It recently came to light that Mark Zuckerberg’s public image is managed by more than a dozen employees, each tasked with a variety of specific responsibilities ranging from writing posts to deleting spam and troll comments. This also includes a professional photographer who captures Zuckenberg’s “everyday life” scenes like visiting Vatican, hunting in Kenya and, of course, spending time with his baby daughter.
While your business is still a bit smaller than Facebook, your public image as its CEO or founder is still very important. So, how do you carefully craft a presence that looks like an effort of a whole team?
1. Fill out as much information as possible.
If you are representing a company, make sure you fill out as much information as you can about yourself and your business, so people will be interested to find out more. We all get that you are a busy entrepreneur, but we won’t enjoy following an account that has an egg for a profile picture on Twitter.
Plus, make sure that all the links are working. I will dare to claim that it is better to not have any links at all, than a broken link that sends to a 404 page.
Details like those are often overlooked, but leave a lasting impression of carelessness.
Even Zuckerberg himself, who clearly doesn’t need an introduction, included a detailed overview of his education (down to high school he graduated), jobs and personal information.
2. Spell correctly.
You know what else gives off a sense of carelessness? Or even worse, makes you look like an uneducated person? It’s misspellings. It might be a horrible personal prejudice of mine, but I can’t take a business seriously, where owner cannot use proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
I get that a lot of us use smartphones for communications, and thus, a lot of social updates get posted from mobile phones these days. I also get that the keyboard is extremely small. Or, maybe you’re so excited to share your next “big idea” that you don’t even care to proofread it for grammar and logic.
However, this is not an excuse to not double-check what you are sending out into the world. Use something as simple as Microsoft Word spellchecker or download an app for your phone, but, please, do check what gets posted for a whole world to see.
3. Respond to questions, comments, concerns.
You shouldn’t be on social media to bask in all the glory. You should be online further promoting your business. And what’s a better way to do it than to respond to questions and concerns?
Besides, if you take just a little bit of time from your busy schedule to truly interact with your followers, your company’s image will only improve. Two of my favorite infopreneurs, Mariah Coz and Regina Anaejionu are both champions of this rule – this is mainly why they are my favorite. In groups with thousands of followers, they manage to engage in discussions and provide such a valuable feedback – for free. Now, this is what I call building a loyal community of raving fans.
An important thing to remember with this one is staying humble. Do not respond to questions like a jerk or a show-off.
4. Stay polite and well-mannered.
Unfortunately, not all things are rosy on the Internet. Sometimes, people do get mad and decide to vent off in the comments section. Sometimes, people have nothing better to do with their time than to troll others. So, how are you supposed to handle those?
The first rule you have to remember at all times is that you are representing a company. Resist the urge to respond with what seems like a clever joke or get into arguments. It is your and your company’s reputation that will be ruined, not theirs. Simply remove or flag those comments. Move on with your day.
5. Show some behind-the-scenes moments.
What makes it interesting to follow founders and company insiders is an ability to see some behind-the-scenes action. Facebook CEO is a definite “gold standard” at this. His profile is full of cool insider moments and previews of “the next big thing” in Facebook’s universe.
While you may not have the funds to hire a professional photographer to follow you around, you could snap some selfies or ask employees to take just a few photos of you. Latest social media trends like Stories and live broadcasting enable you as a business owner to pull the curtain on the inner workings of your company in a very cool and social way.
Mark Cuban, for example, went as far as shoot a quick video in a hospital dress after his hip replacement surgery. Clearly, you don’t need to go that personal, but do show your fun, personable side with these; it cannot hurt (pun intended).
6. Post often, but be mindful of the quality of the content.
You might feel like it’s a great idea to act as a face of the company one day, and then not feel inspired the next day. However, once you decide to represent your company online, and actually start doing it, there is no way out.
It’s really a full-time responsibility. So, unless you’re committed to posting often and bringing value with your content, do not do it. Again, it just looks careless if you show up online once every three months to share some random article or your company’s profits. You’re either all in, or out.
Take it from Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s highly likely that no other CEO takes more time and diligence with his posts. Of course, it’s a team effort at VaynerMedia to post multiple times a day on all the numerous platforms he is active on. While you don’t have to post five times a day to stay visible, think of creative ways to extend the shelf life of any given piece of content. Cut videos into smaller snippets, create infographics and quote graphics, or sometimes, simply drop in to share an industry insight or wisdom.
To summarize, if you are thinking about, or already act as a face of your company, make sure you put forward the best representation of it online. Ensure your presence is polished, engaging, and personable. Check your sources, check your spelling, don’t get caught up in rants or arguments. Provide immense value to your followers to establish yourself as a thought leader.
There is a great potential to gain customers who are not only interested in sales and discount, but who truly love your story and want to support you in every way they can.