Curious look Guest post by Annie Wallace

One of the most important things that you can do in the computer age to promote your business, whether it’s an online company or a brick and mortar store, is getting into social networking and social media. These sites have made setting up your profile relatively straightforward, but knowing exactly what to do with that profile can be an entirely different matter. Here are some important things to keep in mind when building your brand through social media.

Avatars: Tiny Pictures with Powerful Impact

Your avatar, a small picture that is no more than about sixty by sixty pixels, is the place where you’re going to make your first impression on potential contacts. As such, it’s important that you have a professional and recognizable picture. This same picture should also be used on all the sites that you frequent to increase your branding opportunities.

Making this picture look professional means following a few basic rules. It’s a good idea to start by putting the picture on a background that is white or neutral. Avoid busy backgrounds. What exactly should you put on this background? Well, surprisingly, your logo isn’t recommended. Using a personal picture on these sites tends to make your networking go more smoothly.

The picture of you should be taken with a higher quality camera so that it’s not blurry. You should get proper lighting, and you should absolutely have someone else take the picture for you. The focus should be on your face, so resist the urge to include gimmicks like a fake mustache, giant glasses, or a snazzy hat. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative. Using basic photo editing effects, including color washes or cut-out shapes, can make your avatar stand out, so long as you use them in moderation.

Now that you have a professional looking picture, it’s a good idea to use tools like “gravatar” that allow this same avatar to be used at a number of social networking and blogging locations.

There Are Multiple Networks for a Reason

While you should take time to get established on any given network, it’s also a great idea to spread into multiple locations. Do you need some help knowing where to go? A little bit of web stalking can go a long way to discover other sites that your potential customers are frequenting.

Just look at the other profiles for people who have already networked with you to get an idea of other locations that may work well. Once you’ve done so, don’t be afraid to cross promote yourself, mentioning your posts, tweets, notes, or pages on other networks.

Blogs, Videos, and Other Media Magnets

Beyond using social networks, it’s a very good idea to have some other locations for written and media content. A blog is essentially mandatory these days, and other pages like a YouTube account are great ideas. Promoting yourself by creating and uploading videos with viral potential, such as “how to” or “best of” videos can really push your networking forward.

What’s more, social media marketing is the only affordable method to put your brand in front of the targeted audience. It requires much time, but it can save you a lot of money which makes it possible even for start-ups and non-profits to brand themselves effectively while avoiding huge investments.

About the author
Annie is a social media enthusiast and blogger teaching brands to market themselves effectively though social media. She blogs for Home Loan Finder, the large free home loan comparison tool. You can follow Annie on Twitter as @ViralMomTweets

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