Personal Branding Your Social Media (It’s a Thing Now)

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.

Lena 1

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.

Sources:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/personal-branding/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2016/11/12/9-ways-to-use-social-media-to-build-your-personal-brand/

https://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/why-you-need-a-personal-brand-and-how-to-build-it-on-social-media.html

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When We Need Social Media The Most

Read about how social media can be a source of news for national crises and offer a new perspective to tragedies, through the lens of the recent Las Vegas shooting.

By: Kristin Butler

It is not an unpopular belief that social media and technology are advancing faster than humans can properly integrate it into daily life. We often let the technology use us, rather than us use our technology. Technology that was once made to enhance our world and connect us, to some, is now hindering our social reactions. Humans can be engulfed by social media and glued to their phones. Only ever caring about the amount of likes or views they get, how they look to strangers through this odd lens, or recording moments so often they forget to live them. It’s hard not getting caught up in it all.

But now with new technology and resources, the events happening within our lives spread faster due to social media and the way we leverage the technology. Twitter has been more effective for natural disaster rescue needs than 911 has ever been. News apps inform people around the world of events happening even as they are still happening. And even though we often record our lives through our cellphones, the incidents that occur during our filming materials into something we never would have had before. So, despite the often negative day to day feeling most individuals feel about technology, there are so many aspects where when the world needs us most, social media, and those that interact with it, step up.

Concerts are heavily recorded by the audience where phones are held high and small, illuminated screens surround you and stretch for miles. These moments are all recorded, like in the case of the mass shooting that happened on October 1, 2017. A gunman opened fire on a large crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Los Vegas strip, and Snapchat was one of the first materials that was used when videos were released. Because of this human need to record most of our lives for the use of social media, hundreds of videos were provided from multiple moments and perspectives. A new resource was born. You can even look at the live footage videos here that snapchat made into a location on their app – something that had never been done before.

The effect social media had on this accident doesn’t end there, however. Thousands of celebrities turned to Twitter to use their platform to inform, send prayers, and update the world, including Jason Aldean, the country singer who was performing during the festival shooting. Other celebrities voiced their sorrow and prayers for those effected from the mass shooting as well, such as peer country singers Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, and other celebrities including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harry Styles, Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, Sam Smith, John Legend, and more. Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night host, even shared an article speaking about Las Vegas being more than a strip of casinos, but a community, and gave links for those to be able to find out where they could donate blood.

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The Vegas victims from the mass shooting have portraits circulating all over the internet, ensuring their names, lives, and passions are shared for the world to see. Without this resource, those individuals would merely be a number to the public. All 59 killed. That would be all we know. On news sites, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever social media platform is used, now more than ever, we feel a personal connection with all those affected by the incident. We don’t just know the number, we know their names. These efforts bring more awareness, relief, and understanding to the audience receiving the information.

The ways social media and PR are used to release information and inform others in wake of an incident is inspiring and heart-warming. How we connect during these times is how we should use the platform on a daily basis. Hope, support, awareness, and positivity should always be spread. Despite the worries we have in our everyday lives, even if it’s your friends or your family being too consumed in technology, it is clear that when we need to step up, we do. Our incident response has never been better due to social media, and with innovation in technology quickly advancing, we can only hope our next steps include incident prevention.

Sources:

http://variety.com/2017/music/news/las-vegas-shooting-hollywood-reacts-social-media-1202577693/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-shooting-victims/index.html

https://twitter.com/jason_aldean?lang=en

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OKf2uvjVfQ&has_verified=1

 

Why Your Personal Brand is Important

Read about why branding yourself is so essential for standing out in an oversaturated job market.

By: Madeline Strauch

Branding is a vital strategy for any professional looking to stand out. When you brand yourself, you are making yourself known, understood, and hopefully memorable.

As we know, first impressions are very important, especially in a professional setting. Creating your personal brand is a perfect way to promote the exact impression you want people to have of you. Branding is great because it doesn’t just have to be about who you are, but what knowledge and skills you can offer as well. This is especially helpful if you intend on getting a job, because employers will gain a brief understanding upfront of what you have to offer and benefit to their organization.

Your personal brand is an opportunity to stand out and showcase why you should be considered for an internship, job, promotion, etc. It is unique to you, so make sure to stay true to who you are, but keep in mind that it is wise to brand yourself in a way that aligns with your professional field. This will help make you memorable and consistent.

Essentially, your brand is a mechanism to sell yourself to a buyer, which, in most cases is a future employer. One of the goals of your personal image should be to market yourself to your audience to be interested enough in investing in you, whether it be for a job or even just an initial interview.

Social media is a huge aspect of your personal brand. Be consistent and smart about how you present yourself on your social media platforms. It is important to never include anything you wouldn’t want your employer to disapprove of. However, social media has the power to greatly enhance your brand. Keeping up with social media postings is important, especially posts or material that relates to your professional field or interests. A good thing to do is create a website or a blog where you can display skills and achievements in one place that is unique to you.

In today’s competitive professional world, the main point to take away about branding is try to make your personal brand special, something that employers will look at and be impressed by. It may seem difficult, but there are many unique things about yourself that others don’t have or don’t have in the same way you do. Remember to remain positive because your brand is just a reflection of who you are, it’s truly you that is unique in the world!

Sources:

http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/why-branding-yourself-is-important/

http://www.sbnonline.com/article/how-branding-yourself-is-important-for-your-career-and-company/