Whether you’re a celebrity or an influencer, chances are someone will Google your name to find out more about you. The sad truth is that what people read or see online, be it fake news or not, can easily shape their perception of you. The question is, will you allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own, or would you rather control the narrative?
In an industry where image is everything, it has, more than ever, become essential for public figures to embrace personal branding. In this article, we’ll define personal branding and how you can leverage social media to cultivate your online persona.
First Things First: What Is Personal Branding?
“Branding” used to be a term saved exclusively for businesses, but with the rise of social media, building a personal brand has become fundamental. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, puts it, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Personal branding, then, is a form of “self-packaging,” where you put in a conscious effort to influence the public’s perception of you. Done right, it can place you at the forefront of the industry and elevate your career. For celebrities and influencers, it can earn them recognition, the best brand deals, and a solid fan base.
And where else to cultivate your personal brand than at the center of it all—social media, which anyone with access to the internet uses.
How to Use Social Media for Personal Branding
The experience of building a personal brand using social media is different for everyone. Even though there’s no set blueprint, there are general steps you can take to help make your online presence more impactful. Here are some of them:
- Find the Right Platform. You don’t have to be on all social media platforms—just choose two to five, and use them to your advantage. Twitter is great for engaging your target audience in a conversation. Facebook works similarly, except with an older demographic. Instagram is a visual platform, ideal for sharing photos, videos, and text captions. These are only a few examples, but you might also want to experiment with other platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, and even LinkedIn.
- Update Your Social Media Accounts. Now that you’ve decided which social media platforms to prioritize, be sure to update your accounts accordingly, especially your contact information. This way, people will know how to reach you for opportunities like brand endorsements and sponsorships. If you have accounts you no longer use, it’s best to deactivate or delete them completely to eliminate old content that could hurt your image.
- Define Your Areas of Expertise. What areas do you want to be known for? Whether it’s fashion content, current affairs podcasts, or makeup tutorials, find an area that you’re good at and focus on it. If you’ve been creating content for a while, identify posts your followers have responded to the most and try to use a similar format for your next posts. There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced each day—that’s a lot of content. That’s why it’s essential to put out unique and engaging content that differentiates you and helps you beat the competition.
- Keep a Consistent Brand Voice, Image, and Tone. Maintain a certain level of consistency with your brand across all social profiles. For instance, if your personal blog uses warm tones, follow the same color palette on your Instagram and Facebook pages. You could also use the same profile photo and logo to serve as your identifier online. These steps will help people recognize your brand easily.
- Engage Your Audience. Forging connections with your audience does wonders for your personal brand. With today’s social media features, there are a lot of ways that you can go about this. You can ask questions, start discussions, reply to their comments, and even start a livestream where you can interact with them in real time. All of these efforts can help you build a community and earn you loyal followers.
- Diversify Your Content. Switch things up to prevent your audience from getting bored of your content. It can be helpful to create a communications strategy for your personal brand that includes an editorial calendar and a diverse content plan. Doing so limits the chances of posting the same type of content every day. It doesn’t always have to be your own content—you could also share images, videos, and articles from other content creators.
- Be Careful with the Content You Put Out. Any content that you produce, regardless of the intention, can be used against you. With that being said, it’s critical to keep a positive tone on your social media posts. Avoid making potentially offensive and divisive comments. If you find this too restrictive, consider creating different social media accounts for your public and personal life. Share your private socials to just your close friends and family and use your public profile to make new connections and obtain career opportunities.
- Connect With and Learn from Influencers. Collaborating with influencers that belong to the same niche as yours is an effective way to get your brand noticed. However, it will take time. Don’t force the process. Instead, put in the effort necessary to cultivate authentic relationships. Once you’ve zeroed in on a set of influencers, analyze their content. Identify what makes their posts appealing and observe how followers engage with their content. From the data gathered, you can pick up a thing or two that you can apply to your personal branding.
Elevate Your Brand with Synapse Reality
Creating a powerful brand online is more than just putting out content, and it’s not just giving the audience what it wants. It’s also about showcasing the most authentic and best version of yourself while letting people know what you stand for. Yes, anyone can leverage social media for their personal brand, but not everyone can do it right. This is where Synapse Research Ltd.’s team of experts come in.
At Synapse Research Ltd., we provide custom branding solutions and public image consulting services to help individuals cultivate a memorable online persona. More than that, we’ll help you make real, impactful, and lasting connections that extend outside the realm of social media.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do for you.