A guest post by Henry Fitzgerald @hfitzy34
It is very interesting to see the ways in which history repeats itself; from the resurgence of bell-bottoms to marketing phenomena. In 1911, if a company made a good product, people talked about it, word spread and that company would grow. Now in 2011, you could argue that people physically talk to each other less. This may be true, but it’s because we have become a textual society; things we used to talk about, we type about. Instead of sharing info with just neighbors and family, we share with entire friends-lists across multiple platforms. The Internet is the new word of mouth. Direct mail campaigns and other print advertising are still great ways to
get the word out about your business. But, if you want to maximize your reach, you need to know how to use social media to connect to people. The first step to doing that is creating an online personal brand.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND
There are a couple of reasons to create a personal brand with social media. First, people are interested in reading about other people. What social media does is give faces to companies, and (most) people connect to a face more than they do a logo. If a user finds you interesting, they are more likely to see what your company is all about.
Secondly, you can use your personal brand to share news about current projects, or promote your business to people who are already interested. If a person finds my tweets about running a chimney sweeping business whimsical and pleasant, they may consider contracting my company to have their chimney swept, or recommend me to a friend who needs the service.
HOW DO I USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND?
Many business owners find it hard to connect with clients through social media. How personal can one get on Twitter? Does it have to be all business, all the time, or can I indulge in a tweet about the hotdog I had for lunch? It can be confusing to balance your personal information with the company you represent. Here are some tips for developing your personal brand:
- Join social media networks that make sense for your industry. If you are a videographer, you’ll want a YouTube or Vimeo account to showcase your work, a Twitter to share news and updates about your business, and a LinkedIn can be your Internet resume.
- Be present and active on those networks. Join groups. Link to other videographers and comment on their posts. The Internet is your cocktail party, so go mingle and get your name out there.
- Be instantly captivating. When people look at your blog, profile or Twitter feed, there are two questions you need to answer ASAP: who are you, and why should I care?
- It’s important to tie everything together, but make sure there isn’t overlap. Tweeting, then posting that tweet on Facebook can be overkill for people who subscribe to you on both platforms. If you publish on one online platform, use the others to point to that, rather than cross post. Additionally, try and make the content on each of your platforms unique
- Create a handle that is consistent across all platforms. If your Twitter name is @JimRhodes, make sure that is the handle for everything else (Vimeo, Facebook, etc.) Often times, first name-last name combinations are taken, so try a phrase (e.g. “JimRhodesIsWaiting”)
- Once you have established an online presence, having it tied together in one place is key. Flavors.me is a great place to pull all your sites together and have a starting point for people to explore your brand
Once you’ve cultivated your online brand, you will be better connected, active in the market and showing
potential clients, as well as random visitors that you are serious about what you do.
Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. He has a passion for all things social media and gadget-related. When he isn’t in line for the newest Apple innovation, he spends his time sailing, watching soccer, or attempting to cook. Follow him on Twitter: @hfitzy34 or read up on his tech website: http://www.technected.com