Brands are not only limited to companies and corporations. People can have brands too! Your personal brand can be thought of as the opinions and perceptions the public has of you. These perceptions can be shaped and, if done right, used to your professional advantage. Today, we can’t speak of brand building without mentioning the important role that social media plays. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow a person to directly address an audience, giving them more control over their image. Still, navigating a personal brand online can be tricky, as it is more than just choosing the right photo or being active on social platforms. So, before you take another step, here are a few things you should know about personal branding on social media.
- Think about your brand
The first step is to consider what kind of image you want to project to the public. How do you want people to see you? What do you want them to know you for? Develop a vision, set out goals, and identify your audience. When building your brand, make sure to build on existing strengths and talents. Figure out what impact you want to create and the unique value of your contribution.
- Choose the right platform(s)
It’s wise to focus your attention on one or two social media platforms that align with your brand. This comes after you’ve done the work of developing your brand vision and target audience. The right platform depends on what you have to say and who you have to say it to. Other factors that go into choosing a platform include the kind of content you want to share. For example, if your content will be more image based, then Instagram might be a good option for you. However, if you remain unsure what platform to choose, you can always check what other people with brands similar to yours are doing for inspiration.
- Make yourself recognizable
Across platforms, you should have the same recognizable elements that tell people it’s you. These elements include profile picture, cover photo, color schemes, post templates, fonts, handle, and anything else that can act as a cue. Focusing on these elements is an important part of brand building, as it makes it easier for you to stand out from others.
- Be consistent on social media
It’s important to remain consistently active on social media. Being active once a month on Instagram or Facebook isn’t going to get you enough attention. Aim to be active three or four times a week, if possible. That said, quantity should be met with quality. So, make sure that the content you put out there is something your audience will find useful, connect to, and engage with. Note that being consistent doesn’t mean copy pasting content on different platforms. Recognizable elements aside, you should adapt aspects of your content to fit the intended platform.
- Be authentic with your audience
Audiences have a way of telling when someone is being fake and nothing could be more disengaging. When presenting yourself on social media, you want to be as true to yourself as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean sharing information that you’d rather keep private. It instead means choosing to highlight an aspect of yourself that people will connect with. The point is to always aim for authenticity and base social media presence on truth.
In the last few years, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for personal branding. It’s made certain individuals more accessible to the public. However, one can’t approach social media without first making a few considerations. Coming to it unprepared can have consequences. That is why planning ahead is key and considering the nuances of social media—such as consistency and authenticity—is important.