2021 Tips for Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media today

Sharing online allows you to craft an online persona that reflects your personal values and professional skills. Even if you only use social media occasionally, the content you create, share, or react to feeds into this public narrative. How you conduct yourself online is now just as important as your behavior offline.

Building your personal brand on social media takes some work, but it could land you your next job opportunity or help you to foster valuable connections. Follow the steps below to ensure your online branding is working for you.

1. Fully Update Your Social Media Accounts

Decide which social media account(s) you are going to focus on, and delete any old accounts that you are no longer using. For the networks, you will be using, make sure all of your information is complete and accurate. This will help you to build traffic to the networks you want to showcase your work. It can also remove any potential “questionable” content from years past that doesn’t have a positive effect on your professional image.

​2. Identify Your Area of Expertise

Everyone’s an expert at something – whether it’s content marketing or having an encyclopedic knowledge of your favorite TV show. Is it time for you to experiment a bit more? What type of content have you created that your followers have responded to most? Can you replicate this with other similar content? The more unique and engaging content you create on your chosen topic of expertise, the more your followers will start to think of you as a leader in your chosen field.

3. Make Posting Easy with Apps

Forgotten passwords, busy day jobs, and content creation; maintaining an online presence can be time-consuming; but there are many social media apps at hand to make life easier. Sprout, Buffer, and Hootsuite all connect to your social media networks and allow you to cross-post across different social networks and schedule posts; removing the need to login to multiple websites. Most major social media networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are compatible with these applications.

What makes up your personal brand? Image: Obolinx.com

4. Share Content On a Regular Basis

In the early days of social media, the more you posted, the more engagement you could drum up. Today, however, over-posting leads to fatigue and annoyance. You want to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but you also don’t want to overshare so much that you look desperate. The sweet spot is posting around 3-4 times per week for individuals. There will be days when you don’t post, and that’s perfectly fine. Analyze the data associated with your posts and identify a pattern that works for you. If you’re having trouble finding content to share and want more insight into what’s popular among users, try searching via hashtag on Twitter, using news aggregator sites like Feedly, or signing up for Google Alerts.

5. Create & Curate Engaging Content

Reposting (or curating) others’ content is always a smart thing to do, but it’s not all you should be doing to build your personal brand. You also need to share content that you’ve written yourself, to demonstrate your expertise within your industry. This type of content shows you have knowledge of the latest trends in that industry and how it is evolving.

Creating engaging content means taking a fresh approach to the types of updates you share with your network. Don’t be afraid to occasionally talk about your own achievements, or even add engaging tidbits about your personal life (topics such as travel, hobbies, etc. are suitable). After all, social media is about individuals first. Sharing some of this information provides your audience with a glimpse of who you really are and what you’re about – just ensure you don’t overshare or make it all about you.

6. Import Your Contacts

You might be amazed to see how many people you already know on the social media networks you’re using. There may be tens, or even hundreds, of people with whom you haven’t yet connected with. Import your email contacts from Gmail or Outlook, or contacts from your phonebook, into your social networks to find out how many connections you’re missing. Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all allow for a free import of a certain number of contacts.

Your personal brand is your professional reputation. Image Source: Business 2 Community

7. Keep making Progress

You now know some of the things you should be doing on social media to build the best social impression for yourself, but do you know what not to do to keep that impression a positive one? Think of your social media interactions and content creation as part of a resume of your work and a reflection of your professional attitude and overall personality. Avoid inflammatory religious or racial comments, and be careful when making political commentary that others may consider offensive.

If you have concerns about not being able to voice your opinions to the extent you wish, consider creating two sets of social media accounts: one for private use (say whatever you want), and one for personal use (in which your responses and shares are heavily calculated). Keep your personal pages private to just close friends and family, and use your professional accounts to build new connections and career opportunities.

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