As I’ve discussed in the past, to help build a brand for an entrepreneur, entrepreneurs should explore blogging, social networking, and creative cover letters and resumes. In this post, I’ll help to evaluate the various social networking platforms an entrepreneur can use to build a brand on:
Facebook: With Facebook, an entrepreneur can create a personal profile, a fan page, or both. With a fan page, one can have an unlimited amount of friends, but with a personal profile, they are limited to 5,000 friends.
At the very least, a fan page should be created as it allows the entrepreneur to be able to spread news about their brand or business in a non spammy way. They could use a fan page to share their latest blog posts, news about the business, or anything else to help further their brand.
A personal profile page should be created as well. This will allow for additional networking opportunities and the ability for potential partners, investors, and employees to send a private Facebook message and initiate the conversation. The page should have info on the business and some personal info about yourself – but nothing too revealing. You want to create a more “friendly, personable” face for your brand (yourself), but you don’t want to go overboard with personal information either (you can omit information about your immediate family and other specific identifying details).
Recommended for: Everyone. Facebook is quickly becoming the “official” directory of people – you want to allow people to be able to look you up on Facebook. Just make sure your profile has the information you want to convey/promote about your business and your entrepreneur brand.
Twitter: If you can to commit to at least 3-5 “tweets” or posts a week, you should be signed up on Twitter.
You should have a custom background that identifies some information about you, such as “Jane Doe, Social Entrepreneur – view my journey at www.janedoesocial.com”. Your bio should mention your entrepreneurial ambitions or the company you are trying to build.
You should have tweets that are more informative in nature – you can post messages that promote your business, but Twitter is more about information sharing and tips than just promoting one’s self.
Recommended for: Everyone who can commit to at least 3-5 tweets a week. The last thing you want is to promote yourself as having a heavy Twitter presence, then not have an update for 6 months – a dormant Twitter page can be a negative for your brand.
YouTube: If you have access to a video recording device and can make the content digital, YouTube is a great platform for an entrepreneur to show off their speaking abilities and to show additional mastery in a subject.
If you feel confident talking about relevant entrepreneurial subjects in a video format, then YouTube adds another layer to your brand as your videos will appear in Google and Google video search, as well as YouTube’s main search engine (which is the second largest search engine by volume in the US).
Not a lot of people do this (when compared to making a Twitter or Facebook account) as the work load is more difficult.
Recommended for: Anyone who feels confident creating a video talking about an entrepreneurial subject.
Myspace: If you are in the music industry, being on MySpace is important but not crucial. If not, no need to put in the effort as it’s simply not a site people use anymore for professional contacts.
Recommended for: People in the music industry.
LinkedIn: The king of all business social networks. This is where you can develop your personal entrepreneur brand because LinkedIn asks you to detail all your professional activities. LinkedIn is the first source for many people to look up fellow entrepreneurs and business people.
Beyond establishing your main profile, a LinkedIn account doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It does require occasional updates.
Recommended for: Everyone! If you are reading this and do not have a LinkedIn account – go create one now!