6 Steps to Use Social Media for Your Personal Brand
You might be a pro at Facebook, a top-tier Instagrammer, or a Twitter user with hundreds of followers. However, you can use your social media accounts to get the job you want, even if you’re not as active on them as you’d like to be.
It’s true! You can use your social media profiles to create a personal brand that will get the right kind of attention from potential employers, and can even lead you to the career of your dreams, as long as you know how to use it correctly.
Social media is a powerful tool that can make or break your job hunt. It can help you mastermind a personal brand that will convince employers to beg you to join their team, or it can be the reason why you never get called back after a stellar interview.
In fact, every public social media profile you have, profile picture you display, and clever gif you post on your newsfeed come together to create who you are online. In other words, you already have a living, breathing personal brand – you just may not know it yet.
In today’s technologically-advanced world, employers always research applicants online. They’ll look for you using search engines as well as on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other popular social platforms. They want to see who you really are, and if you exist in any way on the internet, employers will inevitably find out.
But don’t be scared! You don’t need to swear off Twitter or never use the Google again. Developing an online presence using social media is actually one of the best, easiest and most cost-effective methods you can develop a personal brand with that will get you hired.
It’s surprisingly straightforward to make a personal brand that you can be proud of. It only takes a few social media steps to make an online presence that you can be confident will help, not hinder, your job hunt.
Keep reading for six simple steps to using social media to craft the right personal brand for you.
1. Have a Vision for Your Personal Brand
Establishing a personal brand is a lot like making a map. Knowing who you want to be to employers is crucial to knowing where to go, and figuring out how to get there.
Take the time to really sit down and figure out what you want your personal brand to look like. It’s your first impression online, and what your employers are going to be searching for. Establishing a vision is the first step to creating a brand that makes you irresistible to your ideal employer.
When you’re narrowing down who you’re going to be online, ask yourself the following:
What kind of person is my ideal employer looking to hire?
What kind of professional do I want to be?
What are my top three assets?
The answers to these questions will form the vision for your personal brand. From there, you can draw a map that can help you achieve your branding goal.
For example, if you want to get hired by a hip advertising agency, you might decide that the employer will be looking for forward-thinking professionals. So try envisioning yourself as a cutting-edge marketing leader and strategic analyst who works best in teams.
Your profile picture should reflect this persona, as well as the bio you write in LinkedIn or Twitter. Even things such as the pages that you ‘like’ on Facebook reveal a lot about your interests and hobbies. If your profile shows that you ‘like’ pages such as “LOL Fail Pranks” and “Hot Chicks That Party”, your future employer may see that and think twice about where your priorities are! You must strategize all aspects of your social media presence and pay attention to those details.
2. Draw a Map to Achieve Your Goals
Now that you have your vision in place, the next step is to draw a map so that you can achieve your personal brand efficiently. Having a clear plan in place will save you time and resources, and will prevent potential missteps that will slow down your progress.
Write down every aspect of your brand and work backwards in detail. Make sure you can answer, “Yes,” to each of these questions before you move on to the next step:
Can I create a step-by-step to-do list to accomplish each part of my plan?
Do I think my plan is logical and realistic?
Will I be able to complete my plan in a timely fashion?
Does my plan make it easier for me to get my dream job?
3. Pick the Right Social Media Platform
When you have a vision and plan in place, you’re ready to choose the social media platforms that will help create your personal brand. But regardless of whether you pick Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or a combination of platforms, make sure that you’re being selective.
It’s important to only concentrate on the platforms that your ideal employer will look for you on. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll waste your time posting to places that don’t matter, or you’ll simply burn out from trying to maintain too many accounts at once.
If you’re more professionally-oriented, using a mix of LinkedIn and Twitter may be right for you. On the other hand, you may find that your employers have a large Instagram following or well-maintained Facebook page. Pick whatever social media platforms your employers are using, and then commit to maintaining those accounts well.
4. Craft or Share Compelling Content
Once you focus on a few social media platforms, start crafting compelling content like blog posts that your ideal employers would want to read. Your content should be engaging, valuable or helpful to the reader.
For more information about how to start and maintain a blog, check out these articles:
Content also includes your daily posts to social media. All the content you’re posting on social media helps form your personal brand, and it’s the content employers will find when they’re researching you. Make sure that you’re putting out content and a personal brand that demonstrate what an outstanding asset you’d be to a business.
But not to worry – if you don’t have time to create this content, you can always share content from thought leaders in your field! Do a bit of research to find out who the most influential bloggers in your field, and share their articles or posts.
5. Don’t Forget the Visuals
When you’re crafting content, it’s also vital to remember the importance of visuals when it comes to creating a personal brand. Pictures, photos, and graphics are incredibly helpful in highlighting features that you want to show off, no matter what industry you’re in.
Have a professional headshot that’s the same across all your social media accounts. You can also show off your visual skills and attention to detail by attaching relevant, high-resolution, attractive photographs or images to your social media posts, as well. Again, sharing content from others who post visually appealing content is also a great strategy!
6. Have a Call to Action for Your Personal Brand
Finally, make sure you always have a call to action that will lead employers to contact you. You want to make it easy for someone to look at your social media account, and be able to find out how to contact you. Encourage them to contact you by linking your social media profiles to your website or resume.