Now that you have crafted your personal brand statement, begun to analyze your competitors, and started to reengineer your digital presence, let’s talk about choosing the right social channel to capture your story and make your personal brand shine.
While publishing across platforms (and linking them together!) is a great way to build your online presence, depending on your niche and professional goals, having a specific focus on the right one can positively elevate the experience your audience and peers have with your personal brand and increase the all important engagement.
Every social channel has its own distinguishing features, from preference of content, to audience size and their attention span, tone and scope. Think about which channel your target audience is on, leverage how active and engaged they are based on data like audience demographics and traffic generation, and then choose the best platform for YOU and your personal brand.
According to Jayson DeMers there are 3 major content types:
- Written: Written content is flexible content – it can be linked to, modified for status updates, and can be altered to fit various formats and network guidelines. It persists as the touchstone for business contexts.
- Visual: Visual components from images to infographics provide a compelling ways to captivate the audience.
- Video: Video has made its way from the entertainment industry into the field of business. To capture and appeal to audiences as an alternative to long-form written content, video uses sensory details to tell powerful, thought-provoking stories.
Content creation is indispensable in building your personal brand via social media. Therefore, knowing what kind of content you prefer and what you are good at creating helps you to choose the right social channel.
Now onto the platforms…
The power of networking is remarkable, and LinkedIn certainly testifies to this within an arena of professionals where major decision makers are actively engaging with connections. In addition to highlighting your experience, skills, and gathering recommendations, LinkedIn allows you to publish and showcase your recent work. This means that it can be your all-in-one network, if you are a busy professional already trying to manage the work-life balance.
We live in a networked community, where who you know has the capacity to influence your access to resources, connections to a new job, or even going on a date. But your personal network can certainly start to tell a story about who you are without you even realizing it too. This hidden bias in algorithms means it’s critical that your connections in this work oriented space positively reflect who you are!
Facebook is by far the most popular social network. With over a billion and a half monthly active users and and the ability to target a number of demographics all at once, Facebook serves as an effective advertising platform to promote posts. We like to think of our Personal Branding Video featuring Bigfoot as a particularly stellar example – one boost, and we garnered more than 10,000 views for under $100. But even more than that, Facebook is an open, engaging channel to showcase your personality.
We recommend a 40/60 ratio when highlighting personal, authentic experiences and drawing connections to your industry. The ability to build traffic off social shares, and as a basis to utilize relevant keywords, search engines love it, helping you climb to the top of the page!
With a large user base, comes a news feed that can seem far too crowded with junk. Meaning, it requires noteworthy content crafting skills if you want to stand out. The latest algorithm emphasizes video, so this may be your perfect avenue if you enjoy producing such content.
Twitter is a great channel to position yourself as an expert in a central discussion. It allows you to follow and intercept trends, topics, and hashtags pertaining to your industry – while simultaneously gaining popularity when doing so.
Keeping up with Twitter means keeping up with customer-focused updates and the broader conversation. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are let loose on the platform. As simple as it is to send out a great tweet, it’s just as easy to get lost in the noise. Targeting people, keywords, and hashtags can help you stay in and on top of the loop!
Show vs. tell. Creating something beautiful is addictive and engaging. If you find yourself drawn to capturing and creating aesthetically appealing content that aligns with your niche, Instagram may be the domain for you to shine. An avenue and driver of high engagement – especially among female influencers – it can bring color to your everyday life as you walk around waiting and being surprised by those awesome moments to capture. It also syncs well to Facebook and Twitter!
Visibility. Unless they know to look for you, or you’ve curated quite the following, it might be hard to find you. Although Instagram is currently looking to implement a relevancy algorithm so that we’ll all see the best 30% of content out there.
With a sizeable user base, and much lower competition, Google+’s Communities, Trending Data, and Hangouts can be used to foster discussion about the latest: new technologies, product launches, and more. It also doesn’t hurt that it really contributes to your SEO!
Sometimes people wonder “why Google+?” in the first place – who even uses it and what is it worth? Evidence is a lack of engagement among the masses in comparison to platforms like Facebook, yet it still serves as a network worth getting to know!
Now we always love a good blog, and the ones that we really love we tend to revisit again and again for inspiration and insight. This is because blogs provide in-depth content and insight under a specific topic. If you stick with it, and offer a unique, real experience, people will keep coming back. It is a space that can capture who you are, what you mean, and position you as an influencer in the community. Visual layout and easy navigation are also extremely important!
Creating and maintaining an engaging blog can be time consuming. You have to devote time, effort, and energy to ensure it is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and then consistently add to it so that it continues to evolve and grow. Are you up for the task?
Consider other channels like Pinterest, SlideShare, Tumblr, and YouTube to craft and share your work as well. Dependent on your target audience and interests, these spaces may offer excellent ways to interact and influence.
Get started with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule posts and manage all of your accounts. Check out our full list in our previous post on Personal Branding Tools for great content, measurement, and visual instruments that will help make personal branding even easier for you.
So, now we ask: What is important to your personal brand when choosing and focusing on a social network? Is it something you can truly integrate into your life so that it doesn’t feel like a hassle or burden?
Pick your platform(s), love your platform(s) and don’t ever. Stop!
Until next time!
Andrea Rocha, Digital Marketing Specialist at Delightful Communications