The Power of Developing Your Personal Social Media Brand - 2014 BBJ Women's Summit Recap

Recently, the Birmingham Business Journal honored me as a Power Session Speaker at the 2014 Women's Summit in Birmingham, Alabama. Part of being a Power Session Speaker is to give a 20-minute presentation on a topic in a bite size, actionable, format. I chose to speak on the power of developing your own personal social media brand. Everyone, who is on the Internet, has a social media brand. Dedicated family member, friend, sharer of vacation photos, employee, employer, or member of the fly fishing club. How you strategically utilize your social media brand can be very powerful.

We want to create an image for the rest of the world to see and connect with us. This especially applies to any business owners, entrepreneurs, or professionals, who want use social media to promote what they do and the services they provide others. A brand is flexible, useable online and offline, & connects us to other people online. A personal brand is authentic & unique to ourselves and to the person we want the world to see.

The following are 6 steps to create your own personal social media brand:

Step 1: Write Your Mission Statement

We want to create a mission statement for "Brand: You!" All good strategy starts with a mission statement. To do this, write 3 major goals & objectives for you that you want other people to know when they read and see your social media accounts - either your personal social media like LinkedIn or your organization or business's social media.

Step 2: Define Your "-ER Factor"

My favorite professor of all time will always be Dr. Byron Chew, a now retired professor from Birmingham-Southern College. One of many things Dr. Chew taught me was the "-ER Factor." I now teach all my classes this very valuable lesson. Your "-ER factor" is what makes you bettER, strongER, and fastERthan the competition. What do you do or does your organization do differently than anyone else? Use this to pinpoint your unique value and market “Brand: You!” online & offline and add it to your mission statement.

Step 3: Learn Where to Post

Lots of networks exist – choose the best one (or two or three) that work(s) for you and your goal, not against you. In brief, LinkedIn is for professionals where you post your resume and connect. Facebook has a maturing demographic where organization and business pages can be very helpful if you are promoting something specific. Twitter is for musings, quick announcements, and connecting with new people. Pinterest focuses on women and cataloguing information. Instagram and Vine have a younger demographic and are up and coming with an emphasis on media.

Step 4: Create Powerful Posts

Create the content that is important to “Brand: You!” and is supported by the platform you choose. Images and words are the best combination. Think about your "-ER factor." What can you say about your business, organization, or “Brand: You!” that no one else can say?

Step 5: Connect and Share With Others

Connect first with friends and family. Try out your photos, videos, words, and resume. Try out your business and organization pages. Get feedback from people you trust. Start by following other members on social networks that you like and pay attention to what they do until you are comfortable posting your own content. Post regularly, even if it is just once a week - you can do it over lunch.

Step 6: Use Foresight

Think about the future of “Brand: You!” and what messages your business or organization needs to send out and when those messages will be best communicated. Have a big sale over the holidays? Make sure you write on your calendar to start promoting the sale before it happens. Create a plan and update your mission statement when your goals change. You can schedule posts by using your Facebook page and Tweetdeck for Twitter to write posts ahead of time and then choose the day and time they will show up online. Follow your mission statement, keep defining your "-ER factor", and you’ll be on your way!

This article was published in the Birmingham Business Journal. It is being re-published here with the BBJ's permission.

#missionstatement #personalbrand #marketing #foresight

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susanchesley@gmail.com