People with strong personal brands get access to great opportunities. They stick in people's minds and are the first considered when someone needs an expert in their field. Want to unlock your personal branding potential? Here are nine ways social media can boost your personal brand:
1. Claim your name.
Claim your presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and your own personal site. Use the platforms' options to create easy links. It's better to be https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarthaJones/ than https://plus.google.com/u/082134987346048.
2. Position yourself as a thought leader.
Do you have special niche knowledge? Access to information before anyone else? Define yourself by the niche where you excel.
3. Promote colleagues in your industry.
People love to help the people who help them. When one of your colleagues posts something particularly insightful, wins a promotion or is scheduled for a big deal appearance, mention it on social media. When it's your turn to shine, those you've promoted will shine the spotlight on you.
4. Answer people's questions.
When you see someone ask a question about your industry, take a few minutes to answer. Quora, for instance, allows you to create alerts for questions that you may be able to answer. You can also search or browse Twitter looking for places where you can be of use.
5. Post frequently.
It's not enough to create a social media account. You should be posting frequently to keep yourself in front of people's eyes. Don't overdo it; more than a few posts a day will turn followers off.
6. Create visual continuity.
Use the same profile photo or photos taken in the same session on all of your social media pages. Create a color palette and use it throughout networks. The visual cues will cause people to make unconscious associations and create a stronger recognition of you and your brand.
7. Do live coverage of events.
Attending an industry conference? Tweet insightful bits from talks, photos from the convention floor and links to speakers' books and other assets. Be sure to use a consistent hashtag so people can follow the story all day.
8. Go multimedia.
Don't just post text updates. Incorporate photos, infographics and videos for a more well-rounded feed. People like visual information and will be more likely to follow you if your provide it.
9. Create a clear and consistent message across channels.
Make a list of the qualities that you want people to associate with your personal brand. Then, when you post, remember to stay on message to reinforce that brand. A personal organizer could post photos of perfectly curated closets and share blog posts about decluttering challenges.
A brand isn't built overnight. It takes time, commitment and consistency to build awareness and an audience. But, by being helpful, recognizable and creating worthwhile contributions, you can build the strength of your brand and open up a world of opportunities.