Ask any established and successful business today whether they have a social media strategy and they will tell you it is the backbone of their marketing strategy to educate, entertain and attract new clients and customers.
In this digital age, no company can afford to do business without a social media strategy. A personal social media follows this same principal. Crafting your own social media strategy amplifies your personal brand. And it’s free.
This article explores what a social media strategy is, why it is important and how to pull together a strategy that best reflects your experience, skills and core competencies in a compelling and professional manner.
A personal social media strategy definition
A personal social media strategy is a summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve on social media platforms. It guides your actions and lets you know whether you’re succeeding or failing. Every post, reply, like, and comment should serve a purpose – to offer value to others, amplify your personal brand and get you in front of your target audience in an authentic way.
Why a personal social media platform is important
Think of your personal social media strategy as an online reputation management approach. It:
- demonstrates your commitment to innovation, embracing social media platforms as a vehicle to contribute to and benefit from what others in your sector are talking about
- has the potential to get you in front of clients and influential industry leaders you could never connect with via your resume alone
- positions you as a positive contributor to your sector, building your professional reputation and influence
- serves to proactively market yourself and your skills, building digital bridges and connections with contacts, prospective clients and opportunities
- allows you to find like minded people to share ideas, collaborate and to learn
The importance of professionalism
This article is written within a professional context. Pictures and commentary of what you had for breakfast and the cutest pictures of your children or pets doesn’t form part of your professional social media strategy.
In fact, many professionals choose to delineate between their personal brand and their professional brand with different social media accounts for each. This is worth serious consideration.
Effective personal social media strategies
The number of social platforms available to grow your professional brand seems to be growing every week. An effective personal social media strategy incorporates the most relevant platforms for your skill set and sector.
If you are a business professional, the most obvious digital platform to use to grow your personal professional brand considerably, is LinkedIn. However you will also find value in other digital platforms – you just need to find those where other like minded individuals and companies regularly “hang out” online.
Key elements of an effective personal social media strategy
- A goal that summarises what you are trying to achieve
- A list of the social media platforms you intend to use as part of your strategy
- A summary of the type of content you are going to share or create to build your online reputation
- A schedule that includes which digital platforms you will use and how regularly you will use them
- Mechanisms to measure your success – success is different for everyone. The metrics you use do not need to be laborious, but keeping an eye on your progress is very important
Content to share or create on social media platforms
There is no end to the content that you can create or share with others in your professional network on social media. Here are a few examples of the type of content that people commonly share on social platforms:
- Blog Posts
- Company News
- Article written by reputable leaders in your sector
- Podcast links
Implementation is simple but requires some discipline in execution
Creating a personal social media strategy is not difficult. A template is useful in forming your strategy and your plan can be pulled together pretty easily. If you already contribute to a range of online digital platforms, the exercise of pulling together a personal social media strategy formalises your online reputation approach.
The value of the exercise is closing any current gaps you have in the platforms you use, taking a quick look at what others are going in your sector and ensuring that your strategy aligns with your overall reputation building goals.
Of course creating the strategy is the starting point – actually implementing your strategy is often where people come unstuck.
Consistency is the key
Once your personal social media strategy is in place, you must COMMIT to the plan and follow through. Are you the sort of person who needs to put actions in your calendar? Are you better to set aside 15 minutes each day to “take action”?
Quick tip: Try to choose a time of day when you are most motivated to progress your plan. Just like any new habit, it takes time for those actions to become instinctive and part of your day to day routine.
Start strong – early wins will keep you motivated and on track to keep going
If you see your personal social media strategy as a chore, you are likely to resent it. But you should see it as a pivotal part of enhancing your day to day work life.
Greater online visibility means you are likely to connect with people whose opinions you value. This will help you to form new connections and drive more rewarding interactions with others.
Technology allows us to grow our networks, our knowledge and our connections like never before. Use your personal social media strategy to improve and amplify your online reputation and drive greater satisfaction in whatever work you do.
Implemented effectively, your strategy will allow you to practice more shared learning, offer and receive helpful insights and ideas and drive digital discussions with people all around the globe. And of course, it will most certainly provide you with greater access to interesting work opportunities.
Overwhelmed? Start small
Set yourself up for success by implementing your personal social media strategy slowly at first.
If you haven’t used any social platforms before, start with just one platform. For example, create a profile on LinkedIn and spend a week or two commenting on others’ posts.
Need help putting a strategy together to grow your personal brand? I can help. Get in touch.