People spend hours rehearsing their elevator pitch. Getting it right means delivering a powerful value proposition in the time it takes to travel between floors – 30 seconds to two minutes. The goal is to connect and continue the conversation after the doors slide shut.
If you think about it, your social media bios are the elevator pitch of the digital age. You have ten to thirty seconds – and 160 characters – to convince someone to engage with you.
Are you investing time in your social media profiles? If you’re not, you should be.
To help maximize your “elevator time”, I’m going to share best practices, demonstrate the insight you can gain from your competitors’ descriptions and in a real world application of what we cover I’ll make a set of recommendations for how Silverpop can improve their Twitter, FaceBook and Google+ social bios.
Imagine you’ve come across a great tweet on marketing automation and visit the company’s twitter page to learn more – the equivalent of jumping on the elevator and hearing their pitch. You’re going to spend 20 seconds, then decide whether to follow them. In that scenario, who will you find more compelling Ad2action or Marketo?
The majority of you will opt to follow Marketo. Their digital elevator pitch is visually interesting and they’ve used their 160 characters to tell you the benefits and breadth of what they do.
Imagine the sales rep pacing his office rehearsing his elevator pitch, prepping for the moment he finds himself face-to-face with the CEO of his key target. That’s you perfecting your social media bio. It takes work to get it right.
Unfortunately for Chrysler, their Twitter bio is a great illustration of both the above errors.
Keeping track of best practices and specifications can be a challenge. All the channels have made changes in last 12 months. I’ve captured the basics in the reference tool below.
Every three months you should review your social bios to ensure they’re in line with your current value proposition. At the same time, take a look at your competitors’ social media “elevator pitch” and determine if you need to counter their positioning.
You can use a spreadsheet, or a side-by-side comparison like the one below from, Rival IQ. Check out the Facebook short descriptions from companies in the marketing automation space.
Quickly you get a sense of each company’s value proposition. For example, Eloqua is claiming acceleration of revenue growth, Hubspot is promoting an “all in one” solution and more leads and Pardo is focused on “no hassle” marketing automation.
If you track changes to your competitor’s social bios, you’ll be able to extract insights about how the market is evolving and inform your own marketing strategy. Here’s a look at how the marketing automation players changed their Twitter positioning over six months.
Based on this series of bio changes, I’d posit that Marketo kicked off a positioning shift that rippled through the market.
The individuals you reach on social media don’t limit themselves to just one channel. They’re likely to engage with you on Twitter and Facebook, or Linked In and Twitter or maybe on three or four channels at once. When you’re optimizing one social media bio, it’s important to optimize all of them, reinforcing both key messages and key words.
Continuing to look at the marketing automation landscape, I’ve created a side-by-side comparison of Twitter, FaceBook and Google+ bios. Take a look and see who gets high marks.
While all the companies have room for improvement, I’m giving HubSpot the highest grade for consistency and use of best practices. Marketo goes too far by having identical bios across all channels and fails to use links or calls to action. Add to Marketo’s downfall the failure to maximize the length of their bios, and we find Silverpop at the bottom of the class.
Let’s put our learning to work and suggest ways for Silverpop to improve their social media bios.
Below are the company’s current descriptions:
A quick survey of Silverpop’s website reveals elements of their value proposition that could better differentiate them in their social bios, including:
Obviously the marketing team at Silverpop has a better understanding of their value proposition than I ever will – but to inspire them to evaluate their social media bios, I’ve drafted the following descriptions for consideration.
|Social Platform||What I’d Say|
|Marketing automation built by marketers. Leverage customer behavior across email, mobile and social to increase revenue & loyalty. Join us. www.silverpop.com (160 characters)|
|Marketing automation built by marketers, trusted by over 5,000 brands. Leverage customer behavior across email, mobile and social to increase revenue, loyalty & ROI. Find your Return on Relationship. www.silverpop.com/FB (220 characters – perfect for three favorite tiles)|
|Google+||Leverage customer behavior across channels to increase revenue and loyalty. (10 words)|
Although these recommendations leverage best practices, they may not accurately communicate Silverpop’s unique value proposition. My point is that a quick review of your social bios, in comparison to the market, is all you need to inspire positioning changes that result in better differentiation and a great digital elevator pitch.