Read about the importance of personal branding for your social media, and tips on how to get started!
By: Lena Verga
I have a friend who is very social media savvy. She runs two personal Instagram accounts and works for IC’s social media street team. The Instagram accounts are different from each other. The first is her true personal account, where she will post photos as she likes and not worry about a theme or anything like that. The second is her professional Instagram. This one follows a color pallet and exclusively shows off her aesthetic; the account also includes a link to her website and her career aspirations in the bio. My friend uses this account to emphasize and put out her personal brand.
What is the point of personal branding?
Your personal brand is how you present yourself on the individual level. You usually show off your brand on a website that would highlight your professional work. Your social media – on the other hand – shows off your “fun side,” the side that you wouldn’t particularly want an employer to see. Millennials have been told that they have to separate their social and professional lives in order to succeed in the real world. And now in the digital age, more and more employers and recruiters want to see our social media so they can get a glance at what we are really like and what we don’t show on a resume.
Jobs in the communications field are looking for employees with active social media accounts. It’s become the best way to show off your creativity/technological skills, and also what you care about. Jenn Chen says: “The presentation of personal branding online involves creating a voice, personality, logo, biography and even the topics you want to be known for.” What Chen is talking about comes from a more business-focused stance, but can apply to your social media.
My personal accounts are a mess. Nothing is on brand and nothing fits any theme that I’m trying to portray. The image above I got from Google, but I wish I could take credit for it. However, if I’ve learned anything from my friend, it’s that you should:
- Stick with one consistent profile picture for all your accounts – that way you are easily recognized.
- Come up with an artistic/aesthetic theme – this shows off your creativity skills.
- Include links to any professional websites/LinkedIn pages – this is the easiest way to link your professional and personal lives.
- Advertise any professional work on your personal accounts – it’s the best personal publicity.
- Make all your accounts public!!! – if they are private, it looks like you have something to hide.
- Going off of that: BE SMART WITH WHAT YOU POST.
We are entering a new world of social media: it’s no longer the escape from the real world that it has been for so many years. Our accounts have become representations of who we are, not just who we want to be. So let’s show off our best selves and make recruiters see the types of people that we are, not just what’s copied down on our resumes.