Are you familiar with our latest article about building your personal brand with Facebook and Twitter? If not, check that out first: Personal branding – role of social media in building one. If yes, we imagine that you’re eagerly waiting for the second part (that’s our hope, at least). We’re not going to keep you in suspense any longer – here it comes!
Who would know more about building a personal brand if not the people who are actually involved in it every single day? We’re talking about the influencers connected directly to the world of technology and marketing. We know people who’ve learned first hand that personal branding is not a piece of cake – and we talked to them about it in social media. The outcome is below.
Facebook vs Twitter = battle unresolved
The first thing we did was ask our influencers which platform they would choose for building their personal brand if they had to start right here, right now. If you’re already hoping for a clear and final answer, we’re sorry to disappoint – it’s a bit more complicated than that. Perspectives and opinions are very diverse when it comes to this topic.
Ian Cleary (Founder of RazorSocial blog and initiator of the Razor Social Community – you can join his free 4-part video training series about Social Media here!) would choose Facebook “because there are over 1.3 billion people on Facebook and it has amazing targeting options through Facebook ads. Also I like being able to connect my website traffic to Facebook as an audience I can retarget with ads”.
So… Facebook rocks?
While Ian’s choice is Facebook, Lukasz Zelezny, who is SEO Speaker and Social Media Consultant as well as head of organic acquisition at uSwitch.com, would “definitely go with Twitter. Its quick, slick, and short. All I need. And there is less of “my cat” or “my dinner” photos.”. Also Lilach Bullock, the highly influential entrepreneur and Social Media Marketing Expert, casts her vote for Twitter. In her words, “Twitter is an amazing platform for building a brand from scratch” and “it’s a much better platform for engaging with your customers and potential customers”. In her opinion “Facebook is constantly making it more and more difficult to get your brand posts in people’s updates”.
Two of our influencers, Dan Purvis – Founder and Director of Communications Axis Marketing Agency and Polyanna Ward – Social Media Manager at Mondelez International, conditions their decisions on a variety of factors and does not want to decide on one platform. Dan recommends “both platforms but with specific time spent on two primary activities: on Facebook, join and get involved in the right Groups to help drive conversations, traffic, and credibility; on Twitter, the time should be spent on identifying and engaging with your target audience and the most relevant influencers”. In the opinion of Polyanna, Facebook is “great for getting into your close friends and family’s newsfeeds and sharing your achievements for example, but when it comes to opinion pieces it’s hard to get a big discussion going.”. Her choice would be Twitter though “because of the ability to follow people in your industry without the awkward sending of a friend request.”.
Go out of your area, but stay real.
What really matters in building your personal brand is to be yourself and trustworthy in what you do, publish, and discuss. Lukasz Zelezny claims that one, first of all, needs to be an expert in their area – then can be remembered for “sharing knowledge they can execute and utilize”. Being a person who “is famous because is famous” may affect your personal brand, and not necessarily in a positive way.
Polyanna also gets our attention on figuring out what you want to talk about and to realize what you want to be known for. At the same time she also tries “to not box myself into just #socialmedia” and her approach also reflects in Lukasz’ advice of “going out of the industry bubble” and sharing your opinion across channels that aren’t strictly related to your area of interest. Of course you need to be careful about what and where you publish or discuss, but being open-minded and involved in topics around your professional area may be really useful in building not only your brand, but also your business network.
Content is king!
You may have already heard it, and your opinion in it doesn’t really matter – content is king and you should pay your attention to it. Our influencers know about the power and potential of creating and distributing content. Ian’s advice is to “provide content that stands out – less content but better quality”. Even if it seems to be obvious for you, there are still tons of people who forget about it and prepare mediocre content.
Dan considers not only sharing your own content to be important, but also “sharing the right content from the right people” – so once again we would like to draw your attention to everything you publish and share. Sometimes things you like personally are not suitable to be put on your professional profile, which has to be consistent, natural, and trustworthy.
Engagement matters in personal branding.
Engagement is the success indicator of your personal branding activity. For Lilach, it’s actually engagement that is “the key to social media success”. To achieve success in building a personal brand on social media, it’s worth being “as active as possible on a daily basis and try to find opportunities to interact with other users”. From Dan’s point of view, “you really have got to get involved in conversations, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone”.
One way or another, if you decide on building a brand, you must accept a lot of things connected to it. He also provides us with some examples of good practices with building your brand on Twitter: “Track hashtags relevant to your brand and join in the buzz, follow the right influencers and try to get on their radar by having conversations with them, and use Twitter Advanced Search to find people talking about the challenges you solve so you can provide advice.”
By engagement, it doesn’t only have to mean interaction with users. It also includes interacting between influencers in order to support each other’s activity – so get involved in building your network. Lilach claims that “this can give you a big boost in credibility as well as a boost in social media activity.” Building relations with influencers is essential for your personal brand. “This will be repaid 100 times over in the future, ” Ian says.
Your clock is always ticking!
You need to keep an eye not only on what you publish, but also on how quick you react. Polyanna admits that “the speed at which we can communicate and share ideas makes me really appreciate the digital era that we live in.” It’s hard to disagree – the speed of digital makes all communication quick, leaving no mercy for late replies. People want replies here and now, and they forget the context quickly. That is why Dan’s opinion is nothing but true: “replying quickly to mentions, thanking people for following or RT’g etc., and being seen to react quickly will help show that you care.” If you reply, you care. If you care, you are a step ahead your competitors, who don’t pay attention to replying as much as they should.
Here at Sotrender, we know that time really matters – that is why we provide our users with the ability to monitor the timing of their reactions in social media as well as taking a look at their competitors’ (brands or influencers) time taken to react, follow, or avoid some practices. Give us a try at www.sotrender.com!
Tools may be your blessing.
Our influencers make note of the important role of social media tools in planning your personal branding activity. There are a couple of useful apps on the market that can make your social media life a lot easier. Lukasz Zelezny says “utilize social media automation. You can (e.g.) automatically build lists on twitter according to specific tags.” And Lilach shares some advice to think about “a good tool that will help you manage your social media” in the first place. What is another advantage of this solution, in her opinion? “You will also be able to see your analytics and insights so you can improve your social media strategy.” You can give a few tools a try and see which one works best for you – our top choices for useful tools to building a personal brand are coming soon!
Take your time.
Rushing never helped anyone. You need to put effort into building your personal brand and spend time on creating a strategy, good and valuable content, as well as investing in self-development. You also need to be aware that results may not come as soon as you want them to. It may take some time until you become a real influencer in your field. Polyanna Ward has her own way of developing her brand – “I take the time each morning and evening to read up as much as I can so that I can be credible in my opinions“.
As you can see, creating your own and strong personal brand is time and effort consuming: you need to plan some things, remember about others, implement solutions and rules, and control them constantly. Isn’t it worth it though? Look at all of the people who gave you some advice. They are known in their fields, but they never gave up working on their own professional appearance. That is the thing about personal branding – it’s a never ending project!
We promised it wasn’t the last part of our Personal Branding Guide. The 3rd article, including a description of the tools which could come in handy for preparing your activities in the field of personal branding, as well as some general Tips & Tricks for that, will be released very soon. Stay tuned!