Your employees’ personal brand and activities on social media can influence your brand image and your business growth overall.
83% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over advertising. In parallel, leads nurtured through employees’ activities on social media convert 7 times more frequently than other leads. Your employees' personal brand and activities on social media clearly impact the brand image. How to support employee’s personal branding efforts and how to help sales professionals engage leads with great content?
Mark Schaefer, marketing and social media keynote speaker and strategy consultant shares his best practices to help employees grow their personal brand:
Hi Mark, can you tell us why creating and building a personal brand is important for everyone: employees, team leaders, executives, CEOs, entrepreneurs?
I realised that the term 'personal brand' has been hyped into silliness these days, but that doesn't mean there is a core truth behind the idea. A personal brand is whatever people believe about you. Hence, doesn't it make sense to be intentional about this and create a brand that will help you achieve your goals?
A personal brand can provide a sustainable competitive advantage and increasingly, an advantage to a corporate brand. In many cases the personal brand IS the corporate brand.
You explain in KNOWN that "You need to create content in a way that makes a difference and builds an audience you can activate". Can you tell us a bit more about this approach?
I did a tremendous amount of research and determined that every person who has become 'known' in their field did the same four things, no matter the occupation or region of the world.
It starts with carefully defining what you want to be known for and then finding a space to tell that story. This is where a lot of people get hung-up. They feel they may not have the ability and time to create content. But that is not necessarily true. It does not have to be overwhelming.
You have four choices, really: written content, audio, video, or visual like something that might be on Instagram or Pinterest. Pick one, do it well and stick to it for a year and half or two years to give yourself a chance to connect with an audience.
Executives tend to be less active on social media than millennials, what are your top advice to encourage them to build their digital footprint?
I don't believe that this is for everyone. If a person is going to hate it, then that is never going to work, so forget it. But in my experience, there is a pretty logical case for establishing a personal brand and executives generally respond to logic.
In the world, there is always an advantage if you're known. More doors will open, more phone calls will be returned, more opportunities will come your way. It's pretty simple!
Related: Experts' Advice for Employees' Personal Branding.
Consistency is key to growing a personal brand - Do you think that companies can support their employees' personal brand by sharing with them relevant content and encouraging them to share their knowledge with their networks?
Today, having an effective social media presence is a life skill. If more of your employees have that skill, you'll win in the end. Providing content is fine, providing training is better.
Based on your experience, which social media channels are the most efficient when it comes to personal branding?
There is no standard answer to this question. It all depends on the competitive situation. If you work at a B2B company, LinkedIn might be better than Facebook. If you have a very visual consumer brand, Instagram might be better than Twitter. You have to assess the goals, the competition and the audience before making that determination.
About Mark: Mark Schaefer is a strategy consultant, college educator, marketing and social media keynote speaker, and author. His award-winning books include KNOWN: The handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age, The Content Code, and Return on Influence. Mark helps brands such as Cisco, Merck, Verison, Adidas, and Dell build effective marketing and social media strategies. He has been featured in several specialised magazines including Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and HuffPost. Follow Mark on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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