It has been said, time and time again, that social media is a crucial step in business strategy, if utilized properly. Social media should be the backbone in developing your personal brand.
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly IS a personal brand? Branding goes further than just the brand of your company. I’m a brand, you’re a brand – we are all brands, whether we aim to be or not. Personal branding, then, is the process of managing and optimizing the way that you are presented to others.
1. Understand the platforms.
This is usually everyone’s first mistake when using social media for business purposes. Each platform must be viewed as a unique entity. Do some research to find out how your audience is using each platform. What are they searching? What is the tone of each platform? More importantly, what kinds of information are they sharing? When it comes to social media, the audience runs the game. They decide what content is valuable and then you respond to that. However, it is crucial to keep all of your platforms separate and to gain an understanding of each, individually.
2. Keep the same name and overall look across all your social profiles.
While different platforms are utilized differently, they must all have a uniform appearance, as to not confuse your audience.This will improve your branding efforts, as well as make you searchable by your audience. It will also help solidify an imprint in the viewer’s mind when recalling important information.
3. Be active, but have a purpose.
Posting just for the sake of posting, won’t just be ineffective, it will actually hurt your efforts. Your brand will gain a bad reputation. Don’t be afraid to post content that is not yours if it is relevant to your market. It demonstrates connectivity to your industry and provides your audience with a wide variety of information. Posting to Facebook twice a week effectively –reaching your target with interesting content – can be more effective than posting four times a week with mediocre content.
4. Offer value and incentive.
John Mayhall from LinkedIn points out that to get someone’s help, you need to offer your own in return. “To have a really strong network, you have to be giving value, you have to be helping people out as much as you’re expecting them to help you. On LinkedIn, a common mistake is that people go on there just to extract value from the network — to solicit, to ask favors — without giving back.” This is accomplished by posting valuable content and running campaigns that involve sweepstakes, giveaways or discounts.
5. Pay close attention to mentions, and reply quickly.
We live in a time of instant gratification. When it comes to internet, people expect quick answers. According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 53 percent of users who tweet at a company brand expect a response within the hour. But considering our lives don’t revolve around social media – hopefully – a good rule of thumb is to respond within 24 hours.