Branding is no longer just for companies. People are increasingly ‘packaging and marketing’ themselves to find employment, whether that’s as a freelancer or for a company contract. The social branding trend is booming; there are how-to guides, blogs, articles and advice columns popping up everywhere with tips on how to perfect that brand and how to use it to connect with others.
Social branding: Building a brand on social media. Social media offers an affordable way to build your brand online, engage more people and easily interact with potential and existing customers and/or employers.
Social Brand Value
Social branding is about selling yourself, showcasing your skills and getting noticed. When someone creates a social brand for themselves, they are thinking about one thing: how can I take my assets and market them in such a way that makes me more likely to land that particular job/client? When it comes to social branding, it’s usefulness is determined by the degree to which a potential candidate can showcase skills that are essential to their field.
For example, a doctor can demonstrate that he is up to date on the latest medical journals by keeping a LinkedIn blog recording his opinions on the latest medical news; a graphic designer can use his Facebook cover to showcase his latest artwork; and a social media strategist can demonstrate his ability to stimulate engagement by leading a trending conversation on Twitter. In other words, the ‘social brand’ is an extension of the CV for the digital age.
Your Seal of Authenticity
There’s a danger inherent in marketing yourself online, and that’s appearing to be superficial, or only interested in pursuing profits and prestige. If someone looking at your social media brand believes that your brand only exists in order to achieve a particular goal, you will come across as inauthentic, and your brand will fail to deliver the best possible results.
It’s important to get across a sense of the person behind the brand, just as Richard Branson comes across as a distinct personality despite having clear business ambitions. Anyone can have a social brand, but the difference between Richard Branson and Joe Bloggs is that Richard Branson manages his brand much more effectively. A successful social brand is authentic because it is true to the person’s values, connects with the right audience and communicates those values to them.
About the Author: Ron Stewart has worked in the recruitment industry for 30 years, having owned companies in the IT, construction and medical sectors. He runs the Jobs4Group, and is CEO of Jobs4Medical.