Social media is regularly utilised to promote and engage with brands. But often marketers and PR professionals neglect to promote their own personal brand alongside that of their company.
I recently attended an extremely useful training session from Sarah Castle at Think Big Training on ‘Selling Brand You’. It was a sales focused session, but the main premise can be adapted to social media, people buy from people, not companies. The same is true online
Why is ‘brand you’ important in social media???
Brand you is important in any environment, not just because people buy from people, but also because people employ people…you might be doing an amazing job of producing your company’s Twitter feed and contributing to the company blog – but your potential clients and potential employers want to see the personality behind the brand as well, and that’s you. Here are four quick tips to ensure that you are making the most of your social media presence:
- Even if you manage your company Twitter feed, make sure that you have one of your own. This can be slightly more informal, to highlight your personality, but should still have some focus on your professional life and not too much detail on your personal! (Try and keep just one of your social networking sites as entirely personal, there can be some crossover but it is nice to have somewhere that is just for socialising with friends …I use Facebook for this)
- Make sure that you keep the social networking sites that you use for your personal networking exactly that, personal. Use the privacy settings to ensure that only people you are friends with can see the content – you don’t want potential clients or employers to see you drunk, passed out under a chair with obscenities scrawled all over your face in permanent marker courtesy of your ‘friends’ (not something that has ever happened to me I hasten to add….), it’s not a good look and probably not quite demonstrating the type of passion and commitment that they are looking for.
- If you contribute to your company blog and enjoy doing so, why not set up a blog of your own. It still needs to have an element of professionalism in it, and it needs to be interesting and engaging. If you are lucky, your company might let you write a blog for the company, but with you as the figurehead and this can work just as effectively and more efficiently than having two blogs – as long as you are clear where the ownership for that blog lies; with you or with your employer.
- Your LinkedIn profile should include reference to your current company and your work there, but it should primarily be about you as an individual. It is your online CV, not your companies, that’s what a company website is for. Make sure your tagline refers to your expertise, not your current position within your company…that is all included in your employment history. Your past work experience can also include some reference to how your work has developed you as a person, as well as the specific tasks you carried out. Use the links to promote your own Twitter feed as well as your company’s, and if you have your own online ventures or blogs, include those too.
These pointers are not just important if you are thinking of changing jobs, they are important if you are looking to sell your company as well…a company is only as good as the people it employs, potential leads will want to know more about you before they decide if they want to work with you as well as your company.
Hopefully this post has encouraged some of you to go out into the world wide web and shout about…you!!