You've probably heard you need to show a bit of yourself on social media if you want your business to be successful, right?
Think of your personal brand as your reputation, and very closely tied to the way other people see you. We all want to be seen as an authority who can be trusted and looked up to, but this won't happen without an authentic presence on social media.
It's all about being genuine, real and transparent in your social media activity. The truth is, people want to connect with people, so there's a lot to be said about being yourself on social media.
Let's look at key ways you can be authentic on social media.
Best Practices for Networking
Getting involved in groups and networking opportunities that will enhance your personal brand can be an effective way to show your credibility. Whatever your niche, you're bound to find groups that will give you the chance to do this on any of the major social media platforms.
Just make sure you're always adding value to the group. You want to be known as someone whose posts are always useful and insightful, rather than just someone commenting to be seen. Get this right and your expertise will naturally shine through, like Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard shows us:
Remember not to use groups solely to promote yourself (unless there are times when this is encouraged), or you risk coming off as spammy. Not quite the reputation you want to build for yourself.
Find Facebook groups that match up to your brand easily.
Sharing the Best Content for Your Personal Brand
An excellent way to be authentic on social media is to share content that your audience will find genuinely useful. You'll add value for them by curating great content from other people – and strengthen your personal brand at the same time.
Where do key influencers and thought leaders in your niche curate content from? By monitoring colleagues and other industry veterans – and from aggregators like Flipboard or Feedly. They can also use Employee Advocacy programs to discover relevant industry news from the shared content hub and effortlessly share it with their audience.
Communicating in a Way That Reflects Your Persona
Your personal brand needs a recognizable voice that sets you apart from others in the same niche. Think of Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project.
A lot of things can go into your voice including your personality, habits, and background.
Not sure what your voice should be? Pick a few adjectives that get to the heart of who you are as a person and let them guide how you'll come across. This will form "you" and not an imitation of anyone else!
Being Authentic on Specific Social Media Channels
Let's take a quick look at how to be genuine on the most popular channels.
- Facebook: A study by Aalto University showed that people are often scared to give away too much of their real self on Facebook and only share information that paints them a certain way – often to fit in with social norms and expectations. Takeaway: be transparent as much as possible. Consider using Facebook Live to humanize your business.
- Twitter: Use hashtags sparingly. Sure, it'll potentially help you get found, but it doesn't say much about you. Also, auto DM'ing new followers is another no-no. Automating might make your life easier, but it doesn't scream "authentic."
- Instagram: Hashtags are where it's at on Instagram so experiment and find ones catered for your niche. Also, try Instagram Stories to share your personal side and brand.
Your Brand on Social Media
When you're building your personal brand on social media, you need to come across as genuine and trustworthy, and being human is a large part of this. The key things to take action on are curating content that's in line with your personal brand, using groups in the right way and nailing a voice that reflects how you want to convey yourself.
Use these tips to make your personal brand more authentic on social media today.
Elna Cain is B2B professional writer, who uses her expert knowledge, skills and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content that makes people take action. Elna writes for OptinMonster, Blogging Wizard, Pagewiz and more. Follow her on Twitter.