The Internet has given individuals the power to create their own personal brand. We now have the opportunity to create a virtual version of “you” – where your work, your interests, and your personal life become your brand that can grow through social media. Social media strategies no longer speak solely to businesses; they speak to the individual as well.
The key to developing a personal social media strategy is defining you, the brand, both personally and professionally to create your external image. Here are five things to consider when developing your personal social media strategy:
1. What are your goals? Are you looking to be an industry thought leader? Are you trying to network to source new prospects? Are you looking to expand your network to find a new job? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself so that you can create your strategy.
2. Who is your audience? Like any business, it’s your job to identify your audience on each platform and tailor the content that you share to peak their interest. Ideally, you want to segment out different audiences in different social media platforms. Each social media platform serves its own purpose; for instance:
- Facebook is a personal platform. Though people do spend a lot of time on Facebook, they rarely make too many business connections on the platform. However, it depends on the industry that you are practicing in and the goals of your strategy. For instance, if you are hosting a community event, Facebook can be a great tool to promote and invite community members.
- Twitter is strictly news on everything and anything you can imagine via a handy-dandy hashtag. Tweets range from personal thoughts and feelings to customer support requests and breaking news.
- LinkedIn is predominately business and networking, meaning what you don’t want to discuss in your office, don’t discuss on LinkedIn.
- Google+ is a growing platform and is built off a user’s Gmail account. Many organizations use Gmail to host their work emails, and others use it for personal email accounts. That being said – people are on it and using it. The unique thing about Google+ is your ability to create circles. Circles allow you to tailor content to specific audiences, which, when used correctly, can make life much easier for you. The more organized you are within your circles, the easier it will be to send targeted content to groups.
3. What will you share? Are you planning on creating your own content or writing responses to others articles? It’s important to think these things through. Of course, it is OK to write a response to an article here and there, but depending on your goals, you may need to create your own content as well.
4. How much time will you devote to this? I can tell you, if you do not set aside time to really think through posts and engage with others, your social media plan will go south quite quickly. Social media is a virtual networking platform. If you don’t show up, you won’t gain the visibility that you desire. You must constantly connect and interact with others to ensure the success of your strategy.
5. How will you measure (and celebrate) your efforts? Yes, celebrate. When developing any strategy, it is important that you track your progress and set milestones. Perhaps success is redefined in the number of followers or re-tweets, but whatever it is, you must make sure to pat yourself on the back here and there. After that, it’s time to set your goals higher!
Social media is a tool that can make it easier to grow your online presence and can also be a viable sales and business development tool. The key is not only to define you as a brand, but also to make those you interact with part of your brand by engaging with them.