Creating a personal social media brand allows you to establish an online identity that moves you towards achieving a number of personal, professional, or business goals. Personal branding allows you to manage and optimize how you come across to others. And by using social media to build your personal brand you can stand out in your industry, become an expert or thought leader, or promote your business and reach more clients.
A personal social media brand is an important tool for many marketers, PR experts, business owners, and professionals, but it takes some work to make your brand engaging. These steps will help you to build an engaging personal social media brand:
Focus on a few social media accounts
All your social media accounts need to be up-to-date and active, so have a clear out and delete any old accounts that you’re no longer using.
And for the accounts you’re going to keep, look back through your past posts and ensure that they’re all suitable and aligned with your current brand. Some of your pictures from the past might not be so appropriate for your new professional brand. If you don’t want to delete your old posts then you might want to make your old account private and set up a new one to start your personal social media brand from scratch on.
You should also ensure your name, information and links to your website are all completed. As you build your brand you’re going to want to push traffic to your own site, so it’s important that all the links work. And make sure you are using the same profile picture and name across all your accounts so it’s easy to recognize you on each platform.
Decide on your personal brand niche
The first thing you need to do is to decide exactly what your personal brand is about. Are you trying to start a new business or promote your current business? Do you want to become an expert in the industry you work in or one of your side interests?
You need a focus, something that’s going to make you stand out from everyone else on social media. There needs to be a reason why someone would follow you and engage with your personal brand—building up your brand is about becoming an expert in your niche. The more unique and engaging you can make your content the more people are going to be interested in listening to you.
Understand the competition
Find the most successful account trying to connect with the same audience or covering the same topics and analyse them. Look at what and when they post, who follows them and who they are following and interacting with. Understand how their followers interact with them. Use this information to inform your own strategy for posting and engaging followers.
Define your personal brand
While you want your content to feel personal and genuine, it’s also going to be important to define your brand from the start. Ensuring your posts are consistent is key to building up your brand; it’s confusing to your audience if your tone of voice or style is completely random or changes suddenly. By presenting yourself and your ideas consistently you become more memorable and trustworthy.
Outline the type of posts you will share, the language and tone of voice, even logos, fonts and colors will help define your personal brand. Having clear brand guidelines helps you control people’s perception of you. It also helps you to avoid any posts that aren’t relevant or appropriate.
Share engaging content regularly
It’s also important to grow your audience by posting regularly. Try to stick to a fairly regular schedule of at least four or five posts per week. Use analytics to figure out the best time and days to post for your specific audience—you can use a scheduling tool to help you post at these times.
To help maintain a steady stream of content try to plan out a few months’ worth of posts at a time. Sign up for Google Alerts, follow hashtags, and use a news aggregator app like Feedlyto monitor the news and trends for your industry or niche. You can use this to share relevant articles and updates, but also to inform the content such as blog posts, podcasts, videos that you create and share via your social media accounts.
Don’t forget that it’s not a business account though, you can share your own achievements and experiences, convey your personality and opinions. Only posting articles, news, research isn’t going to build up the personal connection that you need with your followers.
For example, Orion Talmay, has built up an engaging personal brand on social media that’s established her as an expert in her industry. Her social media posts share quotes, insights and relevant content that promotes her breakthrough coaching services and podcast. But she also shares a certain amount of personal posts that connect with her followers on a personal level, not just business focused.
That being said, you should think of your social media accounts as a reflection of you in a professional sense—consider it part of your resume. You want your personality to come across, but don’t be offensive, inappropriate or bring up personal issues that aren’t relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. If it’s not something you would be happy for current or future employers or your colleagues to read or see, then you shouldn’t be posting it online.
Engaging with others on social media and your followers is key to growing your personal brand. Comment on your followers and industry experts or influencers’ posts, and join relevant groups and discussions.
Keep track of engagement with your social media accounts and respond to comments, mentions, and messages as quickly as you can. If you can’t monitor them all day, then set aside half an hour in the morning and half an hour at the end of the day to ensure that you are keeping on top of it.
You can set up your social media accounts to notify you via push notifications and email when you have new followers, comments, messages, and mentions. You should also use a monitoring tool to track any time your name is used anywhere online.
Building a personal social media brand takes planning, consistency, and time—it’s not something that can be achieved overnight. The key to building an engaging brand is establishing yourself as an expert or a leader, someone that people should listen to, but to do this you need to work hard on defining your brand and posting regular, valuable content that’s going to connect with your target audience.