Individual Brand Building

Participation in social business is no longer optional if you plan to remain relevant in today's connected economy - now is the time to onboard your individual brand on social media.

Focusing on creating a brand presence, optimizing profiles, growing and deepening network and converting interactions fluidly between online and offline channels will lead to unprecedented levels of communication.

6 Individual Brand Building Tips

  1. Optimize your social media profiles. Spend the time to complete your social media profiles to align your brand with who you are. Ensure that the basics like profile picture and other standard content are complete. You should also take advantage of attributes such as background imagery and interests or summary sections to make your identity personal, unique and differentiated.

  2. Regularly publish and share content. Publish, repurpose and reuse original content that you create. Share blogs, SlideShare presentations and video content from people and brands that you find compelling.

  3. Set goals for each social media channel. Begin with deciding how often you will publish, where you will publish, how much time you will spend to promote content and what your engagement and reach goals are. Establish a personal discipline and plan to review your goals and degree of accomplishment at least monthly, and make changes as needed.

  4. Share your knowledge and passions without the goal of reciprocity. The easiest thing to write about is your passions and what you know well. Cultivating and writing about your core interests will make the writing process easier and the output more genuine. A likely outcome will be that your audience will find you and share and contribute to the conversation.

  5. Obtain feedback. Your network will provide feedback organically and through commenting, sharing and liking behaviors. Beyond the vanity metrics, take the time to ask and listen to trusted friends and colleagues for their qualitative feedback to better understand what types of content resonates. 

  6. Ensure that your content is consumable on mobile. Your social network is on mobile. Ensure that your content is able to be accessed and consumed in the right context (time/device/place).

Statistics

  • 95% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind and 77% of them own smartphones. (Pew Research Center)

  • 81% of Millennials check Twitter at least once a day. (Social Media Today)

  • LinkedIn has more than 450 million user profiles. (LinkedIn official blog, Q4 2016)

  • 65% of video viewers watch more than 3/4 of a video. (HubSpot)

Insights

Start creating original content. In addition to finding your writing cadence and creating blogs, consider creating a video, posting it on YouTube and including it in your LinkedIn Summary section to give people a stronger sense of your brand and who you are. You can also repurpose your blogs by morphing them into SlideShare content.

Find a coach or peer mentor to assist you in optimizing your social profiles and brand building activities. Find someone with similar interest in improving their individual brand to foster a friendly collaboration and be a competitive catalyst. Progressive organizations are starting to integrate social business coaching skills into leadership development programs - your firm may have this available to leverage.

Remain authentic and transparent. Although trying something new and putting yourself out there can be daunting, you will likely find that your network will be more welcoming than anticipated. Stay true to who you are, listen to your network's feedback and find your personal voice and style.