Guest Post by Dana Marin – social media expert, writer and photographer
One of the best tools we have for personal branding nowadays is social media. This won’t come as a surprise since so many of us are using these channels quite often to communicate our ideas, to keep our followers up to date with our latest endeavors, and to engage in conversations. Social media platforms are excellent tools for establishing and growing your personal brand because they allow you to reach more of your target audience, and allow you to control your brand’s narrative, so when others look you up, you know exactly what they will find. It’s imperative that we acknowledge the power of these platforms in developing our personal brand and learn how to use them to our advantage.
Update your social media profiles
Do an inventory of all your social media accounts, delete the ones you don’t use anymore and then focus on optimizing the ones you’re going to keep. Make sure all the information is accurate, update your profile pictures and banners. You can even go back and delete some of the past content that is not in line with your current self and the image you want to project (but don’t let yourself become a control freak because authenticity is appreciated and recommended).
As for the platforms that you will choose for this, it depends on your preferences but also on the people you want to reach. For example, you will spend more time polishing your LinkedIn account if you’re looking to reach more professionals, while for an artist it might be best to rely on Pinterest and Instagram.
Create a consistent brand image
Your social media profiles should have a consistent image that reflects your personal brand. This includes your profile picture, cover photo, bio, and the overall tone of your content. For example, if you use the same photo and color scheme across all platforms, people will recognize you across various social media accounts quickly.
The profile picture is very important, and you should choose it carefully. People who don’t know anything about you will make an impression in the first seconds based on that photo alone.
The photo I’ve been using as a profile picture in the past years is a portrait of myself wearing something that looks like a hat made of bright red roses. It’s an image that people will immediately recognize when they see it and it talks about my colourful personality, my love for the unconventional, while also showcasing a warm smile. Try to invest in quality images and have one or more photo sessions with a professional photographer who can capture your uniqueness in the best way.
Define your message
Determine what message you want to convey to your audience and try to be consistent in the things you share over time and across all social media platforms. To do this, you need to know yourself, have a clear understanding of what you stand for, of your values and goals.
Share your expertise
Whatever your area of expertise is, create quality content and share your knowledge with your audience. Stay consistent and on brand. This will establish you as a thought leader in your area and it will gain credibility and trust, which can translate into increased visibility, influence, and opportunities. Try to provide value to your audience while sharing your unique perspective and insights. Sharing your expertise will also help you stay top-of-mind with your audience.
However, remember not to overdo it! Don’t talk only about yourself and what you know! Constantly ask for opinions from your audience, build a dialogue, give a shout out to others, share their insights and creations.
Share content regularly
You should aim to share something for about 3-4 times a week, or choose the frequency that is doable for you. Posting often on social media can become overwhelming and you don’t want to become fatigued from it. Better share more rarely, but something of good quality. If you don’t have the time for many posts in feed, then you should try to post some stories here and there. They can be done quickly and with little preparation, and they will keep your account on top of the mind of your followers.
When using social media to create your personal brand, it can be tempting to over-curate your life and your online presence, or to do the trendy stuff everyone does to get more engagement. However, you should always keep in mind that you want to attract the right people, not just everyone. That’s why presenting the authentic you and a less curated version of your life will convince the audience that you are genuine in your interactions.
Engage with your audience
Social media is all about engagement. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, sharing their content, and asking for feedback.
Participate in groups
Social media groups are a good way to connect with more people who are interested in the same things, a place where you could share your expertise, or use as accountability and motivation to achieve your goals. They can be an invaluable source of relevant feedback, as well as excellent sources of information.
Learn from others
You don’t have to copy anyone, but it helps to identify thought leaders in the area you’re trying to make yourself visible, and analyze their posting habits and content to see what you could adapt to your own.
Collaborate with others
Collaborating with other influencers or brands in your niche can help you expand your reach and build credibility. You don’t have to limit yourself only to your niche; diversifying your content and talking to various audiences might bring you unique insight and feedback and give you new ideas for the future.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways in which you can take advantage of this amazing modern tool to get a step closer to your goals and to reach the right people who can support you in your journey. Invest some time in doing these and you will see results! Just remember to do everything in moderation, not exhaust yourself and always stay authentic!
Dana Marin is a social media expert, writer and photographer based in the Netherlands. She helps small small companies, entrepreneurs and artists to create a relevant social media presence, talk to the right audience, grow their reach and engagement. More about her content creation services and her portfolio on: Creative Stories
She also writes articles for magazines and is the founder and creative of Amsterdamian