How to Shape Your Personal Brand through Social Media
Social media has become a prominent source of information for both recruiters and potential employees. It provides professionals with a free, unlimited network of connections and possibilities, in addition to the opportunity to develop and sustain a personal brand. Just like traditional brands, personal branding gives you a unique voice, a signature image, and a recognizable standard.
What Is Personal Branding?
Personal branding is the practice of individuals marketing themselves and their careers as a professional identity that is uniquely tailored to be marketed to potential recruiters. After an online reputation is established, this information is then utilized to gain attention from potential recruiters.
Here’s how you can get started on creating yours. The first step in creating a personal brand is finding what distinguishes you from other potential employees. Ask yourself, what sets you apart from your competition? What makes you unique? Finding what makes you unique will help you to stand out from the crowd.
The second step is to determine your goal/s. What do you want to be known for? Whom do you want to connect with? This can entail anything from starting a new business to just simply getting noticed. Once this part of your personal brand is established, your market coverage is sure to increase over time.
Shaping Your Brand Online
Now that you’ve established what makes you unique, it’s time to consider how to get your brand out there. The best way to cultivate a professional identity is to incorporate social media platforms into a professional outlet. Remember, everything you do online is representative of your personal brand, so it is important to be proactive and consciously control these perceptions.
Once your goals have been established, you can use this information to develop a positioning statement. Simply put, this is who you are, what you stand for, and what you do (or want to do).
Utilize this statement to emphasize what differentiates you from your competition, and be sure to conduct research in your field in order to cater to recruiters’ wants and needs. While a positioning statement is representative of you, it is not necessarily for you; keep in mind it’s for those who you are trying to professionally connect with.
Consistency and authenticity are also essential for shaping your brand. The best way to assure these two qualities for your personal brand is to create a constant online presence with up to date information and accurate information. Don’t be afraid to take on a more active role with your social accounts with frequent posting. The idea is to be memorable and present.
With that said, it’s important to keep in mind that each social media site is unique in regards to its users and viewers. Research what frequency of posting is best suited for each social media channel before finalizing your social media plan.
For example, you could opt to post to Facebook twice a day, Twitter four times a day, LinkedIn once a day, Google+ twice a day, and Instagram once a day. The best approach is to find a frequency that works best for you.
This proactive approach to posting will help you strengthen your community outreach marketing and public engagement. You might even try mixing up your social feeds by sharing posts from others in your industry or engaging in community chats and groups.
It’s vital to consider your key words when drafting any marketing copy or content related to your personal brand. Find a few words or phrases directly related to your unique capabilities or what you want potential recruiters to see. This will help unify your marketing tactics. Also, make sure to keep a similar color scheme, style and tone across all platforms.
LinkedIn First, Facebook Later
Your LinkedIn account should take precedence over other social accounts when constructing a personal brand for professional purposes. Regularly update your profile with new work experiences, improved skills and qualifications, and other aspects of your personal life such as social activism, hobbies/interests, or anything else related to your industry.
More personal social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram should showcase professional related information, but should also serve as a medium for self-expression and personal passions.
And, remember consistency! Profile photos, bio information, cover photos, and even post content should stay the same in order to maintain a memorable personal brand. Even something as minute as keeping the same Instagram filter for pictures, or using consistent and frequent hashtags on Twitter can make all the difference in the receptivity of your personal brand.
Now you’re ready to advance both your personal and professional life. We hope you can utilize these tips to establish and maintain your unique digital footprint for the world to see!
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WRITTEN BYNatasha Palance
A NY-based journalist with an MA in International Affairs. Has worked with global brands and nonprofits, as well as UNESCO-accredited NGOs.
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