Many companies, start-ups, and influencers speak about the importance of building your personal brand on social media. You wonder why it is important or why should you do it as well?
In reality building your personal brand is about deciding how and to whom do you want to be seen by and what message or core value do you want to communicate.
Building your personal brand is beneficial to develop your network and have an online presence who can be seen by everyone in the world.
You don’t limit yourself anymore to the people you meet in person but open up to the entire connected world.
If you are looking for a job, a career move, a new opportunity, this is where your personal brand becomes highly important.
Before we start jumping into how to develop your personal brand on social media, think that personal branding is also in your day-to-day life, think about how your friends and family define you or how they would describe you if they were asked to.
When you are in a dinner with your friends, what are the one or two things they may speak of when you leave their house.
What you need to do is to translate those values on social media.
Your personal branding is everywhere, more than you can think of but the reason why most of us struggle with personal branding on social media is due to the amount of effort and skills it requires.
Additional communication and digital competencies will be needed from you in order to communicate your brand efficiently and effectively.
Now that we have seen the what and the when for your personal branding, let us look at how you can build your personal branding on social media.
1. Select your social media
Today, there are plenty of social media platforms that you can use to show yourself to the world. Being active on all of them is almost impossible. Each of them have different requirements, for instance Twitter is more effective posting on it several times a day while LinkedIn is better posting once a day with deep content. An advice here, select 3 to 4 platforms here and understand how to use them efficiently. You can take courses on a platform like UDEMY for instance, each of the social media platforms have people pulling together classes to help you with using them efficiently.
2. Be clear on your core value and your message
On which subject do you want to be appearing like an expert? What are the topics that you want to be referred to? Why would you want people to come with you and ask for your advice? Today, you can think of hard skills like Programming, Mathematics, or Marketing optimization but not only.
Soft skills are as important as hard skills, problem solving, empathy, communication, listening etc, if one of your strongest skills lays in those areas, use them to build your personal branding on social media. You can become the queen or the king of listening, who knows!
3. Join group
Now that you are clear on the core value of your personal brand and the type of message you want to communicate, follow people and join groups of your interest or follow and join groups who can support carrying away your personal brand through passing on your message.
It is important that you join groups that have different engagement levels or numbers. As an example on Instagram, when you will share your post, you will always use Hashtags to tell Instagram in which groups to show your post.
If you have yourself 200 followers, you choose hashtags that have more or less the same number of followers, Instagram will be easy on showing you there.
As you increase your number of followers you can use hashtags with more followers. Etc.
4. Decide on your posting frequency
The best thing you can do here is to open an excel file and for each of your social media you define your frequency of posting, rather it is several times per day or several times per week, you need to stick to it. Each social media account will be growing based on your capability to post at the same frequency. The best thing you can do is to include a reminder in your calendar and prepare your post in advance.
5. Define your content
For your content, the most important thing is to play around your domain of expertise allowing you sometimes to get outside of your comfort zone by using all the features available on the social media (real, story, post, blog, etc.)
An important thing to understand is that the content that you will share will need to be slightly different based on the social media, for instance Instagram needs to have content that is quick to understand and highly visual, LinkedIn is more about inspiring stories with deep dived content.
6. Create engaging content
Here is the most difficult part to do, have your content encourage your audience to engage with you by liking and commenting on it. Many influencers explain that they are able to create engaging content by getting inspired by their own life.
They use what makes them feel emotions in their life and share it on their social media.
Another interesting thing to do to have engaging content is to check what others are sharing, have high engagement from their audience and try to do it even better. This is a more easy way to start engaging with your audience.
7. Maintain a positive message
Maintaining a positive message is very important and not so easy to do when the value and your core message that you want to spread is heavy. For instance, speaking about racism or inclusivity, there is a fine line between being positively inspiring and engaging with people who don’t share the same opinion as you.
The difficult part with social media is that you will interact with people who are totally different than you and still you need to be able to continue engaging without falling into negative.
So even when someone is commenting horrible things, maintain control and keep it highly positive in any situation.
8. Keep consistency
The consistency in your personal brand needs to be found back in your content , in your frequency of posting and in the message you want to keep on spreading, if you change opinion every other week, people can’t follow you and you won’t be able to create trust from your audience.
The same as if you are highly active for a week and nothing for the next 2 weeks, your audience won’t be able to engage in a routine with you and will stop engaging with you at all.
The consistency is not only helpful to create a relationship with the people online but also for the social media itself who will boost your profile as your number of followers will continue to increase organically and consistently.
9. Try and test
Personal brand building is also a long term process, having people following and listening to what you have to say takes time. Don’t feel discouraged by the few number of people who engage with you at the first sight.
It is also crucial that you brainstorm and question your content as much as possible, on some social media, less is better than more and simple is more efficient than complex.
It feels ok to try a different format and reuse one that works well.
You need to understand what is capturing the attention of your audience.
10. Connect with people in your field and use influencer
Today they are a platform to assess and connect with influencers in your field who can boost your profile on social media. Some very well known platforms are:
2. Upfluence - Influencer Marketing Platform
3. AspireIQ (formerly Revfluence)
5. CreatorIQ - Influencer Marketing Platform.
Using those platforms is costly but can reveal to be highly efficient.
Best to use them when you have a clear understanding of your core value, your message and the format of your personal brand.
Building your personal brand is not easy but can reveal to be a career booster or a life changer by making you connect with people who have influence and believe in what you have to say.
You don't need to be a company owner to spread a message that can positively influence our society.