4 Ways To Build Your Brand With Social Media
By: Courtney Beam
Social media… As a millennial, even I balk at the thought of using it sometimes (is that allowed?!). It’s EVERYWHERE, and it’s changing the way companies sell, the way people look for jobs and the way we interact with colleagues and friends. While it can be overwhelming, I think social media can also be a very valuable tool, if used appropriately in a professional setting. My advice is to find a level that you’re comfortable with and go from there. You don’t need to dive in headfirst and make it your fulltime job and it should never replace good ol’ fashioned networking – but it is a good idea to at least have one active account with a few meaningful followers. Here are a couple of steps for starting to build your brand.
Choose Your Platform(s) Wisely: While there are so many new social media outlets, I still believe LinkedIn is the staple choice for professionals to use. If you don’t currently participate on any social media platforms, consider starting with LinkedIn. When you’re looking for a new challenge, perhaps you could try to grow a professional following on Twitter or even Instagram. Whatever you choose, make sure you’ve considered your target audience so you can make a more focused effort. If you’re beginning a new profile, spend some time completing your profile with information about yourself and then begin following other people who seem to have common interests, and share similar content. Start out by simply immersing yourself within your target audience. This will not only help you grow your following naturally but will also help you better understand your audience and what kind of content appeals to them.
Create and Share Content: This one is simple. People only want to follow those who post relevant and meaningful content on a regular basis. This does not mean you need to take up blogging full time. What you can do is find articles, blogs, videos or other content that has already been created and share it with your followers. This will help you become a subject-matter expert and will save you time by not creating content from scratch. Keep in mind, it’s very important to always mention the original author of the content and if possible, tag them too! When you do have free time, try writing a guest blog for a site that you are interested in for more sharable content.
Interact With Your Network: Now that you’ve identified the content you should be engaging with or creating, and narrowed down your target audience along with the right tools to reach them, it’s time to engage! There really aren’t a ton of rules on how to engage with your followers. Like and share posts and follow other people with similar brands. Remember to keep it positive and professional.
Keep Your Personal Brand in Mind: If you have a personal social media account such as a private Facebook account where you share personal posts rather than professional, it’s still a good idea to represent yourself as if your employer can see you. The cool (and scary) thing about social media is that you don’t always know who you’re reaching. If you find yourself engaging in negative or even controversial posts, you may find yourself losing the respect of your followers or even your job. Keep it clean and positive!
Are you new to social media or trying to build your current brand? What other tips and tricks have you found successful? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.