We all know that first impressions matter. Online, like offline, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
It’s especially crucial to make a winning first impression on social media. Someone who comes across you once might never see your page or profile again if they don’t choose to like or follow you the first time.
So how do you make the right impression? How can you instantly show that you’re trustworthy, interesting, and worth following?
1. Choose the Right Social Site for You and Your Audience
If you’re on completely the wrong network for your target audience, then it’s going to be really tough to make a good first impression. Your brilliant dance moves might be ideal for Gen-Z teens on TikTok, but they really aren’t going to go down so well with an audience of mature professionals on LinkedIn.
Before you invest lots of time in crafting the perfect profile, make sure you’re using a social media platform that makes sense for your target audience. You also want a social platform that’s a good fit for your own skills and style.
2. Select a Username That Fits Your Company Brand
It might seem like a small point, but your username should fit seamlessly with your brand. You don’t want there to be a confusing disconnect between what your brand is called and what your social media username is.
If your brand name itself is taken on your chosen social media platform, or if it’s too long to be used as a username, try to come up with a simple variation.
3. Add a Profile Photo and Cover Image
When someone first visits your profile or page on social media, you want them to instantly feel confident that they’re in the right place. They should know that this is the correct page for your brand – and that you have an active social media presence.
This means you need to have a profile photo (or brand logo). Leaving this blank will make you look like a complete newbie – or even a spammer. It’s also important to add a cover image, on social platforms like Facebook that use these. The photos or images you use should clearly link with your brand.
4. Fill Out Your Bio – and Be Clear About What You Do
As well as adding your profile photo, it’s important to fill out your bio on your social media platform of choice. You may only get to put a couple of sentences in your bio, so make sure they’re working hard for you.
Don’t waste space in your bio on your personal history; instead, get straight to the point with what you do (or what your company does).
5. Make Sure You Have Some Content Ready to Go
Even with your profile completed, your social media account won’t make a good first impression if it’s completely devoid of content. Get some posts ready to go straight away, because you want to start populating your social media timeline.
If you’re stuck for ideas, you might share links to some great resources – yours and other people’s – and also share any short snippets of company news.
6. Get Other People to Introduce You to Their Audience
Another great tactic for making a winning first impression is to get other people to introduce you to their followers or fans. This helps you to be seen as someone who’s trusted before a user even clicks on your profile or reads any of your posts.
You don’t need to go around asking for introductions. Instead, an easy and organic way to get yourself introduced to other people’s audiences is to produce share-worthy content. Make sure it’s really easy to share, too, using a tool like the sharing buttons from ShareThis.
7. Check Out Your Audience’s View of Your Page or Profile
It’s easy to forget that what you see when you look at your social media page or profile isn’t necessarily what your audience will see. Plus, if you set up your account a while ago, you might not actually spend much time looking at your own page.
Take a moment to look at your page or profile using an incognito browser window or a temporary social media account. Is there anything that doesn’t create the best first impression? Perhaps you pinned a post ages ago that you meant to switch for a more recent one, for instance.
8. Reply Promptly When Someone Gets in Touch for the First Time
If someone sends you a message or leaves a comment asking a question, then it’s important to get back to them promptly. This is especially true if they’re contacting you for the first time. You don’t want to leave them waiting days for a response – that definitely won’t create the best impression.
In general, you want to get back to everyone fairly promptly – certainly within a business day, but ideally within a few hours. People who come to your page or profile for the first time will see that you reply to comments promptly, and that helps them know you’re not only active on social media, you’re helpful and responsive.
A few small steps can add up to a winning first impression on social media. By making a great first impression, you’ll grab attention, win more followers, and get more likes, shares, and comments too. Run through the above tips today, and you should start to see the benefits almost immediately.