Blogs and microblogs include sites where individuals share expertise about specific subjects. These are best for sharing opinions, reviews, new ideas, and experiences.
Content communities include websites where users generate content for use and critique by others. This type is best for those interested in participating in a community of like-minded individuals.
Social networking sites are the most widely known type of social media. These are sites where users maintain searchable profiles for personal or professional promotion. These websites are best for networking and making connections.
Your image on social media is created by building your brand, developing your message, and increasing your followers.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
A brand can be defined as the emotional connection a person has with your name or organization’s name. A brand can include both facts and emotional connotations. For example, the Toastmasters International brand embodies an organization that empowers people to be their best by enhancing communication and leadership skills.
The first step in building your brand is to identify the image you want to promote. At its most fundamental, branding is a clear definition of you or your organization. Create a statement of the type of organization you are promoting. For example, a Toastmaster who is building a career as a keynote speaker might define her organization as a professional speaking service.
Once you have defined your organization, identify the audience you serve. In the example of the professional speaker, her primary audience might be organizations with large sales forces.
DEFINE YOUR IDEALS
The next area that requires thought and development is defining your organization’s ideals. Describe what your organization represents in the community and the types of services or products your audience can expect.
If you are working to promote an organization that doesn’t already have a brand and involves many people, bring a small representative group together to discuss and brainstorm your brand.
Once you have a clear and concise definition of your brand, determine which type of social media best fits your goals.
DEVELOP YOUR MESSAGE
Your message is a quick statement about who you are and what you provide to others. Your 30- to 90-second summary, or what is sometimes called an elevator pitch, needs to express the core of your message in approximately three sentences. Create a message that works in print, online, and when stated in conversation, or quite literally in an elevator when you only have a few seconds to share your message.
An example of a Toastmasters elevator pitch could be:
“Since 1924, Toastmasters International has been recognized as the leading organization dedicated to communication and leadership skill development. Through its worldwide network of clubs, each week Toastmasters helps more than a quarter million men and women of every ethnicity, education level, and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others.”
In this short speech, the listener hears a quick summary of the benefits of Toastmasters as well as the size and purpose of the organization.
The larger your number of followers, or those who are a part of your online network, the greater your ability to advance your message. There are a number of ways to increase your followers.
FOLLOW LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
Follow others on social media who share your views and actively participate in the online community. Take time to comment on posts written by others. In your comments, share your thoughts and link to your own social media sites.
Post new content on a regular basis by setting a schedule. Some people or organizations post every day. Others post once a week. Determine the amount of content you plan to post regularly and let your audience know how often they can expect an update.
PROVIDE RELEVANT CONTENT
Focus on your audience’s needs and wants when you produce content. Let your readership know exactly what they gain from following you.
SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE
Post what you know best. Choose topics in which you are most knowledgeable and include evidence to support your content.
GENERATE POSITIVE CONVERSATIONS
Be positive and engaging in your interactions. Compose interesting posts and ask questions of your followers. Engage with your audience by taking the time to respond to comments and questions. If you receive negative responses to any of your posts or comments, choose to either ignore them or respond respectfully.
Participate in the greater internet culture that surrounds your content or brand. Comment on social media sites hosting similar content.
OFFER UNIQUE OR EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
A unique point of view on your subject matter is most likely to encourage followers to return to your posts and share them with others. Your expertise, humor, writing style, and background all contribute to your ability to create different and engaging content.
Exclusive content is material created and shared by you that cannot be replicated anywhere else and is made available only to those people who follow you. Authors often use this exclusive content to increase their following.
Keep your interactions positive. When engaging online, use the same rules of etiquette as you would if you were speaking in person.
Use comments to engage with and learn about your followers personally. Thank your readers for their comments. Ask questions when your followers post content that is interesting or unfamiliar.
Take the time to respond to constructive feedback. You can respond to readers’ comments, rebut on-topic arguments, or simply thank followers for reading your content.
Maintain a degree of sensitivity when discussing your personal life. Don’t include full names, phone numbers, addresses, or specific location details unless you are promoting an event or business. Always keep safety in mind when posting to any site on the internet.
