TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Personal Branding: The 3 W's of Sharing on Social

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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There is no better place to build your personal brand than through your own social media accounts. For some of us, sharing on social media comes naturally. While Facebook has been around since 2004, other social media applications have been around for much longer than 13 years. In the last few years, the number of Americans using social media has grown exponentially. Since 2005, the number of American adults using social networking sites has increased from 7 percent to 65 percent (and that doesn’t even include teenagers). 

Even for those who have been using social media practically their whole life (looking at you, millennials), it can be greatly beneficial to take a deeper look at your current social strategy. Before you begin your career in social media (because let’s face it: social media is practically a full-time job), ask yourself what you want to post, where you want to share and when you want to share it.

WHAT?
Creating original content is essential when developing your personal brand and can help establish your voice amongst the online chatter. In our previous blog post, we emphasized the importance of curated content. By curating content, we find what content is already available, discover the holes and provide those missing details or viewpoint to our audience. From there, we differentiate ourselves in the increasingly saturated social media world. 

Now more than ever, social content must grab the audience’s attention quickly – In case you missed it, our attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds (even a goldfish can concentrate for at least 12 seconds). Therefore, curated content needs to be sticky – meaning it gives the audience a reader to stick around. When developing sticky content keep it simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and story-formatted.

WHERE?
Now that you’ve figured out what to post, the next decision is where to post it. With so many social platforms, it can be hard to know where to begin. In addition to choosing a platform that comes naturally to you, it is also important to think about what platforms are best for your content. If your content relies on visuals, Instagram or Pinterest would be the best option. If you’re looking to engage readers and generate conversation, Twitter or Facebook may be the natural choice. Whatever you chose, make sure it makes sense to those receiving the information.

Another important thought to consider when deciding what social platform is best for you is discovering where your audience already exists. By meeting your audience where they already exist, you are increasing the potential of being seen. If you’re wondering what demographic lives where, this social media update from Pew Research Center is here to help. 

WHEN?
Whatever platform(s) you decide to use, be sure to keep your posting clear and consistent – not only what you post, but how often you post. Frequency is a tricky subject when it comes to social, as one size does not always fit all. While some studies show that for Facebook, two times per day is key, other studies show that how often you post depends on the number of followers you have. For a more in-depth look at when to post, check out this Forbes article with advice from the pros.

Outside the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) it can be a little trickier to know when to post. Since Snapchat organizes stories by how recent they are, make sure you aren’t loading a days worth of snaps all at once – instead, update your Snap Story throughout the day or every couple hours. If you’re looking to utilize LinkedIn, plan to post at least 20 times a month, while avoiding evenings and weekends. 

Once you’ve decided on your what, where and when, diving into the social media deep-end isn’t so scary. It is important to be intentional when sharing on social, but it is also important to remain authentic when developing your personal brand. By establishing your what, where and when early on, you’ll find it easier to navigate your posting strategy and effectively connect with your audience.

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