Personal Branding On Social Media – The Challenge Of Positioning Yourself

Personal brand and network
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It wasn’t that long ago you could say ‘social media isn’t my thing’ and get away with not having a professional profile online. However, in these contemporary times, (and certainly more so for certain professions) it is expected that you have an engaging professional presence online as an individual.

Recently I happened to be dining with friends, several of whom are passively job hunting. The topic of your professional brand came up; each one of them agreed that it’s relatively easy to find help and advice on setting up and optimising your social profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter and other industry related communities. However, the consensus was that they found themselves at a standstill when it came to working out how to pitch themselves without sounding generic, using clichés or sounding like a sales pitch for where they work.

For those of you who have always been active on your professional social media networks this of course isn’t a problem or hard to do, but for most people and particularly those who are not millennials, it can be quite daunting. Most of us struggle with this because there really isn’t one clear approach for developing and curating your personal brand online.

Essentially, you need to find an approach that resonates with you. So as a starting point consider these three areas to focus on when building your personal brand online: positioning, authenticity and engagement.

Positioning

It’s important to think about where and how you are going to position yourself. When you put all your ducks in a row, how do you want to be viewed? What kind of personality do you want to project? If you’re still not sure, think about how your values relate to the professional you. How can you position yourself with those values in mind

Why authenticity?

In my view, authenticity is critical when building your personal brand strategy as authenticity goes hand in hand with trust. If you can build trust with your peers, colleagues and community, you will have a much stronger brand than those who haven’t.

  • Be 100% genuine and truthful about everything that you say, the detail in your profile to the interactions you have with people. If you tweak the truth or aren’t your true self-online, your network and community will soon find out.
  • Be real – you don’t want to come across as a robot by simply posting and never interacting or commenting. Find your own style and tone of voice that is similar to how you would normally speak and hold a conversation. Put yourself out there and show some emotion and opinion in your writing.
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face then don’t post it. No one likes people who hide behind their online profile, so be true to yourself.
  • Once you’re comfortable with writing and posting online, consider sharing some of your personal experiences, even those slip-ups or mistakes as these can be very powerful showing how you’ve dealt with situations, how others can learn from your experiences and how resilient you can be.

Engage with others

This may be an obvious one but in addition to starting discussions, you need to proactively engage with your networks content, posts, and shares. It may take a bit of time and you may need to schedule time into your calendar to do this but it is necessary as simply put, no one likes a one-sided relationship. Seek out those in your professional networks who you resonate with and share their content, give your two cents and praise where deserved. Also remember to have fun – not everything has to be serious, everyone loves a bit of good-natured humour.

You want to make sure people see you as a real person, that the image you put across focuses on what makes you unique and represents your worth, passion and ambitions. By being authentic, engaging with your community and by having the right positioning, your personal online brand will flourish. You will start increasing your networks, receiving recognition for your contributions, expand your knowledge in more areas and be able to showcase your skills to those who matter.

Finally, however you decide to look at it, the digital world and social media is here to stay. So it’s worth putting some time and thought into how you would like to represent yourself in the social sphere. Go on… give it a go!


 

This blog post was originally posted on the Potentia blog.

Facebook launches its own App Centre

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Facebook has started rolling out its own App Centre to US members.

Updates on when it will be available in other countries will be announced in the next few weeks. Unlike Apple who takes a cut out of each app available to their users, Facebook will not take a cut but will direct you to where the app is available. There are a range of Apps available and you can choose between web and mobile Apps. The success of the Apps will be based on the quality of the App and users feedback.

For more information on the App centre have a look at the Facebook developers blog.

You may also be interested in Facebook’s update letting you manage your Facebook admin users.

Latest Facebook changes – managing admin users

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You can finally manage your Facebook admin users

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

You can allocate 5 different types of admin users to your page. This is great news as before any of your admin users could easily delete the other users and there was nothing that you could do about it. This was especially more of a concern if you were using an external agency to manage your Facebook adverts.

Manager Content Creator Moderator Advertiser Insights Analyst
Manage all your administrators and their roles
Edit your Page and can add Applications
Create Posts as the Page/Company
Respond and delete comments on the page
Send out messages as the Page/Company
Create Facebook Adverts
View insights/analytics

You can view more information at Facebook’s help centre.

Another update Facebook has made is that you can now schedule posts when posting directly on Facebook. This is done by clicking on the bottom left of the post where there is a little clock button. Find out more about scheduling posts.

Have you found Twitter and LinkedIn useful for business?

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I’m intrigued to know how many individuals have found Twitter and LinkedIn useful for business. I asked this question a few months ago on a LinkedIn group that I am a member of. It was interesting to see what responses people had. I asked the question as I wanted to hear more about other people’s personal experiences, so when I help people set up their own accounts I have other examples apart from my own experiences.

