A few months ago I started my Masters in Digital Media and I decided to blog about my experience and the way I view the world from the perspective of a Digital Media Masters student and a practitioner of Digital Media. One of the things ‘grind my gears’ is when I see entrepreneurs and personalities ignoring the most basics of Social Media Personal Branding. Honestly, I don’t think I am in the position or have the authority to judge per se since I too sometimes miss the mark .I am no expert, however, I think Social Media can have a positive impact on building a brand. Yet most people ignore it.
Personal branding expert, Karen Leland stated that there are three specific ways that almost everyone can benefit from social media
1- Enhance brand recognition and thought leadership– The more frequently you show up on social media, the greater your brand exposure and the more recognizable and credible your business become.
2- Increased trust through leveraged credibility– If consumers trust you they more they are willing to recommend you
3- Gives you a competitive advantage– If someone is looking to choose between you and your competition for a service and you have an active brand on social media, you will most likely be the one that gets chosen.
Below are three basic branding principles that, if ignored, most likely than not results in the creation of a terrible brand. Yes, I said terrible.
1- No or poor photo and brand identity– For some strange reason, some businesses and entrepreneurs believe that they do not need a profile photo. It doesn’t matter which profile you are on; this is a must have. A profile with a profile image will get more click than one without. Besides, people will trust you more when they can see you. If your profile picture is not consistent across all social media platforms, people may not trust you. Ensure your photo is up to date, no a pic of a dragon is not appropriate, just a headshot of the real authentic you smiling and looking forward.
2- No or poorly written Bio– Ok, so your profile picture may attract someone to your profile, but it’s your bio that will get them excited about you. Use up all your characters, don’t be afraid. Different platforms have different character limits so craft a bio to suit the different platforms. Also, show people who you are, if you founded a company; say that, if you spent five years helping companies sell online; say just that, be specific, not general. Don’t lie though and don’t fake your achievements; real recognizes real, and people will sniff out your BS from a distance. Use keywords so people can find you easily.
3- No Background– Ok, this one bothers me, most platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to upload a background. See my different backgrounds below; I am feeling myself, and I got them done on Fiverr for five dollars each. According to Leland, your background is a visual display of your bio and a personal branding best practice. Use your background to promote your brand, customize it to suit you, if you are an author, put your books on there, just ensure it tells the story of who you are.
Ok, I will stop here, for now, these are some of the very basics of what I recommend for building a brand on Social Media. You can get fancier if you want to, there are a lot of information online that can help you build your personal brand.