Social media has become a prominent source of information for both recruiters and potential employees. Not only does it provide a free, unlimited network of connections and possibilities, but it also provides users with the opportunity to develop and sustain a personal brand.
Personal branding is the practice of individuals marketing themselves and their careers as a professional self. This entails creating a unique identity to be marketed to potential recruiters. This process includes establishing a reputation, and utilizing this information to gain attention from said potential recruiters. A key component of creating a personal brand is finding what distinguished you from other potential employees. What sets you apart from your competition? What makes you unique?
Remember, everything you do online is representative of your personal brand, so it is important to be proactive and consciously control these perceptions.
So, now comes the question of how to incorporate social media platforms into a professional outlet for personal branding. The best place to start is to determine your goal/s. What do you want to be known for? Whom do you want to connect with? This can entail anything from starting a new business, standing out and finding what makes you unique, selling more and increasing market coverage, or just simply getting noticed.
Once goals have been established, a positioning statement can be created. Simply put, this is who you are, what you stand for, and what you do (or want to do). Note what differentiates you from your competition, and conduct research in your field in order to cater to recruiters' wants and needs. Remember, a positioning statement is representative of you, but is not necessarily for you. It's for those who you are trying to connect with.
Consistency and authenticity are also essential. Choose a similar color scheme, style and tone across all platforms. The idea is to be memorable. Constant usage and up to date information is also important to incorporate. Taking an active role with consistent posting is vital. However, each social media site is unique in regards to its users and viewers. Take some time to research what frequency of posting is best suited for each social media channel. For example, Facebook twice a day, Twitter four times a day, LinkedIn once a day, Google+ twice a day, and Instagram once a day. Find a frequency that works best for you.
This proactive approach to utilizing social media for personal branding also enables for community outreach and engagement. This can include sharing posts from others in your industry or engaging in community chats and groups.
Another consistency factor to consider is choosing key words. Find a few words or phrases directly related to your unique capabilities or what you want potential recruiters to see.
Your LinkedIn account should take precedence when using social media to construct and improve a personal brand for professional purposes. (Find out more information regarding LinkedIn profile creation here.) Incorporate up to date information regarding work experience, skills and qualifications, and aspects of personal interests such as social activism or anything related to your industry/interests. LinkedIn provides new occupational and social opportunities within your field.
More personal social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should showcase professional related information, but also self-expression and personal passions. And remember consistency! Profile photos, bio information, cover photos, and even post content should stay the same in order to maintain a memorable personal brand. This could mean something as minute as keeping the same Instagram filter for all pictures posted or using consistent and frequent hashtags on twitter.
We hope you can utilize these tips to establish and maintain your unique digital footprint for the world to see in order to advance both your personal and professional life. If you need further assistance developing your personal brand, please reach out today!