Do you know that over 70% of recruiters conduct a social media check before hiring a candidate, LinkedIn forms the biggest recruitment platform with India being the second largest market after the US and over 30% Google searches are about people? These insights clearly point towards the fact that it is not only important to be present in the online world but is equally significant to have a well thought through strategy around it. When approached mindfully and planned out carefully, building a personal brand through social media can prove to be very rewarding for online reputation and career growth.
If you are just starting your career, there are three key points to note- a thorough introspection into what you want, an online self-audit and a plan that can be actioned regularly. Here is how to go about it:
- Introspect into your career and interests: Understanding what you want to stand for is the most important first step towards building an online reputation. Consider your profession – whether you are an engineer, a management professional or an artist – and what you would aspire for. Think about how you want to progress your career and the next steps you want to take. Parallelly, also list down your interests, which could be as diverse as a passion for classical music to cooking or travelling. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to stand for, it becomes much easier to come up with a targeted plan towards achieving it.
- Conduct an online audit of yourself: Have you ever tried to Google search yourself? The results could be surprising. Perhaps you come across a picture from your college days, which you wouldn’t want in a professional setting. Or perhaps you might have made a comment in the past, which may not be politically correct. Conduct a thorough and impartial search across Google and your social media pages to understand what your online profile looks like. At this point, you will be able to see the gaps and highlight how much work you must put into your profile. After this, you can think of a proper plan on how you must position yourself.
- Action your social media presence: This actioning has layers to it – right from creating bios across channels, posting relevant opinions to regularly engaging on the platforms. Different platforms will require different thought into the bios – for example, while LinkedIn is largely professional, your Instagram bio can be semi-professional, touching upon your personal interests as well. Once your bio is completed, it is time to ensure that you are regular with your communication. This need not always include elaborate posts. Even sharing your views on trending topics and articles can help you become more regular. Further, you should also engage with your peers and seniors by commenting on and sharing their posts. This will also help you build your professional network.
For every piece of content, ensure that you follow these 3 essential checks – Authentic, Appropriate and Attractive. Simply put this means that whatever you post on social media must be your original view and should be closer to your personality. Secondly, remember that you will be judged for the opinion you make, so ensure that what you write is appropriate and politically correct. Finally, make your content stand out of the pack. Social media is full of content and it is highly likely that your content can get lost in that sea. Hence, try to make your post as attractive as possible. While filtering your content through these 3As, you must also be consistent. Irregular presence will drop your audience’s engagement level.
Following this simple plan is a sure-shot way of starting on your journey of building your personal brand. It doesn’t have to be about your serious opinions and professional achievements only. You can balance well with your personal interests too. That presents a more complete picture of you, thereby making your personal brand believable and relatable. For example, if you have an MBA in finance but also enjoy travelling, position yourself accordingly – your LinkedIn profile can be largely centric on financial topics but can occasionally touch upon travel experiences and in fact can also draw upon both your flairs. On the other hand, your Instagram profile can be more focused on the trips you take while also having elements of finance in it. Your bio can simply read “finance professional with a keen interest in traveling” and you never know – you may land a job in a travel firm as a finance manager!
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.