Often the first search result that appears after googling someone’s name is their Facebook profile. This is why it is critical to employ these five branding strategies to your Facebook profile — and yes, that includes professionals in the finance industry.
Your profile picture is the first impression people get when they visit your profile, so make yours count. Make sure you are dressed appropriately in your photo and, ideally, use a solid-color background.
Sure, you may look dapper in that full suit you wore to a friend’s wedding last year, but it won’t work in the small frame Facebook provides. Typically, your photo should show you from the shoulders up. Take a look at Caravel Group executive director Guneet Banga’s profile as inspiration: Not only is he well dressed and facing the camera, but the neutral color he has chosen as the background furthers the impression of professionalism.
One of the more underrated ways to make a statement about your brand is to use the background photo that appears at the top of your profile page. Though your profile photo will leave the strongest impression, the background photo (located at the top of your page) is what sets the stage for the rest of your page’s content. While it is perfectly acceptable to leave this as a solid color or soft geometric design, feel free to experiment. For example, you could incorporate your finance firm’s logo into an eye-catching image. Just be careful of the image sizing that Facebook uses for background photos, or else your delicately crafted image may become inappropriately stretched or cropped.
Facebook is a breeding ground for internet trolls and keyboard warriors. While a controversial post may seem to be begging for your comment or refutation, it’s best to stay mute so you can keep your profile professionally neutral. After all, the ability to keep calm and level-headed in troubling situations is a valuable trait in the financial industry. Not only will interacting with polarizing posts drive away people who disagree with you, but it may also diminish your credibility even to those who may agree with your stance.
On the other hand, interacting with posts relevant to your field can be a great way of reaching out to new potential clients. Don’t let the toxic side of Facebook discourage you from commenting on posts where your opinion is valuable.
It can be difficult to hit that Goldilocks zone of post frequency. Post too much and your friends/followers will become annoyed and mute your posts; post too little and your profile will join the plethora of others that appear nearly abandoned and receive little clicks.
A good way to keep engagement is to set a personal schedule of when to post. This could be every week or even every day — just make sure that you’re posting something meaningful and not redundant. Don’t believe me? Hear it straight from Facebook itself.
Facebook has been around for nearly 18 years now, and odds are that you may have some old posts and photos that aren’t entirely representative of who you are now. It is always worthwhile to go back and discard old posts that could tarnish the professional image you’ve worked so hard to create. That picture of your day out at the ball game in 2008 can probably stay, but you may want to delete all the high school gossip off of your timeline. Keeping your entire profile up to date with your image is key to achieving a trustworthy image.
Unless you’re running your business from Facebook, which is very possible nowadays, you’ll likely want to channel your page’s visitors to your website. For this reason, it’s important to include a link to your website near the top of your page. Your profile’s “bio” section is a perfect place to insert a link to your website; however, it’s a better idea to include the link in several places throughout your page. Linking your website in the “about” section of your profile and through hyperlinks in your posts will increase the likelihood of getting clicks.