Written by: Brandon Lewin
Everyone is scrabbling for ways to Brand and Market their business on Social Media. You might ask yourself questions like, “Why do I need a personal brand,” and, “How do I create a strong personal brand?” There are a number of reasons why you should develop a personal brand. For one, you might not be an entrepreneur or business owner yet. You may be an individual representative or an employee of a company that has ambitions of moving up the “ladder,” or even starting your own corporation in the near future. Or you might be a college student with dreams of being an executive some day. Well, now is the time to start your Personal Brand if you haven’t done so already.
Having a Personal Brand can only help your efforts for the future whether that it’s for the short or long term. In this post, I’ll discuss very briefly some ways to create Your Brand within Social Media, how to move forward in a positive direction, and the different avenues you should take. Again, these are brief ideas. Later, I’ll provide an in-depth post on each of these different outlets.
Before we jump into everything, I would like to first explain my definition of Social Media. Social Media is the combination of every tool on the internet that allows you to be interactive with other businesses, entrepreneurs and current and potential customers; spread information to these different entities; and gather data in relation to these entities. The tools that can be used for Social Media include Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc.), Business Networks (LinkedIn), Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), Niche sites (FourSquare, Plaxo, Merchant Circle, Ning, Fast Pitch, etc.), Social Bookmarking sites(Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc.), and Blogs. All of these different sites and tools are what make up my definition of Social Media. Now with that said, you will be clear on what I mean by Social Media in this post. So, let’s get started!
The Three Amigos
There are three major Social Media sites that people are using today. The first of these Social Media sites being the ever evolving beast – Facebook. For people who have been hiding underneath a rock, Facebook has reached over 500 Million users worldwide as of recently. The second site is the very sheik and popular Twitter that has 100 million users. The third and last of these sites is LinkedIn which is the most formal of the three and reached 75 million users worldwide today. These are the most popular Social Media sites as of right now and they will only continue to move forward.
How to Use Them?
Twitter is more about giving and receiving information. For example, if you want to keep up to date on current events, see what your friends are up to, or even follow what your competitors are doing Twitter is the site for all of those things. Right now, it should be used strictly for information. I recommend putting out your thoughts or opinions, retweet useful information from your Tweeps, and tweet about information that can help others.
Now, Facebook is different. Facebook can be used to create and maintain relationships as well as providing information. Transparency is a key with Facebook because it’s more of personal connection. Another great feature is that you can gather an abundance of information as far as statistics and things that people like or dislike.
LinkedIn is similar to Facebook, but is directed primarily towards your resume and current profession. You can do all lot of great networking through LinkedIn, as well as gather information about people and network for career and business growth.
I recommend spending at least an hour a day on each site. There are a couple of sites that combine all of your profiles together. These sites include TweetDeck and Hoot Suite. I prefer Hoot Suite because it allows you to include your WordPress blog among other sites into one. When you combine everything under one roof it will improve efficiency by reducing your overall time spent managing each site, keep you more organized, and allow you be consistent with each of your updates. If that wasn’t enough, you can also schedule updates for the future. Only the information and updates should be managed through Hoot Suite. There are certain details that need to be overseen via the individual sites themselves. There is more to be used for your Personal Brand, but start with these tips.
A Positive Flow
Portraying a positive message in all your updates is extremely important. No one wants to hear about how crappy your day was or how much you hate your job. Don’t be a “Debbie Downer!” The more positive energy you put out in the universe, the more positive you will be in general.
You should consider starting a blog. It’s free and easy to do. The way to use it is first; write about things happening in your life you want to share with the world. Again, keep it positive. People can read it, comment on it, ask questions about it, and you can also have it linked to Twitter. That is how Dan Schwabel, the Founder of Millennial Branding, established his company and personal brand. Having a personal brand can only help you achieve your goals and move you up the “ladder” faster. Below is a link to a great article about Dan Schawbel that was published in Inc Magazine because he made the “30 Under 30” List. His company helps young people with their personal brand but also consults for large corporations. He has a large Twitter following and a great blog. I would suggest reading some of his posts and following him on Twitter @danschawbel.
There is a lot to chew on here, but its well worth it! The first step is the hardest, but it does get easier over time. I promise. Like Vince Vaughn’s character says in Swingers, “You’re money. You’re so money you don’t even know it!”
References to Topics in this Post:
Reference to Twitter’s 100 Million Users: http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/28/twitter-crime/
Reference to LinkedIn 75 Million Users and their First Acquisition: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/linkedin-mspoke/
Search for Tweets about Personal Branding: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Personal+Branding
Video on Social Media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng&hd=1