Be cautious when dealing with the privacy of others by obtaining their consent before posting identifying information.
Unfortunately, some people hide behind anonymity online, using comment sections of websites to unfairly attack others. Internet “trolls” are those who disrupt a forum by attempting to evoke emotional responses from participants. The most effective way to handle an internet troll is by ignoring him.
Keep in mind that any interaction with the public or media affects a person’s or organization’s brand. Acting appropriately is essential. Innocuous content has the potential to come across in a negative way if it can be misconstrued. This is especially true in the case of sarcasm.
Consider your remarks carefully before posting. Your content may remain available even if it is deleted. Once material reaches the web, it is archived and searchable by anyone with a computer.
REVIEW AND APPLY
- How will you use social media?
- What personal factors will you use to create an online profile that promotes you or an organization?
- Are you familiar enough with the importance of internet privacy? Do you need to do more research?
- How will you safeguard your personal information?
- List your strategies for engaging in positive interactions with others online.
- What are your promotional goals and how will you reach them online?
Raise your hand if you’ve heard the term, “personal branding”
Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.
Why do you need to build a personal brand?
1.) Maybe you want to become rich and famous.
One entrepreneur created a massive personal brand while appearing in TV Shows, movies, music videos, talk shows & sporting events while building his real estate business. As his personal brand grew, he used it to become the President of the United States! This man wasn’t a politician before becoming President; he was simply a master of personal branding. You’ve all heard of Donald Trump.
Logan Paul has over 21 million subscribers growing by over 2,000 new subs daily, and has accumulated over 6 billion views. One of his YouTube channels gets an average of 3 million views per day, which should generate an estimated revenue of around $15,000 per day ($5.5 million a year) from ads that appear on the videos.
Logan has appeared in shows like Law & Order, and over 20 other movies and TV shows. He also sells his merchandise on his website, which is estimated to generate over $10 million annually. Boxing is also another major revenue earner. Logan was able to earn millions of dollars from his fights with another YouTube star who goes by the name KSI. Their first fight was watched by 773,000 people who paid $10 each to watch the stream.
2.) Make connections with people anywhere in the world who share similar interests and goals.
I started consciously building my personal brand a few years back. It’s given me the ability to connect and work with Netflix Stars, Best-Selling Authors, Country Music Stars, Inventors, Athletes, Entrepreneurs, and even the inventor of the MP3 Player!
It’s also allowed me to sell more than 700 books in a single day on Amazon!
Building a personal brand takes a lot of work, but it will be worth the effort if you start today!
3.) Maybe you don’t ever want to be rich or famous. Do you still need to build a personal brand?
The short answer is… YES! We have all Googled someone when we meet them for the first time. Your personal brand can help you:
- Gain support in your local community or among a broader network.
- Renew old relationships.
- Provide access to diverse viewpoints and sources of information.
- Get a new job or help you to receive a pay raise at your current position.
- Have you ever looked someone up on the internet before going on a date?
- Many people Google their new neighbors.
- I always look someone up before doing business with them.
We all have a personal brand. Most people never manage their brand, but those who do see the benefits in every aspect of their life! Your personal brand lets you control what the outside world thinks about you!
Social media has allowed us to benefit from building a personal brand that is recognized locally, internationally, or even globally!
I think we can all agree that building & managing your personal brand is essential.
It would take months to explain the intricate details of building your personal brand. We don’t have time for that now, but here are a few tips you might want to look into!
- Search your name regularly on major social networks. What do you see now?
- Only post things on social media that you want people to see.
- Claim your name on every popular social network. You may not use that account now, but it’s tough to take over a profile that has already been claimed by someone else.
- Start posting regularly!
- Create content that benefits your target audience. (I try to provide value without asking anything in return on 95% of my posts.) Then, when you have something to sell, you’ve built a loyal following who is ready to buy!
Your image on social media is created by building your brand, developing your message, and increasing your followers. There are many books on personal branding, but you can get started by simply creating valuable content daily!