Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are ubiquitous parts of our world. These social media programs provide great ease in building and maintaining your personal brand. If used correctly they enhance your brand and incorrectly could easily destroy what you’ve spent time building.
If you were to clear your internet browser and search for your name (or variations of it), the first results that pop up are most often social media sites. Someone searching for you will invariably stumble upon these sites, research them and form their opinion about you and your qualifications based on some tweets or images.Â This is no reason to be fearful. Rather do as Archimedes said, “Give me a lever and I will move the world.”
Consider the following tips your social media levers.
- Choose Areas of Expertise: On social media, spend your time tweeting, instragramming and facebooking on certain topics. If you’re into sports, then tweet about sports. Twitter is especially helpful at distilling your thoughts because of the 140 character limit. Having a few topics you’re passionate about only enhances your ability to connect with others and establish your authority.
- Uniformity: Having different names on your social media accounts creates massive confusion. For example, if your Twitter is @John_Smith, don’t make your Instagram name @Johnny_Smoove. According to the internet, you’re two different people. Every corporate branding expert will tell you that consistency is why their brand succeeds. McDonald’s has the same golden arches in China that it does in Wisconsin. If uniformity works for them, it’ll work for you.
- Consistent Posting: If you like Twitter, tweet. If you like Instagram, post images. But do it often. The biggest disaster of social media personal branding is people who don’t use the platform every day (or nearly every day). There’s no way to get your personal brand the exposure it needs if you infrequently pop onto Twitter. These tools exist as free levers giving you a voice in a marketplace. If you don’t take advantage of it, then your brand is just as nondescript as the millions of others across the internet. A good rule of thumb for Twitter is 5-7 posts most days and 1-2 posts per day on Instagram. Facebook has its privacy settings, so you may not be as brand-building visible on that platform.
- Mentions: If someone mentions you on Twitter or Instagram–Hallelujah! You’re being noticed. Now don’t be too cool to reply. Reply quickly! A study done by Lithium Technologies indicates that every time someone tweets a company, they expect a reply within an hour. Because you’re concerned about your personal brand (i.e., why you’re reading this blog), it behooves you to reply quickly as well. When you reply, don’t be rude and don’t gush over the fact that you were mentioned. You expect to be mentioned, reply politely and engage the other person in a thoughtful discussion. Of course, if it’s a troll that’s why the block button was invented.
Social media doesn’t need to be a minefield for your personal brand. Instead, it’s a valuable tool to enhance your reputation as a cost-effective marketing tool. Use the principles above when taking part in social media and your personal brand will be sure to take off.