In recent years, building one's professional image has created a lot of buzz around the need to have a personal brand. Turns out, everyone has a personal brand, whether you realize it or not: Your personal brand is the reputation for you or your business. It is the image that conveys who you are.
Individuals use various media to promote their personal brand, including social networks. Alyssa Barnett was the cohost of a recent NYWICI Twitter chat that discussed the topic Social Networks for Personal Branding. Alyssa is a social media content strategist for Hunter Public Relations, and she manages the social strategy and channels for her CPG clients. She is also a member of the NYWICI Young Professionals Committee.
Here are Alyssa’s tips on how to use social media for personal branding.
Why is it important to think about your personal brand on social media?
According to a 2016 study from Career Builder, 60% of businesses investigate the social media accounts of potential employees. Your profiles can either strengthen your candidacy or hurt it. Why not give yourself a bigger edge in a competitive job market?
What kind of benefits can you gain from public social media profiles?
Expanding your network is definitely a big benefit. It really helps to get opportunity knocking! If someone is doing a search for professionals with your skills and your social media profile reflects that, you could get the opportunity of a lifetime via a DM.
What are the top three things you need to keep in mind?
1. Consistency (of your message, username and tone)
2. Clarity (can anyone understand what you're trying to say? For example, don't use acronyms that only people in your organization or industry use)
3. Personality (you should be professional — but not boring!)
Are there any topics you should avoid discussing on your social media profiles?
Unless your profession really calls for it, it's best to avoid hot topics like religion and politics. You don't want to lose future opportunities to heated public arguments or unnecessary discrimination.
Can your personal brand extend beyond your own channels?
Absolutely! Whether it's writing a guest blog or getting involved with an organization you feel passionate about, their mention of you on social media gives you credibility.
What is your favorite social media channel?
My favorite channel is definitely Instagram. I’m a very visual person and photography has always been a passion of mine. My second favorite is LinkedIn because it’s such a great place to organize the connections I make.