Smart Social Networking To Promote Brand “You”by Sima Dahl
As marketers, we spend our professional days promoting someone else’s brand but remember this: each of us is our own brand too. Promoting brand “you” is an area that most of us could pay more attention to, and social networks make it easy to get started.
If you’re already a member of a social network like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter then I encourage you to consider how you can leverage these tools to establish your personal brand and enrich your career. The word “networking” is an action verb that requires you to do something, and social networking is no different. Here are 3 areas to think about the next time you tweet, friend or link online:
1. Think SEO
Keywords matter, especially on LinkedIn. Your profile is not only searchable within LinkedIn but indexed by Google too. If you are a researcher trying to make a name for yourself in neuroscience, be sure that the word ‘neuroscience’ and all related terms appear with a high propensity in your profile. Start at the very top with your Headline, Summary and Specialties and then weave key words in your Experience and Interests too.
For example, my Headline could be my title, President of Parlay Communications, but that doesn’t say much about my value proposition or me. Instead I use the following key words to “shape my space:”
Marketing Consultant | Social Media Strategist | Networking Coach | Speaker | Trainer | LinkedIn Expert
2. Think SHARE
Sharing information is a powerful way to attract targeted attention to your profile. You can share information in any number of ways: your LinkedIn or Facebook status, your tweets, your Facebook wall, and so on. Any place you have the opportunity to contribute content or share information is an opportunity to reinforce your personal brand position. All those widgets that enable sharing? Use them!
For example, I might use my LinkedIn status to share an article about B2B social media that I think is well written. It doesn’t even need to be authored by me, it just needs to add value and remind you of what I do. Or I might suggest the American Marketing Association page on Facebook to my friends who aren’t yet members.
3. Think SUBTLE
Remember that a little self-promotion goes a long way. Braggers are equally if not more annoying online than they are in person, perhaps because it is difficult to read humor or intention in short posts and status updates. The best way to shape your personal brand is to pay it forward. The old adage about “giving to get” is especially true within social networks where your actions are visible (and often re-tweetable) to thousands.
If you view social networking as a pulpit to promote yourself or your business, you’re missing out. Savvy networkers know that conversation precedes conversion. Aim to chat, not sell, and you’ll be well on your way to building a network of champions.