With the rise of the internet, specifically social media, it has become more critical than ever to pay attention to your personal brand. Whether you’re actively involved in running an online business or merely want to put the best face forward for present and future employment, don’t ignore branding. Which social media property is best for building a brand? There is no one size fits all answer. It depends on the demographic you are trying to reach. Should you choose Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or blogging? The answer is a solid yes - and maybe.
In addition to targeting the correct demographic, you will quickly become aware of the problem that trying to make best use of a handful of social media sites can be a full-time job. There’s a good chance that you should choose just one to start with. Eventually, you will have tweaked your profile, grown an audience, and established yourself as a presence on, say, Facebook. At that point you might want to incorporate an second social media outlet or you might be perfectly happy with the one you have.
Let’s talk about blogging first. There are a few good reasons that everyone should consider blogging as the foundation of their overall branding campaign. A blog gives you an online property that you control completely. Have you pondered how quickly a social media outlet could disappear, taking all your hard work with it into a cyber void never to be seen again? Remember when MySpace was a big deal? Nothing but a pile of bones now. Most branding experts would recommend you create a blog as a home base and use social media to drive traffic to it. Don't have a lot of things to say yourself? Consider outsourcing it.
Define an Objective
What is the point in developing your personal brand? Ask yourself this question and seriously ponder the answer, which will differ depending upon whether you’re trying to raise employment exposure, start a business, sell more product, or try to stand out from competitors. Any of these are legitimate objectives, but you need to decide which one you’re going after.
Perhaps more important than agonizing over which particular social media platform to use is to make it a goal to stay consistent across any that you do use. That means constancy of imagery, colors, slogans, and, most important of all, posting. You simply must post content consistently to do your brand any good. See the average posting frequency below for popular websites. These aren’t hard and fast rules but are a good guide:
Facebook and Google+ - 2 times daily LinkedIn and Instagram - 1 time daily Twitter and Pinterest - 5 times daily
Which Social Media is Best?
Obviously, there is no single hard and fast answer for which social media offers the best bang for your buck in brand building, but here are some facts to consider.
1. 71 percent of all adults online use Facebook, with the percentage of seniors increasing. Usage has been stable since 2013 with women the predominant force.
2. Twitter is especially popular with the under 50 and college-educated crowd. If your service or product targets that demographic, get tweeting.
3. Instagram is dominated by the 18-29 age group.
4. Pinterest would be a good choice if you have visual, art-oriented products to sell. Women are the vast majority of Pinterest users, and also make this the best social media platform to sell stuff to.
5. LinkedIn, to no one’s surprise, is the choice for higher income, college educated users.
The Bottom Line When it comes to building your personal brand online, what you do is not as important as doing something. Take control. Get proactive. These days you’re not going to be taken seriously until you tend to that brand!
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