Social Media and Your Personal Brand

SC&C Employers Research Your Online AccountsSocial media and personal branding are often intertwined but not inseparable. It’s entirely possible to be a well-known, top-flight success and not have a single social media account.

For example, a great real estate agent who has never been on Twitter or LinkedIn can still have their face plastered on every bus stop bench in the city and their personal brand will be well known. Today though we’re going to talk about when these two elements are combined.

Social Accounts Show Personal Brand

You probably have more than one social media account. It is almost a given that you’ll be on LinkedIn. It’s the most powerful and well-connected social media site for professionals. You almost certainly have a Facebook account too, but many of us tend to be comparatively laid back or even lax with our Facebook account. This account is often not very professional or businesslike.

Unfortunately just because we don’t tie our Facebook account to our business profile doesn’t mean people cannot find it or look at it. And an unprofessional Facebook site can be our downfall. The same goes for Google+, Twitter, and so on.

Definitely take some time to clean up all of your social media profiles so that you leave a good impression no matter where people look. Make sure you hide public posts by any people that might post debatable material. You get the blame for their inappropriateness because it’s on your timeline.

All of your social profiles should present your personal brand. Like the world being global today, so are your accounts. Take the time to make your value known in each arena.

Target Your Focus

SC&C Personal Brand and Social MediaNow you have to decide why you’re present on the World Wide Web. Your reasons may include:

  • Promoting your business
  • Advancing your personal brand through thought-leadership
  • Networking and connecting with people
  • Hiring employees
  • Getting a new job

You can’t communicate your intentions until you thoroughly understand them yourself. If you were out on the Salt Flats of Utah and you wanted to go to Guatemala, you would not put your supplies in a large canoe and just hope everything would work itself out!

Figure out what you want to say and why it would be important to other people.

Broadcast Yourself

You’ve decided where your presence is going to be. You’ve decided what your message is. Now you have to get out there and tell people about it. Broadcast who you are or what you’re business is.

Select some appropriate groups or forums, especially on LinkedIn and participate. The objective is not to ride into the middle of a large herd of cows and start firing your six-gun knowledge in order to start a stampede. Read first; get an idea of what’s already going on. Introduce yourself slowly and contribute to ongoing discussions in a helpful manner.

Be thoughtful about how you add to the discussion. Some people want straight answers, ready-made solutions to specific problems. If you can do that, go ahead and help them. Your personal brand then becomes “Go-to person for solutions.”

Others may be looking for strategies and advice, but want to work out the details of the solution on their own. Don’t give them a fait accompli solution, even if you have one that seems perfect. Instead guide them to the solution and let them discover it for themselves. It sets you up as helpful, and your personal brand becomes “thought-leader,” but not a glory-hog.

Create Personal Site

Anything you can do better than 50% of the population, or 50% of the people in your field, is worth talking about. A good place to do that is with a personal blog. For the greatest efficiency create a personal website such as FredCoon.com.

Your site can be hosted anywhere, but having a personal address makes it easy for people to find you, and it only costs a few dollars per year. The added bonus is you can add it to the end of all your communications, newsletters, business cards, and even use it on the company web site to redirect people to a personal space where you have complete control.

Stay Active

SC&C stay active in your social accountsOnce you get your site set up you can’t simply forget about it. If you have a blog, remember to make additions on a regular, predictable basis. If you have something profound to say once a month, make sure it’s available at a fixed time so people know when to expect it. If you’re more of a weekly or biweekly person, that’s just fine too. Just make sure you’re consistent in your posting and share it on your other social media profiles.

If you’re a daily writer, keep it short, concise, and interesting. Writing an 800-word op-ed piece every single day takes a lot of effort and can steal from your productivity. Besides which, very few people are going to slog through that much material to unearth any gems you might have delivered. They have constraints on their time, too!

This applies to your other social media sites, as well. Don’t let your LinkedIn profile, Facebook, or Twitter accounts linger too long without participating on the sites. Stay active and more people will get to know you, which leads to more opportunities.

Assess and Evaluate

Make sure you have an opportunity for people to subscribe to your blog and have it delivered to their emails. The same goes for your newsletter. And make sure you have a visitor counter on your website which tells you about unique visits and repeat visits. As well, subscription lists provide new contacts and provide an opportunity to expand your network.

All these metrics, taken together, can tell you how effective you’re being. They can help you decide if you are on the path to your goal or if a new plan is needed.

Everybody already possesses a personal brand. You’re the reliable or undependable person; you’re the sourpuss or that person with a great sense of humor. People have a basic concept of who you are based on their previous dealings with you. You can alter your online personal brand by participating and contributing as described above on your social sites. That way people who have never met you will have a good idea of what you are all about.

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