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Using Social Media to Strengthen Your Personal Brand
5 Steps to bring your personal brand to life through social media
At the dawn of the era of social media there seemed to be a mixed reaction of excitement and fear over this uncharted territory. Excitement over the doors these new online outlets were providing for us to connect with each other to an extent yet unknown. Fear that this meant our personal lives were forever meant to be on display. For years it seemed that the only message circulated about the proper use of social media was a warning cry about the detrimental affects our profiles could have on our careers and professional lives. We’ve been warned to watch what we post in fear that our employers- current or hopeful- could be scanning our pages to uncover our faults.
I believe the tides are now turning in favor of social media. Time has brought a new understanding of how to leverage these powerful platform s and use them to our benefit. While it is important to monitor what parts of your lives you want publicly broadcast, your social profiles can also serve as the best way for you to show off the best parts of yourself. The message is no longer a warning about what not to do but rather a chorus of advice around what to do to leverage social media to your greatest favor.
In part 2 of our series on building your personal brand we’re taking a look at how you can use social media to most effectively- you guessed it- build your personal brand . With the right know-how you can turn your social presence into a machine that strengthens your personal brand and allows you to tell your story to the world. We’ve got 5 simple steps you can take today to get started.
1. Create a recognizable brand.
Think about it, the brands you know have grown recognizable because they always use the same name, logo, and other identifiers across all of their communication. In this case you are your brand and your name and your face are your two most recognizable assets. Scan your social profiles and update them so that you are using the same photo and name across all. This will allow people to grow familiar with the brand you are building.
2. Tell a consistent story.
In part 1 of this series I asked you to build your personal brand equity pyramid. The point of this exercise was to help you develop the story you want to tell about yourself (e.g. Are you a crafty DIY-er who loves to share her talents with others? A spontaneous thrill seeker who loves to travel the world?). Once you’ve completed that exercise it’s important that you begin to consistently share that story whenever you talk about yourself online. You’ll want to update the“About Me” sections of all of your social media profiles so that they are telling the same story. They don’t necessarily need to mirror each other word for word but they should be consistent.
3. Share your experience.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to go ahead and create one now. LinkedIn is the space where you can really showcase your experiences and the skills you’ve developed through them. Put some time into fully fleshing out your profile. Make sure to complete each section and to carefully curate the experiences you want to share. You don’t need to add every job you’ve ever held but will want to make sure to include and add detail around the ones that reinforce your story. Your LinkedIn profile is also the perfect place to tie in the personal equity statement and elevator pitch you’ve crafted through the brand equity pyramid exercise.
4. Show off your personality
While LinkedIn is your platform of choice for sharing your professional experiences, other social media channels particularly, Pinterest and Instagram, provide opportunities for you to show off your personality. These are the areas where you can share your interests, hobbies, and passions. Every post can either help to build or take away from the story you want to tell so be selective about what you share. Another opportunity for you to tell your story is by building a portfolio website. This is a place where you can tie together your personal interest with your professional ambitions. If you do create your own site make sure to include your “About Me” section, photo, and links to your social profiles.
5. Gain a following.
The last step is to decide where you want to focus your attention. It can be difficult to build a strong story across every social media platform so decide which ones best suit you and where you would like to draw your audience. If you want to be known for your affinity for delicious and nutritious cooking Pinterest might be your place. If you want to be known for always being on top of the latest fashion news you might take to Twitter to keep friends tapped into the trending stories. Focusing on the social platforms that best suit you will help you to more easily build great quality content and in turn amass a strong following of people who can attest to your personal brand.
Time to get started! Do you have other tips on best practices in social media? Tips on how you use your profiles to build your personal brand? Share with us below or @SingleDiariesXO.