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Personal branding strategies for social media: Elevating your online presence

by Rockey Simmons

Curly-haired woman showing a skincare oil bottle while recording a video with a laptop and ring light

Personal branding is the conscious effort to create and influence the public’s perception of you.

One way to do this is to position yourself on social media as an authority in your industry. This lets you consistently present your skills, expertise, and values to a broad audience, helping you elevate your credibility and differentiate yourself from the competition.

However, crafting a strong personal brand on social media requires careful planning and a strategic approach. This involves not only curating content, but also engaging with followers, sharing insights, and building a community around your brand. Whether it’s carefully auditing social media profiles to ensure cohesiveness or making new connections, every action you take online should be a step towards establishing a solid personal brand.

Let’s discuss how you can use social media to craft a powerful online identity.

Building your personal brand foundation

To build a strong personal brand on social media, you must establish a clear foundation rooted in value and authenticity.

But, before you can do so, you’ll need to do some introspection to identify and articulate what differentiates you from others. Once you’ve nailed that down, you’ll need to ensure consistency in your messaging to build trust with your audience.

Identifying your unique value proposition

A unique value proposition (UVP) is essential in making your personal brand recognizable and memorable. To identify it, you want to pinpoint the unique attributes that set you apart from your competition.

For example, you might have expertise in a certain area, a novel approach to common problems, or an exceptional skill set. Your UVP should resonate with the core values you uphold.

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Here’s how to find it:

  • List your core strengths: Distill what you do best that provides value to others.
  • Understand what your audience needs: Recognize what your target audience seeks that you can uniquely provide.
  • Articulate your UVP: Craft a concise statement that captures your brand’s essence.

But that’s not the end of it.

Defining your brand personality and voice

Once you’ve got a clear UVP, you need to define your brand personality and voice.

These items determine how your audience perceives and interacts with your brand. A consistent brand voice aids in establishing authenticity and building an emotional connection with your audience.

Here are some tips to help you define your brand personality and voice:

  • Choose brand personality traits: Select attributes that best represent your brand, such as innovative, compassionate, ambitious, etc.
  • Establish voice consistency: Maintain a consistent tone in all communications to reinforce brand identity. This could be friendly, professional, quirky, and so on.
  • Align with content: Ensure all content produced is reflective of chosen personality traits and communicates your brand’s values and passion effectively.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah that’s cool, but how do I show expertise and authenticity?” I got you covered. You’ll unwrap how this is done later.

For now, let’s dive into how you go about optimizing certain social profiles.

Optimizing social media profiles

Now that you know how to put together your unique value proposition (UVP) and find your voice, let’s optimize your social profiles.

Effective optimization of social media profiles can be pivotal in establishing a robust personal brand.

Crafting a professional LinkedIn profile

A LinkedIn profile functions as a digital resume and a crucial touchpoint for professional branding. As such, you need to ensure it is broadcasting the right message.

  • Profile Photo: Your profile photo should be current, professional, and reflective of the industry you are in. It is the first visual that peers and potential employers encounter. Therefore, it should convey professionalism and approachability.
  • Bio: Crafting a concise and compelling LinkedIn bio requires articulating your professional ethos and achievements in a way that resonates with your network. It should outline experience, specialties, and what you bring to the table, using industry-specific keywords for better visibility.

Social proof also never hurts. If you can get recommendations from other people on LinkedIn confirming your skillset, that’s gold.

Using visual content on Instagram

Instagram provides a platform for visual storytelling and brand building. To craft an effective personal brand here, you’ll need to pay attention to your profile aesthetics and bio.

  • Profile Aesthetics: Consistency is key when curating an Instagram feed. The visual content should align with your branding color scheme and aesthetics to create a cohesive look.
  • Bio: Instagram bios are limited in characters, necessitating brevity and clarity. They should include a clear description of your brand, hashtags, and a call-to-action, such as a link to your portfolio or latest work.

A great hack for Instagram personal branding is chat marketing. When you create posts, and you want to help or build more engagement, you can use software that helps you be even more influential with personal chat marketing.

Leveraging social media features for personal branding

Friends holding up thought bubbles with social media concept icons

To maximize the impact of your personal brand on social media, it’s important to take advantage of the features and tools that are available to you on different platforms.

Cross-platform posting is a great way to improve time efficiency by posting the same content across multiple platforms simultaneously.

This allows you to reach a wider audience with minimal effort.

Creating polls is another effective way to drive engagement and gather feedback from your audience.

Polls provide an opportunity for your followers to share their opinions and insights, while also providing you with valuable information that can help inform your future content and branding strategies.

It’s amazing how many people enjoy giving their opinion. It makes engagement with your audience natural and fun. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests businesses use social media polls for business growth and for improving reach and reputation.

Content creation and strategy

Effective content creation and strategy are the bedrock of personal branding on social media. They are how you tell your story and engage your audience.

This is where the execution of a digital persona stands out. One of the best ways to make sure you do this right is to have a plan.

Developing a content calendar

Crafting a content calendar is essential to maintain consistency and deliver valuable content. This organizational tool helps you plan out when and what to post, which helps ensure a balanced and strategic approach to content distribution.

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Entrepreneur Shaan Puri emphasizes the importance of regular content updates to maintain audience interest and ensure the brand remains relevant.

A content calendar should incorporate variety—ranging from blog posts to visual content—to cater to different user preferences and maximize engagement. More on this later.

