Social Media is more than a phase these days, it is a necessary evil. By no means should you depend completely on your online persona to communicate who you are (because nothing beats good old fashioned face-to-face contact) but you have to utilize it to your advantage. It’s free marketing, for goodness' sake! However, you can’t just go crazy signing up for every platform willy nilly and posting anything that tickles your fancy. You have to be intelligent about your posting and realize that each piece communicates something about your brand.
Some foundational tips for effectively setting up your Social Media exposure are as follows:
Choosing your platforms. It’s great if you want to sign up for multiple sites, but you must consider this - can you keep up with them all? At the end of the day, it is a better idea to pick the top 3 platforms that are relevant to your specific industry / audience and really keep up with them (More to come on the best platforms for your industry), rather than sign up for other platforms that you are just going to neglect.
Choosing your handle. There is so much - too much - information out there. In every way possible, make it simple for your audience to sift through the junk and clearly see who you are and what you are about. This begins with your username. It could be your actual name, business name or a pseudonym. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that it says something about you to your target market, including both potential bosses and clients. Keep the handle / username as consistent across all platforms as possible, to establish your brand and to prevent any confusion. If you have different handles, you don’t want people trying to tag your Twitter handle on Instagram and end up pointing to the wrong person. One resource to help you figure out what is available across multiple platforms is: Knowem.com .
Curating your Bio/ About Me. In a fantastic panel I recently watched from Full Sail University, How to Create a Powerful Personal Brand, Brand Strategist Phil Pallen (PhilPallen.co) gave some spectacular advice about creating a poignant bio. It should consist of two sentences: Who you are, and why they should care; and a statement that communicates your personality. Phil used the example of his Twitter Bio: “Brand strategist & celebrity brand expert, @AccessHollywood, @etnow, and keynote speaker. If your baby is ugly, it's my job to tell you.”.
Curate your content. Curata.com defines content curation as, “...when an individual (or team) consistently finds, organizes, annotates, and shares relevant and high quality digital content on a specific topic for their target market.” This means that everything you are posting under your brand accounts should be specific to your market, first and foremost. It should also express your brand personality. A good posting method to follow is: a post about you, a question, industry buzz and a networking effort (more to come on that later).
While these tips are not the only information you will need to begin venturing into the world of developing your Social Media Branding, it will ensure that you are getting off on the right foot. Don’t just take my word for it, research is the best way to keep digging deeper! Stay tuned for more.
How to Create a Powerful Personal Brand. [Video Content]. Published on Mar 10, 2014. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/S3UDzb65EdU
Deshpande, P. The Definitive Guide to Content Creation. [Digital Article]. Published on Sep 14, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.curata.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-content-curation/