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Building a Brand with Social Media

Social media, while always a fascinating topic, is still a fairly new tool for marketing. Working it into your brand is something that may take some experimentation, especially if you’re using it for your business. Of course, it’s not always a business matter that you’re looking into, and if you keep your profiles too professional, it can be difficult to get a grasp of who you really are.

After all, if you’re branding your business, you want to attract the right kind of people. If you’re branding yourself, you want to get noticed by people you’ll get along with.

One of the important aspects to consider is how people use different kinds of media. Not many people post pictures of their breakfast on LinkedIn, do they? No one that I’ve seen does that. Going through the different kinds of social media and understanding how to present yourself on each makes a major difference in how you operate.

LinkedIn

This is business. This is where you want to appear polished and professional. You don’t want to go about requesting random people as connections, nor do you want to update anyone on the latest developments in your love life. However, you do want to stay engaged.

If you’re building a personal brand, make sure to keep your resume updated. If you develop new skills or learn a new software, make sure it gets mentioned. A dead profile signifies that you aren’t interested in a new job or position.

If you’re building a business brand, keep it hot. Did you read a relevant article? Post the link on your page, and voice your opinion on it. Update your profile with achievements, be it your first sale ever, or your one-thousandth. Start discussions with your followers, asking what they think about the industry. Keeping people engaged is vital if you want your profile to flourish.

Facebook

Everybody knows Facebook. Basically every company, ever, has a site here, and for good reason. One way Facebook connects you to other people is by seeing what you like. Therefore, if you have a particular market (which you probably should), you should “like” things that are similar, and you’ll start gaining connections.

Let’s say that you specialize in wild animal control. You can associate yourself with anything and everything that has to do with that. Animals, wild animals, animal conservation, trapping, hunting, infestations, etc. All of those are related to your business.

That is one aspect. However, just like LinkedIn, you have to keep your fans engaged. Facebook is great for promotions. This is the place to post sales, contests and giveaways. You can post some articles, if you want to, but there are other place you can do that, like Twitter.

Twitter

Twitter can be difficult to utilize fully when you’re just starting out.  Can you really break every message down into 140 characters? The most important aspect of Twitter is to make sure that everything you put up there is crafted to reflect your desired brand. That means that your Twitter name should be your company name, your picture should be your logo, and your posts should be relevant to your industry and your clients.

One thing that is simple about Twitter is acquiring followers. The basic idea is to follow people and post regularly. That will gain you more followers than anything else. Your posts on Twitter should be a combination of what you would put on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Like Facebook, you’ll want to connect yourself to similar industries. This helps you get followers, and allows you to keep an eye on your competitors. You can also post links to your promotional events, including sales, and if you have any gatherings. However, like LinkedIn, this is also a great place to put up links to blogs and articles. Twitter serves as a kind of “missing link” between the two sites.

Of course, there are many other social-media sites that you can use to help create your brand. The important thing to keep in mind is that everything you do online is part of marketing. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the three main sites that will help you reach the widest audience. If you want to create your brand, this is where you do it.

Scott + PageScott Huntington is a writer, blogger, and social media expert. He lives in Pennsylvania and with his wife and son. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blogblogspike.com

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