Spring is a great time for renewal – and now that it has finally sprung, it might be a great time to review your social media profiles to make sure that they are up to date, fully completed and primed to drive traffic to your website.

I’m going to start with your Twitter profile, and in the coming weeks, I’ll cover LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare. By the time summer arrives, you could have refreshed and optimized the most popular social networks used by channel partners.

CAVEAT: The fictitious company I’m going to use throughout this article is a “Xerox Agent” called “Document Solutions of New York City Inc”. When I searched for “Document Solutions of New York City” I could not find any reference online. If there is a Document Solutions of New York City I apologise for any unintentional embarrassment I may have caused.

Five “Must Complete” Elements of a Twitter Profile

  1. Username
    Up to 15 characters in length, and proceeded with the @ symbol, this has to be unique on Twitter. I always recommend using your business name as a starting point, both for brand awareness and brand recall.
  2. Name
    Up to 50 characters in length, this does not need to be unique. However, like your username, start with your full company name.
  3. Bio
    Up to 160 characters and one of the first things a Twitter user will look at. Make this as descriptive as possible to describe what you actually do – and if possible (and space allows) add a “call to action” in the text.
  4. Location
    If you have a physical business address or showroom, and you choose to share it, this will be clickable. When clicked, it takes the Twitter user to more tweets from around the location. Personal Twitter accounts only show City and are not clickable.
  5. Website
    Add a direct connection to your website. Choose a page relative to you’re the content you will share with this Twitter username (more on this later).

Five Tactics for Choosing Your Twitter Username

At the last count, there were 330 million active Twitter users so the chances of you snagging your actual business name as your Twitter username is pretty slim, unless, of course, your business name is something obscure like Z963NY Inc. So, what can you do? Here are some clever tactics I’ve seen channel partners use.

Remember I’m using a fictitious “Document Solutions of New York City” in my examples.

Tactic 1 – Shorten Your Name

With just 15 characters to use, our 39-character fictitious business name just isn’t going to fit, so we have no choice here, we need to shorten.

  • @DocSols

This would be great but has already been taken by someone from Korea who hasn’t tweeted for over 5 years (see below for info on claiming a dormant account).

BONUS – Claiming a Dormant Twitter Username

Buying and selling Twitter names is against the rules of Twitter, and unless you have a genuine registered trademark challenge, things could get costly (and ugly)

On the plus side, if you do find that your registered business name has been taken, and the account in question is dormant or inactive you can try following the same procedure that Advantec did and submit an “impersonation claim” to take it over. There are no guarantees that this would work, but I might try it to claim @DocSols.

Tactic 2 – Add a Location Indicator

With around one in five Google searches location based, it could be useful to add a recognizable location indicator such as NY

  • @DocSolsNY – I would use this, whilst attempting to claim @DocSols (see above)

Tactic 3 – Add a Verb

I’ve seen this a few times. As long as you choose a short verb like; “Go”, “Get”, “Use” etc. This tactic could work well.

Be careful about longer verbs such as “Choose” as they might stretch the character length of the username too far. Plus, any auto-correction software might switch “choose” into “chose” without the user realizing.

  • @GoDocSols
  • @GetDocSols
  • @UseDocSols

Tactic 4 – Add a Related Phrase or Keyword

Another useful approach I’ve seen is to add related keywords to the username such as MPS (Managed Print Services) or IT (Information Technology).

  • @DocSolsMPS
  • @DocSolsIT

Tactic 5 – Add Symbols Such as Underscores to Signify Space

In my opinion, this is a last resort tactic. The underscore is not the easiest key to locate on a keyboard, and things can get confusing. My own Twitter name of @Andy_Hill, sometimes gets tweets meant for Andy__Hill (a different person and two underscores).

  • @Doc_Sols is already taken by someone who has never tweeted.

Name

No tactics here, just use your full business name – In our case Document Solutions of New York Inc.

Bio

With just 160 characters, use them wisely and think about the words and phrases that might be useful for someone searching for your business. For instance:

“Your local Xerox experts. We supply, support and service printers and MFPs for small, medium and large enterprises. Call 1234 567890 for a free print assessment”

Works better than…

“Document Solutions of New York Inc are the authorized Xerox sales agent covering the entire New York state”

Consider that a potential follower may not know what a “sales agent” actually is and dismiss you for that attractive “local Xerox expert”. Also, are you really adding any value by referencing New York again in the bio?

Location

No tactics here, just use the location of your (New York) office. If you have multiple offices you can set up separate Twitter accounts for each location. Obviously, this would need more resource and work, but could be a good investment.

Website

The instinctive thing to do is to use your home page. This is fine if you have one office or one twitter account. However, if you have multiple locations and you do decide to create a Twitter account for each of those locations, consider creating a location-specific page on your website – where you can introduce your team and the facilities you offer at that location. For instance, perhaps you have a showroom with specific equipment.

If you decide to set up a Twitter account to share just MPS related content, then you would link to your dedicated MPS page. If you set up a Twitter account for IT Services then use your IT services page etc. (I hope you get the picture).

Don’t Forget to Measure

Whilst I would encourage you to try these tactics, I always try to measure the impact of any change. Don’t do anything until you have an understanding of the website traffic you have received from Twitter in the last 3 months.

Obviously, also pay attention to your Twitter analytics too. Since making a change, ask yourself…

  • Are you attracting better quality / more relevant followers?
  • Are you being added to relevant Twitter lists etc.

Next time, I’ll take you through your LinkedIn Company Page. If this was useful, please subscribe to be alerted as soon as we post articles.

 
 
 
This post originally appeared on the Channel Partner Connection blog.