From the Archives: How to Build Your Social Media Brand

If Kim Kardashian can build her social media brand, so can you!
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You can’t throw an iPad these days without hitting a blog post or a webinar that talks about the importance of social media. But often times, that’s all they actually say: “a social media presence is as importance as a website to your personal brand.” End of insights.
While that is true, getting from zero followers to a must follow brand with viral potential isn’t so easy.
Social media isn’t all memes and hashtags; it’s actually the engine through which you build relationships interact with thought leaders, build greater credibility in your field, and so much more. I joke here about Kim Kardashian and her social media presence, but let’s look a little deeper here. Across all of her social media channels, Kim’s follower reach is 58 million + (she averages 100,738 followers in growth every day!). What is she doing right? Aside from “breaking the internet”, she chooses the channels that are right for the content she wants to share and posts/share with consistency and frequency. 
Now, we all can’t be a Kardashian (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your reality television watching habits…) so let’s look at some tips and tricks to not only get you started but to help you gain followers and engagement! 
Start by recognizing that social media is an investment: One of the biggest mistakes you can make when approaching social media is not treating it like the time investment it is. Why isn’t your once a week tweet making an impact? Oddly enough, thought leaders don’t want to engage with a brand that can’t be bothered to dedicate time to their social media channels. Not a good brand look, friends.
Pro tip: Identify two objectives you want to achieve from your social media investment.
Do you want to achieve greater mind share? Interact with three new thought leaders a week? Your investment doesn’t need to be financial, but it will require time allocation.
Choose the channel that is right for you (and your intended audience): There are newer social media channels coming out nearly every day and it’s up to you to choose the social media platform that best suits your audience and your social media objectives. For B2B purposes, focus on Twitter and LinkedIn (interested in pursuing fashion or product? Focus on Instagram or Pinterest). Interestingly, a 2015 study conducted by Forbes showed that Twitter is slightly more valuable when it comes to social selling. Where are your buyers or thought leaders having the meaningful conversations?
Establish your brand voice: Think of the thought leaders you follow on social media…What attracted you to their brand? Chances are, it’s their unique voice and tone that you engaged with in the first place. It’s crucial that you identify and build your own voice among your social channels. To start yourself off on the right foot, identify other thought leaders who’s voices you admire and mirror your voice from theirs.
Pro tip: Think of your brand as your mission statement and your tone is how you apply that mission statement.
For example: “My social media brand is designed to inspire my readers with direct and honest conversations and content.” 
Leverage free tools that are available to you: Whatever your pain point or hesitation surrounding social media is, there is a free platform that aims to solve that. Let’s take a look at a few of those…
For scheduling, you can use the buffer app to schedule up to 10 tweets a day.
Unsure of what to post? If you’re following the 80/20 rule, chances are you already have the 20% of the content you want to share locked down. But what about the other 80%? Use contentgems.com to find related third party content assets to share with your communities.
Mention tracks any time your name surfaces online, be it in a blog, a social media post, status update, or otherwise. This will be your ultimate time saver.
Rapportive is THE tool for LinkedIn: tool allows you to grow your network by searching the web for people with similar interests or careers without having to search the web yourself (also see Twellow for Twitter).
Want to share the awesome ways you’re building your social media brand? Hit me up on Twitter at @megdewaele. Happy sharing!

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