Using Social Media to grow your Personal Brand
So what is a personal brand?
A Personal brand is marketing yourself and your career as a ‘brand’, in industries like events and marketing it is increasingly becoming the go to way to conduct yourself and build your career. After all you are a lot more likely to be invited for that dream job interview if the company have heard of you.
You need to think about who your target demographic is and effectively market yourself to these people, but you need to stay genuine to yourself and have a clear message about what you do. Building your personal brand will take time and as you continue throughout your career it will grow as your reputation does but it doesn’t hurt to give it a little nudge forward by using social media.
Navigating the world of Social media.
We have linked in, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest I could go on, so what social media is best to help you cultivate your personal brand? From personal experience twitter is one of the most effective platforms particularly in the event industry, it is a simple and efficient way to converse with industry peers. Many organisations host twitter chats weekly were event profs are invited to share their own views on a series of topics, Irina Graf @themiceblog hosts #eventprofstalk which is a great one for event professionals of all backgrounds and levels. Getting involved in these chats is a great way to share your views, network digitally and start to be noticed by those more experienced.
I am also enjoying building my personal brand on Instagram, although it is not designed as well as twitter for having conversations it is a great way to be creative in your content and share a visual element of what you get up to. Sharing photos from FAM trips, events you are running and meeting others will help draw people to your feed.
With video being named as the best medium to connect personally with others the use of Instagram stories can help you bring followers on an event of trip with you and share your work directly. Video will also allow your followers to identify with you more as they can see how you speak, I have really enjoyed connecting with other event professionals via social media. You can meet people you might never have come across in real life and build relationships with them.
LinkedIn is another great platform as it is built for career networking and is another way to share interesting articles and ideas. However I personally have found it is not as engaging or creative as Instagram or Twitter as people view it mainly for business use and are more selective about how much time they spend using it and what they like and share.
That being said, find a medium that works for you and that you know how to use effectively or that you already have started growing your network on.
What content should I share?
If there is a buzz word in the social media world, its content. The most important lesson, be consistent! Be consistent in your posting, be consistent in your message (don’t post about your event one day and about Eastenders the next) & be consistent in conversing with others. The type of content you share will obviously depend on which social media platform you are using, Instagram will be images so share photos from the recent events you have worked on, or a venue you have visited always making sure to hashtag, geotag and tag the account if they are on the platform.
One of the best ways to engage on Instagram, share quotes and ideas that resonate with the message you want to put across and others may like and share these too. If you attend a talk on a topic you really believe in, share some of the key take aways as it is likely your followers believe in the same topics and they will continue to engage with you if they get something out of it, even if it is the odd quote or inspiration.
It is similar on Twitter but instead of pictures its mainly words, a great way to get engagement is to give back. Share key thoughts either from yourself or others and retweet ideas from others that also fits in with what you are trying to do. If you share someone else’s work they will usually return the favour building a mutual respect and giving your brand access to their followers leading to a bigger reach. Share key articles on topics you find interesting and relevant to your message or if you write your own blog posts and articles share those, what better way to bring attention to your brand then to market yourself and encourage others to share too.
When social and real life collide.
One of the fabulous aspects about having a presence on social media for yourself is the relationships you can build and take into real life. I know many event profs that have first met on social media, kept in conversation, shared each others work to support each other and then arranged to meet in real life. Social media can have a bad reputation but it can also be the catalyst for some beautiful friendships with likeminded people.
We may have been bought up not to talk to strangers but the world has changed dramatically, meeting people online is the norm in the dating world so why not the professional world? I don’t know about you but networking can be daunting, entering a room full of people you have never had a conversation with but by connecting over social media once you have started to create a community of fellow event profs to talk to the chances are someone else will be attending that conference, that expo or that networking drinks reception.
Once your personal brand is getting out there on social media people will want to meet you and connect if they are in the same location. I have followed other event profs on social media that have a great online presence and I have admired and looked up to, then introduced myself at networking events to create a relationship with them, some of which I continue to meet up with regularly whilst also supporting each other online.
I hope this has been useful and if you have any further tips on using social media let me know in the comments. Thanks.