In a world where social media rules, we have all become brands. Everything that we say and do on social channels ultimately tells others what we are all about. Everything you Like, Share, Comment on, Pin or Retweet expresses things about you. This can be both a blessing and a curse especially when you want to establish yourself as a thought leader or credible resource in a particular industry. You have to be aware that every public online action you take helps build your personal brand. So, how can you be sure you are building a good personal brand with social media? Here are a few ways that we would like to share with you:
Everyone and their mom (literally) are on Facebook, so how can you use Facebook to begin to establish yourself as an authority in a particular industry? Publish useful content in a conversational tone! If you really want to begin to be known for expertise in a certain area, you have to show that you know your stuff. We recommend leveraging your favorite industry blogs and openly discussing them. Educating other people is a great way to begin laying a foundation of authority. Keep in mind that not all of your Facebook friends will be interested in your “work stuff” so try not to flood them with information they might not care about. If you truly want to focus on your own brand and industry, you might want to consider creating a business page to avoid annoying your friends. You will want to be sure to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable without losing a sense of who you really are. This is why people want to be your friend anyway, right? Also consider finding or opening a Facebook Group where likeminded people can come together and trade industry tips. Mixing up these approaches will allow you to build industry credibility and not annoy you friends at the same time.
The fast paced dynamic of Twitter makes it great for sharing blogs, thoughts, funny tidbits and interact with other users. Create a list of power users that you admire and pay attention to what kind of content they share. You will want to be sure to tweet out industry articles and include your own insights. Don’t be a robo-tweeter; add your thoughts and opinions into the 140 characters. Be sure to use appropriate hashtags so that your tweet will be findable for those who are doing Twitter searches. Building a personal brand on Twitter takes a lot of time and effort, but if you do it right you can really build a solid following.
LinkedIn should really the home base for your personal brand building. This is where you want to publish relevant industry articles, participate in discussions and leave your thoughts on the content other people post. One of Lissa’s favourite features that LinkedIn has right now is the ability to endorse and recommend other people. Getting recommendations and endorsements can help those who view your profile get an idea about your skill set. Don’t neglect LinkedIn and don’t only get active when you are job hunting. It might not be as sexy as the other social channels; however LinkedIn is where thought leadership begins to grow.
With over 150 million monthly active users and more than 5 billion photos uploaded, Instagram has quickly become “THE” social network everyone wants to be on. Instagram is ultimately a reflection of your brand and of a personal style that effectively defines you photo after photo.
Take some time to set up your account and complete your bio, it defines who you are to all those who visit your profile. Choose a good photo, logo or brand. Indicate your website and your Facebook page URL.
There is one major point we have left out here. You have to be likeable. Nobody likes braggarts, obnoxious people or over-sharers. Do everything in moderation.
What are your thoughts on social media? Do you love it or hate it?!