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Social networks – Getting started on the right foot

 

Have you decided to use LinkedIn and Facebook to drum up business? Let’s go over best practices for creating a professional profile or page.

Creating a LinkedIn profile

To create a LinkedIn profile, go to www.linkedIn.com.

Your LinkedIn profile is your business card:

  • Select a good quality photo of you in a professional capacity with a light background. Ideally, it should be square-shaped. The recommended size is 400 x 400 pixels.
  • Use a cover photo that represents your brand. Modify it regularly, so it doesn’t become boring. Select a horizontal image, preferably 1584 x 396 pixels.
  • Be sure to complete all fields to achieve the All-Star level profile. This status, the fifth and highest ranking on the scale, gets you more visibility and makes your profile more attractive. The result?

-  More requests for your products and services or more job or partnership offers.

-  More search engine hits.

-  More opportunities to reach your current and future customers.

How do you obtain All-Star status?

-  Describe your experience. Take care to mention the companies you have worked for, the start and end dates of each job, as well as the duties and projects that you carried out for each.

-  Include your academic qualifications and diplomas.

  • Refine your summary (in the About section of your profile), a short text for catching the interest of internet users.

    Draw attention to your strengths. Be concise, direct, original...without going overboard. Make people want to find out more about you.

    When an internet user browses your summary, it must rapidly make clear who you are, what you do and how you can help them out (What’s in it for me?). Use plain language and your own words. Forget the jargon.

  • For the title, you can use your official professional title or, in a few key words, the position you hope to obtain (220 characters maximum). Therefore, choose terms that demonstrate your main competencies, the ones that will allow people to find you when they do a search.
  • Add the Featured section to your profile, which gives rapid access to your resumé, diplomas, certificates or photos.

    Share descriptions of projects that you are most proud of and add links to images, videos or articles that highlight the results of your work. Dare to promote yourself!

  • Ask colleagues or others who know you in a professional capacity, such as clients, to write messages about the excellence of your services and post them.

    You can ask for recommendations in your connections’ profiles, from your own profile or on a mobile app.

  • Personalize the URL of your profile to improve search engine hits. People will be able to find you more easily.

Test your profile

Do you wonder how relevant and interesting your LinkedIn profile is? Ask your colleagues or friends and family what their opinion is. You may have left out some information.

Welcome comments and make any required corrections.

Developing your business network

  • Import the email addresses of your contacts and invite those that are already on LinkedIn to connect with you.
  • Ask people whom you are less familiar with to connect as well, especially when their field of expertise is of interest to you. Personalize your invitation and explain why you want them to be part of your network.
  • Feel free to ask a first-degree contact to connect you with one of their third-degree contacts.
  • Before adding contacts, ensure that they will fuel your thinking, allow you to develop and help you to achieve your business goals.
  • Integrate discussion groups that interest you and show that you participate in these groups in your profile. It’s a good way to attract the targeted customer base.

In the search bar, type the name of the group or a key word.

You can also click on the Products icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Groups in the menu that appears.

  • Add the link to your LinkedIn profile in your emails, under your signature.

Creating a Facebook business page

To create a Facebook business page:

  • Log in to your personal Facebook page.
  • In the Pages section, click “Add a page” and create your page.

Don’t have a personal Facebook page? Create an account by going to www.facebook.com.

Select a good quality photo of you in a professional capacity with a light background. Ideally, it should be square-shaped. The recommended size is 170 x 170 pixels.

Use a cover photo that represents your brand. Modify it regularly, so it doesn’t become boring. Select a horizontal image, preferably 1584 x 396 pixels.

Complete all the sections here too, although there are fewer than in LinkedIn.

Pay attention to the description and additional information: It’s where you can briefly describe the services you offer and add any information that will interest current or future clients. You aren’t allowed many characters, so be concise.

Test your page

Share your page with colleagues and family to get their opinion about the choice of photos, the relevance of the information and if it is clearly expressed.

Make the necessary changes.

Expand your community

Ask your current clients and your acquaintances to like and subscribe to your page.

Organize a contest: Offer the chance to win a free one-hour consultation with you to people who subscribe to your page.

Add the link to your business page in your emails, under your signature.

To find our more on how to use social networks for professional purposes, read the other two articles in this series: