I’ve read and commented on about 20 blog posts created by participants in the Social Media Marketing Strategy certificate, for which I’m a co-instructor, and wanted to share some general feedback with the class (and the wonderful people of the Republic of the Interwebs). In general, everyone did a good job at getting started with WordPress and writing thoughtful first posts that expressed who they are, and what their goals are.
The original prompt was the following:
What is my professional online brand, and how is it similar or different from my corporation/employer’s brand?
In many cases, I prompted the participants to stop thinking about the client, which might be counter-intuitive for some customer-oriented individuals. Many participants expressed their eagerness to find, create, and share content with their current or potential clients, and exposed their current practices in aggregating and curating quality content. But when it comes to personal branding and professional development, you also need to think of yourself as the client. You are the person to cater to. You need to find the sources of information and people who can push your work practices to the next level. I’ll refer you back to this slide from my last presentation to let you ponder on your learning and sharing process.
Are you mixing audiences?
If you are sharing the same content to clients and peers, chances are that your are not filtering your online presence appropriately. Same thing when it comes to reading your online streams. Make sure to come up with a clear strategy to separate your “football Sunday” and “knitting club” persona from your “social media professional”. It doesn’t mean that one cannot appear in the other, it just means that you should at least apply the 80/20 rule (80% of your posts in a certain stream should relate to the main goal of that stream, or else people you are targeting will never pay attention or stop paying attention).
Beyond applying smart filters, this also comes down to your social media policy. You can use mine as an example, but make sure to develop one to call your own, and to share it with your “followers” and “circlers”.
Surround yourself with keywords
In certain cases, I noticed a lack of keywords. People used adjectives (dependable, on-time, strategic, etc.) but might not have used industry or discipline keywords (tourism, banking, retail, teenagers, etc.). Remember that keywords will help people 1) find you through various searches and 2) decide to follow you when they look at your profiles. Never leave a profile image blank, and always fill out the profile information on any network diligently and strategically.
Hope this is useful! Keep improving “the brand called you” and have a nice semester!