Day 3 of Darren Rowse’s challenge shows you how to promote a blog post.
There are a couple of good posts on my blog, but there’s a topic lots of folks have asked about – creating social media profiles – that I’d like to write about today. Then I’ll promote this post for Day #3.
This post is built from material in “Creating Your Social Media Profiles” – one of the bonus reports for the 2010 Social Media Directory (Release date: 14 Sep 09).
There’s no question about your profile being the most important part of you involvement in social media. Your profile is how you introduce yourself to others. Even when you meet someone by being part of a group, the first thing they do is click on your name so they can see your profile.
The hard part about making a good profile is that none of the sites walks you through the whole process.
Let’s face it, we’re all just a little impatient and want to get things done in a hurry. That’s why social media sites (facebook, LinkedIn, LibraryThing) only ask for what they really need to build your profile and promote their site.
Wait a second…How does building your profile fit into promoting a site?
You’re right if you’re thinking they don’t really fit together.
Every site asks you to invite or find your friends for two reasons:
1. You’re more likely to stay involved when people you know are also involved.
2. Inviting your friends is free publicity for the site.
Inviting your friends – being part of the social community – is important. However, I recommend to clients that we skip this step when we’re first setting up a profile.
Once the basic profile is set up, we move straight to finishing the profile before inviting friends and having people look at it. Imagine you’ve just purchased a new home and all you’ve done is hang your coat in the closet and put a chair in the living room. Would you like to invite your friends over immediately, or wait until you’ve put your furniture in place and done a bit of decorating?
You know you’ll make a better impression by getting a little decorating done first.
Here are three things you can do to make creating your profile easier.
- Use Notepad to fill in the blanks.
- Create your profile while you’re offline.
- Give some detail.
Notepad is better than Word (or anything similar) because word processing software tends to put its own coding into the file. You don’t want that. Notepad just gives you the plain text you typed.
You’re also using Notepad because it lets you put in everything you want to. Facebook, for example, doesn’t have a limit on how much you can type into the Personal Information boxes, but it also won’t show you any text that goes longer than the box. Each box only shows five lines of text.
Use Notepad to type everything you want, then paste it into the appropriate box in your profile.
Create Your Profile Offline
There have been a couple of times when I tried writing a profile, with the client, while logged into a site. Every time, it gave me a feeling of taking up someone’s time – or some kind of “user space” on the site.
Clients tell me they feel pressured, too, when they try to write while logged into a site. I think its because being logged into the site isn’t a natural or comfortable environment. I give clients blank sheets with all the empty spaces from the site, and tell them to go to a comfortable spot to fill in the blanks.
It doesn’t matter where you go – home, a park, a cigar shop – just go somewhere comfortable for you.
Give Some Detail
Profiles are going to give you space to tell everyone what you like to do and what interests you. When you have that opportunity, give readers a little more than “I like cycling.”
Do you ride a mountain bike or a hybrid? Do you use your bike to commute, recreational riding, or do you compete? Now, I’m not talking about writing 400 words or anything. Just one or two sentences – maybe 30 words – to fill in a little detail. Remember, you’re participating in social media as a business person. The details are nice to have, but they’re not your primary reason for being there.
Social media doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming or even scary. Just start with the Golden Trio – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Get your profiles finished, then invite your friends and start making new ones.
Before you know it, you’ll be networking like a pro.