Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What is Your Social Listening?

Do you think social media platforms are all about sharing and connecting with people? Then think again. There is a gamut of people sitting out there are viewing your social media activities and posts, knowingly or unknowing making some evaluation about you. We are living in a world where our personal profiles are no longer off limits. You may not realize it, but your every social media profile is promoting you.

So what is it that your profile is saying about you? Are you positioning the brand you correctly?

What is personal branding and why is it important?
“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room - remember that.”                                                                                – Chris Ducker

Personal branding is a way of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.It is a process of managing and optimizing the way that you are presented to others. While traditionally it included things like your visiting card, now with the establishment of internet and social media, personal branding has grown to an enormously different level. 

Just do a google search about your name and your city in incognito. What shows up is a complete list of your social profiles – esp. Facebook and LinkedIn, your published blogs or articles, if you have published any, or probably some websites or community that you are a part of.  Whether you like it or not, intentionally or unintentionally we all have a personal branding about ourselves. Then why no leverage it in a way that it supports you and your business grows.

How can you build it?

Find your USP
First of all define “Why are you positioning yourself” and “What do I want to be known for”- it can be your career, passion or a hobby, etc. Basically have an objective and specific a desired outcome for positioning yourself as a brand. Later, answer the following questions-

•    What are my expertise pertaining to that felid?
•    What is my niche, how do I stand out than the rest?
•    What do people like about me or compliment me for?

Jot down at least 1 and maximum 3 arears you want to position yourself for. Brainstorm using the reference questions above and find your niche. Now that is going to be your personal positioning.

Start promoting yourself, but do not sell...

Update you social profiles. Add a bio on Facebook and Twitter; update your LinkedIn profile pertaining to your USP.

If you are already maintaining a personal blog or a website, probably it is a time to re-look and re-work on your bio and the kind of content you have been publishing. Why not blog about this new self-discovery and declare what you would like be known for?

If you aren’t blogging still, it is not a problem. Evaluate if you have the time and dedication to create and manage one, and simply create it. It can be in your own name (preferably) or something related to your positioning and USP.

Keep sharing relevant updates and your views pertaining to your arear of interest on your social profile. Here keep in mind the 3 C’s.

The two C’s - Content and Consistency

Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.
                                                                                        – Sir Richard Branson

The first C – CONTENT
This includes the kind of updates you publish and share on your social media profiles. Are they really in sync with the positioning you wish to create for yourself?

Ask yourself

-    Whatwill people evaluate about me after seeing my profile basics – the profile picture, the cover picture, the privacy settings, the bio, etc.
-    What are my profile posts (news feed, tweets, posts on LinkedIn, posts on Instagram, etc.) talking about me?

Probably, you can also consult a few people and take their feedback about your social listening.

Now, once you have evaluated you profile, re-work on it based on your positioning. Start sharing relevant updates which talks about your interest or skills to the people. Let them know you and your expertise. Do this gradually so that they create your brand recall, and do not over-do or sell. Remember that your profile is not a sales agent; it is just a platform to create awareness and direct people to your business or service or passion.

The second C – CONSISTENCY
Keep the same name, profile, pic, imagery, and look across your social profiles. Keeping a consistent profile will help others find you easily, and it also creates a picture of you in the minds of others.
Also, be consistent with your updates and engagement. If you are into blogging, publish one post at least in a week or fortnightly. Share relevant post and updates on your profile every day. Keep talking about your expertise and interest, keep engaging and responding to people. This indeed requires you to strategize your content in advance. 

The third C – Connect
Join relevant social media communities, groups or chats. Keep sharing and engaging in these communities and groups pro-actively. Support people, discuss, and connect.
Reach-out to people well-known in the industry or the field, find mentors, ask for connections, meet them offline, arrange for meet-ups or discussions offline, and thus start building your self-image and network.

Remember your network is your net worth!

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