The way we do business these days has changed dramatically, so anyone who is providing a service or selling a product needs to keep up with the changes or be left behind. Utilizing social media in your business strategy is one of the best ways to get your name out there. It's a great way to market your services, products, and help boost your brand. Not only that, it gives you the chance to connect with fans, customers, and prospective customers on a more personal, human level.
But with so many social media platforms out there it can become rather overwhelming and confusing as to which platforms you should be on. If you are anything like me, you probably think there are far too many of them, and you'd be quite happy with just being on one platform. But as a business owner/marketer, you should know where and how to promote your brand depending on the demographics and culture of each social network.
For me, I love LinkedIn because this is where I started my business and how I started marketing myself and connecting with clients. Over the years LinkedIn has undergone many changes and right now it is the platform that everyone is talking about and waking up to how powerful it actually is. Yet, not everyone is utilizing this powerful platform effectively.
I get a lot of LinkedIn requests on a daily basis but most of the profiles are incomplete, have no photo, or the profile is used as a company page …. These all get deleted. I like to know who I am connecting to and because there are so many fake accounts around, one always has to be cautious. So I will generally go onto someone’s profile to see what they are all about and if I am not sure, LinkedIn gives me an option to private message them which I do (this can be done even if you are not on the paid option). I like to know why someone is wanting to connect with me and how our connection could be mutually beneficial. Most of the time people just don’t bother to respond or they delete their request or they send a message saying “I am just wanting to increase my connections” or “I just wanted to add you to my mailing list”. To me that is not a good enough reason to add you to my network!
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression!
This brings me to my favorite topic, Personal Branding. Your Personal Brand represents what is unique about you, what value you bring to the world, how you communicate your value to others, what people say about you, how they perceive you and what image they have of you.
Like it or not everyone of us has a personal brand. These days people will google you before they do business with you, before they meet you, before they go on a date with you or straight after they have met you. Recruiters will go through all your social media to see what you are about before they will even consider you for any position you might have applied for.
So do yourself a favor and Google yourself, see what comes up. What impression would someone get of you if they had to google you right now? What if someone went onto your LinkedIn profile, what impression would they get? And if they looked you up on Facebook what would they find? Could one of your Tweets be damaging to your business or your online reputation? Is your online presence consistent? Do you have a website? Is it working properly? Is it mobile friendly? Is it linked to all your social media?
Personal branding is about creating a strong and clear presence, image, and message that you want to give to the world about yourself and communicating this message online in such a powerful and engaging way that people want to connect with you and do business with you instead of everyone else in your market niche because you clearly stand out as an authority.
People do business with people they know, like and trust!
Five key steps to branding yourself on social media:
Know your ideal client profile and your target audience.
Create a social media strategy.
Put out a lot of valuable content with consistency.
Build a marketing funnel to convert prospects into customers.
Have a recent, clear photo of yourself.
Have a background cover page.
Complete your summary and remember to include the right keywords for your personal brand.
Create an SEO friendly professional headline.
Complete your profile or hire someone to setup a professional profile for you.
If you have a business, then setup your business page and link it to your personal page. You can use your LinkedIn business page to create paid adverts and it has great analytics to help you keep track of where the traffic is coming from. You can also get your employees to follow the page and share useful content onto their profiles.
You are on LinkedIn for a reason, so establish who it is that you want to connect to and why?
Remember that LinkedIn is a business platform and you are connecting to people, so once you’ve connected with someone don’t start selling your products or services because that is the quickest way to get deleted. Instead focus on building those relationships, just as you would in a face to face environment.