10 Proven Strategies to Build a Powerful Personal Brand on Social Media

Crafting an online persona enables you to project your values and professional acumen, particularly in this era dominated by artificial intelligence.

Even if your social media engagement is sporadic, every post, reaction, and share contributes to this digital narrative. Your online demeanor holds as much weight as your offline comportment, especially pivotal in the realm of digital marketing careers.

Research from ‘Using Social Media in the Recruitment Process’ indicates that 50% of employers are inclined to scrutinize job seekers via their personal social media profiles. Furthermore, 64% of hiring managers have, at some juncture, perused a candidate’s social network profiles, such as LinkedIn, for recruitment insights.

Cultivating a personal brand on social media demands effort, but when executed effectively, it can propel your career, forge significant connections, establish you as a thought leader, showcase your individuality, and lay the foundation for a lasting legacy.

In this discourse, we will delve into ten pivotal steps to aid in constructing a social media presence. Additionally, we will explore which social media platform reigns supreme for personal branding.

  1. Update Your Social Media Accounts
  2. Identify Your Area of Expertise
  3. Use Social Media AI Tools
  4. Regularly Share Content
  5. Import Your Contacts
  6. Be Positive, Engaging & Authentic
  7. Find & Join Social Groups
  8. Keep Your Voice, Image & Tone Consistent
  9. Study Influencers
  10. Earn a Social Media Certification

“LinkedIn is a tool in an employee’s kit.
It can help their career and knowledge. It can help their prospecting
and what they’re doing. They can increase their personal brand, visibility
and worth to their current employer and future employer”
Luan Wise, Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Social Media Trainer

1. Update Your Social Media Accounts

There are estimated to be over 5 billion social media users globally and the average person uses 6.7 different social networks every month, according to Datareportal.

Those figures demonstrate the adoption of social platforms across age groups and locations. But not every account will help build your presence online and with so many networks to keep on top of, how useful is each one to social greatness?

So, conduct an audit and decide which social media channels to focus on. Then delete any old accounts that you no longer use or are serving you no purpose.

For the networks you will use, make sure all your information is accurate and complete. This will help you direct and grow traffic to the networks that will showcase you and your work.

​2. Identify Your Area of Expertise

Everyone’s an expert at something – whether it’s how to create and distribute great content or having an encyclopedic knowledge of your favorite TV show.

In the digital marketing area just think of the experts that people and articles always refer to – plus they have awesome LinkedIn profiles. There’s Rand Fishkin who specializes in audience listening, Neil Patel who is the go-to for search marketing and Steve Bartlett, author, Dragon’s Den participant and podcast host.

Is it time for you to experiment a bit more? Think about what type of content you’ve created that your followers have responded to most. Can you replicate this with similar content or repurpose something that has performed well to re-engage?

The more unique and engaging content you create on your chosen topic of expertise, the more your followers will start to think of you as a thought leader in your chosen field.

3. Use Social Media AI Tools

Building a personal brand has gotten even easier with the advancement of artificial intelligence. By using AI tools, you can create an identity that reflects your values, expertise and aspirations.

You can use it for a variety of tasks such as:

  • Content Creation: Use writing tools like Perplexity and ChatGPT to perform research and help get ideas to create content for platforms. And tools like Feedly or Pocket use AI to suggest relevant articles and news that align with your brand so you can share valuable content with your audience.

  • Social Media Management: Platforms like Sprout, Buffer, and Hootsuite all leverage AI to schedule posts and automate tasks. While AI can help analyze metrics such as engagement to help you understand what content matters to your audience.
  • SEO: Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush use AI to identify trending keywords and phrases along with analyzing content for readability and keyword density so you can optimize content for search engines. Plus with TikTok becoming a search engine it’s worth being strategic with your keywords and phrases when posting to the platform.

  • Market Research: You can use AI to conduct a competitive analysis and get insights into market trends and customer behavior. Tools that can do this are Ahrefs, Similarweb, and Brand24.

  • Email Marketing: Personalization is key to driving click-through in your email marketing so use AI to analyze subscriber data and optimize and test key elements such as subject lines, CTAs, and content.

  • Visuals: There are loads of great tools you can use for creating visuals such as Canva AI or Midjourney. Adobe Spark and Lumen5 use AI to create professional images and videos.

  • Landing Page Optimization: WordPress, Godaddy, and Wix offer AI-driven optimizations for site design, content and layout which can help with user engagement and SEO.

4. Regularly Share Content

In the early days of social media, the more you posted, the more engagement you could drum up. Today, however, over-posting leads to fatigue and annoyance.

You want to keep the lines of communication open with your audience, but you also don’t want to overshare so much that you look desperate. While there is guidance on the optimum number of social posts for large businesses such as
3-5 posts a week on Instagram, 1 to 2 posts a day on LinkedIn and 3 to 5 posts a day on TikTok (see more in the graphic below from Hootsuite), it’s not as clear-cut for small companies or personal branding.

How often to post on social media platforms- Hootsuite

The optimal number of social media posts depends on your industry, audience, number of followers, and your resources.

