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Creating Successful Leaders

social media brandingLast week, we talked a little bit about social media marketing in general; this week (to continue social media month), I’m going to address social media and your personal brand. Your personal brand is synonymous with your reputation–it has to do with how you show yourself to the world AND how the world sees you. Creating a positive personal brand doesn’t happen over night. We build our brands every day, little by little, through our actions and words. So how does this tie to social media?
A big part of your personal presence is now online. The way you communicate with others, what you post on your social media platforms, and your interactions with both people and groups says a lot about who you are. On the other hand, lacking a social presence says something too. Others might wonder if you are slow to adopt new technologies/practices or if you’re trying to blend into the shadows. Here are some tips for creating a great personal brand through social media:

1. Have a consistently positive presence

Even if you’ve had a rotten day, Facebook is no place to gripe about it. Next time you feel like posting about your troubles at home (or, heaven forbid, the workplace!), think about how you can frame your message in a positive light. Try posting something like, “Lots of challenges were thrown my way today, but I overcame all of them!” or “I made lemonade today out of my lemons.”

Turning negative occurrences into positive statements shows that you’re able to rise above challenges and aren’t bogged down by the minutia in life. And believe me, people take notice of your overall “mood” on social media. Think about how you want to “show up” every day.

2. Choose your friends wisely

Anne Pryor, LinkedIn expert and founder of Meaningful Connections, once told me that it is unwise to accept every invitation to connect. Just as in “real life,” you are judged by the company you keep on social media. Don’t associate yourself with people who are negative, disreputable, or who post things in poor taste. Anyone can view your connections, and it’s best to be proud of your list of friends and followers than embarrassed.

3. Let your brand shine!

Sure, you should be cautious on social media, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Post interesting articles, photographs, quotes, and videos. Engage your audience by asking questions or asking for their opinion. Feel free to tell (clean!) jokes, celebrate your favorite actors’ birthdays, or post photographs from the baseball game you’re attending. Just make sure it’s you. Social media is a great way to let your best side shine, and showcase your areas of expertise. Your audience is looking for a healthy balance of fun, engagement, and industry knowledge.

Happy socializing!

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