The aim of this article is simply to give you an insight into how to build your personal branding, by exploiting a social media monitoring platform. Before we move into why you should consider personal branding, let’s look at what it is. The term basically refers to making a name for yourself. Take a minute and think of a few celebrities, TV hosts, journalists, and businessmen. I’m sure that if you asked your friend the same question; you’d both have at least a few names in common. This is because they have successfully made a name for themselves. They have a presence on social media. A presence that has a
- Biography or life story
attached to it.
It has to be based on something real. Remember the more you tell the truth, the more people will believe the story and feel connected to it.
You should also remember that if you use the Internet, you’ve already left a ‘digital footprint’, i.e. you have already started creating a persona online. Now, you need to understand how to control it and how to make sure that all that information turns into a positive personal branding. To start fresh, you can set up new ‘public accounts’.
Why should you bother?
Well, to put it simply, personal branding does the following.
- Gives you the opportunity to develop
It gives you a chance to develop your persona. Like in real life, whatever you do on the Internet is there to say, unlike real life it can’t be erased, which usually means it won’t be forgotten. So, be careful. Think about who you want to be, learn through your experiences and develop accordingly.
- Helps you to succeed in your chosen career
Branding equals success if you do it the right away anyway. That’s what personal branding can do for you. If you do it right; people will hear your name and immediately have an image in their mind. If this image means a leader, who is able to evolve and communicate effectively, you could find your career being pushed in the right direction; with all sorts of opportunities being opened up.
These opportunities will increase as your personal branding develops. Show people that you aren’t stuck in one place and time. Show them that you have a progressive mindset and that you have the skills needed to be different. You need to be determined, willing to meet the high expectations of your prospective employer.
- Increases your exposure
Social media is a huge part of our world. Everyone keeps in touch with the world through Facebook posts, tweets, and insta pics. You probably know this; perhaps you’re even amongst the 50% who check their smartphone as soon as they wake up (ExpressPigeon, 2014). According to ‘We Are Social’ you are one of the 2.80 billion people, who are accessing their social media accounts across the globe (dreamgrow). This number is set to increase, making social media platforms a great place to start your personal branding journey!
Looking at social media monitoring
If you want to use social media to help you create your branding, but you don’t have the time or the understanding to do it yourself, consider using a social media monitoring platform.
Social media monitoring platforms are web-based tools, which automatically provide you with data to help you improve your personal branding strategy. These platforms have a number of benefits (business.com), including;
- Elevate the efficiency of your personal branding strategy.
- Empower your personal branding awareness.
- Get around the complexities of social media monitoring interfaces; allowing anyone with a computer to access the information.
- Be more approachable to your audience; using a ‘social media monitoring‘ tool to keep track of people’s reactions, allowing you to respond quickly.
- Tailor your social media responses, business services, and products to your audiences or consumers responses.
A social media monitoring tool will collect your social media mentions on one stream, allowing you to like or comment on them and keep an eye on messages related to you (Sprout Social).
In addition, social media monitoring platforms, like Mentionlytics, reduce the time and effort taken to manually keep track of the social media mentions, allowing you to create a successful personal branding.
Let The Personal Branding Journey Begin!
Remember, everything we have said will take time. You won’t wake up one morning and have a personal branding that’s perfect and ready to start opening career opportunities. You need to jump in for the long run.
- Decide why you want to create a personal brand
Before you can even begin to create a personal branding, you need to decide why you want to do it.
- A student, looking to start your career?
- A business manager, trying to revamp your image?
- Trying to switch fields?
- Trying to increase your profits?
- Looking to diversify?
Deciding on this will help you to pick and choose what you put online. Think about it and link what this article has said to the idea of corporate branding. People naturally gravitate to companies with a strong presence. They trust them, and they are willing to invest in them if they are known for being reliable, safe and unique. Today, this is helped by social media. The more ‘likes’ a company or person has, the more people they attract. It’s simple mathematics!
Before you start consider the following questions;
- What are your strengths?
- Do you have proof of them?
- Which strengths would you like to develop?
- What impression do you want to leave people with?
- What industry are you looking at working in?
Look at examples in the industry that you are looking to work in. Who are the new up and comers? What makes them stand out? How can you compete with it?
Remember, start small and build up. Get a pen and paper and just start writing things down.
If you need help talk to your colleagues, ask them for a few words that come to mind when they think of you and then build on that. What did their views have in common?
- Focus your ideas
You need to look at ideas and pick three areas to focus on. This will help you to develop your personal branding and set yourself apart. When it comes to social media branding, less is definitely more.
Remember, you don’t need to have all of your hobbies, interests, and skills advertised online. It’ll detract from your main focus.
You will need to use these focus points to write your profile descriptions. If you need some help, look at the profile of a successful social media individual and see what they have done, then adjust it to fit your own brand.
- Audit yourself
Pick up your computer, open a private browser and look up your name; you’ll see what everyone else does when they look you up. Now, type in a few keywords for your three main goals along with your name and see what comes up. While you search, take note of the people that appear in the search results, with their names and skills. What do they have to offer? Is there a way you can make yourself stand out from the crowd?
Next, open up all the social media platforms that you have an account on and audit them.
Check if all the
- Fonts and Colors
- Profile photos
- Cover photos
- Social media handles
are the same.
- Make a plan
- Decide on an image. Find a distinctive color scheme and font design that you can use for all your social media platforms. It needs to be the same across the board.
- Understand the platforms. Do you know the difference between LinkedIn and Twitter? Do you know what they should be used for? The types of updates that you should post? This is important, because while you want to stand apart from the crowd- you need to do it the right way!
- Don’t dismiss any of the platforms too easily. According to Smart insights, Facebook has been the most popular social media platform in 2017 and, according to the Drum, they have influenced over 50% of customer purchases in 2015.
They have Business Insider reports that Twitter has 328 million active accounts and Instagram dominates all platforms when compared on the basis of interaction speed. Each one of them has an audience that’s waiting to hear about you.
- Decide on a posting schedule. If you have multiple social media accounts, make a spreadsheet and list them all. Then create a schedule to post on each one and stick to it!
- When you searched for your name, how high were you on the list of search results? If your name didn’t come up at all, or if it wasn’t as high as you’d like it to be, start planning posts that are relevant to your brand.
- Make sure you don’t talk yourself every single time. If you want to get ahead in the food industry, share relevant articles and give your two cents on them. Show people who you are, without telling them anything about yourself. Do this consistently to get people to see you as an up and comer in the food industry. Before long, you’ll be attracting attention, and people will want to know what you say about a certain topic, rather than just stumbling across your opinion now and again!
- Analyze your plan
Check your plan every few weeks- are your posts getting the attention that you need? Look at your social media monitoring analytics to get more insight into this and then adjust accordingly.
Remember, it’s important to engage in conversation with people who comment on your page or ‘like’ you. You also need to comment on other posts. On social media, your personal branding is linked to the amount you discuss with other people. Make sure your voice is heard! Even more importantly, make sure you have something that is worth saying- that means finding facts and evidence to back up your opinions.
This isn’t easy to do on your own, especially if you have multiple accounts. To make sure that your insights are on point, you should use a social media monitoring tool. Such tools are highly valuable as they will give you access to reliable statistics and help you to improve your exposure by analyzing them.
To Sum Up
Personal branding isn’t hard. It requires time and attention to detail. Be consistent and be careful. Keep your personal branding in mind at all times. You need to make yourself the authority in your chosen field, and that means posting things that count.