Engage with trends but don’t overdo it

Keeping abreast of current trends is important. But knowing your customer is key to staying connected with your target audience. 

Engaging with trends doesn’t just mean jumping on the latest bandwagon. It’s about injecting your unique perspective and creativity into the conversation.

For example, consumer psychology expert Katelyn Bourgoin is notoriously internet-famous for preaching and teaching about why we buy. Her social media accounts blew up when she adopted this focus on understanding your customers and paying attention to what they want and need through social media. 

In her famous yet simple Twitter (X) and LinkedIn post, “trends come and go, but marketers who deeply understand people are always in fashion,” Katelyn explains that it’s OK for people to use trends but cautions them not to overdo it. 

This means you must know your customer instead of blindly following fads. Doing so can significantly enhance your online presence.

However, to get those customers to pay attention to you, you need to demonstrate expertise and authenticity. 

But how does that work? 

Establishing expertise and authenticity to align with content

When building your personal brand on social media, it’s essential to share your expertise and knowledge with your audience.

Sharing valuable and relevant content (by creating or contributing to blog posts, articles, videos, or podcasts) can help you establish yourself as an authority in your field and build trust with your audience. This can help enhance your personal brand and attract new opportunities.

In addition to showcasing your expertise, infusing authenticity into your social media presence is all about being honest and genuine.

The more relatable you are the better. Do this by sharing ‘behind the scenes’ content from your business to humanize your brand and make it feel more accessible.

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Try sharing snapshots of your work process, office culture, or team members. When you give your audience a glimpse into the inner workings of your business, you can create a more personal connection and strengthen your personal brand.

*Note: Entering all your content ideas in a content calendar can help you keep track of what you are sharing and where.

Growing your audience and engagement

While all of the previous steps can help you grow your reach and get noticed by the right people, crafting a trustworthy personal brand often relies on your ability to grow an audience and foster deep engagement.

This necessitates deliberate networking efforts and strategic participation in online communities.

Networking to expand influence

Networking is a cornerstone for expanding your influence on social media and stimulating personal growth. To get the most out of your networking efforts, you should proactively connect with peers and thought leaders in their respective fields. It’s especially important to regularly make new contacts on sites like LinkedIn.

It’s also crucial to personalize your outreach efforts and maintain these new relationships beyond the initial connection.

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You can then amplify content from reputable sources and influencers you’ve engaged with as further social proof of your industry bona fides.

Social media is about being social. It’s a two-way conversation. You want others to see your name on other individuals’ or businesses’ posts.

This leads to the next point.

Leveraging groups and communities

Groups and communities offer fertile ground for boosting your engagement and honing your personal branding.

Joining relevant groups, for example, provides you with access to like-minded individuals and potential followers interested in your niche.

Social media expert Fadeke Adegbuyi emphasizes the importance of pillar branding within these circles.

Active participation, such as responding to comments and offering valuable insights, builds a sense of community and encourages ongoing interaction.

Okay, we’ve made it to the last few personal branding strategies for social media. How exciting!

Let’s dive into figuring out if all of this is working and how to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Measuring success and making an impact

When building a personal brand on social media, the real test lies in your ability to not only attract, but also to sustain and grow your audience over time.

This involves frequent analysis of social media metrics and strategic adjustments to your approach, as well as establishing yourself as an industry thought leader.

Tracking metrics and adjusting strategies

In the realm of personal branding, Tori Dunlap is a prime example of success in social media strategizing. She is a businesswoman with over 2 million Instagram followers and 30K+ followers on LinkedIn. This is no accident.

One key to success for many people online is leveraging analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Hootsuite, for example, to quantify their impact and adjust their tactics accordingly.

Brands and influencers track several metrics to gauge the strength of their online presence:

  • Engagement rates (likes, comments, shares)
  • Follower growth over time
  • Content reach and impressions
  • Website or blog traffic from social media
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By analyzing these metrics, they can pinpoint which kinds of content resonate the most with their audience. This also allows them to revise their social media strategy to further enhance their engagement and reach, and maximize their personal brand influence.

But how do you give yourself the best chance of building a personal brand like Tori Dunlap, or Justin Welsh —the solopreneur building a $10 million dollar business in public?

Positioning yourself as an industry thought leader

We talked briefly about this above, but it’s worth coming back to.

To position yourself as a thought leader within an industry, it’s crucial to share your expertise clearly and consistently.

This can often mean:

  • Engaging with industry groups and participating in relevant discussions
  • Publishing original content that demonstrates knowledge and insights
  • Leading webinars or live Q&A sessions to interact directly with your audience

By doing so, individuals like Justin Welsh and Tori Dunlap have built authoritative personal brands that echo throughout their respective industry groups.

This helped them magnetize a larger, more engaged follower base. Through thoughtful marketing and a robust social media strategy, they ensure that their voices are not just heard but sought after in crowded digital spaces.

If you’re looking for the best place to start when curating your personal brand online, you can get expert help for free.

Just grab your free online reputation report card.

This free resource will tell you exactly how others view you online when people search for you on the internet. This is a perfect place to start when building your personal brand.

Once you know what your score is and what other people see, you can have an even clearer starting point for applying these strategies and can get tailored help from experts if you need it.

This post was contributed by Rockey Simmons, founder of SaaS Marketing Growth.