Everyone understands the importance of social media for business promotion and growth. However, many people don’t realize social media is also essential for building your personal brand.
Personal branding is crucial across all industries, helping to increase sales, build trust and strengthen your company’s reputation. Social media plays a significant role in personal branding efforts, so most executives, CEOs and founders regularly post on two to five social media networks.
Before launching a personal branding social media campaign, examine where your target audience spends time online. Ensure you’re on networks they’ll see to maximize your visibility.
Social media networks to use for personal branding
Here’s a look at 11 social channels to explore for personal branding.
Facebook is a popular social networking platform where users post comments and share various content types, including photos and news.
If you’re exploring Facebook for personal branding, keep the following tips in mind:
- Post regularly. Keep your audience interested by sharing regular updates. Posting once a day is ideal, but at least three times a week may be more manageable.
- Conduct Facebook Live Q&A sessions. Once in a while, host a Facebook Live Q&A. These livestream presentations can help build your personal brand, increase your follower count, and boost engagement with customers and prospects.
- Invite people to like your Facebook page. Inviting people to like your Facebook page is an easy way to add followers.
- Run ads on Facebook. Take advantage of Facebook’s advertising offerings. With Facebook ads, you can target your demographic by gender, age, location and more.
- Comment and engage on the platform. It’s essential to engage with your Facebook community by liking and regularly commenting on quality content to build your following.
Other Facebook marketing tools that can help you build your personal brand include Audience Insights, Facebook Ad Library and the Facebook experiments tool.
Twitter is a powerful personal branding tool for startup founders. To build your personal brand on Twitter:
- Stay active. Being active on Twitter every day is a good rule of thumb. One to five posts a day will increase your audience engagement dramatically.
- Follow others. Following people is one of the best ways to gain followers. It’s a good idea to follow at least two people a day in your industry when you’re starting on the network.
- Participate in chats. Another way to increase your following is to participate in Twitter chats or pertinent threads.
LinkedIn is an absolute must for any professional building their personal brand. Some tips include:
- Create a profile. Create an individual profile to let others know who you are. Connect with influential people in your industry to network on LinkedIn.
- Create a company profile. You should also create a business profile on LinkedIn for your company and add it to your personal profile.
- Join LinkedIn groups. Join relevant LinkedIn groups to connect with others in your industry. This will expand your connection network.
- Post articles. You can also post original articles on LinkedIn to establish your credibility and expertise.
- Post consistently and often. LinkedIn advises those starting out to post quality content twice a week. Build up to three to five posts weekly as you gain traction, but it’s always better to post fewer high-quality posts than frequent low-quality posts.
IWhen posting, be transparent and authentic. Humility and gratitude are excellent character traits to demonstrate in your posts.
Instagram is a visual platform, so use photos, videos and descriptive text captions to conduct your personal branding strategy. Some tips include:
- Show your personal and business sides. Create an Instagram account that blends your personal and business life. Using Instagram for business expands your company’s reach and engagement, but you also want to include posts that showcase you personally.
- Post frequently. Business owners should try to post on Instagram once or twice a day.
- Use hashtags. Harness the power of hashtags to help others discover your content. This generates new Instagram followers who may become paying customers. However, be careful not to overuse hashtags; you don’t want to be perceived as spam. Try to stay within five to 12 hashtags.
- Interact on Instagram. Be sure to like and comment on others’ content to increase your following.
Instagram posting best practices include consistent posting, not over-posting, posting only quality content and telling stories via the Instagram stories feature.
Founders of businesses catering to millennials and Gen Zers can use Snapchat as a powerful storytelling tool when building their personal brand. Some tips include:
- Create a Snapchat story. Post pictures, videos and captions to craft a narrative that lasts 24 hours on your Snapchat story. Posting content daily will keep your brand fresh in your followers’ minds. Update your Snapchat story about three times daily, every four or five hours.
- Try an account takeover. Increase your followers by having an influencer take over your account for the day, or you can take over another account. Promote the takeover to their followers and yours.
- Promote your Snapchat. Promote your Snapchat account on other marketing channels so your existing audience knows where to find you.
Executives can use Quora to demonstrate their industry expertise, build credibility and elevate their personal brand. Some tips include:
- Post consistently. There is no set rule for how often you should post on Quora, but it’s vital to be consistently active. Try to answer questions, leave comments and upvote others’ answers at least three days a week.
