You’ve Branded Your Business.
Now It’s Time to Develop the Business Owner.
Social media marketing is brand heavy. When you look at a business’ social media presence, you can learn about its culture, its mission, its products, and more, without leaving the main profile page. Social media can offer tremendous insight into the world of that company. But, what about the people who are running that company? Personal branding is something that makes many business owners groan, but the truth is that branding yourself is an important part of branding your business.
We live in a world where the first thing people check when they think about doing business with a company is their online reputation. They go right to Yelp or Google to find out what others think. If a person is looking to work for a company, it’s not uncommon for them to check out the social media presence of the company first, and then immediately check out the owner’s account. Now more than ever, a business owner needs to be cognizant of how they are presenting themselves to the public.
Young employees find people who aren’t on social media to be untrustworthy. “What are they hiding from us?” is the prevailing thought when a millennial doesn’t find a social media account for someone. You might not like it, but business owners are the faces of their companies. Consumers nowadays also love to have a personal connection with brands. After all, 70% of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals have rejected applicants based on the information they found on them online (Forbes). You are going to use social media to your advantage, and that can include building a great social media brand for yourself.
It’s easier than you think! Here are some tips for developing your personal brand on social media:
Define Your Audience
Your personal brand on social media is all about balance. You are still going to want to keep your relationships with friends and family while presenting your brand to clients and candidates. Therefore, think of all of the possible relationships you’ll be nurturing online. This could include these people and groups as an example:
- Friends (old and new)
- Community influencers
- Clergy/church members
- Current clients/business relationships
- Potential clients
- Current employees
- Past employees
- Potential employees
This is just an example of some of the relationships that your personal brand will have contact with online. Of course, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But when you are thinking of content for your social media pages, you want to remember the impact that content might have on audiences other than the one you are targeting. Complaining about a client or customer can make potential new customers pause and think twice before entering a relationship with your business.
Think About How You’d Like to Be Seen
The online branding of an attorney might look very different than that of a restaurant owner. Certain content items might be appropriate for one type of image and not another. Think about what you would like to be known for and share content that promotes that image. If you want people to think of you as an expert in your field and a voice of authority, post content that supports that image. If your brand is about fun and personality, post content that displays that side of your character.
With That Said – Authentic Is Best
While it’s true that you have some control over what you present to people, they will be able to quickly discern what is real and what is fake. Present your best self for the audience you are targeting, but be authentic. Content that comes across as disingenuous is going to add to distrust and can ultimately damage your reputation!
Stay Away from Politics and Religion, Unless They Are Vital to Your Brand
We aren’t talking about telling people to vote or posting a Bible verse, we’re talking about posting about controversial opinions on subjects that divide. If your business is faith-based, and you know that your base of customers shares your views, then you might be okay to talk freely about more-sensitive issues. If you are running for office and debating issues is part of your branding, then it might make sense to get into those type of topics. But, these instances are few and far between. Nothing incites the fire of social media like opinionated content on these subjects. Stay away – unless it truly defines your brand.
Use Tools to Maintain Your Privacy
Do you have a meme that you’re dying to share with some of your friends, but you aren’t sure how it would go over with your customer base? Set up a private group and invite only people who you think might appreciate the content. The only thing to remember is that content is forever. If you are sharing something that is socially objectionable, it might resurface later down the line. It’s best to not post anything that might cross a line, but, if you must, a private group will give you some comfort and provide a platform out of the public eye.
Set up a Private Personal Page
You can always have a public personal page as well as a private one. Personal doesn’t mean you have to share all aspects of your life – it just shows that it’s not intended to represent your business directly. But, if you want to have a private personal page, that’s okay too! You can control who you connect with on that page to ensure that only the eyes you want to view the content can do so. This helps you compartmentalize your public branding from your personal and family relationships. Again, that layer of protection can help you feel removed from jeopardizing your business brand and protect your privacy as well.
Personal or professional, Company 119 can help you protect your brand. Contact us today to develop a strategy designed to project your best self to an inquiring public. We can help you design content that shines a positive light on you and your business to help you grow and gain favor with prospective clients and candidates. We’re here to help you discover your online brand.