We now live in a world where social media serves to provide instant connections to news, information, each other, professional networking and so much more. When used correctly, it can also be a way to brand yourself. Your social media profile serves as a landing page for you and works to raise your ranking on search engines when people search for your name, skills, education and much more.

According to the site, We Are Social, in 2017 there were “2.80 billion global social media users, equaling 37% penetration.” With that much potential for global networking, it makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity and tool available to grow professionally. Here are the top 4 tips to ensure your social media profile connects you with the people that count most in your profession.

1. Your SEO Ranking Depends on Your Social Media Profile

It is questionable whether social shares affect a webpage’s position on search engine listings. However, research shows that social media profiles definitely influence your ranking. In fact, they are among the top results in search listings. Social channels often feel more personal than other types of webpages and they’re a great way to get a sense of an individual’s personality, skills and strengths. Social media allows you to create the image you want others to see. When building your profile, therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that social media accounts often show up at the top of search results so yours must reflect exactly what you want the world to know about you.

2. Wherever You’re Linked-In Keep Your Profile Professional

When colleagues or potential employers tap into your Facebook page, what do they see? If you have a photo of yourself hanging upside down drinking out of a hose attached to a kegger while on spring break in Orlando, FL, it may not reflect your professional side so you might want to remove it. You need to remember that today anyone can tap into any one of your accounts at any time to view your landing page. You should always keep your profile and interactions professional. That means you may need to take the time to review all of your home pages with fresh eyes and remove any posts or photos that may harm first impressions by potential employers and colleagues.

3. Include Components That Set You Apart

Your photo is one of the most important elements on any landing page. That doesn’t mean you have to be wearing a suit, but it does mean it needs to fit the space allowed, be shot in a bright location, be clear and contain a picture with a friendly expression. Once that’s done, create a headline or slogan that will get the reader’s attention and make them want to check you out further. Adding the name of the school you attended as well as your major and degree plan will also expand your reach and further your networking opportunities. A great example would be CEO Dallin Larsen who even included the fact that he had attended Brigham Young University on his Crunchbase profile.

You should also optimize your skills (at least 5), interests and any projects you’ve been involved with. Additionally, be sure and include specific keywords since that’s how search engines find you. Finally, write a summary that ties all the information together. It should include something about your experience, personality, most important skills and where you expect to be in the future. It’s your last opportunity to showcase what you have to offer.

4. Don’t Burn Any Bridges, Instead Nurture Your Network

You never know when you’re going to need to tap into your network so always keep the lines of communication open and active. Deepening the ties you have will result in an increased value when it comes to networking. Be sure and note everyone you talk to by adding them to your Connections portals and then send a friendly message every few months. In your note you might offer to provide assistance when needed, if it seems like it’s relevant. After all, each small gesture can lead to a greater opportunity for future success.

Your social media profile can create ladders of opportunity within your chosen career or create stumbling blocks. Your profile is your one opportunity to make a positive first impression that will lead you to the success you envision so make it the best you possibly can.