- Focus on a niche. Focus on positioning yourself in one niche so people will know what to expect and want to follow you.
- Ask good questions. Gain exposure by asking insightful questions that resonate with people.
Crunchbase is an excellent platform if your business is growing, particularly if you are a tech company and want to be visible to potential investors. Some tips include:
- Establish a social media presence first. You’ll need an account on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook before you can set up your Crunchbase account.
- Fill out your profile. Fill out your profile completely, including a detailed bio, events you’ve contributed to and press references. While Crunchbase is not a platform where users post, you can edit your profile anytime to keep it fresh.
Medium is an online publishing platform where users read and write articles. The website allows anyone to create content and establish their brand as an industry expert without dealing with the details involved in setting up a blog. Some tips include:
- Focus on a theme. Use Medium to publish content focused on a theme related to your brand or business.
- Be consistent. Plan a consistent content schedule – whether once a week or once a month – to stay relevant and grow your audience.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform that is a good choice for influencers and product creators. The main goals are to drive traffic to your site, store all original pins and appear credible and knowledgeable. Some tips include:
- Set up a business account. Start growing your personal brand on Pinterest by setting up a business account, which is necessary to track analytics.
- Confirm your website. Confirm your website so your Pinterest picture will appear on all pins from your site automatically.
- Be consistent. Pin consistently to build your personal brand and increase website traffic. Pinning a handful of times daily or every other day will be more effective than mass pinning once a week.
Consider Pinterest’s advertising options to reach a highly targeted audience. Options include promoted pins, carousel ads and product-rich pins.
YouTube’s platform allows you to create a channel and post video content like vlogs to build your personal brand. Some tips include:
- Post videos based on your brand. Be sure to define your personal brand first, and publish videos based on your interests and profession. For example, if you’re a marketing expert, consider sharing videos that focus on specific marketing niches, such as the benefits of email marketing.
- Be consistent. As with other social media channels, posting consistently on YouTube will provide the best results. If possible, post once a week. If this isn’t realistic, you can post every two weeks.
TikTok generally caters to a younger audience, so if your personality and brand fit with the platform, consider it a tool for personal branding. Some tips include:
- Focus on your unique brand. With TikTok, you don’t have to pay for targeting or go out of your way to reach your audience. TikTok’s algorithm places content in front of likely audiences, so it’s an excellent tool if you’re just getting started.
- Be authentic. TikTok is a varied, unique platform, so being your authentic self will serve you well. No need to dance – unless you want to.
Tips for building a personal brand on social media
Consider the following tips for building a personal brand on social media regardless of the channel:
- Automate your content. Building your personal brand through social media can be tedious and time-consuming. Use social media automation tools such as Sprout, Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts ahead of time. While prewriting evergreen content and automating your social media posts can save you time, be sure to make some topical posts.
- Reuse your content. You don’t have to write a new post from scratch every time. Try repurposing existing content to modify it for different networks. This can save you time and effort when posting on multiple platforms.
- Keep all social media accounts current. Ensure your social media profiles are up to date and accurate. Delete any social media profiles you don’t use to funnel all followers to your newest profile and content. If you have any low-quality or otherwise questionable posts from years ago, delete them to help manage your online reputation.
- Post regularly. Social media requires consistent attention, so schedule posts using a social media calendar – and stick to it. It’s much better to post three to four times weekly instead of loading it all in one day.
- Import your contacts. When you set up your account, import your contacts. You may be surprised to find that many are already on the platform, giving you a ready-made following. Send invitations on the platform and follow up with an email.
- Keep posts upbeat and interesting. Post a good mix of content to interest your target market. Since this is personal branding, include personal content involving travel, people, hobbies or organizations that inspire you. Avoid politics, religion and other sensitive topics, as well as personal subjects like health or financial challenges.
- Join groups. Some networks have groups centered around a specific topic. Join groups relevant to you and your business and participate by posting and commenting. Provide help to other members through information or introductions, and ask for others’ feedback on ideas.
- Use a consistent brand voice. Like company branding, personal branding must be consistent. Think about how you want to be seen and what is unique about you, and use that to guide how you post. It may take some trial and error, but eventually, you’ll get into a groove.
Nora Leary contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.