I often read and hear that Personal Branding, the one we all have although we do not know it, is generated by which we write on social networks. This is not entirely false, but if you have set out to improve it as a New Year resolution, you may have a big problem if you think so.
Let us start from the very beginning: Personal Branding is not your Twitter image profile, neither that thing you have posted on Instagram or that community you have signed in on LinkedIn. Personal branding is the perception of others about you and the trace you leave. As Jeff Bezos says, the founder and director of Amazon: personal branding is what they say about you when you’re not in the room.
Through your personal branding you are showing who you are and the values you have. Of course, social networks are the most powerful tools to make your brand public and even to get a job as long as it is your goal, but this is only a part of strategy, and therefore it should not be the most important thing to bear in mind.
The most important thing is what you have to do first thing. From that point, you will have to make a decision of what you should do on social networks:
As we can see, we have to do an introspection exercise before deciding which channel to use in order to give visibility to our personal branding: Who am I? What am I good at? What added advantage do I have? And the thing is that this is the true personal branding key: Which makes me differentiate from the others? What makes me standout from them?
Once you have replied yourself to those questions and have defined your target, how you are going to promote yourself and the resources you need (all these are the different steps of Self-knowlegde and Personal Strategy) is when it will be the time of delimiting which channels you are going to choose so as to gain visibility.
Are social networks one of these channels? We hope so. If your goal is to find a job, you should know that 79% of HR professionals consider that an active candidate on social networks is the one who has the most job opportunities (source). If finding a job is not your goal and then you may want to gain renown and reach more people, are social networks not on your mind?
And last but not least… Yes! You have followed every single step, have discovered your added advantage and besides, have decided which social network is going to be your right hand in this process but… are you going to do the same thing on all your profiles? In much the same way that a company takes care of its brand and promotes it according to the different characteristics and the specific target of each social network, we should apply this to our personal branding as well. Pay attention to your message tone on the grounds of the social network you use.