Using social media to build your personal brand can prove to be very useful in today’s technology-driven world. If you want to reach out to celebrities, philanthropists, or highly successful entrepreneurs, they are only a tweet away. Now, even Warren Buffett (@WarrenBuffett) has a Twitter account! As an entrepreneur in today’s world, it is important to properly leverage social media to develop your personal brand.
Step 1: Establishing “Who You Are” on Social Media
The first step to successfully creating a strong personal brand on social media is to answer the question for your followers, “Who are you?” In other words, what value are you bringing in your message, and why is the content of your posts relevant to your audience?
Answering these questions before beginning your social media campaign will give you direction and focus for your content. Do you want to motivate and inspire others? Do you want to shock and awe them? In today’s social world, you can build a following around whatever you are passionate about.
Step 2: Developing Your Social Media Pages
After you begin to forge the answers to these questions, the second step is to take action and create your social media pages. One important factor when physically setting up your pages is to make sure that all the web addresses are congruent across your social media outlets. For example, facebook.com/MichaelJacobs and twitter.com/MichaelJacobs will make it much easier for people to find me on search engines because both links are the same.
When creating each profile, make sure to take professional photographs in workplace attire. This will give the perspective to outsiders viewing your page that you are an expert in your field, and your content will be informative to them. People with poorly taken profile pictures are often perceived as less influential.
Also, I personally like to create custom header photos to aid in building this expert perspective. I enjoy adding a quote or a logo of my current venture to share a little more about my personality.
Step 3: Gathering a Following
Once you get your social media pages correctly established, your next (and continuous) step is to begin gathering a following around your personal brand. The way towards building a following is to create relevant content that is congruent with your answers to the questions in step one. When you begin to create this content, you are creating your own ‘Social Voice,’ and everything you post has the possibility of being seen by THOUSANDS of people. Choose your words carefully. A tweet that reveals too much or is too risky could ruin the entire internet reputation you have built.
With more thoughtful and engaging posts you provide, the more people will find interest in your message and, in return, the more they will follow you back. A very important part of creating a strong social following is to have followers who relate and respond well to your message. Once you begin to gain loyal followers, they will do your job for you and spread your message. They will be the ones that share your Facebook posts and retweet your Tweets. Make sure to treat them with respect and provide the same support back. People always love other friendly and supportive people.
Step 4: Communication, Communication, Communication…
The final and most important factor when building your personal brand is developing strong means of communication with your follower base. One of the reason that Twitter became so popular in its beginning phases is the fact that is was “cool” to be able to tweet to celebrities and possibly get a response as well as the ease of content sharing. These features are extremely effective methods that allowed Twitter to expand at such a rapid pace and become one of today’s top social networks.
You have this ability as well! When fans and follower reach out to ask questions or just to say, “Hi,” be sure to respond. Thanking people for retweeting your content and spreading your message can also be a beneficial way to build relationships with your followers. Although it can be difficult when you have massive amounts of tweets that people have mentioned you in, just sending a few responses here and there shows your audience that you are attentive and that you care about them. Also, it gives people a sense of hope that they are not just sending their tweets and thoughts to a random bot. The chance of a response and building a relationship is an alluring possibility to many Twitter users.
Following these steps will allow you to harness the true power of personal branding in the social media era.
Michael Austin Jacobs (@MrJacobs21) is recent University of Arizona graduate, entrepreneur, and author. He has a strong passion for helping other individuals realize their potential and pushing them beyond their own personal limits.
Michael’s current venture, SociaLink App (www.SociaLinkApp.com), is a free mobile app that simplifies the way people network and connect on social media. Also, Michael is about to set out on a challenge to positively influence 1 million people in 18 months through weekly videos, motivational interviews, and other forms of free content. Follow Michael’s journey and be inspired through his message at www.InfluenceAMillion.com!