From asking the question and looking through similar questions on other LinkedIn groups many people indicated that simply having a presence on LinkedIn and Twitter, and engaging in the social communities resulted in enquiries.  I have found the same results personally and professionally.

When I worked for a membership association I was often personally contacted on LinkedIn for more information about the association. In that position I implemented a twitter account which also resulted in people contacting us. Being a membership association, businesses would often seek us out and contact us, but we also found by engaging and interacting in different forums we helped to put our name out there, gain more credibility and show what we were all about.

Recently I found Twitter personally helpful as I was looking for a designer to create me some personal business cards. Being relatively new in London I hadn’t yet met anyone who was quite right or knew enough people to be able to recommend someone, so I turned to Twitter for help. My tweet was quickly followed up by a person who suggested I try @Jilly_Pepper. Interestingly as soon as one person recommended her I realised that we had several Twitter friends in common and ones that I trusted and had engaged with on twitter who could back up the tweet recommendation. The designs she created were great and I am excited to receive my business cards in the next couple of days.

I am still interested to hear about other people’s experiences as it is interesting to see what has worked for different people and businesses – so please do share.

Is it possible to separate your personal life and work life on social networks like LinkedIn?

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Many individuals join professional social networks like LinkedIn for their own professional development rather than as brand ambassadors for their work.

Over the last year I have engaged with many people on social media platforms and have found it hard to separate the two on some networks such as LinkedIn. In my last position for a membership organisation, I often was personally contacted on LinkedIn and Twitter about the organisation. This led me to think about how, if I should or if I even could separate work from play.

Like many people I know I initially joined LinkedIn for my professional development and to keep in touch with contacts who I have met through networking, events and work. At first I wasn’t too sure what I thought of people contacting me directly about my work seeking more information. But it made sense as people like dealing with people who they can put a face and name to. Inevitably if you work in marketing and are doing your job properly you will probably end up becoming a brand ambassador whether you like it or not. If you do not want to be a brand ambassador for your company then perhaps you should rethink what and who you should work for.

With the explosion of social media not only the marketing team and stakeholders need to be brand advocates – all employees need to be as well. Employers also have to take care in making sure all staff will represent their brand in the right light or at the least don’t do the opposite. This does not mean that every employee has to be out there promoting the brand and company through their social networks, but that they should at least know how to respond and act. For example, if an individual asks for information about their workplace via LinkedIn employees should know how to respond and direct them to the right person who can help in their organisation.

Ultimately, my active use of social media over the years for work and play has highlighted how important it is to become a brand ambassador for my work. To me, this can only be done if I am passionate and believe in the organisation I work for. This is now a key factor in my job hunt for my next London marketing role!

I am interested to hear whether you have had the same experience and/or whether you have chosen to keep the two separate?

Helpful websites and links – Delicious

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Just a quick post to let you know that I have started to use Delicious and you can find me at http://www.delicious.com/LivvyMarketing. For those of you who do not know what Delicious is, it is a ‘social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage, and share web pages from a centralized source’ (www.delicious.com/help/about).

If you own your own business it’s also quite interesting to pop in your business url to see who has added you to their bookmarks. It is good to see who is an advocate and/or sees your business website or webpage as being worthwhile to visit.

I personally find it quite useful, as I often access the internet on several different computers at work and home, my iPod touch and iPad, so I always have to re-save my bookmarks. According to Wikipedia, Delicious has been around since September 2003 and was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

Another benefit from using Delicious for bookmarking is instead of putting your bookmarks into folders you simply list all the keywords (tags) that relate to the website or page. This makes it easier to find saved bookmarks – especially if you are someone like me who in the past bookmarked many pages on my web browser, then got overwhelmed with the amount of folders and sub folders I had. Not to mention that when I upgraded my laptop I lost them all.

Custom made Social Media Monitoring Centers

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Dell Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Today I read a great article by John Lai (Social Media NZ) about Dell. Dell is the second company who has decided to create their own Social Media Command Centre and are using Radian6 to help them build a custom monitoring tool. The first company to do this was Gatorade and you can read a bit about their command centre in a blog by Adam Ostrow on Mashable.

John puts the question whether companies need to build their own command centres – I think that now we will only see big companies like Dell doing this. However, as monitoring social media becomes more the norm and part of everyday business it might also become the norm to build your own command centre. Although the biggest hurdle for most businesses will be getting the right resource to support a command centre and for small businesses, unless they see the benefit it might just not happen.

I believe Dell is smart in creating their own Social Media Command Centre, as they have the money and resource to do it well. They will easily benefit from having their own Social Media Command Centre if they have the right platform to help them respond to what their customers are saying.

It will be interesting to see how Radian6 design and build Dell’s custom monitoring centre and how efficient it is. Down the track, I would like to see if they share with the social media world how their monitoring tool works and the possible successes they do or don’t have with it.

Like John Lai I also wonder if this is the start of all companies creating their own social monitoring tools.