An entrepreneur's guide to social media branding

Do you ever wonder if you can make yourself into a brand through social media? You think you aren’t anybody special, but you have a unique offering that you want the world to see. 

The simple answer is, anybody that has something of value can make themselves into a brand on social media, but you need to know what you are doing. It all starts with building your personal brand on social media.

Read: Want to become an entrepreneur? There's an app for that

It is very important to define your brand position and objective. You need to clearly define yourself as a thought leader and make sure you stand out from the rest. Ask yourself why should people follow, friend or like you? Work at delivering the content that they want to see. What do you want people to see when they search your brand name? If you are a growing entrepreneur, what people see about your personal brand online has a lot to do with determining if your brand is successful. 

Develop a personal brand communication style to stand out

Establish a communication style early on and  commit to it, and ultimately, perfect it. That style should showcase what you are great at while driving influence and making people take action. Choosing your communication style in relation to online personal brand development is critical to making yourself into a leading brand. This will also be essential for making your personal brand stand out in today’s competitive marketplace.

You need to claim your name. You can use a tool such as Knowem to see if your desired username is available on all social media platforms and if not you may need to create a slightly altered name. Consistency is key and every social media profile you create should have the same look and feel that reflect you as a brand.

Define your personal brand image

Your brand image  should clearly define your brand culture and adapt as need be to fit what your target market is looking for. Your smile, tone of voice and writing style all need to be an accurate description of your new brand. You should have a positive brand image, that is authentic to who your new brand is. 

For instance, Justin Bieber is often called the first YouTube superstar, and there is a good reason for that. The teen dream got his start by posting videos and Bieber built himself into a famous brand in no time at all and he’s not alone. Plenty of people have used social media to carve out niches for themselves just on the strength of their social media.

Kelly Oxford was a housewife in Calgary, Alberta, whose Twitter account gained attention from stars like Roger Ebert and Jimmy Fallon, and now she’s sold several pilots, authored a book and moved to L.A. Without social media and Twitter she’d probably still be in Canada. Amy Jo Martin is a great example of self-made entrepreneur who turned herself into a brand by using social media.

Read: Why Generation Y are designing their lives before planning careers

As a social media marketer, you spend a lot of time getting more shares, followers and traffic for your business. The same rules apply when the brand you’re promoting is yourself. You also should be actively participating within your communities in order to make your personal brand stand out. Your target market LinkedIn and Facebook Groups, Google+ communities and Twitter hashtag conversations are all great places to start. Your personal brand gets more exposure by being active and helps you position yourself as an authority in your niche and that should be your ultimate goal!

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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