Aim for a sustainable number of posts in your social media strategy across the networks that work for you, a number you can accommodate without putting yourself under too much pressure or suffering burnout.

We would recommend the sweet spot for individuals is posting around 3-4 times a week.

As Michael Noice, founder of Entrepreneur Coach, explains, “A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything. For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.”

There will be days when you don’t post, and that’s perfectly fine. Identify the best social media metrics to focus on, analyze the data associated with your posts and identify a pattern that works.

If you’re having trouble finding content to share and want more insight into what’s popular, search via social media hashtags, use news aggregator sites like Feedly, sign up for Google Alerts, or use an AI tool like AnswerthePublic.

5. Import Your Contacts

You might be amazed to see how many people you already know on the social media networks you’re using. There may be tens, or even hundreds, of people with whom you haven’t yet connected with.

That’s why you shouldn’t waste those existing or potential connections. Import your email contacts from Gmail or Outlook, or contacts from your phonebook, into your social networks to find out how many connections you’re missing.

LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and X all allow for the free import of a certain number of contacts. You can also sync your phone contacts to your TikTok account.

6. Be Positive, Engaging & Authentic

While your goal may be to create an unstoppable personal brand online, make sure it reflects you and your values. While you now know some of the things you should be doing on social media, are you aware of what not to do to make sure your social impression is positive?

Think of your interactions and content as a resume of your work, and a reflection of your professional attitude and personality. Reposting others’ content or curating content is a smart thing to do, but it’s not all you should be doing. You also need to share content that you’ve written to demonstrate industry expertise.

Creating engaging content means taking a fresh approach to the types of updates you share with your network.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements, or add engaging tidbits about your personal life (e.g. travel and hobbies are suitable).

For example, if you work as a digital nomad, there’s no shame in showing you working on a beach or giving some insight into what it’s like to travel and work. After all, social media is about individuals first.

If you have concerns about not being able to voice your opinions, consider creating two sets of social media accounts: one for private use (say whatever you want), and one for public use (in which your responses and shares are heavily
considered). Keep your personal pages private to close friends and family, and use your professional accounts to build new connections and career opportunities.

If you want to talk about your employer online, make sure you read through your company’s social media guidelines before doing so.

7. Find & Join Social Groups

Facebook and LinkedIn offer great opportunities to join groups focused on specific industries or topics.

Just use the search bar on each platform to find groups that are linked to your specific area of expertise. Then you’ll be able to share your insights and build authority around your personal brand.

However, they aren’t the only platforms with group or community-building opportunities. X Communities replaced Twitter Circles in 2023 and was created to give people a place to connect, share, and discuss. These communities are started and managed by people on the platform who enforce rules and keep conversations informative, relevant, and fun.

The newcomer to the social media block, Threads (launched by Meta as a rival to X) has accrued a lot of users since its launch in 2023. As a text-based platform, its goal is community sharing so it could help you reach a new audience and promote yourself. You can also post links, photos, carousels, and videos and cross-post on Instagram.

Although TikTok doesn’t yet offer groups it does allow some posts to go to friends only. This can help TikTok creators build a community by only sharing certain posts with the people they choose to follow. TikTok Live (where viewers and creators can interact in real-time) can also feel like a group but are only accessible by TikTokers wanting to join live.

Pinterest is another social channel where you can build a community. Plus it’s not just about followers; but creating a space where people find inspiration, share ideas, and discover new interests. You can use Pinterest Group Boards to get your content shared based on a theme such as ‘wedding cakes’.

Keep in mind that industry groups may be overcrowded with competitors, so smaller, topic-based groups may be more fruitful in terms of reaching your audience.

There’s also Reddit, the largest platform for online communities and one of the most visited websites in the world. Its real-time user content is also being used to train Google’s AI model so it’s getting eyes on it from brands.

While platforms like Patreon and discord can create opportunities to connect with like-minded people. Patreon enables creators to earn money income by offering exclusive content and perks to subscribers while Discord is designed for creating communities and supports voice, video, and text chat in a more secure environment.

Once you’re a member of a group, don’t be afraid to jump into discussions and add your unique insights. It can be difficult to remember that that’s exactly what social media is about!

8. Keep Your Voice, Image & Tone Consistent

You’ve probably already figured out that sticking to your defined persona is important.

So it’s important to remain consistent with your ideas and the ways you present them so that you’re seen as memorable and authentic.

Voice

Finding the tone of voice that works best for your brand may take trial and error. It’s not about just deciding you want to be funny or inspirational, you need to figure out what style works for you.

For example, here’s a post from Marie Forleo on X. As a business strategist, life coach, and bestselling author, she uses social media to spread positivity and inspire motivation. Her personal brand statement is “Build a business
and life you love” which she threads through her social media messaging.

Marie Forleo post on X

Image

While you don’t require a graphic design degree to create amazing graphics, you do need an understanding of design fundamentals to provide a seamless user experience and communicate using visuals or text.

This includes color, imagery, typography, and composition. By nailing each of these for your brand, you can create a brand style guide that will help you create a consistent image across digital channels from your website or blog to social and even email.

