How to build your Personal Brand authority on social media
You don’t have to be a qualified coach to know that social media is good for business. In fact, you don’t even have to have years of experience in marketing.
The point is, we all know social media is great when it comes to engaging with our ideal audience, growing a community of loyal followers and fans, and creating brand authority online - but how do we harness that power for the benefit of our personal brand?
To answer that question, we first need to ask another. What exactly is your personal brand?
Your personal brand
Your personal brand refers to the means by which people remember you - whether they be customers, contacts, peers, or mentors.
By this, we don’t mean they way that they recall and envision your brand or business - we mean the way that they perceive you personally – emotionally, visually and virtually!
Because in its simplest form, your personal brand is the version of yourself that you present to the business world and to those who know and identify with your business. It gives that business a human face and personality that makes it relatable for the end customer, and trustworthy for peers and connections.
Personal branding is a way in which we can transfer the concept of “people buying from people” to the online world - and here’s why it’s so important.
The importance of personal brand authority
Word of mouth has long been the best and purest form of organic marketing, giving potential customers the peace of mind that your products or services can be trusted and will prove effective.
When we talk about personal branding as a business asset, we consider the links it has to word of mouth marketing - placing as much focus on your interactions with people as on the quality of your website and the value of your product. Because let’s be honest, you could have the best product in the world but if nobody buys it, it’s not much use.
Personal brand authority ticks three key boxes for each client I work with:
It defines and supports the values of your business with clarity; instils confidence and trust in connections and customers through your own knowledge; and forms an effective and memorable way of communicating with that audience.
How to build your Personal Brand authority on social media
Social media is an inherently sociable marketing tool, which is as effective (if not more so) as an engagement and direct communication platform rather than solely a marketing one.
While social media does support paid ads and advertising blocks, for the most part it is a way for brands across all industries to grow a following and find ways of reaching out to, engaging with, and enticing their ideal audience into following them, thus becoming part of their brand community.
So, how do we harness all that engagement and outreach power for the benefit of our personal brand authority?
Here are some tips to help you put your personal brand front and centre on every social platform.
Make sure you profile is professional
We begin with one of the most essential elements to promote the visual aspect of your personal brand on social media – your personal profile.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this could be no truer than when applied to the world of profile images.
Think about it - this maybe the first point of contact for a potential customer, client or employer, what would the answer be if they asked themselves:
“Can I do business with this person?”
Go beyond your bog standard job title in your biography – consider who your target audience is and what you truly offer - the way in which people may come across your talent or skill in the mammoth social media arena.
And, don’t neglect your banner image at the top of your profile (where applicable) – this is your very own ‘Internet real estate’ – and it’s free! Use this space to present what you do in a visual context.
Keep your content light and easy to consume
Social media is a place where people go to scroll, usually in their leisure time, occasionally learning but often looking for entertaining and relatable content. Posting big blocks of marketing copy or a breakdown of your day isn’t going to entice or inspire anyone.
Share quotes, titbits of insight into your day or your business, and break down the barriers which exist between your brand and your customers.
Also consider using a mix of media from image posts to short videos, infographics to gifs - all have their merit and will enhance engagement and interaction.
Provide backstage insight into your office environment or team
People buy from people, and when they can see who you work with and where you work, they will start to picture themselves interacting with that team - rather than just your brand name or logo.
It helps to humanise your brand by presenting an authentic snapshot of life behind the scenes. This will also make your brand seem more trustworthy and reliable.
Social media is all about engagement, and that means responding to comments and messages that you receive!
You wouldn’t believe how many users put a post out there and then ignore all the comments - undoing all of that hard work!
But as I’ve always said:
‘It ain’t social media if you ain’t being social'
Your social media ‘community’ want to feel appreciated and respected. Build personal brand authority by being personable.
Encourage engagement at any opportunity and always thank people if they like, comment or share your content. When you respond, you encourage people to comment more, and will find that you build a rapport with your audience.
Create partnerships with like-minded businesses and business individuals and share great stories from inside your industry
It’s not called ‘social networking’ for nothing!
A big part of building personal brand authority is showing that both you and your brand are at the forefront of the industry and have tons of knowledge, experience and value to share.
Professional networking can be a very powerful asset when developing and growing your personal brand. It enables you to widen your physical reach, enhance your credibility and build mutually beneficial relationships with your stakeholders, helping you achieve your goals!
And, if you can identify the right people and nurture those relationships, you can develop a strong and lasting network, which could benefit you for years to come.
It has for me – and still does!
This one is so important, and it doesn’t mean posting every day - just regularly enough that you start to become a reliable source of content on a regular basis.
Keep showing up, your followers need to see that you are present. Plan your content accordingly. Repetition is key, but always do so in a different and creative way.
And, remember to keep focused on your brand positioning, brand image and tone of voice.
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