Who are you? What does your social media activity say about you? In this digital age, the answer should be aligned with your present career or career goals. Why? Because you are serious about your future and want others to know it—your social media activity should support that idea. I am not suggesting that you cannot relax and have non-work-related fun on social media, but suggest caution in doing so.
Remember: anyone can potentially see your posts, perhaps your connections don’t presently have any sway over your success, but someone connected to them may. While my social media activity is authentic to me, it is also carefully constructed.
Here are five things to consider when using social media to promote a personal brand:
1. Keep what’s personal, personal. If you wouldn’t want it read back to you in a job interview, don’t post it. If you wish to connect with friends and keep them abreast of your personal life, choose one platform on which to do so, keeping personal details to a minimum on your selected professional brand channels.
2. Get noticed. Use keywords and hashtags to find known industry leaders (competitors, bloggers, writers, reporters). Read, comment, and share their tweets, articles or posts with substantive comments. Follow and share what their influencers are saying. When sharing others’ content, always give credit to authors and publications. Use twitter handles, where available.
3. Connect with influencers. Make connections with those of similar interests and influencers in your field. These connections will help to distinguish your profile as professional, and lead you toward becoming an industry influencer in your own right.
4. Content marketing. Keep abreast of industry trends and share your findings with your connections. Create your own content based on your findings and experiences. Stick to the rule of thirds. You are in this space because you want to fill a gap that exists; or, because you are ahead of your time and you see a need on the horizon. If this is the case, then speak to that need. Provide tips and information on how to deal with common problems. When sharing content highlight tweets with hashtags to increase your potential audience.
5. Stay active. Create blog posts at least once per week. Tweet and Instagram several times each day. Engaging on FaceBook three-to-four times per week. A social media scheduler (e.g., HooteSuite, Buffer) can make this possible. Fill up its queue ahead of time and set the scheduler to distribute content when users are likely to read.
Social media is a great tool for brand building because it allows you access to eyes and ears who would normally be out of your reach. Don’t set it and forget it. Set it and engage.