Social media is believed to be a powerful tool for connecting with people, sharing information and building relationships. According to the Digital July 2020 Global Snapshot, there are over 3.8 billion social media users out of the 4.5 billion internet users worldwide. This data gives credence to the fact that social media is fast becoming the Global Village as coined by Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s, where billions of people are connected irrespective of time and distance, presenting an enormous opportunity for brands.
Although it’s a model for the idea of a global village, social media can also be ‘overpopulated’ and as a result, the problem of information overload for its users arises. This has posed a challenge for brands who strive to cut through the noise and ensure that their brand messages are in front of their target audience. However, the narrative is slightly different for personal brands; this is because people will naturally connect with a personal brand that offers value, rather than a promotional company.
Nonetheless, paying attention to your personal brand, understanding the importance of social media and leveraging its power are key factors in building an effective and credible personal brand.
Importance of Social Media for Building Personal Brands
Using social media to build your brand is essential to achieving the goals of your personal branding strategies. Here are five advantages of using social media for personal brands.
Sharing Valuable Content: With social media, you can educate, share ideas and inform your specific audience. This opportunity, however, can translate to a thought-leadership reality when you consistently share content around a specific topic that appeals to your target audience. Sharing valuable content will also attract potential professional and personal connections.
Shaping Brand Perception: Social media affords you the opportunity to shape your brand perception by defining what you want to be known for. This opportunity ensures that you create the perception for your brand and sustain the conversation around it. More so, people will easily find and connect with you based on your defined brand’s direction.
Expanding Reach and Building Relationships: The potential audience and exposure that social media could generate would have been unimaginable in previous centuries. With over 3.8 billion social media users in the world, you have an opportunity to expand your reach, be recognized globally, build and sustain relationships with your target audience irrespective of the barriers that were in play in the past.
Building Brand Credibility: People trust and connect with brands because of the credibility attached to such a brand and social media plays a very important role in building one’s credibility. This is because social media users will most likely verify your brand’s claims through your social media profiles before connecting with you. The good news is that as soon as you are verified, they will perceive you as the “go-to” person in your industry.
Expanding Brand’s Circle of Influence: As your personal brand grows, so does your circle of influence, as more people will express their interest to connect and interact with you. More importantly, as a credible brand that people look up to for information, valuable content, guidance and the like, you wield an authority that gives way to influence, which positively impacts your audience.
Understanding the importance of social media for personal brands is not enough to get you started. To maximize your usage of social media, it is essential that you also understand the basics for leveraging social media to achieve your goal(s).
Strategies for Leveraging Social Media for Personal Brands
The first thing to do to get started on utilizing and maximizing social media for your personal brands is not to consider social media as an afterthought in your personal brand strategies. Social media has the power and influence you need. If you aren’t getting results from your social media usage, consider the following strategies.
Define your Expertise: It is imperative that you define your specialities; in other words, build your brand around what you know and what you want to be known for. This is considered to be the first step in building your personal brand, from which you will have a better understanding of how social media can help you achieve your personal brand goals.
Know your Audience: For social media, knowing your audience is a huge factor to achieve your goals. You do not want to send your messages to the wrong audience; for that would be a waste of time and resources. For instance, what use would content from fashion and lifestyle be to a group of people who are more interested in games and sports? Know your audience and you will never go wrong with your message.
Establish a Brand Strategy: Having defined your expertise and audience, you also need to define your brand strategy to keep up with your growth and measure the results of your social media investment. Your personal branding on social media should encompass a consistent content strategy. If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, you should focus on developing quality content that you want people to read and share from time to time.
Choose the Right Platform: There are quite a number of social media platforms but you should choose which platform will help you achieve your goal. A general rule of thumb is to BE WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE ARE. Just because there are multiple social networks to choose from, doesn’t mean you should use them all. You also need to understand the basic rules for each social media platform you choose. For instance, Facebook is entirely different from Pinterest as is Instagram from Tik Tok.
Create Consistent Content: Creating content that appeals to your specific audience is determined by your objective and the social media platform you choose, but you will be able to build a better and more impactful personal brand once you are consistent in your voice and content across all social media channels. When deciding how to brand yourself on social media, you want to market yourself in a way so people can recall your brand easily through quality and consistent content.
The power of social media for your brand goes beyond creating awareness and recognition, rather it confers authority when you are perceived to be credible. This authority from the power of social media makes you a leader and an influencer in your expertise.
Now, it is your turn. Get started with leveraging and maximizing social media for your brand.
Written by Chisom Ezeneche