A monthly column featuring branding + design tips and tricks for standing out online.
Personal Branding Online Social Do’s & Don’ts
It feels like a balancing act to figure out which social media tools to post what on, and what to NOT post on sites. So this post is some of those social media do’s and don’ts to keep your personal brand in check and on brand.
Before we dive in, let’s start by understanding that social media does not just mean sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a professional, you are social through emails, by texting on your phone, and commenting to a group meeting notice. In all of these online social settings, we need to keep in mind that this reflects on your personal brand either positively or negatively. So let’s explore ways to manage and maintain that stellar reputation. Consider these 5 Social do’s and don’ts to help guide you through different situations you may face while building your personal brand:
- DON’T POST PICTURES THAT WOULD SHOCK YOUR MOTHER. Every social networking site lets you post pictures. But think before you post an image, does it represent your professional image? Would you want your boss, client or mother to repost that image? DO POST PICTURES that strengthen your professional story and reputation. THINK if you would want to see this image distributed in a company memo about you.
- DON’T POST SOMETHING YOU WILL REGRET LATER. Perhaps you received an email or text that frustrated you, what is your next move? I say STOP, THINK, BREATH, and THINK AGAIN before responding. In this busy life, we can spit out a text in 2 seconds flat or type a few quick words and hit send. It is important to be thoughtful and professional when communicating so I try to respond as if the person is standing in front of me, but I also make a calculated decision how I will manage the response. If others are copied on the email or text, do I want to take the conversation off-line to just the two of us? Do I want to respond to all? Do I want to let some time go before responding? DO TAKE YOUR TIME because what you type, text or say will represent your personal brand communications style and will have lasting impact. THINK about the possibility of how your response can get forwarded and shared with others and how the chain of response can go company wide or socially viral – it happens more than we want to think.
- DON’T POST AND DELETE AND THINK IT IS ALL-OKAY. Online media does not have a delete button. Once you hit the share, send or post button, your message is in the cloud and waiting to be viewed. At the moment you hit the share button, that post is viewable to others, it can be copied, retweeted, a screen shot can be taken and shared, it can be pinned, and it can get tagged with your name on it. DO CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES before posting so you can avoid the time and energy required to correct a potential offending post. THINK before you respond and think twice before you click.
- DON’T ASK FOR HELP FIRST. As the saying goes, “give and you will receive”. The same goes in online social settings, perhaps you know someone that is looking for a new job or looking to move up in their current role, you could go on LinkedIn and endorse their skill sets or even better, provide a written recommendation. DO FOLLOW- UP in a day with a personal email of support and to ask for similar support. THINK everyday about how you can give to your network, this will build goodwill and people will be more willing to help you in a time of need.
- DON’T GET DISTRACTED. With all the personal devices and online tools on the market, it is easy to be overburdened with all the ways to communicate your brand. DO KEEP IT SIMPLE and keep the communications to the point and considerate of others time and style. THINK about how you can keep the distractions to a minimum and the communications in the correct tone and style to support your brand.
When engaging in social media you need to consider the human touches in all communications and realize that what you say, post or share online is pretty much permanent and can be interpreted differently by different people. Remember to be thoughtful, in the end, we EARN the attention, relationships and connections we deserve.
Here’s to your online social success!
Robin Bramman Brand Experience and Digital Media Coach who specializes in chic + savvy Online Identity solutions! The founder of Chic Branding and Partner at EEKO Design Studio, Robin works with high-achieving professionals and innovative entrepreneurs in defining their brand and interactive strategies to increase her client’s digital visibility.