For example, just think about Coca-Cola and how it uses its logo and red color consistently. This could be you, albeit on a smaller scale!

Coca cola branding

Tone

While your brand voice is the content of what you say, tone is how you say it. What this means is that your messages need to change depending on the audience and the platform.

Just think about the type of content and tone of posts on LinkedIn. Now compare that to TikTok. Both cater to a different audience and a different purpose so the tone has to change to connect with the user base on each.

Your tone will also change depending on what you are communicating or responding to. For example, sharing a post about loving a new product will differ from one responding to a negative comment.

Here’s an example from Oatly who use humor in their copy to promote their products but also show their stance on sustainability and the environment.

Oatly campaign

The key to success here is to understand your audience, know your channels, and keep an eye on tone when creating any content with tone in mind.

9. Study Influencers

Connecting with and collaborating with influencers is a great way to get your brand known, but it can take some time. You have to put time and effort into finding the right one and then developing a relationship before they’ll see you as an expert.

Influencer marketing has changed in recent years. It’s no longer about the celebrities or heavy hitters on Instagram or TikTok, smaller content creators and influencers can play a key role.

“The influencer era is gone and there are a lot of brands and small businesses, especially B2B businesses that have been acting like influencers,” said Mark Pollard in a recent DMI webinar.

According to Meltwater’s State of Social Media Report, micro-influencers inspire up to 60% more engagement than other influencers and boast an average engagement rate of 3.86% compared to mega-influencers at only 1.21%.

The first thing to do if you want to look at influencer marketing is to find the right influencer. Tools like Meltwater, BuzzSumo, Heepsy and Brandwatch can help you do that.

You should then reach out to the influencer, preferably on the social channel they use. Be clear and honest about what you’re looking for and include an action such as arranging a meeting or call.

Once you’ve secured a partnership or collaboration, use our influencer marketing brief template to share the objectives, terms and details of the project. This helps ensure you’re both on the same page and there are surprises on delivery.

10. Earn a Social Media Certification

The best way to build your personal brand on social media is to understand the fundamentals. It’s never just a case of post in and then wishing for the best scenario: you need to tailor content for each platform so it connects with your existing and future followers.

There are many areas you should have knowledge and experience in to triumph on social platform, such as:

  • Social research
  • Social customer services
  • Social apps
  • Analytics
  • Social content
  • Social strategy
  • Social commerce
  • Affiliate marketing

In addition, you need to know the features for each of the key platforms such as Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and the rest to know the best way to leverage them and optimize content for each platform to get the best engagement rate.

With some practice, you’ll soon learn what channel works best and how to measure success. Luckily our certified Social Media Marketing course will help you learn all of these and more! Plus you get to learn from industry experts who can
give you advanced tips and insights. Check it out to see what you can learn.

Which Social Media Platform is The Best for Personal Branding?

The ‘best’ platform depends on your personal brand, audience, goals and industry.

Some platforms will work better than others and it’s always best to limit your social channels so you’re not spreading yourself too thin, especially when it’s just you creating, posting, and managing each one.

So let’s look at each key platform to give an overview:

1. Instagram

A visual platform that’s perfect for sharing images and videos with Stories and using Reels for engaging, ephemeral content. It’s also great for influencer marketing and hashtags help increase visibility and reach targeted audiences.

Ideal For: Industries with a visual focus like fashion, photography, travel, art, fitness, and lifestyle.

2. Twitter X

A real-time platform that is good for sharing insights, news, curating content, and engaging followers through polls and hashtags.

Ideal For: Thought leadership, real-time engagement, technology and media industries.

3. YouTube

One of the world’s largest platforms, it’s used as a search engine, so SEO is key. Video content that performs well are tutorials, behind the scenes, unboxings, interviews, and educational videos.

Ideal For: Content creators, educators, entertainers, and anyone using video content.

4. LinkedIn

A platform with a professional focus that’s great for showcasing expertise and career achievements. It has tools for publishing long-form content, articles, and industry updates.

Ideal For: Professional networking, B2B industries, and career development.

“LinkedIn is not just about posting a CV or resume anymore. It is a valuable business networking tool. I don’t think business networks have ever been more important in terms of how people get discovered and how they do business together,” said Luan Wise in a recent podcast.

5. TikTok

A must-have platform for Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok features engaging short-form video content (although it has expanded to include 60-minute videos to take on YouTube). It’s also good for highlighting and discovering trends and challenges that offer viral potential.

Ideal For: Creative professionals, entertainers, and for targeting younger audiences.

6. Facebook

The current largest social platform in terms of users, Facebook offers a range of content types including text, images, videos, and live streams, and offers niche groups for community building.

Ideal For: Reaching a broad and diverse audience, community building, and diverse content types.

Supercharge Your Social Media Skills

With so many channels to choose from, it can be hard to know where to put your energy to connect with your audience. Our certified Social Media Marketing course will not only give you insights into the key features of social channels such as Facebook, X, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram but also explore social research, social
content, social customer service, social commerce and social strategy. What are you waiting for? Get started today to supercharge your social media activities!

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

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