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Quick Guide to the Perfect Social Media Profile

Guy Kawasaki Startup GuruYou have less than five seconds to catch the attention of a would-be customer with your social media profile, so it’s imperative to make a big impression, fast. By capturing your brand’s story in pictures and embracing the beauty of brevity, you can build scan-friendly profiles that will make readers want to stick around, learn more about your brand, and click the “follow” button. Here are five tips that will help.

Tell your story in pictures

Most forms of social media allow you to headline your profile with two major images: your avatar and a banner image. A brand avatar (the smaller, usually square or circle image) identifies your brand and should be your logo (or your face if you have celebrity status like Guy Kawasaki). The banner image (sometimes called a “cover image”) is the larger image that spans the width of your screen. This image describes your brand and should communicate what your startup represents. You can use a stock image that you’ve bought, but you can also create a banner for free or use a pre-built one from companies like or Whatever you use, be sure it’s a high-quality image and is the correct dimensions for the allotted space.

Craft a snappy tagline

Your tagline or “mantra” should be two to four words that explain your startup’s purpose. A good mantra is short and memorable. Move beyond mission statements that are generally long and boring to something brief and catchy, like Starbuck’s tagline “Rewarding everyday moments” or Google’s “Democratizing information.” Your mantra should also be positive and selfless. Customers respond to brands that uplift them and inspire a better society, so use this as an opportunity to share what makes you passionate about your startup. “Get rich” is not a selfless mantra.

Give ‘em plenty of info

Once you have a reader interested and looking for more information about your brand, give it to them! Make sure that you’ve offered full location and contact details as well as a more complete description of what you do and the benefits you provide. Provide as much information as you have space for, and be sure to include a website URL for those who’d like to continue to learn more about your business.

Use vanity URLs

Vanity URLs make your social channels easier to find and share, plus look a lot better than the default string of letters and numbers on marketing or other public-facing materials. You can get a vanity URL from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you can’t find instructions for choosing a vanity URL in the setting section of your social profile, a quick Google search should tell you how to do it. Additionally, consider using the Google URL shortener to create more concise and user-friendly links for sharing across platforms.

Check it anonymously

The final test of your page is to view it as a random user would. Open an “incognito window” in your browser (for Chrome, right-click the browser icon and select “New Incognito Window”) and type in your fancy new vanity URL. Viewing it this way will tell you exactly what would-be customers will find when they visit your profile. It’s a good idea to share this page with others at your startup to solicit feedback on whether your profile effectively communicates your brand identity in the five-second time frame most users will give you.


Social media is a critical part of your marketing strategy, so take care to get these critical basics right. You’ll reap the benefits of company visibility, audience building, and engagement, which eventually leads to paying customers and investors.

(This blog post summarizes advice from Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, The Art of the Start 2.0. Read our full book review here).

Akira is the Founder & CEO of Cayenne Consulting. He has over 30 years of experience both as an entrepreneur and helping other entrepreneurs succeed. Akira earned his BA in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University. View details.

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