How do you build credibility among target audiences, showcase professional expertise and differentiate yourself from the competition…on social media? How do you build a professional reputation and share company content without having to censor what you talk about with family and friends?
With more and more business conversations taking place on social networks, building a professional profile is many people’s priority. However, your personal brand should reflect aspects of your personality, not just job-related interests.
Be a Personal Professional…
Key to developing a personal brand is finding ways to stand out amongst a sea of professionals looking to get their voice heard. So rather than non-stop self-promotion, it’s important to build relationships with target audiences. This means providing the same line and quality of expertise on social media that you offer when networking in person.
Think about it – when you meet someone, you don’t just talk about yourself; you ask them their opinion, see if they have insights to share and discuss thought leaders you both know and like. The same goes on social media; people will remember you not for your capacity to wax lyrical about products, but for the quality of conversation you provide. Though sharing company content is important, so is interacting with connections and drawing in expertise from third party content and relevant industry influencers.
…And a Professional Person
Social media users want to connect with other people, not with products and services. So if you are human (and we’re assuming you are), speak with your own voice and allow your individual personality to come through. Personal branding involves communicating about the work you do, but not exclusively; a profile that reflects a range of professional and personal interests gives audiences an insight into the person behind the posts.
This all begs the question – why is it in a company’s interests to encourage their employees to develop their own personal brand? Because on social media, a company’s reputation is largely defined by the people who represent it. CEOs and management teams need to set an example, but having all employees communicate about company news and activity adds not just one, but many human faces to your company.
As far as social media communication is concerned, company messaging must therefore be consistent. That way, employees can be sure that their sharing activity is not only boosting their personal brand, but enhancing the company brand. And as today’s social media audiences value transparency over most things, communicating through employee advocates as well as via company accounts is crucial to ensuring your brand messages are heard.