In my last blog post about personal branding. which also appeared in the online Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine, I talked about how you can use social media to build your brand online. This post takes a look at the tools you should use to do so.
Tools To Use to Build Your Personal Brand Online
There are thousands of different social networks and social media tools out there. As busy people, we cannot have a presence in all of them (or we wouldn’t get any other work done) so its always a good idea to hone in on a few networks that best represent who you are and your goals from online professional networking perspective.
Who Are You?
The social networks you use to build your personal brand online will depend on who you are and what you are great at. For example, an artist, photographer or someone who has a visual presence should use a tool like Flickr or YouTube. An accountant looking to build awareness might use a professional network like Xing or Plaxo to spread awareness of what they do.
It is important, when considering which networks to use, to think about your resources and what you like to do. Someone with little time on their hands might choose to build the brand awareness and network on Twitter because you can do so in short burst of activity (140 words to be exact). Others who love creating videos will enjoy using a video site like YouTube or Vimeo to build their brand.
What are your goals?
Which social networks you use to build your brand will depend also on your goals. If you have a new business and you want to build awareness surrounding that then a networking tool for entrepreneurs like Biznik might be the best place to start. Real Estate agents might use ActiveRain whilst marketers might join Melcrum.
If you are making a move to a new location then find out which networks people there use – in the UK and Europe Bebo is one of the most popular social networks so you might want to consider building a presence there if a move across the pond is your goal.
Top Social Networks for Personal Branding
One of the most popular sites from a professional personal branding viewpoint is LinkedIn. It is the main professional network in North America and is the best forum to present your personal brand in a positive manner. Over 30 million users have used this tool to tell people more about what they do and to highlight the aspects that differentiate them from peers in their industry. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to post your resume online and build communities around the people you have done business with in the past, those in your industry, with clients, partners and competitors.
From a social perspective, Facebook is by far and away the most widely used social network: practically everyone is on there these days and whilst many are using the forum from a purely social perspective more and more Facebook users are looking to build their professional brand there too. If you use Facebook purely for social networking, it is important to consider how your professional audience will perceive you there too.
When you have considered the points outlined above and determined which networks are most appropriate for you, refer back to some of the points on our previous blog post and always remember that recruiters, potential partners and clients will check out your profile – make sure it is appropriate.