Sharing content on social media allows you to craft an online persona that reflects personal values and professional skills. Even if you only use social media sometimes, what you create, share, or react to feeds into this public narrative. How you manage yourself online is now just as important as your behavior offline especially when it comes to your digital marketing career.
Building and maintaining all brands is an essential part of the job. But it’s becoming paramount in so many professions, way beyond the realms of influencers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. Whether you’re a blogger, lawyer, architect, entrepreneur, designer, or whatever, your brand can help you stand out from the crowd and attract exciting new opportunities your way.
If you imagine it, you already have a personal brand. Everyone has one. If a potential employer or client were to Google your name, they’d possibly find your LinkedIn and social media profiles, perhaps followed by any news articles featuring your name or any other websites that mention you. What impression would someone get of you based on the search results? This, importantly, is your brand. It’s your online reputation.
10 easy steps to build a brand on social media
Social media isn’t the only means to establish your brand, but it does play a big role. Here are 10 ways you can use social media to your advantage and sharpen your brand.
1. First things first, get your profiles in order.
Add a professional photo to your social media profiles, using the same photo across different platforms to make sure consistency. Then clear your profiles by deleting any content that you wouldn’t want potential employers or clients to see. (You can always maintain a private profile for sharing personal things that you don’t want employers or clients to see.)
2. Establish a clear target demographic.
One of the huge mistakes that businesses make is trying to appeal to everyone. While it would be great if everyone would buy your product, it’s essential to understand that your marketing approach should always be targeted.
Signify what your ideal customer looks like. How old are they? How much money do they make? What websites do they check regularly?
3. Audit everything about your brand.
Take some time to analyze your website and social media profiles. What type of brand have you already created? Begin with the content you’ve created. Is your tone casual and conversational or professional and informative? From there, ensure to look at everything from the copy on your website to the social media posts you’ve made over the years.
Think about what type of content you’ve created that your followers have responded to most. Can you recreate this with other similar content or repurpose something to re-engage? The more unique and attractive content you create on your chosen topic of expertise, the more your followers will start to think of you as a leader in your chosen field.
4. Analyze your competition.
Simply put, if you’re not keeping watch on your competitors, there’s a chance you’ll miss out on a great tactic or strategy.
The simplest way to outsmart your competition is to beat them at their own game, so do your homework, and see what they’re posting, how they’re posting it, and whom they’re sharing it with.
5. Keep Social Posts Positive & Engaging.
Your goal is to create an unbeatable personal online brand, but you need to ensure it reflects you. Think of your interactions and content as a resume of your work, and a reflection of your professional attitude and personality. Reposting others’ content (or curating content for social) is a smart thing to do, but it’s not all you should be doing. You also need to share content that you’ve written, to demonstrate industry expertise.
Creating attractive content means taking a fresh approach to the types of updates you share with your network. Don’t be fearful to talk about your achievements, or add engaging delicacy about your personal life (e.g. travel and hobbies are suitable). After all, social media is about individuals first.
6. Showcase the right aspects of your business.
Show customers what happens behind the scenes. Show them the love and care that goes into crafting their favorite product or experience. When customers see how hard you work to make them happy, it can inspire their confidence in your brand.
7. Take the time to curate content.
It’s not all about creating. Use your wealth of experience and knowledge to identify content circulating the industry that might be useful to your audience.
Creating top-notch content is great, (and an absolute must if you want to dominate your industry), but being known as a fantastic content curator can help validate your status that much more.
8. Engage with your audience regularly.
Engage with your audience regularly by posting regularly. Don’t lose your normal tone unless it’s part of a new marketing effort. Before you can have a captivating brand, you need to establish a consistent brand message. Consistency leads to authenticity, and authenticity is the key to compelling content.
In the early days of social media, the more you posted, the more engagement you could drum up. Today, however, over-posting leads to fatigue and annoyance. You want to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but you also don’t want to overshare so much that you look desperate. The sweet spot is posting around 3-4 times a week for individuals.
A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo is not going to accomplish much if anything. For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.
There will be days when you don’t post, and that’s perfectly fine. Find the best social media metrics to focus on, analyze the data associated with your posts, and find a pattern that works. If you’re having trouble identifying content to share and want more insight into what’s popular, search via social media hashtags, use news aggregator sites like Feedly, or sign up for Google Alerts.
One-to-one interactions are the building blocks of brand loyalty. When you show customers that you’re willing to go above and beyond for their satisfaction, they notice. Why? Because many businesses don’t do that.
Respond to comments on your social media posts (positive and negative). Listen to what customers are telling you (it’s free market research). Above all else, strive to show customers that you’re serious about solving their problems.
9. Leverage influencers in your industry.
The right influencer can display your business to an audience that’s knowledgeable about your industry and interested to see if you’re worth their time.
Keep in mind that selecting the right influencers is important. It’s not just a matter of sponsoring as many influencers as possible. Pick the right tool for the job. Consider how frequently they’re doing sponsored posts, what their tone is, and how likely their audience is to care about your business.
10. Keep Your Brand Voice, Image & Tone Consistent
You’ve possibly already figured out that sticking to your defined persona is essential. You should remain consistent with your ideas and the ways you present them so that you’re memorable and trustworthy.
Dining the tone of voice that works best for your brand may require some trial and error, but there are personal branding guides you can use to determine the best for you.
Following your brand guidelines helps to control people’s viewpoints. You can damage an otherwise needed reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t match your brand’s voice.
Use a marketing personas template if you’re stuck on who your audience is and how to talk to them.
Building and maintaining all brands on social media is an essential part. You’ll also need to understand the ins and outs of each social media platform and what you can do to drive your unique message, which helps in building your brand.