• personal branding tips

    9 Ways to Use Social Media to Up Your Personal Brand

    Hey, you!

    Yeah, you!  The Social Media Extraordinaire who can navigate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the blink of an eye!

    Those cat pictures are really cute, aren’t they?

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    And oh man, those pictures from Mindy Pickens’s 21st birthday party back in college!  Good times, good times!

    Hey, another Bad Luck Brian meme just popped up on your feed!  Time to like and repost!

    Yeah, it definitely seems like you’ve got this social media thing down pat.

    Except you don’t.

    What you need are some personal branding tips. Why do you need them?

    Because while you know how to work the tools, you aren’t making the most of them.

    And in a digitally-driven world, how effectively you market your personal brand can make or break you.

    Why is personal branding so important?

    Consider this:

    Your social media features your full name, pictures of you, your place of work, and where you went to school.

    Anyone who wants to find out more about you could very easily Google you and find all of this information.

    Anyone, from that cute guy/girl you met at your pal Ben’s Valentine’s Day thing last night to, oh say, a potential employer.

    That changes the game a little, eh?  Especially considering how competitive the job market is now.

    You want that job.  You crave that job.  You need that job.

    So you’ll want your social media to reflect that need, to show that you were conceived and tailored for that job.

    And hey, you probably don’t want your future boss seeing those photos from Mindy’s birthday bash (especially given 92% of employers search social media prior to hiring a candidate).

    He or she might not want to be your future boss if he or she sees them.

    Plus, remember that cute guy/girl from Ben’s V-Day thing?  if you’ve got anything too questionable or silly on your social media, he or she might not think you’re so adorable after friending or following you.

    But the thing is: you don’t know where to start.  You need some personal branding tips.

    Not to worry, sir or ma’am: that’s why you’re here!

    And boy, have we got a selection of personal branding tips that are sure to help you out!

    Check ’em out below.

    Personal Branding Tips 101

    1) Clean up your profiles

    Delete anything that employers might find questionable, negative, unprofessional, or downright silly.

    Those old pics from Mindy’s party?  They need to go.

    That dumb Bad Luck Brian meme?  Give it the boot, too.

    And those comments that you left on Ben’s profile pic?  Where you guys were just horsing around and dropping the F-bomb?  Yeah, delete those suckers right away.

    2) If you don’t have any profiles, get some

    Back in the day, social media was an optional form of self-expression complete with fake photos and clever usernames.

    Not anymore.

    Nowadays, employers get tons of resumes, so it’s hard to stand out with just a list of accomplishments and skills.

    They want to see those skills in actions.  They want to see how you earned those accomplishments.

    And the best way to do that is with thoughtful, knowledgeable, easily accessible posts on social media.

    3) Keep a list of your profiles

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, LinkedIn–there are so many different social media platforms out there.

    It’s really hard to keep track of them all. Think about the bank transactions you make, the groceries you need to pick up, and the errands you have to run.

    What do you do to keep track of everything? You make a list.

    Make a list of which social media accounts you have.  That way, you can keep track of your accounts more easily.

    4) Use the same name across all of your profiles

    Most people use more than one social media platform.

    As an up-and-coming professional, you’ll want to make sure you can be found easily on every platform.

    Why? So people who follow you on one social media platform can easily find and follow you on others.

    Plus, it’ll help you increase your outreach.

    5) Use the same format across all of your profiles as well

    Remember: you’re not just advertising your name; you’re advertising your brand as well.

    So something else you’ll need to do is use the same look across all platforms.

    For example, let’s say your buddy Ben has done what you’re doing.

    Let’s say he started his personal brand on Twitter.  His profile has his logo in his header accompanied by a sea green color scheme.

    When he expanded his personal brand to Facebook, he used the same logo in his header with the same color scheme somewhere on his profile.

    The same goes for when he expanded to Instagram, and when he updated LinkedIn to include his brand.

    Like with your name, your brand makes you easier to identify among the millions of profiles out there.

    6) Decide what your brand (that is, you) specialize in

    That beautifully wrapped box of chocolates isn’t worth much unless there are actually chocolates inside.

    Likewise, your accounts need to offer something–a specialty of some kind.

    Maybe you write.  Maybe you bake.  Maybe you’re an amazing trapeze artist.

    Regardless, part of your personal brand is what you do, which in turn defines what you know.

    It also helps you set you apart from others in your field.

    7) Post relevant content, and often

    All of the knowledge in the world won’t help you if you’re not interested in your area of expertise.

    And if you don’t post relevant content to your social media, and often, you look like you’re not as interested in it as your resume professed.

    The rule of thumb?

    Post something relevant every day, and cross-post it across your various accounts.

    8) Use a clear photo of yourself

    This one can help you professionally as well as romantically.

    Whether it’s an employer or a date, whoever’s contacting you’ll want to know what you look like.

    So you should avoid photos that:

    • are blurry;
    • show you in a group;
    • aren’t consistent with your other profiles; and/or
    • don’t look like you

    9) Interact!

    You might be a brand now, but you’re still a person!  And people are social by nature.

    Plus, your friends and followers will appreciate a little engagement from the name and face that they decided to friend and follow in the first place.

    Not to mention, talking on social media gives you a chance to show off your expertise.

    Follow these personal branding tips, and you’re sure to have a more fruitful experience with your social media accounts!