Want to be remembered? Want to make your online presence stronger and bolder? Want to build your personal brand, but not sure where to start? Follow these five simple steps and you'll be building your social media footprint in no time.
1. Position Yourself As An Expert
What knowledge do you have and on what topics? What did you study in school? What field do you have expertise in? Keep these questions in mind when you are using social media. You can't be an expert on everything, and the more specific you are, the more relevant you'll become on the web. People will enjoy the depth of your knowledge and associate you with certain fields, and in turn value your opinion on these issues when you discuss them online. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you're not sure where to start, ask your friends and family. You'll get a good sense of what they appreciate about you.
2. Don't Engage in Too Much Self-Promotion.
Communication, whether it is online of offline cannot be a one way street. Just think of the last time you had a conversation where the other person didn't let you even make a peep or didn't ever ask you how you felt about anything they were talking about. That's the worst. Don't be that person.
No one wants to speak to someone who's constantly campaigning for themselves. You can promote your writing, opinions and ideas, but don't forget to do the same for your followers. Ask them how they feel about certain issues, respond to them, promote their writing and let them know that you are listening to them too.
Nonetheless, you'll never be able to answer to everyone. As your brand grows, you might not be able to respond to every single comment/concern/tweet/message and that's totally fine. It's healthy to pick and choose who you want to engage with. Don't ever never feed your trolls. No matter how big or small you are. They will never help you grow.
3. Be Your Own Awesome Self.
Nobody likes to hang out with boring old cookie cutters. People want to know your opinions on serious issues, but they will also appreciate that you are a full human-being with your own unique humor and personality. Let your true self shine! Again, communicating online and offline aren't that different. Your friends like to know about your embarrassing moments on the treadmill as much as your views on immigration reform. When building your brand, remember all of the stuff that makes you really special and don't forget to showcase it.
4. Stay On Top Of Things.
Share relevant content on a regular basis. You can take the weekend off Twitter and Facebook, but don't stay away for too many days at a time. If you do, you risk losing your influence and when you're back, you'll need to start digging your social media footprint all over again. Don't let all the ground you've already made go to waste. Don't let people forget who you are!
5. Adapt to Your Audience.
Any communication you have with your audience is extremely valuable because it's really good feedback. Look at your retweets, your shares and your comments. What are your followers telling you? What are they telling you that they like? Whatever they're voicing, you need to listen. Have you noticed that some content is particularly interesting to your followers? Why do they love it so much? How can you do more of it?
If people love to see your personal photos, you can use Instagram to promote your brand more often (as long as you're comfortable doing that). If people are enjoying your inspiring quotes or personal stories, you might want to share that type of content more often too. Try and make assessments of your performance regularly and make sure you learn from your audience. Again, if you're getting negative feedback from people who aren't your target audience, you can take that as a sign that you're writing is having its intended impact (it's striking a cord with the right people). If you're received some criticism from inside your field, you may want to take that seriously and think about how the ways it may be affecting your brand.