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Revamp your social media profiles with purpose

These tips will have you building your brand and meaningful connections.

Although we’ve been living in a mostly virtual world for a while now, your online presence might be overdue for a refresh. Most importantly, it should be authentically you and align with the brand you live in real life, the one you want to share with the world.

Sarah Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx, is a great example. If you scroll through her LinkedIn feed, you quickly get who she is and what she’s all about. From vacation pictures with her kids and throwbacks to when she first started Spanx to girl power tributes and #MondayMotivation posts, she’s unapologetically herself, and you feel like you know her by following her.

Attracting millions of followers is quite a feat, but here are some tips to freshen up your social media presence and stand out from the crowd.

Know your audience. If you want to be successful with building meaningful connections via social media, the most important consideration is to identify who you’re trying to reach. If you’re in a B2B sales role or are seeking a career change, LinkedIn might be where you should focus. However, if you’re an independent interior designer or wedding photographer, Instagram might better showcase your skills. Be where your target audience spends time.

Engagement is key. It’s not just about posting on your own accounts. Comment on posts to add value and repost industry information you feel passionate about. If you think about having genuine conversation online in the same way you engage in real life, you’ll get noticed. It can’t be a checkbox exercise because real, genuine dialogue builds true relationships.

A picture says a thousand words. Users are moving away from the ultra-polished headshot on LinkedIn – you know the one, stuffy suits and a stark white background – to a more approachable and authentic version. You still want to make sure the quality is good and you’re the only one featured, but an image that provides a glimpse into your personality (think genuine and candid) will speak volumes.

Pro tip: LinkedIn has a cover story option that allows you to explain who you are and what you do in a 30-second video clip. The option is only available on the app right now, but it allows your connections to get to know you better than words on your bio will. It provides the opportunity to be personable and engaging.

The most important aspect of revisiting any of your social media profiles is making sure they represent you accurately. After all, they set the tone for a future relationship you may build with your online connections. Thinking of your social media as an extension of yourself in real life will help you consider if it’s authentically you.

Next steps

As you look to update your social media profiles …

  • Start by evaluating what your feed portrays and asking yourself if it aligns with who you are today
  • Stay up to date on new social media features so you can test them as they’re launched
  • Ask a friend to scroll through your profile to ensure it gives off the vibe you’re going for

Sources: Raymond James research; linkedin.com