“Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I have the most impressive personal branding on social media of all?”
Does this reflective question fit your current social branding goals? It’s the beginning of the year. So, it’s time to look into your virtual mirror and recognize what’s working and what may not be!
An excellent place to start: Google yourself! See what the rest of the world sees when searching for you.
71% of all B2B decision-makers start their buying journey with a generic search. (Source: Google) This research suggests you need to deliver content, graphics, and messaging to help bubble your brand to the top of that Google search. You don’t want to take one step forward with your career yet take two steps back with your social media brand.
10 Steps to Improve Your Personal Branding and Feel Like a New Person on Social Media
1. Create your social media elevator pitch
Quit stammering when asked “what do you do” by a new contact on a Zoom introduction call. We’ve all been around the virtual table with peers or leadership trying to deliver the perfect response.
Nail down your digital elevator pitch ahead of time to make a great first impression. Spend 10 minutes crafting your value proposition with a 3-line review of your background. How you can help the company? How you help their customers? How you help your new team? How you help this new contact? This execution has to be a quick story of you. If you can articulate your value proposition in an elevator pitch, you can create a compelling LinkedIn and Twitter profile. Practice, practice, practice to be sure it’s succinct and compelling!
PRO TIP: Include your elevator pitch in all your email introductions. It’s an easy way to provide the context of your role in the company or to potential hiring managers.
2. Update your LinkedIn profile picture
Yes, you do look better this year than last year, so it’s time to let your present and future network know! LinkedIn profiles with pictures get 21 times more views than those without, so start by adding one to your profile. No one will be surprised with an updated photo when they see you in a face-to-face or Zoom meeting.
PRO TIP: Update your photo twice a year. Ensure your network privacy settings allow others to see when you refresh it. This way, you’ll provide a trigger for others to check out your profile.
3. Replace your job title on your LinkedIn headline with a compelling statement
Your LinkedIn headline is like the title of your personal book. It catches the reader’s attention and gives them a reason to read on and engage. Since your LinkedIn headline shows up as the first line in a Google search of your name, you need to make it count. Tell your story. Use keywords and compelling phrasing to make a significant social branding impression. This headline should be a part of a quarterly LinkedIn refresh.
PRO TIP. The worst type of headline: “Sales Representative for (insert company here).” That type of description will ensure the client will never contact you. It’s too limiting. You don’t want to miss potential opportunities.
It’s the beginning of the year. So, it’s time to look into your virtual mirror and recognize what’s working and what may not be! It’s time to fix your personal branding.Gerry Moran
4. Rewrite your LinkedIn summary (About) section
People don’t want to know about your accomplishments. Instead, they want to know how your experience can help them. So, rewrite your LinkedIn About section to present your expertise to show how you can help your customer or others. Rewriting your LinkedIn About area is a fundamental part of any LinkedIn profile update.
PRO TIP: The first line of your summary shows up in your Google search results, right after your headline. Make sure your first line captures attention to get people to click through to your network.
5. Always use a grammar-checking tool
Resolve to stop using run-on sentences and lousy grammar. Poor grammar is unclear and positions you as a poor communicator, which is not a good thing. Select a grammar-checking program, like Grammarly (my favorite), and check your social media profiles, updates, and articles. It’s OK to have a misstep now and then, but not all the time.
PRO TIP. Use a second app, like Hemmingway Editor, to ensure your tone, voice, and readability align with your editorial strategy.
6. Work on your storytelling skills
Messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts. (Source: Quantified Communications)
People listen to and become engaged in stories. So, transform your fact-based pitch or presentation into a story. If you provide some relatable context to help your audience “get it” more efficiently, you will increase your brand’s positioning by appealing to a broader audience.
PRO TIP: Choose a clear and straightforward storyline to tell your story. Don’t overcomplicate. Make sure the audience doesn’t have to think too hard to understand your point.
7. Start to follow five people on LinkedIn weekly
The old adage says “birds of a feather flock together”. Start to follow five new LinkedIn users who resemble you or your target audience to build your network “nest” every day. You’ll find your brand’s footprint will quickly increase.
Following allows you to see a person’s posts and articles on your homepage without being connected to them, but they won’t see your posts. This organization will make it easier to engage with their posts and perhaps start up a conversation.
PRO TIP: Use LinkedIn’s search feature and participate in LinkedIn Groups. This engagement will make it easier to find others that it makes sense to follow and learn from.
8. Take your other social media profiles and activity seriously
Remember, your social media profiles will show up on Google when people search for your name. If you have a horrible profile or a dormant account, you are heading toward a branding disaster.
Ask a co-worker or friend what they really think of your Twitter, Instagram, or even FaceBook profile. You need to avoid being mystical, mysterious, pompous, or clueless! You can always develop alternative social profiles if you are concerned about your feeds.
While you should be somewhat active, most users are not content producers. They are consumers. 10% of users who are most active in tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.
PRO TIP: Google yourself monthly and observe if your other social media profiles and activity are representative of your personal branding goals.
9. Start more social media conversations
Conversations on social media start with you! Ask questions on Twitter. Answer questions in LinkedIn groups. Leave comments and ask questions on your LinkedIn status updates. Start to comment on blogs. Good things will follow if your brand engages with others. Avoid being a social wallflower.!
PRO TIP: Commenting on a post means much more than saying ‘I agree.’ When commenting, write in a way to encourage a response so you can continue the conversation.
10. Start using a social media publishing tool
A social media publishing tool, like HootSuite, is the perfect way to schedule your media content stream activity. Use this type of tool for 10 minutes daily. You can use for LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social accounts. Quickly respond to any direct messages and mentions.
PRO TIP: Use your social media publisher to publish the same times every day to develop consistency. This regular publishing schedule makes it easier to create content people will expect.
A Few More Blog Posts to Help Your Refresh Your Personal Branding
- How to Avoid Being Just Another LinkedIn Profile
- 4 Things to Know About LinkedIn Post Views
- 10 Ways to Get Found More Easily on LinkedIn
Do you have another tip to increase your brand’s currency on social media so others will want to spend time with you? If so, please comment below. Or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your virtual mirror is indestructible. Nothing on Google will ever go away, so it’s time to work on your social media reflection and reveal your authentic, beautiful brand!