Where to begin? You have started your own business. You’ve invested in a website to highlight your product or service. You may have even begun to add content to your website to help visitors learn more about your product or service. How will you develop a social media online presence for your personal brand?
As I mentioned in the previous blog, Personal Branding for the Small Business Owner, personal branding is about identifying and then communicating what makes you unique and relevant and allows you to differentiate yourself to your target audience. Your online relationships will grow through the sharing, liking, and commenting on posts from people you have identified as influencers and/or evangelists. But what will you bring to the party?
Be the source!
Be constantly on the lookout for great pieces to share that relate to your area of expertise. Find websites that relate to your industry and bookmark them, or follow them on social media, or sign up to receive their newsletter. When experts in your industry, or related industries, share their great content and you think that folks who follow you on your platforms might be interested in it as well, share it with an insightful comment of your own. Let your audience know what you liked (or disliked) about the article. Let them know where in the article they might find the information that will help them with whatever challenge they may be faced with.
Schedule your posts out.
I have found it helpful to designate a chunk of time each week to review articles I have bookmarked, construct my social media posts for the articles I want to share, and set up a schedule for when they will post. There are many tools to help people with this process, but most often I use either an excel spreadsheet or a simple monthly calendar to help me visualize when and where the posts will publish . I currently use HootSuite for pre-scheduling most of my posts. There are a number of other helpful online tools available for the same purpose. Many of them offer some limited services at no cost.
Post these articles in different formats and on different schedules across your preferred social media platforms. When posting on your personal Facebook page, be sure the article will be of interest to most of your followers. When posting to LinkedIn, be sure that you phrase the comment in a way that informs the reader not only about your expertise in this matter, but also, (if possible) how this article may be useful to him/her in business. Posting an article in any of your Facebook or LinkedIn Groups will be very specific. In this case, you would never want to post an article in the group that is outside the designated stated interest of that group. In whichever platform you decide to utilize, your comment on the article will set the tone for what you anticipate the reader to get out of their investment of time in reading the article. When you receive comments on your posts, respond to them with honesty and additional wisdom around the point you were trying to make with that article.
Beware the Overshare!
People are becoming savvy to the “unfollow”. Take care not to unload all of your heavy content all at once. You might want to come up with some guidelines for yourself as to how often you will post your business-related content. Never forget to offer your ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ on others’ posts, as well.
Remember to use the Power of You.
There are loads of folks who want to learn what you have to share. Your followers are interested in watching you follow your passion for your area of expertise. By sharing interesting articles (including your own, as much as possible) you are establishing yourself as a resource for others who want to learn more about you and your business.