If you’re getting started with a new social media profile or if you’ve been on social media for a while, here are some best-practice tips to build or refresh your profile(s).
What are social media profiles?
Think of your social media profile like a person or your brand’s digital business card. It displays key details, including their location, contact info, area of interest or expertise, and general position in an online niche.
Elements to Include
When you are thinking about your profile, consider some of these elements to maximize searchability.
- Display name: try to have the same handle on every platform.
- Relevant links to your store, website, or Linktree.
- Bio: describe who you are and what you do, include your brand slogan (be strategic).
- Location: If you have a single location, adding your city will increase your reach in that area.
Profile Name Generator
Not sure what to call yourself online? Hootsuite’s instant username generator will give you username ideas that suit your internet persona (or the one you’re scheming up).
Tips for Great Profiles
Keep these five tips in mind as you develop your social media profile.
- I.S.S.: Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Max 200 words, e.g., Penheel – We build muscle—marketing muscle—for CPAs.
- Answer FAQs: who you are; what you’re known for; what you’re selling; or where you’re based. Tip: If you are in a limited geographic region, include it in your bio (the pin emoji comes in handy here).
- Call-To-Action: Every good social media bio should end with a compelling call to action (CTA), e.g., follow me, visit your shop, sign up for your newsletter, send you a DM, etc.
- Hashtags and keywords within your bio tell the algorithm how to categorize your profile. Note, Threads doesn’t support hashtags.
- Using humor, emotion, or nostalgia gets people to feel something and creates a much better chance of getting them to tap that “follow” button, e.g., MasterCard uses “Fueling your passions to make memories last a lifetime: #priceless” — is a solid example of this.
How long should my bio be?
Limits for business profiles vary. Hootsuite has over 20 templates to help you craft the perfect personal or business bio. You can even craft one using artificial intelligence using Hootsuite’s Bio Generator.
Here are some additional guidelines.
- Instagram: 150 characters
- TikTok: 80 characters
- Facebook: 255 characters
- LinkedIn: 2,000 characters
- Pinterest: 160 characters
- YouTube: 1,000 characters
Optimize Your Profile
Using the following guidelines, you can optimize your profile to increase its searchability, including:
- Choosing a username that includes relevant keywords.
- Ensuring your profile photos and cover photos are SEO-friendly, with keywords in the file names and alt tags.
- Including keywords in your social media posts helps search engines understand what your content is about and helps people find you faster.
- Using hashtags makes it easy for users and screen readers to read your hashtags by writing them in Camel Case. That means capitalizing the first letter of each word, e.g., #SuperBowl. Remember to use hashtags sparingly and don’t stuff them full of keywords. Instead, use a few relevant hashtags that accurately describe your post. Stick to a maximum of three to five hashtags per post.
- Commenting on your audience’s posts, answering their questions, and joining their conversations.
- Encouraging people to share your content by maintaining a consistent flow of high-quality posts.
- Avoiding clickbait, unoriginal content, or misleading claims.
Profile Pictures and Cover Images
In addition to the copy, designing right-sized profile images and cover graphics for your profile can help increase searchability and engagement.
- Facebook profile picture: 170 X 170 pixels
- Twitter profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels
- TikTok profile photo: 20 X 20 pixels (minimum)
- LinkedIn profile photo: 400 X 400 pixels (minimum)
- Instagram profile picture: 110 X 110 pixels
- Pinterest profile picture: 150 X 150 pixels
- YouTube profile picture: 800 X 800 pixels
Should I add an alt tag to images?
Alt text, also known as “alt tags” or “alt descriptions,” doesn’t appear on a page or in a post like a caption. Instead, it’s embedded in the image’s HTML code and is read aloud by screen reading tools used by visually-impaired users. Adding alt tags to your images increases accessibility for your content.
Alt Tag Best Practices
Later.com offers these image alt tag guidelines:
- Keep It Simple
- Avoid Emojis
- Don’t Prioritize SEO – write a description of the image rather than using a keyword phrase.
- List Important Information First
- Use Closed Captions & Audio Descriptions
Creating a social media profile should not be complicated; however, choosing the right brand name, images, and keywords does take some time and research.
If you want to know more about creating a social media profile, consider registering for my online course Optimizing Social Media Profiles at Westchester Community College. Or, request a course for your staff using my speaker form.