It’s not groundbreaking to recognize that social media is vital to building and maintaining your personal brand.
What is important is to understand how to use it effectively.
Here’s what you should consider before that next post or tweet:
Image is everything: When was the last time you updated your profile picture? Do your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages have the same profile shot from three years ago? Consider updating/changing that photo on a regular basis. Also, don’t use the same photo on every platform. Tailor the photo to the platform and the way you use each.
Search yourself: You know what brand you want to present/represent. But is that how your (potential) audience sees you? A quick way to find out is to simply Google yourself. What shows up first? What websites and articles? What videos and images? Think of how you use Google – that’s how everyone else does. As brand expert Linzi Boyd points out, “People will form an opinion of you within three seconds and lose interest if they can’t find you - so if you’re showing up as an axe murderer - or, worse not at all - you need to audit your profile. Make your brand on the internet the one that you want it to be.”
Expand your horizons: What platforms are you using? Are you primarily active on Facebook and Twitter? Don’t limit your social media universe. Get active on a wide-range of platforms. Explore Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. If the goal of building a brand is to reach as large a potential audience as possible, why limit yourself to just a couple of platforms.
Update, update, update: As the adage goes, content is king. Make sure you have a steady, consistent flow of new content. Again, think of how you use social media – are you going to keep going back to a site/platform if there’s nothing new? Of course not. Here’s some guidance from Jamie FitzHenry, CEO of Grizzly (a British-based SEO firm): “When you publish content, you need to make a strong effort in promoting it. Ideally, you will have made profiles on social channels based on where your audience is located. These channels are where you’ll want to make announcements about new articles you’ve written and include links. When you share on social channels, you should include a call to action such as “read my article now,” “comment and let me know what you think,” or “share with your colleagues.” In addition, he suggests sending out a weekly newsletter with the content you’ve posted on your blog and in other publications, “distributing your content via email enhances your professionalism, and also makes it easy for others in your industry to forward your content to others.”
Share, share, share: What differentiates social media from traditional media is – no surprise, the social aspect. That means, your brand isn’t just a one-way communication path. Use your brand to highlight the work of others. “Passing along pieces of content that you find interesting is an effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader without being overly promotional,” wrote Kat Boogarrd on inc.com (https://www.inc.com/kat-boogaard/5-quick-social-media-tweaks-to-elevate-your-person.html)