Social media can be a wonderful place to enhance your personal branding. In fact, a lot of marketing experts would argue that everything you do on social media affects your personal brand as an individual. Back in 1997 Fast Company published an iconic article titled, The Brand Called You:
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called You. It’s that simple – and that hard. And that inescapable.”
If Fast Company was emphasizing the importance of personal branding back in 1997, it’s even more important and inescapable now in a world where 50% of online adults use social media (1). Social media provides a lot of great opportunities to stand out and really make your personal brand shine.
There are four social media platforms out there that I think are uniquely suited to help you stand out from the crowd. And the good news is that they take information from your other social media platforms, making the hard work of setting them up much easier.
LinkedIn is far and away my favorite social media platform as a professional. A part of why it’s so valuable is because so many other business people have a profile and use it regularly. However, LinkedIn is structured in such a way that makes it hard to really highlight what you’re good at and who you are outside of the list of your work history. To more creatively give people a well-rounded sense of my personal brand I like to use Slideshare, Vizify, About.me, and Re.vu. Personally I use all four because they have different ways of reinforcing my personal brand.
If you do a lot of presentations and trainings, Slideshare is the platform for you. Slideshare gives you the opportunity to upload all of your PowerPoints and share them publicly. Every time I do a training on social media, I upload the PowerPoint slides beforehand and give the url to all of the attendees. This allows them to follow along online, share my slides to social media, and save them for future reference.
In addition, Slideshare integrates with LinkedIn so that you can display the PowerPoints of your choice on your profile. Even if you don’t do a lot of presentations, you can take a white paper you’ve written or a blog, put it into a slideshow, add a few good images, and upload it to Slideshare so that it will display on your LinkedIn profile. Others have also used Slideshare to create a more interesting and engaging bio about themselves that they can then display on their LinkedIn profile.
If you’re a social media junkie and have a presence on a lot of platforms that you post to regularly, Vizify is the platform for you. Vizify takes your data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram to create a unique and visually stunning bio. Because it’s pulling from your activity on these other social media platforms, it takes very little time to set up – you simply have to pick and choose what data you would like to have displayed. One of the reasons I like Vizify is because it pulls words from your tweets and displays the words you tweet about the most. Vizify is a fun way to show people who you are and how you use social media.
About.me is a vcard social media platform. You create a one-page profile about yourself and then provide links to your email, website, blog, and other social media platforms. This a wonderful, simple way to creatively show what you’re all about. If you aren’t able to create a personal website for yourself, about.me is a great substitute. Because you can customize the end of your url it’s very easy to share it with others.
Re.vu is a site that creates an infographic resume for you based upon your LinkedIn information. So before you create your Re.vu account, be sure to go through and improve your LinkedIn profile – this will save you a lot of time!
I use my Re.vu profile to complement my LinkedIn profile. It takes what I’ve posted on LinkedIn and displays it in a much more visually appealing and memorable way. Infographics are a wonderful way to make your personal brand more memorable because we are visually wired beings. For example, researchers found that color visuals increase a person’s willingness to read something by 80% (2). So the more colorful and visually engaging you can make your resume, the better – which is the whole point of Re.vu. The only downside to Re.vu is that your profile doesn’t display well on a mobile device, however, because it’s so beautiful it’s well worth the time and effort to create a profile.
The icing on the cake with all of these platforms is that they require very little work to maintain, and help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). When people search for your name, all of your social media profiles as well as your profiles on these other platforms will show up. And because you can provide links to your entire online presence on each of these sites, when someone is looking for you, you will be much easier to find. Right now, my Slideshare profile has the most views and the highest SEO of any social media profile I have, who would’ve thought?! Definitely give these four great platforms a try.
To get a better sense of what these platforms look like, feel free to check out my profiles: