Almost a decade ago people usually hangout on bar, restaurant, coffee shop, bus, train. Those places were good to meet new people as well as to spend time with your familiar people. Time has been changed completely. Now we are living in a complete different world where there is no barrier in communicating with anybody literally from anywhere in the world. If you live in US and want to meet someone from Serbia or from Bangladesh, you can do so. You can get connected with them no matter where they live in this planet. It’s possible because of social media. Social media is a very powerful tool to increase your personal branding. Currently it’s one of the most important chapter in your personal branding strategy checklist. Did I tell something wrong? You have the right to judge me because you know it’s completely (not partial) true and realistic.
What is personal branding?
I already wrote an article about what is personal branding and why it’s important. If you missed to read that this definition is for you. Personal branding is such a branding term where you become a brand and it’s different from business brand. Without any personal branding strategy people don’t follow you, can’t recognize you in the crowd and you can’t make effective influence in the society.
Personal branding is actually considering a person as a brand. When you will be a brand people can follow you, they know who you are, what you do and it will give you tremendous success in your professional life. There are lots of people in the world who has achieved success as a brand themselves rather than their own company. Nobody knows me or nobody knows you until you or I became a brand. Please read my article if you want to know about it.
Personal branding strategy
Strategy is actually a plan of an action. You can’t just wake up at morning and see yourself as a brand (I wish I could). You need to spend a lots of time and give proper attention about what you do as a part of your personal branding strategy. Actually everybody always do personal branding whether they know about it or not. But we all are doing. Honestly, I am doing too by writing great articles and getting people’s love. It’s a part of my plan to become next world’s top celebrity. No, I was just kidding and you got that already.
So personal branding strategy is some sort of plan of actions which will improve your personal brand from zero to hero. Nobody can become a personal brand in a day or two. You need to study or hire some personal branding strategists to make some effective plan and make sure you are executive that on a daily basis.
Is social media effective for personal branding?
Definitely yes! yes! and yes. We are living in a very smart world where almost every people have a smart phone with internet connectivity. Most importantly almost one third people in the world using social media. So the numbers are huge and they love to follow great people and great contents flowing over the internet.
According to Statistica statistics, there are currently 2.77 billion people using social media. If the growth continues then in 2021 there will be more than 3.02 billion people will be on social media platform. So the audience is huge. You just need to make effective personal branding strategy on social media. Most of the celebrities, business founders as well as industry renowned persons are maintaining their social presence and believe me it works like magic if you do everything in right way.
Top social media platforms to build personal brand
There are thousands over social media on the internet. I wish I can signup for each one of them but it’s not possible and I don’t consider all those social media are equally valuable. To make personal branding strategy you have to choose social media very carefully. You have to keep in mind three things –
- Active users
- Aligned with your industry
If you can keep those above three points in your head then definitely you can pick top and effective social media platform by yourself for your personal branding effort. So let’s see what types of social media platform can be helpful to implement your personal branding strategy effectively.
List of popular social media
It’s the most effective and powerful social media for professional networking. You can reach to a huge number of professional persons from all around the world. LinkedIn must be in your list for personal branding strategy.
Most popular platform in the world that will let you post something within 280 character long. Powerful and most of the prominent figure from every industry maintain their official Twitter account.
Do I need to say anything about Facebook. You already know it. One of the most popular social media platform to share your personal and professional stuff. Facebook let’s you connect with your family, friends and any people from all around the world. You can share anything you want there, you can create page and build a private fan base. You must not ignore Facebook when thinking about personal branding.
Just post the picture whether it’s a quote of yours or the picture of your speech in a college or any event you attended. Instagram is the largest social media website for photos and videos. You can share anything you captured (still image or video) in Instagram.
It is a place for aggregated content sharing, discussion. It’s one of the most visited website in the world. People share articles and participate in discussion here. You can create a great follower base in Reddit easily if you are open to participate in any discussion or share anything.
Lots of people just ignore Quora. Quora is a wonderful place where you can engage with people, help them, share your ideas, participate in any discussion and it’s a great place to get your name popular if you really do some good job here.
Common practice on social media for effective branding
Before moving further to write about good practice for each individual social media I need to tell you something important that are common for every social media platform. All social media platform have common feature and that is sharing and participating. You share unique piece of contents and participate in other’s content. Keep the following common practice in mind on every social platform.
- Share unique piece of content
- Focus on generating interesting content than share the existing content that has been already shared
- Be unique & creative
- Be relevant with your industry
- Avoid engaging with debate
- Be respectful
- Practice to take criticism
- Be regular & consistent
Those are the common checklists to practice in any community or social media.
Personal branding tips for social media
Now lets talk about the best practices for every social media that really works. Before reading this I would like to request you to read the common practice from the paragraph above again and again. Then read this section.
Number 1 social media platform for professionals from all around the world. Almost every professional has at least one active or inactive LinkedIn profile. According to LinkedIn statistics, there are more than 630 million users are using LinkedIn. 30 million companies represented on LinkedIn as well as 20 million open jobs on LinkedIn jobs. You can easily build a great audience in LinkedIn.
Checklists for LinkedIn
- Focus on relevant industry
Be focused on LinkedIn. If you are in tech industry, try to be relevant in that specific industry. It would be easier to share contents and participate in other’s content because you have a great knowledge in your industry.
- Follow industry leaders & influencers
While you are executing your personal branding strategy on social media, it’s also important to follow other industry leaders and influencers. You can learn two things from them. You can see how they are being actively participating in the social media and learn directly from their contents
- Engage with people
You shouldn’t just share your own great contents. You have to show your love for the contents that other people share on LinkedIn. It’s good to comment on other people’s status and contents, in that way you can get attraction from others as well. Discussion and participation is the key to everywhere to get attention from others.
- Share industry updates
If you are already a professional in your industry and if you follow latest updates online that is relevant to your industry. Re-write or share them directly in your LinkedIn feed. This way other people from similar industry can remember your profile and at a certain point they can be your valuable follower
- Write status with multimedia
All social media platform distribute contents which has multimedia (images, videos). So try to provide relevant image with your every status update. It’s one of the best way to reach to the broad audience. In addition, your updates will get attention because people love visual stuff than just text.
From US president to most of the media celebrity has the twitter account. Politicians, celebrities, authors & news reporter and every other industry leader has their own Twitter handle. It works like your visiting card as well as your own media. You can get real-time updates from all around the world.
Checklist for Twitter
- Be short but creating
You are limited to write only 280 characters in your single tweet. So be creative to write your tweet.
- Follow important people
You nee to follow industry leaders so you can get the valuable contents.
- Retweet and show love
You should retweet great contents & updates. But you must be relevant. It’s very easy to lose your follower in twitter. So be careful
- Consistency is important
Unlike any other social media, it’s very difficult to get followers in Twitter. But if you can be consistent with your activity then over the time you can get valuable followers.
- Tweet with hashtags
Hashtags is very important feature in Twitter. You can reach more audience for your tweet by using hashtags (#) on Twitter. With hashtag you can reach to the users who are not your followers.
- Use multimedia
In Twitter to get maximum exposure of your tweet you should prepare video contents, GIF animated contents or creative graphics. Social media show loves to visually appealing contents.
I don’t need to introduce Facebook to you. It’s the largest social media platform in the world. According to Stastica, Facebook has 2.38 billion active monthly users. So what you should do to build a private audience of you.
Checklists for Facebook
- Be careful to build audience
Facebook has a very largest user base and it requires little bit filtering before you engage with anybody. Different types of people are here. So be careful about where you participate and with whom. Otherwise your audience will grow but won’t be effective.
- Content variation
Facebook news feed algorithm is constantly changing. So you have to also adjust your content strategy with variations.
- Facebook page
People have a misconception about Facebook page. Facebook page is not only for business. You need to create a Facebook page of your own where you can build a your fan base. Your fan needs a place where they can get your updates from one place. It will make trust for them. So create your Facebook page today.
- Multimedia & creative contents
As there are lots of people and millions of contents are being generated on Facebook every day. You have to be more creative in this platform to get user engagement and increase reach. Content with interesting and creative images & videos will reach more users on Facebook. Users always love visually appealing content.
- Maintain content frequency with consistency
Facebook is a really large platform. So you need to create more content frequently like 2/3 times a day with consistency. Otherwise you may lose in the crowd.
Largest social media platform to share multimedia. You can only share image and video in Instagram with optional text description. It’s very engaging. But sometime Instagram has not much user for every industry. But users are growing very rapidly. You create an Instagram profile, connect it with Facebook page.
Checklists for Instagram
- Hashtags are the key
Instagram contents are full of hashtag. People love to follow multimedia from specific interesting topics. So create content and post with as much as relevant hashtag in the status.
- Follow industry specific people
Don’t follow all. Because in that case you may miss important industry specific contents. So find your interesting topics and industry specific user account and follow them.
- Short videos are great
There are lots of short animated video software available. Just create video with your text status or add any creative shots. Video goes viral easily in Instagram
- Creativity wins
For Instagram, creativity is the main factors to make your content seen. So try to be more creative. If possible, hire someone to make creative contents for your Instagram profile.
One of the most powerful platforms for content aggregation as well as a great place to participate in discussion. For personal branding strategy you can’t ignore Reddit in any way.
Checklists for Reddit
- Share news
When you will get any interesting article on the web. Share that link in your Reddit.
- Follow industry specific topics
Be specific. Don’t waste your time by going here and there. As long as you invest your time on specific and relevant topics, you will get more attention very quickly from that industry audience and that’s easy to build your personal brand
- Participate in discussion
On Reddit, you should participate in popular discussion topics where lots of people are engaging. Useful and informative discussion will make you more valuable in any platform.
Another wonderful platform I love. People ask questions and get answers from experts. You can follow topics and answer as much as questions in this platform. Also you can see a great analytics of your activities.
- Answer questions
People are asking so many questions on Quora. Install Quora android app and start writing answers in your spare time.
- Post questions
Get engagement by posting questions.
- Choose topics wisely
There are lots of topics you can get in Quora. You don’t need to waste your valuable spare time by writing answers or engage with irrelevant topics. Relevancy will build more loyal audience. Quora profile are public so user can see what you are doing their and what types of answers you are posting for the questions. For example if you are a cyber security expert, try to follow cyber security related topics and questions.
- Complete your profile
Quora profile sometimes helps you to introduce yourself to the world. So don’t forget to complete your Quora profile just after signup there
I hope you understand already the basic checklists to consider before building your personal branding strategy on social media. However, personal branding sometime requires to hire third party service providers who will do all the regular and scheduled work for you. Just think about a PR agency. So there are lots of service you can search online who can build your personal brand.