YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA USERNAME AND PROFILE PHOTO MATTER MORE THAN YOU KNOW.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” W. Shakespeare
When it comes to finding your business online, if your name – or more importantly – your username and account are not easily identifiable, it most definitely could be costing you money. Want to know why? Read on.
Hello! What’s Your Name?
This question is easy to answer in real life. You would respond with your first and last name or with your business name depending on the situation. Online, it’s a different story. And one that requires some thoughtful consideration.
In our last newsletter, we talked about Location Location Location the importance of properly identifying your location in your social media profiles so that potential customers could actually come knocking on your door. Click here if you missed it!
But what happens if your potential customers can’t even find your social media account in order to learn more about your business or even engage and buy from you?
Many businesses have similar names. Remember, just because there may not be a business with your name in your city, state or even country, it doesn’t mean that’s the case around the globe. Online, we are one big business community. (Also another reason why identifying your location in your profiles is important.)
If you’re a franchise or part of a business with multiple locations, your location may be the only way to differentiate you and your accounts from the others.
What if your name is difficult to spell? Or if you got “clever” with your username on Instagram and Twitter and your username is not your actual business name? How will your potential customers even know that it’s you when they come across that funny name?
These are factors that can make it difficult to easily identify your account online could be costing you business.
How to Choose The Best Social Media Username For Your Business?
The first thing you do when setting up online accounts for social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and review sites (Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp) is select your username. You may be tempted to rush through it or to get creative and come up with a cute username, abbreviation or variation of your name in real life. In some cases it works, in others it may not. As an individual you may want to disguise your identity and have a cryptic name, however as a business, you want your customers to easily identify your account and find you.
Follow these steps:
- Check to see if your preferred user name is available across all platforms prior to creating your account or changing it. If it isn’t, try a variation until you find the name available, especially across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook and Instagram only allow you to change your username once, so choose wisely.
- Keep It Simple and Easy To Remember.
- If you can use your exact business name, do so (i.e. @FigDigitalMedia)
- If you are part of a chain, add your location to your business name.
- If your business name is too long, find a simple way to shorten it. Keep in mind that Facebook allows up to 50 characters, Instagram allows 30 but Twitter only allows 15 so keep it short.
- Choose a name that will be easy to type and remember. The more creative and complicated you get, the harder it will be for your customers to remember it.
- Underscores ( _ ) often get confused with hyphens ( – )
- Keep it easy to say and reference in person and online.
- Use the same name across all social media profiles and review sites. If you don’t have the same username across platforms, consider changing them now. This helps establish a cohesive brand identity online and makes it easier for your potential customers to find your account regardless of which platform they use. It helps your customers tag you in their posts which is a great way to get cross-promotion. Pro Tip: It will also make it easier for you to list your social media on your marketing collateral!
How to Choose The Best Profile Photo?
The next component to your online brand identity is your profile picture. This image accompanies your business name in search results and when you interact with users. It appears at the top of your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. This is the first impression your potential customers will get about your business so choose wisely.
Have you ever searched for a business on Instagram or Facebook only to find several accounts with similar names? The profile picture will most likely help you select the right one. Is your photo easily identifiable? Does it look appealing and representative of your business? Or is it cropped and cut off missing key elements?
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your profile photo:
- Remember your brand! Most businesses should stick with their logo, it’s a great way to reinforce your name and brand identity. If your logo has an intricate design, consider streamlining it to a key symbol or graphic that you use.
- Don’t get too fancy! Over 80% of internet users are accessing the internet on their smartphones, that number goes up with social media users. Even with a large smartphone screen, your business profile picture will be smaller than a nickel.
- Size and shape matters! Keep it square, at 180 x 180 pixels. If you are using your logo, you may need to reformat it to fit in the profile picture space. There are some great free tools online to use here and here. DO NOT have your logo uncentered or partially cut off, as it will appear sloppy. Plus, that brand familiarity you are trying to tie into- will be lost.
DO THIS NEXT:
- Take a few minutes right now and look at your business social media accounts.
- What is your username on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest?
- Does it match your business name or include your business name?
- Is it the same username across the board?
- How about Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google My Business? Is your business name listed the same?
If your names don’t match, now is the time to fix it. And of course, don’t forget while you’re at it, to populate your profile information in all the categories.
Not sure where to start? No problem! Just download our FREE downloadable checklist 9+ Things You Should Be Doing NOW on Social Media to turn followers into loyal customers.