Article in User Manual category.

Do Your Social Profiles Reflect Your Personal Brand?

Ask 10 people their opinion regarding social networks, and how they utilize them, and you will likely receive 10 different answers.  Personal networking, professional networking,…

Ask 10 people their opinion regarding social networks, and how they utilize them, and you will likely receive 10 different answers.  Personal networking, professional networking, keeping in touch with classmates/family, a learning tool, and the list goes on.  No matter how they’re used, each creates a ridge within the personal fingerprint you’re creating for yourself in the virtual world.

Let’s expand on the brand you’re creating for yourself from a business standpoint.

Offer Icebreakers

Have you ever walked into a job interview and looked around the walls to see if the pictures are of fishing trips, family vacations, great moments in sports… anything to comment on as you small talk before diving into the conversation at hand? Of course you do. It’s natural to want to connect with people on a personal level; even business contacts.

Our CEO has photos of Alaskan mountain climbing expeditions, Muhammad Ali before a fight, his son competing in a triathlon, his dog barreling across a beach… all great conversation starters. People want to work with people they like, and it’s easy to find out what they like if you open up and share a handful of passions, hobbies or history. Invite people into your world; make sure it’s aligned with the message you want to communicate, but do invite them in. Bonding over common interests—whether it’s “hey, I grew up in Arizona too” or “I’m an astronomy nut just like you” – helps opens doors.


Remember Your Audience

Let’s say you’re following an industry colleague on Twitter and they’re “leaving for the mall”, “at the mall”, “eating at the mall”, etc. Unless you’re looking for a new shopping buddy, you’re most likely going to ignore future tweets, or stop following them altogether, as they’re not providing you with value in the context you were looking for: deepening business relationships, opening up networking opportunities, driving business to close.

The lesson here is to do your best to communicate content relevant to your intended audience. From a business standpoint, add your take to current events, pass along relevant news bits, promote your own company’s products/services, and provide virtual pats on the back to influencers if they say something you agree with. If you can keep them interested, promote dialogue, and give them a solid takeaway, they will remember you as a go-to resource.


Keep Your Audience Engaged

Whether you’re a professional selling a service or a job seeker promoting your experience, let your audience know how you can help them solve their problems; be confident about what you have to offer and come through when they ask; you’ll soon become the ‘go to’ person and that reputation will spread quickly.

If you don’t already, try updating your profile on a weekly basis, to offer your networking connections new information about you and what you’re up to. Does that sound like too much?  Most social media sites allow you to change your status daily; even better, they offer the ability to automatically cross-post to your other social networking accounts in a single action. As an example, if Twitter is your go-to social media channel of choice, with a few extra characters, or the installation of a tool or two, you can easily share that post on LinkedIn and Facebook, without even visiting either site.

Give it a try! Pretty soon your business colleagues, family and friends will have an integrated mix of updates that reflect your personal interests, professional ventures, successes on both, as well as promotion of others.

As you can see, even when promoting oneself professionally, it can pay to be personal.

This post originally appeared on the TriNet blog. Check it out here.

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