Social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools today. Startups, small businesses and large businesses are heavily relying on social media to build their brand and their credibility.
However, social media branding need not just be limited to organizations. Social media can act as an excellent tool for personal branding. C-Suite executives and senior managers are increasingly using social media to define themselves and build their personal brand. The increased influence among C-suite leadership resulting from such an effort widens business opportunities and simplifies relationship building with target groups, partners and other influencers.
If you have a resolution to build your personal brand by 2018 and need a schematic of how other executives have successfully done it, you will find this write-up relevant. Here are 7 social media personal branding tips for c-suite executives and senior managers.
1. Focus on your area of expertise
One of the key objectives of personal branding is to get popular as the go-to expert in your preferred area.
Having made your way up the corporate ladder, it is only natural that over time, your area of expertise has multiplied from one to many. But it is tedious to try and establish yourself as an expert in all of these areas at once.
It is always better to narrow down your skills to a maximum of three areas. Remember that there are plenty of competitors who are trying to accomplish the same goals as you. It is therefore, extremely important to come up with a hyper-specific area where you can standout, no contest. One way to identify your forte is to ask your colleagues and peers which skill of yours they would pay to develop. And then put that skill on display through your content.
2. Curate valuable content
Once you have narrowed down on your area of expertise, the next step is to make an impression on your audience by demonstrating your value. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is via content marketing.
People are always searching for information on the internet. Your posts on social media and blogs need to reflect your skills and expertise, so such people can find you.
The content you share should be unique, captivating, and carefully planned before publishing. It’s understandable if you don’t have enough time to create epic content from scratch, what with the responsibilities you have as an executive or senior manager. The great news is that you don’t have to sit around and pen down 1000 word-long blog posts for social media. You can simply share your views on existing content and curate it for your fans.
Curate the latest news that will impact industries that your fans belong to. Comment on the decision-making of big organizations. It’s also fun to occasionally share the trending GIF showcasing your personality.
Tool Recommendation: There are a number of social media management tools that can help you with content curation, but DrumUp is particularly useful because it curates keyword based recommendations, works with RSS feeds and content libraries, that you can fill with your best content.
3. Get visibility
Blogging is an effective way to generate material for social media posts. You could start your own blog, but I recommend getting featured on the best blogs in your niche. The more relevant and useful content you publish that is niche-specific, the more you grow as a trusted source of information. Ultimately, the goal is to establish your personal brand and build your reputation, by creating a sizeable and influential web-footprint.
Consider Neil Patel, for instance, who is an entrepreneur and online marketer. He helps multinational companies like Amazon, Viacom, and HP grow their revenue using the internet. He is also the co-founder of KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg, two established online marketing tools. But what’s most interesting about him is how he has demonstrated his expertise in online marketing and SEO by creating multiple blogs on online marketing, one for each of his businesses, and making them rank on the internet. His blogs, Neil Patel, CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics are extremely popular, proving that he’s an online marketing guru. Even so, he still writes for outside entities like HubSpot and SocialMediaExaminer, because they can give him access to audiences that he hasn’t tapped into yet.
4. Stay active on the right social networks
Staying active on social media channels is important. But staying active on the social media channels where you are likely to have the most engagement is much more important.
Find out which social media channels are likely to offer you the highest traffic. This is done by using analytics to measure the traffic to each of the social media channels you are active on.
Tool Recommendation: Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics tools used to track, analyze, and report website performance. It has several data analysis and reporting features that will help you boost your traffic and get to know your audience better not to mention that it is absolutely free. This tool is particularly useful if you have a website that you want to generate traffic for from social media.
The ‘network referral report’ on Google Analytics shows you the social media traffic from each of your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Another report, the ‘data hub activity’ report gives information about how the audience is engaging with your posts across social media channels such as Reddit, Meetup, and Google+.
Once you get an idea of the social media channels that drive the most traffic to your website, focus on staying active on these channels. Post regularly on such channels and when posting, include a mix of original posts and some shared content as well. It is also important to engage with your followers by responding to comments and participating in conversations. Typically, Facebook users expect a response within 24 hours while Twitter users respond within 2 hours.
Always remember being active on social media channels should not be only about marketing. This can put off your followers. Keep it to 80% social and 20% marketing.
5. Create a consistent and well structured profile across all social media platforms
Your social media profile needs to be both valuable and memorable. Consistency in your profile is extremely important for your audience to find you credible and trustworthy. Your profile across all social media channels should have the same profile photo, headlines, bio, and website links and should be consistent in color schemes, fonts, and styles. Impactful professional profiles also highlight skills, areas of expertise and achievements.
People look in several places for information and it is important that everywhere they look, they find the same profile. This helps people find and remember you easily.
Your professional profile should have a headline that makes a powerful statement about you. This is especially great for social media channels like LinkedIn and Instagram. You can even use this headline as a short twitter bio.
It is also a great idea to include some samples of your work.
For instance, take a look at the headline given in the LinkedIn profile of Eric Cole, CEO at Secure Anchor Consulting. It also includes his area of expertise, Cyber Security. His description complements the headline by explaining how he helps clients and contacts.
6. Network with other social media influencers and brands
Networking with social media influencers and brands is the quickest way to build a following. It takes time and constant effort to build a network of valuable connections from scratch, but by interacting with the right online profiles, you can get amplified, relevant visibility without investing much effort.
If you intend to build your following one person at a time, LinkedIn, the social media channel for business-minded people, is a great platform to do so. Once you establish connections with valuable members in your industry, you will start to be noticed by the people connected to the people you know. This way your network keeps growing.
For instance, if you have been looking for prominent people in the cyber security area, it shows the profiles of several people who have authority in the field as shown in the image below.
Another powerful way to build your personal brand is by interacting with other brands. This lays the foundation for a give and take relationship.
You can interact with other brands by mentioning them in your posts, sharing their content, responding to their tweets, and so on. This in turn builds your presence and increases exposure.
For instance, Tim O’Reilly, the CEO of O’Reilly Media has mentioned Google’s Pixel in one of his tweets. Tim has listed certain features he found appealing and has also given a positive mention about Google’s product.
7. Get personal
Social media users love getting to know the people they follow on a personal level. This is one of the reasons why updates, live streams, and videos that focus on what goes on behind the scenes are so popular.
Allow your followers to witness the hard work that goes into making you, you. It can be a video leading up to the preparation for a presentation, a speech, or a project. Tell people before you show up at an event through social media updates. This helps your followers to connect with you on a personal level. They are likely to follow personalities with whom they can relate better.
For instance, Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy, features vlogs on his website BobParsons.me which talk about his journey to become the CEO of a multi million dollar company. He talks about his struggles and gives out tips to become successful. Needless to say, he has a strong web presence.
Author bio: This post was written by Ronia Reji, Content Writer at Godot Media, a leading content agency.
Feature image via Pexels.com