In the vast ocean of social media users, it’s harder to stand out amongst competitors. So how do you create a strong personal brand identity and distinguish yourself — how can you break through and get attention? In the end, it all comes down to being able to project ‘you’ at your best. So we are going to look into a few insights into human behavior that might be able to give us an edge.
It’s not news that our use of social media has exploded over the last few years. Since just 2014, over 176 million users have registered with some form of social media platform. The most popular social media platforms in year 2015 were Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You’re probably active on one of this yourself, right? But are your profiles across these platforms strong and unique? A strong profile can contribute to greater visibility and outreach power.
In a recent Technology Business and Sales Conference, I met marketing evangelists and transformational leaders from around the globe. When connecting with them afterwards on social media, I noticed that all these ‘experts’ shared different kind of information on their various social platforms, but many of them did not have consistent profile information. And some of their profile descriptions were – to put it in simple terms: BLAH. Not to mention that some of the mindless items they put in their summary — I couldn’t help but think “Who cares?”
That’s not the reaction you want. Your profile has to demand attention, and reward the person for reading it. So, knowing what we know about how humans process information, let’s break down how you can stand out and come across with your best image.
- People respond to visual stimuli first.
Your visible identity is the first step towards building your personal brand. So you may consider having a consistent profile photo to help reinforce your brand image. Bright, happy faces are attractive and yes, people prefer to associate with happy people. Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, your profile picture speaks volumes about what you are like to work with. Do you look tired? Angry? Bored? Are there other people in the photo that might confuse the reader? Get the best picture you can and use it everywhere it makes sense.
- People respond to stories.
When you write a summary for your profile, talk about yourself like you’re telling a real person your own story. But you only have their attention for a minute, so you want to get right to the point. LinkedIn provides you a chance to express yourself to the fullest in the profile description and summary section while Twitter requires you to be very precise and straight to the point. To attract viewers to your profile, you have to be very clear to educate people what you do and what you have to offer the world. Can you describe your strengths in terms of a problems that you like to solve? Be genuine and share something that can give people an idea about your personality in order to attract more opportunity.
- People like to see evidence.
Once we have a consistent profile picture and description, we may also want to showcase our presence in other social platforms by using the “website” section. This feature is available on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well, and can prove to be a brilliant opportunity for cross-promotion and branding yourself. Place links or URLs to direct your viewers to your blog, website, or other social media platforms. You can think of it as providing evidence, or ‘social proof’ to your visitors that you are capable, and that other people value you and your work.
- Words can still have power. Use them wisely.
Finally, in this age of ‘search engine as destiny,’ we have to pay attention to keywords. After all, we all use search tools when we are looking for people, skills, and services, so using the right keywords in your profile can increase the chance of showing up high in the results. In order to find the right keywords, you can start with words that reflect your unique take on the world. Or you can try looking up at other people who you admire or wish to emulate, and think about what words they might have missed out on using. You can also use tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or others, but be warned – they will give you keywords that everyone else might be using as well, and it may be harder to differentiate using them (but for the sake of visibility you might need to use some of them, of course).
Bonus Tip: You may find that it becomes important that you can state things provocatively – after all, we all have gut responses to strong statements, and to get the right kind of arousal out of your viewer, you may find that strongly stating (even overstating?) your view can get you more attention.
So get started today, a complete and well-articulated set of profiles can be a valuable step towards managing your own unique brand identity. Make sure that your profile has stopping power, to get your viewers attention and encourage them to spend their time and get to know the real you.
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- Getting Started on the Right Networking Platform
- 8 Questions That Can Help You Define Your Personal Brand
Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.