For today’s career-minded women and female entrepreneurs, social media is not only an essential tool for building worthwhile connections with potential employees or prospective clients, but a tool for building and managing your personal brand.
Ever since the upsurge of social media, organisations are increasingly looking for suppliers, partners and employees with personality and a shared ethos.
After all, your social media presence is a reflection of you and what you stand for. By using social media to build your personal brand, you can optimise the way that you are presented to others. You can control what others see and influence their thinking! Oh, the power in that!
So, if you’re looking to build and manage your personal brand on social media, where do you start?
Find your USP
Selling points are not just for businesses! Identify a few areas of expertise, passions and interests and let that be the influence for the content you aim to share on your social media channels.
Once you have established this, create snappy headlines to form your bios for each channel. Keep them short and to the point, describing who you are and what you do. As an example, my Twitter bio is as follows: ‘Founder and Director of Top Left Design. #Design, #digital, #socialmedia.’ This explains to my audience exactly who I am, what I do and what my areas of expertise are.
Consistency is key
Ensure there is a consistent feel across all your social media channels so people can easily recognise you and your style. If people discover you on Twitter, they might also search for you on LinkedIn. Be sure to also use the same (or similar) bios and replicate imagery where you can.
Consistency doesn’t just apply to visuals though – keep your tone of voice constant to ensure that you are recognisable from one channel to another.
And when I say consistent, never compromise on quality – be consistently professional, check your spelling and grammar, project the best version of yourself.
If people are to discover and follow you, sharing updates on a regular basis is key – once a day on each channel is a good starting point. Don’t use the excuse “I have nothing to say!” You can mix up shared articles from sources you find interesting, links to your own content such as blogs or articles and conversations with other users. This will help you build a community of contacts and followers so you widen your reach and in turn the potential of people reaching back to you.
For efficiency, set up a content calendar and use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or my personal favourite – Buffer – which will enable you to keep your messages out there. Your feed should be a balance between “day in the life” updates about you, helpful insights showing your expertise, and relevant content shared from other people.
You are smart, experienced and an expert in your field – so prove it to your audience. By creating your own content to share on social media, you will only strengthen your personal brand. Whether this is in the form of LinkedIn Pulse posts, articles or even branded images and videos, any content that you produce should communicate your personality and expertise on a particular topic. If you need help, there are many people who can help with editing blog posts, videos and designing images, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Join the community
Want to be known by others in similar fields? Joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups that focus on specific topics or industries are great for sharing your content with like-minded people in your area of expertise.
Don’t think of the others as competition, everyone is different and you will carve your unique niche and at the same time, learn from others.
Participating will help you learn more and build more of an authority around your personal brand so people will begin to recognise you as someone to seek advice from.
Keep the conversation going
Social media is essentially one big conversation, so make sure you treat it like one. If someone comments or replies to one of your updates, make sure you thank them or answer their questions. This is how connections develop and it makes you come across as a valuable person to be connected to.
So, whether you are looking for new business opportunities, new clients or even a new job, beginning to build your personal brand on social media is a great starting point for anyone looking to take steps in their professional lives.
About the author
Keren Lerner has run her Soho-based design and marketing agency, Top Left Design since 2002. She leads a time of seven talented and creative people who thrive on helping their clients make a bigger impact.
Keren regularly speaks at events and provides training and inspiration for other businesses helping them to improve their marketing and discover their ‘unique greatness’.