Social media allows us to connect with professionals and amazing people all over the globe. Millions of people use networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect daily and build their personal and business brands. However, there are three things that few people mention when it comes to using social media for personal branding.
- If you are not a people person in real life, you are probably not going to do very well on social media. Contrary to what you may have been told, social media is not about advertising or even technology. The core of social media is the ability to build relationships. Social media is about people. If you do not like people, enjoy connecting with people, have the ability to understand what people are attracted to, etc., you are going to have a very difficult time building your personal brand online without professional help. The rules of engagement online are the same as those in person. Therefore, if you are pretty horrible with the in-person rules, you are bound to violate relationship-building etiquette online.
- Hiring a professional to manage your social media accounts can be risky. Your online and in-person persona must be in alignment to build and maintain a strong brand. Social media users are like bloodhounds that can easily sniff out personal brand inconsistencies. If you hire a firm or assistant to help you they must understand your brand, have the ability to speak in your voice online, and be kept up to date on your activities. Otherwise, they may post erroneous information, take a stand on a controversial topic that you don’t agree with (and likely would even want to address), or post items that are inconsistent with your brand. Be sure to do your homework and ask any professional social media manager(s) for references, past case studies and about their approach. If they do not ask you extensive questions about your brand, move on.
- You will never learn everything you need to know about social media. Social networks are consistently updating in an attempt to stay competitive, relevant, and to increase advertising dollars for their stake holders. For this reason, information that is valid today may be incorrect tomorrow. Simply subscribe to feeds of two to three of your favorite social media blogs and check regularly for major updates.
Crystal Washington is a social media marketing strategist, speaker, co-founder of Socialtunities—a social media instruction brand that trains Gen Ys-Boomers on the strategic use of social media, and the author of The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business. She is hired by corporations and associations around the globe to provide keynotes, workshops, and webinars.