Your online personal brand is an extension of your offline reputation. If used well, your social networks can enhance your personal brand, and help you establish a name for yourself in your industry.
However, if used incorrectly, it can damage your personal brand, resulting in a loss of job, or if you’re unemployed, it can sabotage your chances of getting that job.
Here are five things to keep in mind and watch out for:
1. Pay attention to when your name is mentioned
As you build your online brand, and get your name out there, more and more people will start talking about you. Depending on what is said, this can be a good or bad thing.
A good way to monitor what is said about you are Google Alerts. Set up a Google Alert for your name and everything related to your brand, and receive an email each time your name is mentioned.
2. Watch for inconsistencies across social media platforms
LinkedIn is known for professional networking, and most people will maintain a level of professionalism on it. However, this same level of professionalism needs to be consistent across all social media platforms.
Your tone may vary across the platforms because each social network encourages a different form of communication, however, your professional manner and demeanor needs to be consistent across all platforms. For example, being well connected on LinkedIn, and having great recommendations, will not mean much if your Facebook page is filled with rude jokes and links to inappropriate articles.
Have a look at your activity on all your social networks, and make sure your content is consistent with your personal brand.
3. Don’t join every single social network
While you want to get your name out to as many places as possible, joining too many networks is not an effective way to do this; it’s impossible to be active on all of them. Each social network requires a certain amount of time, so choose your networks wisely.
A good starting point are the large social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, look into joining the networks in your own industry.
4. You can’t please everyone
Having a target audience will allow you to focus on the core part of your brand. It’s impossible to please everyone, and trying to do so will confuse people about what your brand is and weaken it. Focus on selling your brand to a particular audience, and do it well.
5. Be authentic
You are allowed to let your personality shine through. Don’t be a robot, or pretend to be someone you’re not. What makes you different to your competitors? Focus on this, and work it into your branding.
Don’t be shy about talking about your hobbies, and what you enjoy doing outside of work. This is perfectly fine, as long as these hobbies are appropriate, and give great insight into who you are.
Don’t neglect building your online personal brand. It’s just as important as establishing your personal brand offline. So, monitor your online personal brand and maximise your opportunities.