As interns at a full-service marketing agency, we have the unique opportunity to participate in a ‘Lunch and Learn’ series where different departments explain their role within MRY. During our week five ‘Lunch and Learn’ with the Strategy department, one insight resonated with us. GianCarlo Pitocco (GCP), the Director of Strategy shared with us CEO & Founder Matt Britton’s insight that in today’s society, brands are acting more like people and people are acting more like brands.
This got us thinking about how we can best manage our personal brands, so we put together 7 tips to help anyone create and manage their presence in a hyper-social world.
1. Secure your brand presence. This is the process of claiming your name across every platform, from the popular to the abstract. When people search your name, it shouldn’t be a struggle for them to find you. Take the time to go through each and every social media platform, create an account (whether you plan to be active or not), and secure your personal URL as your full name. For example, ‘www.facebook.com/ariel.mcmillan.’
Primary platforms you should consider are:
It’s better to have the personal URL and not use it, than need it and not be able to claim it.
2. Design your personal brand. Content is king. Create content to showcase your personality and tell your story. In today’s society, perception is everything. Who are you? What are you about? Why should people care? Why should people follow you? How should people perceive you? Be true to yourself, the more authentic the better.
3. Roll it out. Different platforms require different content. Develop an understanding of platform best practices and make your posts meaningful. By having a consistent message across all platforms, you’re making your brand presence stronger.
What are you waiting for… start posting!
4. Cross your t’s and dot your i’s. Fill out all your options. For example, on LinkedIn, fill out your bio, put your twitter handle, blog links, unique URL with your name, etc. Link each of your platforms to each other. On Twitter, make sure you that filled in your bio, you have a background, you have a profile picture and you’ve created lists. On Google+, make sure you’ve created your circles. On FourSquare, make sure you’re leaving tips. For Pinterest, create boards to showcase your interests. Note: You don’t need to use ALL platforms. Figure out what platforms best fit your life and rock those! Don’t force fit.
5. Connect. Connect. Connect. Connect with your classmates, colleagues and anyone else you feel would add value. Who you choose to connect with will vary from channel to channel. On Facebook you may only want to connect with actual real-life friends, where as on LinkedIn you may want to connect with everyone from high-school, college, and all past and current colleagues – you never know when someone will be able to help you professionally.
When connecting to someone on LinkedIn, make sure you add a personal note in the invitation. Additionally, sign your name as your Twitter handle. It’s a great and easy way to connect your different platforms. On Twitter, people want to be followed! Don’t worry if you don’t actually know them. Twitter gives you direct access to industry leaders and brand/agency executives. Follow them, re-tweet an insightful tweet or two, then start up a conversation!
Don’t forget about the real world too. Connect beyond social media. If you meet someone, exchange business cards and send them a LinkedIn request the next day with a personal note. That way no matter what happens, you’re connected forever.
You never know if “Joe Shmoe” sitting next to you in math class is going to be the next Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg.
6. Privacy is Key. Be smart. Make sure you set privacy controls on all your platforms. Consider making your Facebook profile private, viewable by only your friends. Consider protecting your tweets. You never know when old posts may come back to bite you….
7. Think about the future. Always be on what’s next in social media. It doesn’t matter how abstract the platform is, each platform gets its start somewhere and when it blows up you want to be the expert. If there’s a new platform or device, be on it, learn it, know it. Don’t get left behind.
Written by @ArielMcMillan and @ArianaVoyer (aka the A-Team)