Personal Branding Tips and Tricks
The middle of fall is always a busy time on social media — from networking with potential employers to documenting football games and other social events, there are tons of posts to scroll through. In a season where social media content is everywhere, it is essential that we use our platforms to differentiate ourselves in the professional world by creating a unique and authentic personal brand. Here are some tips on how to use social media to leverage yourself professionally.
Focus only on social media platforms you are keeping up with
A good first step when monitoring your personal brand is to go through and delete any old social media accounts that you are no longer using. This may include accounts that you set up in the past and forgot about. A great way to do this is by googling your name and looking through the resulting pages. If you find old, inactive accounts, log on and delete them so that all online content with your name is updated and representative of your current self. The same goes for cleaning up old content on your current accounts — make sure what is already online is representative of your authentic, current self.
Create consistency across your platforms
While it is okay to use each social media account for a unique purpose, avoid being a completely different person on each of them. Even though you may post and share various types of content depending on which social media platform you are using, make sure you are still identifiable across them. Some good ways to do this include using a consistent handle, profile picture and bio across your social platforms. When using LinkedIn, your profile picture and bio should focus on professional content and may be different than the rest of your social media profiles, but you can still create consistency by creating a vanity URL for your account. This will change the URL of your LinkedIn account to your name, rather than a long, complicated series of letters and numbers, so that you are easier to find and identify. Your URL can be edited under Public Profile Settings from your LinkedIn account.
Connect with brands and influencers within your field
Social media is a great place to make connections and showcase your interest in your field. By following influencers and brands that you are interested in or may want to work for, you can keep up to date on what they are doing, display your interest in the field, and make professional connections that may benefit you later. When making connections on LinkedIn, you can attach a message when making a connection request. If you are interested in networking with an individual, you can use this to ask them for advice or to schedule a brief meeting with them. Reaching out to Clemson alumni in your field of study is also a great idea — many of them are happy to help Clemson students.
Document, document, document (NOT create, create, create)
There is no specific type or amount of content that you have to post on social media, but if you want to keep your followers updated on your life, it can seem exhausting to consistently create content for your social media accounts. A great way to get around a content “dry spell” is by focusing on documenting what you already do and enjoy, rather than creating something new. If you are especially good at cooking, you may want to post pictures of some of your recipes. If you are an artist, you might post pictures of your art. If you go to Clemson football games, it takes only a few seconds to get a picture or video while you are there that you can then post. Generating content within your daily life is much easier and more sustainable than always looking for new things to add to your profiles. It also makes your accounts more authentic and representative of your real self.
Putting effort toward personal branding is a great way to leverage yourself by showcasing your personality and interests to friends, professional connections and potential employers. By following these tips, you can begin using your social media accounts to create an authentic and engaged online presence. Happy branding!
By: Anna Hardymon