Aside from getting your color scheme, fonts, and writing voice perfected, how how do you go about branding yourself across social media? Today, I share a post on The SITS Girls, “What Is A Personal Brand?” and share solid steps to solidify a personal brand. In this post, I will share how that looks, specifically on social media platforms.
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A tip that I will share directly from my post on The SITS girls is this: if you have the opportunity to work on your blog or site before going live, try to ensure that your social media profile share the same handle. For example, I can be found on all platforms (except LinkedIn) @faithfulsocial. This makes it easy for the reader to be able to tag me. If they’re on Pinterest and can only remember my Twitter handle, that’s ok, because it’s the same on Pinterest and I’ll receive a notification.
Why is this important? You always want to know where you come up in the “conversation” so you can add to it, thank the reader for mentioning you, or respond and tease out any questions they may have about your content.
How better to explain the differences of each social media platform (and then some) with coffee? There are more platforms conveyed in the image than I’ll cover in this post, but you get the gist.
Facebook is like Starbucks. Everyone is there to grab a cup, chat, see, be seen and hangout. With the algorithm changes you may not even be seen at all. I’ll be honest and say I am not having an easy go of it, but I haven’t paid for ads or boosted a post. It’s not that I couldn’t afford it, I just don’t want to. Maybe that’s not the smartest choice, but Facebook is more of an experiment for me. What I do find works from a reach perspective, is sharing viral content from my personal profile to my Fan Page. I leverage the “Facebook power” of the person or company that initially posted and share a funny quip or a call to action to engage readers (they do respond). The point for me, is to get people to know my personality on Facebook. I’m relaxed, have a sense of humor and share personal pictures from Instagram. Facebook will always be the casual platform for me, so I am sure to show that side of myself.
Twitter is the coffee vendor on the corner of 42nd and Park. It’s busy, and you may have to wait in line to get it, but if you know a guy, you can get a good cup o’Joe. Twitter can be intimidating even to people with a huge following. There are many conversations happening and most include hashtags, current events, or the same of a book, right?! How do you wade through that and get your name out there? I think of Twitter as the office water cooler. You have to spend some time there to get the regulars to know you. I find that attending twitter chats helps with that quite a bit.
Create a Twitter list for influencers you want to follow. You don’t even have to make this public, although you could and help others just starting out (your choice). I have twitter lists of people I follow that are my social media heroes and another list for anyone that I meet on The SITS Girls. Not to mention, when you add someone to a list, they receive a notification. Who doesn’t want to receive a notification that they are on The SITS Glitter list? It’s just a nice way of making the virtual world a more real one. Twitter lists can help you cull information for retweeting or just control by category, the content and conversation you want to join. It’s a little easier to jump in and add your two cents this way. Not to mention, it makes it easier for you to remember why you followed them in the first place.
You don’t have a lot of room to share who you are on your Twitter profile so make it count. “Cat lover, writer, soda enthusiast, ninja” won’t cut it. My profile shares just enough to give you the information you need and still be playful about it. I want to show that while I take social media seriously, I still know how to have fun.
I also added my URL, but used a trackable bit.ly link that goes right to my About Me Page. Anyone that clicks on my link will get a real introduction to who I am, what I stand for and what I’m about. Other options are creating a landing page just for Twitter followers with a bit about you along with your most shared posts. You can then track what people are looking at when they get to their personalized Twitter page. I could probably house my vlogging series for Thoughts on Thursday there…hmmm. For more tools to use on Twitter, Peg Fitzpatrick just came out with a fresh post on 5 Tools Everyone on Twitter Should Be Using
Pinterest is the Nespresso Cafe (not the homemade stuff, although that’s good, but the actual bar in Manhattan). It’s the crème de la crème of image debauchery. If you take a look at my archive page, you’ll see a quick evolution in how the images are branded. That’s perfectly fine. I know that my visual brand will evolve over time and if I work quickly, my audience will recognize that it’s a work in progress. Because I don’t do this often, they are willing, to forgo my tweaks (that’s what I tell myself, anyway).
I changed all of my boards to play on the theme of “My Prayer Closet”. Examples are My Social Media Closet, My Blogging Closet and My Recipe Closet to name a few. The next step for me, is to break these boards down more by niche. For example, I’ll rework “My Social Media Closet” to be My Facebook Closet, My Twitter Closet, My Pinterest Closet and so on. This makes it easy for other pinners and potential referrers to and from my blog to get exactly what they’re looking for, quickly.
This is where you definitely want two different fonts, one script and the other a sans (preferably). You can use the same font in your attention grabbing headline text or you can choose what I’ve done and mix it up. Include your url at the bottom of the pinnable image, which should be 735×1102 pixels. I’ve chosen to have a transparent square overlaid on my image, and then place the text over top. I did this so my text would pop more. If there is still an issue with seeing the text, I make the actual image slightly transparent, and that usually solves it. Some would say you should use the same transparency or photo filter in every image, and technically, I guess they’d be right. But I like to break the rules, because who started them anyway, right?
If Pinterest is the Nespresso, Instagram is the Juan Valdez coffee shop. Why? Because you get models, fashion designers, company brands (makes me think of Andy Warhol), people who are wrap fanatics (nothing against wrap fanatics, but I don’t follow them back. I can’t take the constant “I can help you be skinny, ask me how” posts, I like cake and sugar. Thanks), Etsy sellers and hobbyists, all sharing their content in sumptuously beautiful ways. If you’ve even been to the Juan Valdez coffee shop and take a look at their pastry case, you’ll know just why I made this comparison. Yum!
How to stand out? Hashtags help. I scream it from the rooftops that 11 hashtags is your sweet spot. I’ve been playing with TakeOff and kind of love it just for the hashtag feature it provides. Sometimes, this girl is too tired to research a hashtag on her own, so Takeoff helps with that. I just click and unclick those hashtags that are applicable to my image.
Another way to stand out is with photo filters. As I recently learned, my Instagram followers like Amaro, I’m partial to Crema and Aden which is a bummer. I’ll make my followers come around. An Instagram profile I am really loving is Jenna Guizar’s. This chick is committed. She optimized her feed for mobile readers, posting two personal images and one quote in beautiful calligraphy. When you scroll through her feed, the images are vertically laid on either side of the quote, or to the right, depending on where she is in her posting sequence. Regardless, it’s visually beautiful to scroll through, and not all that hard to do. But maybe don’t all bite her rhyme at once?
Bottom line, stick to a photo filter, or none at all, be consistent. The key here is to be sure to use appropriate hashtags, post quality images, and not blurry shots of your cat, “Whiskers” chasing a laser light.
Still stumped? Head to my post over at The SITS Girls for more in depth tips on branding
And, you can visit these 4 posts that I have saved in my Pocket:
- Blog Headline Mad Lib for Brand Archetypes (to go in conjunction with the quiz I share on The SITS Girls post) by Kaye Putnam
- The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand by QuickSprout
- 7 Essential Ingredients for Branding a Blog Branding a Blog at The Branded Solopreneur by Andrea (Dre) Beltrami
- 3 Steps to Defining Your Personal Brand by Melissa Stanger of LEVO
And of course, I have a Pinterest board for all things brand (you’re welcome)
How do you brand yourself on Social Media? Do you find one platform easier than the other? Let me know!
Have any questions on social media that you want answered? Ask me anything and I would LOVE to turn it into a post (I’ll even share your profiles as a thank you!)
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