On many social media platforms, your profile is the first thing potential contacts will read about you - so it has got to hold their attention and give them a reason to join your network. Follow our tips to work out the best way to present yourself to new connections
- Do your research and look at other profiles on your chosen social media platform. What draws your attention and what pushes you away? Who do you want to connect with? Learn from what others are doing.
- Get the essentials right. Tell your reader who you are and what you do as succinctly and clearly as possible — ideally in two short sentences. Include a link to your website. You will get the chance to elaborate as you get to know people.
- Adjust your tone to the medium. Don’t be jokey on a serious business networking platform such as LinkedIn, and don’t be wordy and self-important on a personal networking platform like Facebook — you will look out of place.
- Tell readers where you’ve been and where you’re going. Mention at least one professional achievement. People will want to know how credible you are. Goals are important, too — people who see these may be able to help you achieve your aims.
- Let a little personality through. It should not be all about work — your interests can open doors with others who share them. Balance work and personal information sensibly, though, and think about who you want to connect with.
- Post a picture. Photographs are more immediate than words, but a picture must be right for the medium and your desired connections. On a business-focused platform, use a good-quality image of yourself looking professional. On Facebook, it is acceptable to include holiday snaps.
- Brand your profile. Most platforms allow you to change colours or add background images. Use your company livery to reinforce your viewer’s connection with your firm’s brand. Be discreet about logos, though — get people to connect with you personally first.
- Do not be boring. Don’t use your profile to offer a lengthy dissection of your industry, to rant, to outline your company history in detail or to talk about your products, except in passing.
- Keep it fresh. Update your profile regularly. If your goals change, or you’ve got a great success story, add that in. If people can see that you have been recently active on a profile they will be more inclined to connect with you.
- Don’t sell, engage. Never use your profile to try to sell to people - they will leave immediately and there are other channels you can use to talk about your product or service. The aim of your profile is to give people a reason to connect with you, rather than with your business.
- look at other people’s profiles for research
- adapt your tone to suit different social networking sites
- update your profile regularly
- post too much personal information
- use your profile to sell your products
- be boring