In today’s endless online world of entertainment and commerce, it’s easy for people to get lost in the vast array of options.
A huge amount of services and shops are available at your fingertips, and many of them can seem identical at first glance.
Many people will get frustrated by the flood of similar options with no clear way to distinguish which one is best for them.
Big brands have ways of setting themselves apart – big marketing teams to manage their social media, flashy ads, and sponsored posts on the Instagram account of an influencer.
But as a lone person on social media, without a big budget or the possibility to work on your brand image 24 hours a day, what can you do?
Luckily for you, we have the answers!
Below, you’ll find 14 ways in which you can improve your personal brand on social media, thereby getting yourself better connections, a stronger image for your brand, and the online success you want.
- Fully Update Your Social Media Accounts
Do a spring cleaning among your accounts; decide which ones are worth keeping and which ones you should delete or deactivate.
You don’t want your old, unused accounts to pop up when people search for you, especially if they contain unprofessional content that could be detrimental to the image you’re building for your brand.
For the accounts you keep, make sure all your info is correct and current. It’s also a good idea to show people where else they can find you – link your Instagram in your Twitter bio and vice versa.
You should make sure that your profiles and bios give a clear image of who you are and what kind of content you put out. Furthermore, your pages should stand out and make people want to follow you.
Here are a few examples of good profiles for inspiration:
Import Your Contacts
It can be hard to know who’s on which platform, and it’s easy to forget to add people if you constantly have a million other things on your mind.
Importing your contacts from your email account or phonebook is an easy way to get around this. Most of the major social media sites allow you to import a certain number of contacts for free.
- Identify Your Area of Expertise
This is an important one – you need to find your niche. It might be tricky to figure out what in particular you excel at, but a good tip is to take a look at the content you’re already putting out.
Which posts seem to engage your followers the most?
If you can identify the element that attracts the most attention, you can create a framework for new content in the same vein, thus streamlining your personal brand Refine your online presence to focus on one area or a few closely related topics.
Once you have worked out your niche, your followers will know what they’re getting when they stick with you and you can remove the guesswork involved in creating new content.
- Study Influencers
There’s nothing wrong with learning from others, and connecting with influencers is a great way to do just that.
A good working relationship with influencers doesn’t just happen overnight though. It takes time and some effort to build strong connections with them.
While you’re building up your relationship, you can also study the way they run their social media: how often they post, what kind of content they put out, and which people they’re seen interacting with.
Learn from this and let it inspire your own presence – without turning you into a copycat.
Tools such as Reelio, Dovetale, and Assembly can help you identify the top influencers within your niche.
- Create & Curate Engaging Content
It might not occur to you when you’re the one publishing it, but audiences can easily tell when someone isn’t truly engaged in their content.
If you never take a fresh approach and just keep posting more of the exact same stuff because it has worked in the past, you can be sure of one thing: it won’t keep working forever.
Write content yourself instead of just sharing or commenting on the work of other people.
Draw upon your own experiences, because you’re human just like your audience! You have a lifetime of knowledge and funny anecdotes to share.
- Share Content on a Regular Basis
If you post every hour of every day, you’ll annoy your followers, but if you only post once a month they’ll forget about you.
Both under-posting and over-posting can drive your audience away, so it’s critical to maintain a balance.
You might think that you absolutely need to post every day, but that’s actually not necessary.
In fact, studies have found that 3-4 posts per week on each social network account is the ideal frequency.
- Make Posting Easy with Apps
You’re not always at home by your computer, so it’s important that you can quickly and efficiently post on the go.
The best way to do this is through an app that lets you post across all your different networks without requiring you to log into every single one.
These apps also let you schedule posts for later, which is useful if you plan on taking some time off.
A few examples of apps that provide these services are Sprout, Hootsuite, and Buffer.
- Diversify Your Content
In connection with what’s mentioned in point 5, it’s important to let your content span as much as possible of the topic or topics you’ve decided to post about.
Explore new angles. Find excellent content from other people and curate it with well-thought-out commentary.
Vary the type of content you post. If you usually post blocks of text, try pictures or even videos. If you normally post pictures without much description, try writing some more to switch things up.
Analyze the reactions the new types of content get and alter your posting habits accordingly.
- Find and Join the Right Groups
As anyone familiar with today’s society will tell you, connections are everything. They’re especially valuable in the online world.
Try scouring Facebook and LinkedIn for groups where you might find people with similar interests and skills.
It’s easy and tempting to join the big, industry-spanning groups, but they’re often too full of people and you’ll struggle to get noticed.
Smaller, more niche groups are a safer bet if you can find the right ones.
- Ask Questions and Engage with Your Audience
I’m sure you’ve seen it yourself; cosplayers, makeup gurus, and other influencers asking questions at the end of their Instagram posts or in their stories or tweets.
They do this for a reason: it’s a great way to connect with your audience and drive your engagement levels up.
People love giving their opinions on things. If you invite them to do so, they’ll be even more keen.
Here are a few examples of questions that work well:
- Ask for feedback on content you’re already putting out.
- Ask for opinions on current events (but try to avoid getting too political).
- Ask your audience what they would like to see you do more of (videos, articles, etc.).
You can also ask about more personal things, such as their favorite color, what their dream job is, or if they prefer cats or dogs.
Be sure to reply to the comments that tickle your fancy, and to any interesting questions that in turn appear in your comments section.
The possibility of a genuine reply can dramatically raise engagement levels.
- Jump into Discussions
Building on the two previous points, it’s vital to avoid just sitting back and watching. Engage with your followers as well as with other people in your industry.
You want to be noticed, and the way to do that is to share your opinions, participate in discussions, and show your humanity. Don’t be just a lurker.
It can be scary at first, but if you keep at it, you will see real results.
- Give as Much as You Can
In order to grow your brand most successfully, you need to pretty much live and breathe it, while still being you.
Be the brand and the person behind it at once. Reach out to people and offer to help without a hidden agenda of trying to sell them something.
Your time is valuable, but give them some of it anyway. Your followers will be grateful, and they will remember you for your helpfulness. And you always want to be remembered!
- Keep Your Brand Voice, Image, and Tone Consistent
People will remember you for who you are, what you say, and how you present yourself, so keep those things consistent across all platforms.
Consistency builds trust, and trust makes people return time and time again.
Finding the right voice for your brand can take some work but there are plenty of personal branding guides out there to help you figure it out.
If you want to keep personal, private accounts for life outside your brand, that’s perfectly reasonable.
Just make sure that you don’t use the same name as your brand or make it too easy to connect the two.
Having an online space away from your brand persona can be a healthy thing.
- Monitor Your Name
Big businesses set up alerts for when someone uses their name or words associated with their content or products. There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same!
Identify common keywords for your niche and set up alerts for them. Also monitor the of your personal brand on social media.
Doing this will help you find connections and engage in conversations relating to your content.
Following these steps, with some persistence, anyone can create and improve their personal brand.
It’s definitely hard work to make and maintain an online persona, but if you do it right and keep it up, it can be an amazing resource for you. Investing the time and energy is absolutely worth it.
Analyze your engagement, make different kinds of posts, and remember that you need consistency to keep people coming back.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.