Social media is the best platform to build your personal brand as it’s free, vast, and has immense potential to connect you to a global audience. You never know, if you put in the time and effort, you could just land your dream career or foster some valuable connections. As developing your personal brand on social media doesn’t happen overnight, here are some useful tips that will help you understand how to brand yourself on social media.
Keep Your Brand Consistent
By keeping the images, colours, and tone of your voice consistent across all your social media channels, you’ll create a brand that’s memorable and trustworthy. This means that others will recognise you more easily when they come across new work, know what to expect and feel confident in what you are providing them with.
Include your interests, skills, and niche within all your social media outlets as they will help serve as keywords that will help your brand appear in relevant search results when people are looking for information for the likes of you.
Before you start on your social media journey, you can investigate what others in the same space are doing and assess what works and what doesn’t - as well as get some nifty ideas - and plan your own image accordingly.
Define Your Branding Goals
Before you start using social media for work, it’s important to clarify what you want to achieve. Are you starting a new business and want to gain traction? Are you a recent graduate who wants to enter a specific industry? Knowing what you want to use social media for will help you define your branding goals.
Once you’ve got a better understanding of what you want to accomplish, you can decide which channel is the best place to build your brand. Here is a look at the major social media sites:
- If you want people to recognise your professional skills and to improve your chances of discovering new job opportunities in your industry, LinkedIn would be the ideal platform for you.
- Whilst if you are a freelance graphic designer wanting to get more companies to see your work, then you may want to consider using Instagram. Instagram is especially good for those whose brand relies on images and is also good for eCommerce brands and engaging with young adults.
- If you are a specialist in arts and crafts, Pinterest would be a good medium for you. It’s also an excellent platform to connect with women.
- Facebook has got a heterogeneous user base. Nearly three-quarters of adults use this platform, making it a great medium for promoting virtually any brand.
- Twitter is a great medium if you’d like to develop your voice and authority in a specific sphere. If you are not against your face on the screen, video content through IGTV, Tik Tok, and YouTube is also a great way to get messages across.
Spruce up your Social Media Accounts
After you’ve decided which social media accounts you are going to use, especially if you are using your personal accounts, make sure that the information on them is complete and accurate. You can also remove any contentious content from your past that doesn’t relate to who you are today and doesn’t reflect positively on your professional image.
If you want to keep your accounts for personal use, ensure you set your accounts to private and be selective about the people you connect with.
You’ll also want to make sure that your information is current, so schedule a time - say every three months - to revisit past profile links and other details to keep your brand relevant, and help promote yourself and your work.
Create and Curate Great Content
You need to make sure that you are sharing content that you’ve written yourself, or work that you’ve done, to demonstrate your expertise within your industry. This type of content shows you have knowledge of the latest trends in that industry and how it is evolving, and it will keep users coming back to you.
You could do this by creating your own website or blog to promote your ideas or work, and linking to them, or you could blog on a platform like Medium.
If you are just starting out and are not yet an expert you can document your journey to becoming an expert as people will be interested to learn alongside you.
With this, you can also occasionally talk about your achievements and accomplishments, and even your personal life, for example, hobbies to travel. Personal branding is all about creating a story of who you are professionally and this can include how you got to where you are, what your thoughts are of an industry, tips and techniques for others in the industry and your life surrounding it.
Curating other people’s content is also a great way to become an authoritative voice - it diversifies your content and stops you from oversharing your own. It can also help you ensure that you have the right mix of images, videos, articles and questions that followers appreciate.
Network and Engage with Others
Don’t be afraid to add your voice and make yourself visible in a discussion. This is especially true if you have unique insights and value to add. You can engage through questions, discussions, comments, and replies, and it can help you build a strong relationship with your audience, ensuring the loyalty of your followers towards your brand.
Groups through Facebook and LinkedIn offer you the opportunity to join specific topics of conversation. In these groups, you’ll be able to share your insights and ask any questions you might have. You can use them to develop new ideas, increase your knowledge, and expand your network and build relationships with like-minded people. As industry groups can be overcrowded, smaller groups may help you build your brand better as your voice can be heard and you’ll gain awareness from others.
In the social media world, some people can influence others to buy a product or service by promoting or recommending them as they’ve got a big fan base. Although you may not be selling anything yourself, building a relationship with those in your line of work, by responding to their posts or asking them questions can help you get yourself noticed.
You can also examine the types of content they share, what works well and how their followers respond. You can use this knowledge to develop your own personal branding strategy and execution.