images of your employees, company headquarters, products, or portfolio examples.
  • At least one short online video, if permitted.  Some online profiles, such as Google Maps, allow you to post a few videos on your profile.

How to Create Online Profiles People Will Value and Trust

Have you ever read an online profile on Twitter or LinkedIn and thought that it didn’t really tell you what you wanted to know about that person or company?  Were you ever left wondering where the company was located, or what the person actually did for a living?  People do want to know more about you and your company, as they Google you online.  But you have to be discerning about what you include in your online profiles.  This content and approach will vary, according to what you feel your audience will respond to.  A friendly and humorous tone may work for one company, but not another.  One general tip for online profiles is to write from your customer’s perspective.  Think, “If I were my customer, why would I want to read this, and what benefit would it offer me?  What problem will knowing more about this company help solve for me?”

Another tip is to avoid using promotional language, unless it is substantiated by a third party or has some other quantifiable aspect.  For example, it’s more powerful to say “Fletcher Prince is an award-winning marketing communications firm….” rather than “Fletcher Prince is a high-quality marketing communications firm.”  Try to use objective language when describing your company online.  It will help your audience believe and trust your content.

Brevity is the Soul of Wit

As you write online profiles, the first thing to appreciate is that your audience reads and absorbs information in a different way from how they read print information, say a book or newspaper.  People scan online text rapidly, looking for titles, images, bullets, subheads, and bold face text to get a quick overview of the content.  It’s also critical to consider how search engines — such as Google — will index your text to give you the optimized results you want. That means using keywords and links.

Polishing Your Twitter Profile

Fall Properties Twitter Page

Those specific details don’t just help Google index you correctly, they also help prospective customers understand you better.  I feel this is especially important on Twitter bios, which are so brief, they should be heavily keyword-laden for best results.  A nice touch for a Twitter profile is to include a reason to follow the account and a call to action.  For example, here’s an example of a Twitter bio we crafted for Fall Properties.

“Buying or selling a home in Falls Church or Arlington, VA? Follow the experienced realtors at Fall Properties for tips & events. Ph: (703) 536-7001”

What works about this Twitter bio

  1. It is written from the customer’s perspective (buying or selling a home?)
  2. It’s specific and targeted (Falls Church or Arlington, VA?)
  3. It provides a reason to follow the account (experienced realtors providing tips; event announcements)
  4. It has a call to action (call the phone number)

Making the Most of YouTube Profiles

I also recommend using white space and other attention-getting treatments, when available.  This is especially important with YouTube profiles.  Not everyone takes advantage of all the space YouTube offers in its profile section, but keep in mind, it’s free, and 25% of all search goes through YouTube.  Check out the Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel to see how we used our online profile on YouTube to link to our web site, as well as our company Facebook Page, blog, and Twitter account.

What works for you?

I would love to know if any of these suggestions have improved your online bios or profiles.  I bet you have all kinds of ideas that have worked well for you.  Please post your own suggestions about what to include (or not include) in online profiles and bios in the comments below.  Thank you for contributing to this discussion!

Did you like this post?  Please leave a comment

If this post helped you today, please leave me a comment.  I would really appreciate that.  Also feel free to share it with friends who you think would benefit from it.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on January 27, 2010, in Social Media Tips, Twitter Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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