Small Business Tips

Create an Online Profile to Market Your Business

Create an Online Profile to Market Your Business

Your online profile is an essential part of your social networking efforts to build your business. Most social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook require a personal profile instead of a business profile, so you need to choose the right person to represent your business online. If you are a small business entrepreneur, it is possible you are a sole trader and you will need to create your online profiles carefully.

Although the sites are for social networking, you can use your online profile to attract customers and make contacts with other people in your industry. Therefore, you want to ensure that everything you put online that relates to you and your business is professional and appropriate. Some individuals are happy to pictures of themselves acting out in a drunken fashion, but you do not want this when promoting your business.

Your profile should include a photo (or your company logo as your avatar if the site allows it). Your photo should show you as a professional person, in an appropriate business suit, rather than at the beach. You should be smiling in the photograph and present as an approachable businessperson.

The next thing you should have in your profile is a list of interests. Be careful when you choose an interest as you want to select interests that will attract other people to your business. Try to align your interests as much as possible with the aspects of your business you want to promote.

Most online social networking profiles allow you to write a paragraph or two of free text about yourself. Remember that the social networks prefer information about individuals, not businesses, but you can certainly include information about the business within your cleverly worded profile. If you run a business selling toys, you could mention your children’s favourite toys as part of the online profile.

You do not want your profile to sound as if it is a blatant advertisement for your business. Instead, you want to attract people to follow your online networking efforts, such as sending Twitter tweets, and then link back to your business website. Your online profile should show you as an interesting person who happens to run a business. You can briefly explain what your business does, but keep the information simple in your profile. Remember, the key is to get people to link back to your website.

Include all the contact information for your business, especially email and website links. If you have registered on a couple of different social networking sites, link each site to the others. Link your profile back to your blog as well. Use your signature underneath your messages to direct people to your blog or your website, as well as to your profile. Make sure it is easy for people to contact you.

Once you have your profile, search through the network using keywords that describe your business interests. This will enable you to check that your profile will attract the right sort of attention, and will give you other people’s profiles that fit the terms too, so you can contact them and start building followers to your website.

Take time to consider what information you want to put into your online profile for social networking sites. Each website may have some different rules, so check the profile guidelines before you begin to build your online profile for that site.

Give as much detail as possible and talk about your interests that will attract potential contacts who will want to follow you networking messages and will enjoy looking at your business website.

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