By Sujan Patel
Brands often work tirelessly to leverage social media in order to boost online visibility and revenue. They want more clicks, more likes, and they want to create a positive user experience.
But what happens when a brand is a person instead of a company? When it’s just you, you need to take a different approach to growing your brand through social media. Since over 90% of customers trust information from people they know when making a purchase decision, building personal connections might be the most effective way to develop trust and authority with your audience.
Here are nine ways you can use social media to make that happen.
- Find the Right Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn both offer great opportunities to join groups focused on specific topics or industries. If you can find groups that line up with your area of expertise, then you’ll be able to share that experience and build authority around your personal brand.
Industry groups are good bets, but they might already be overcrowded with your competitors. Instead, think outside the box and find other groups where you’re likely to find your audience.
- Keep the Image Consistent
Across all of your social profiles, you have to maintain a certain consistency with your brand. When people want to learn more about you, they may search for you on a number of social outlets. Presenting yourself in a consistent manner helps you control their perception of your personal brand. You can damage an otherwise impeccable reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t represent you well.
Recommended by Forbes
- Engage Regularly
Building a brand takes a lot of effort, and it should be treated like a job. Every day, you should be sharing and producing content. Adjust the frequency and types of content based on the audience presence.
We already post a lot on the social accounts for Web Profits, but I still make time to post on each of my personal social profiles.
“A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything,” writes Michael Noice, founder of Entrepreneur Coach. “For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.”
- Diversify Your Content
I recommend crafting a communications strategy for your personal brand that includes an editorial calendar and a diverse content plan so that you won’t resort to publishing the same types of articles every single day.
Be sure to include images, videos, articles, and even questions. I see a lot more reciprocal engagement when I change up the type of content that I post daily.
Another benefit is that this diversity prevents you from oversharing your own content. Even if your own content is fantastic, your followers will appreciate when you source and share authoritative content from other people.
- Study Influencers
Connecting with and even collaborating with influencers is a smart way to build your personal brand and get yourself seen, but it takes time. You have to develop a relationship with influencers before they’ll want to work with you. When you’re first getting started, locate and automatically engage with influencers you want to partner with by using Narrow.io. Once you’ve found the top influencers in your niche, analyze their networks. Note the types of content they share and how their followers respond. Try to build your own following by using their strategy for inspiration.
- Give as Much as You Can
If you want to create a memorable brand, you need to give people a reason to remember you. While I’ve grown my personal brand considerably in recent years, I still like to reach out to contacts directly and ask them what I can do for them.
Matt Sweetwood, CEO of beBee, believes this is a fundamental way to grow a brand.
“This personal connection makes the customers feel that you care about them, and that they are more than just revenue to you,” he says.
You’re not trying to sell or pitch anything. You’re legitimately asking if there is anything you can do to help them. Give away some of your time, your advice, and any other resources you have available to help your connections.
When you first start out, make it a habit to contact at least one person every day with an offer to help.
- Ask Questions
Questions are a great way to spark engagement and improve the visibility for your brand while others chime in. Engagement will happen slowly at first, but be persistent. Keep your eyes open for potential opportunities. A response from one follower could lead to a burning question from another that could fuel great conversation.
- Jump into Discussions
Don’t be afraid to add your voice and make yourself visible in a discussion. This is especially true if you have unique insights and value to add. You won’t have much luck when it comes to building your brand if you remain a wishful lurker.
Being responsive will keep you on track to grow your personal brand and your network of connections.
“Showing that you’re responsive, engaging, and human will do wonders for your brand,” writes Tiffany Hsu, community manager for Salesforce.
- Monitor Your Name
Businesses set up all kinds of alerts for branded terms and product/service-related search phrases. Those alerts notify them when someone creates a post that includes their name or other branded terms.
Do the same for your personal brand and don’t forget to include alerts for common keywords involving your area of expertise. Between your alert systems and manual searches in social media, you won’t miss out on opportunities to respond or join discussions.