Social media has quickly gone from a way to keep in touch with old friends to the driving force behind the way businesses big and small advertise across the world. Since social media combines both the selling power of eye-catching posts and real-life people, it’s the perfect way to bolster your personal brand. I previously published a blog post about the top five personal branding mistakes people make, so below I’m going to provide you with five tips for building your presence on social media.
- Lately it seems that a new social media platform crops up each year. Since most of us desire to stay up to date with the latest and greatest way to showcase ourselves to the world, it’s easy to forget about all the accounts we created, and then forgot about once the next best thing hit the market. So, make sure that you don’t have any old, dusty accounts with your name attached to them that you don’t use anymore. Once you determine which platforms are best for your brand, it’s important to make sure you have one definitive username for your brand, so that people don’t confuse your personal and professional accounts. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube can all be hugely beneficial, but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and your followers with content that isn’t relevant to what you actually do. I believe the old saying goes something like, “It’s better to be really great at one thing than simply just good at a bunch of different things.”
2. Since social media has become the dominating force in news, advertising, and business, people have become weary of over-sharing. Although it’s always a good idea to create content for your followers to like and share, it’s important that you carefully curate your posts, and make sure it’s something relevant to establishing you as a leader in your industry. Even if you have the best product on the market, no one wants to hear about it 20 times per day. Slow down before you post, and make sure what you’re putting out there really communicates your message.
3. Make sure that what you do decide to post aligns with your personal brand. If you are a florist looking to establish yourself as the go-to place for wedding bouquets, there’s nothing wrong with sharing content about a local place to find engagement rings, but you shouldn’t stray too far away from your audience, so save the cute kittens in sweaters posts for your personal page. It’s also important to keep the look and feel of your posts consistent. For instance, if you’re putting filters on your Instagram photos, stick to the same two or three so that your page doesn’t end up looking disorganized.
4. Engaging with your audience is a great way to establish a relationship with your followers while simultaneously providing them with an insight to your personality. Although it can be tempting to only post about whatever product it is you sell, or service you provide, it’s important to reach out to those who follow you to get them involved in the conversation. For example, I have been transparent with my audience about my struggles with body image, and whenever I talk about that on my blog I encourage people to leave comments or reach out to me directly to share their stories as well. While this isn’t obviously related to photography in the same way a post about the ins and outs of a Canon camera is, it resonates with people on a deeper level about a fear that we all share and allows me to connect with my audience in a different way.
5. In addition to connecting with your audience, it’s important to connect with your peers. Do some research and find people similar to you that have successfully established themselves as a go-to person in your field. Social media is, after all, about being social, so it never hurts to show your peers some love and share their content to your page (with credit, of course). This shows your followers that you’re active in your community, and also encourages others to do the same for your content.
There’s a reason they call it social, and that’s because building a powerful presence online isn’t just about posting alone, it’s about posting thoughtful content, effectively communicating your message, and connecting with others in the process. Choosing the right networks, creating cohesive visuals, and connecting with your audience are all integral pieces of the puzzle. The culmination of these relatively easy steps can go a long way toward making you a social media powerhouse.
For more information on building your brand the right way with social media, please contact Shannon Loy of The Social Ginger. She happens to be one of my favorite people and social media gurus. You can visit her site here for more information!