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5 steps on how to improve your personal branding on social media

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

These days, it’s near impossible to successfully build a career or business presence without using some form of social media. (Some people would argue it's a crucial role in everyday communication.)

According to the latest Sensis Social Media Report, eight in ten Australians (79%) are now active social media users, with over a third (35%) using its platforms more than five times a day. Additionally, 73% of marketers turn to social media to boost brand influence; the millennial generation being their most engaged market.

As a cultural mainstay, and a key marketing tool in business– social media tools can easily help aspiring professionals make a splash in their industry.  

SkillsTalk has built a step-by-step strategy to improve your personal branding on social media – using popular channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn – helping you build your industry network and presence in no time

How can you improve your personal branding on social media?

  1. Review your goals and strengths.
  2. Optimise multiple channels.
  3. Be consistent.
  4. Use management, monitoring, and analytics tools.
  5. Engage with others in your industry.

1. Review your goals and strengths.

Your first step is outlining (or redefining) your goals for your personal brand. Is it to attract employers? Build partnerships with other experts? Perhaps you’re looking to start a business?

Whatever your objectives are, take a moment to map them out – then, determine where your target audience are most likely to hang out. 

Twitter, for example, is a hotspot for start-up founders looking to promote their business or recruit new hires. Instagram and Facebook are ideal for sharing your expertise through photos, videos, and text. LinkedIn is a social media-must among current and starting professionals, with tools to connect with you to both newcomers and veterans across industries.

Once you’ve chosen your platforms, and are ready to buff out those profiles – ensure you highlight your specialties, or primary areas of expertise. Focus on these in your profile descriptions; not only will they showcase what you stand for, they’ll also serve as keywords to make it easier for audiences to search you.

In an article for Buffer, Inc writer Jayson Demers emphasises the importance of being as specific as possible. Try steering away from general fields like “marketing”, “IT”, or “human resources”; having a niche focus will offer you more opportunities to prove your expertise. Your audience may be smaller, but they’ll be more relevant and engaged in your message.

2. Optimise multiple channels.

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These days, having one platform simply isn’t enough.

Maintaining your presence on multiple channels ensures a far more expansive audience reach; and, in the long run, determines the most effective platforms for your brand. 

Experts recommend having a profile on each of the current top social media sites; these including the aforementioned Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. YouTube may be another effective medium for those looking to get into video content (or video marketing).  

But remember: responsiveness is crucial. Be sure to engage with each of your account followings – replying to their comments, answering their questions, and adding to their discussions. This helps you build a strong, trusting relationship with your audience, boosting not only your presence – but your reputation online. 

According to Buffer, responding to follower comments or mentions within 24 hours is a good rule of thumb. 

Additionally, consider diversifying your content. Avoid being a one-trick pony, and stick to the same types of social media posts; keep audiences engaged by switching things up with videos, articles, images, polls, and sourcing third-party content. (The last one is especially beneficial – sharing posts from other authoritative sources prevents you from oversharing your own content, and builds connections by supporting others in your field). 

3. Be consistent.

And not just in terms of image, either (though having a distinguishable, consistent design is still key). 

Those looking to successfully build a personal brand online must nurture this presence on a regular basis. This means actively sharing and producing content on the regular; stay silent for too long, and you may just lose your audience’s interest. 

Of course, different platforms have different recommended posting frequencies (along with the types of content that resonate best). While minimal variations exist across studies, one claims that those using Facebook gain the best engagement from posting 2 times per day; Twitter with 5 times per day, and LinkedIn and Instagram around once per day. (Of course, these are only starting points – it’s best to do your own research and find what works best for you.)

Having a content calendar may help in ensuring consistent posts, along with deciding when and what content to share.

As mentioned, a strong personal brand also involves having a consistent theme, helping you stay recognisable among netizens. 

Users are recommended to use the same handle (or a standard variation) and the same profile picture on all channels. It’s also important to maintain an appropriate colour palette and font – both of which evoke the feelings you need from your audience. Creating templates or a style guide can help with this, helping you ensure a harmonious look across accounts.

4. Use monitoring, and analytics tools.

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Plenty of social media platforms already host a multitude of analytics tools to help you better engage with audiences.  

Integrated features such as Instagram Insights and Facebook Analytics help track and interpret one’s post and audience activity; using metrics such as post engagement, reach, comments, shares, and new profile “follows”. To continually improve your personal brand strategy, reviewing this data is critical to determine what you’re doing right, and any tactics you may need to change. 

These analytics additionally highlight your most engaged demographics. With this information, you can then tailor your content to serve these audiences best.

But don’t limit yourself to these pre-existing tools; plenty of third-party software is also available for more in-depth interpretations of your social media data.

Platforms such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and AgoraPulse all offer more extensive means of tracking your social media success – including custom ROI reports, audience trends, and comparative stats against your competitors. 
Plenty of these third-party platforms also offer “social listening” features – tools to help you monitor any mentions of a brand, helping you respond to questions or feedback at a faster, more convenient rate. 

5. Engage with other people in your industry.

Once you’ve grown a considerable presence on your own accounts – your final step is to build one on others’. 

Take the time to look up fellow industry experts, engaging with their social media posts and content. Don’t be afraid to jump into discussions, adding any unique, valuable insights you may have. Proactively sharing your knowledge with others will not only boost your visibility in the field, but also helps grow your network of online connections.
You never know when you’ll make the right contact: someone willing to engage in a partnership, or offer you an opportunity in their business.

Of course, as with the real world, online networking requires confidence. As stated by networking expert, David Bradford, “Don’t let awe stop you. Have the confidence to reach out to the best.”

Dwelling in insecurity or intimidation will only stunt you from building your network. Have faith in your expertise, your skills, and your online image – and surround yourself with the best minds in your field.

Looking to upgrade your social media marketing?

Given its competitive landscape, building a personal brand on social media can be a challenge. With the right tools and digital know-how, however, you’ll have your online presence stand out in no time. 

With a Short Course in Personal Branding, those interested can train themselves in the professional, core skills required to build a brand (or business) on social media. 

Best of all, it’s completely delivered online.

Give your personal brand the boost it deserves, and enquire with Upskilled today. 

Editor's note: This article was originally published in April 2020. Content has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.