Social media, when used well, is an honest transparent collection of information about a unique brand – you! Whether you are a job seeker, entrepreneur, or career professional you will find many ways to show your audience who you are and what you can do for them. As a job seeker your product is you. Show the skills and services you can offer an employer. An entrepreneur’s audience is their customer while a career professional works with their clients. Career professionals need to master the media skills their clients and students need to understand as well as developing their own media presence. Social media is an excellent place to show your Brand, develop your Reputation, build Associations, and show a Track record for success—your social media BRAT.
Branding is a snapshot of you that gives your audience something to like and remember about you -- a way to draw in your audience -- to feed a want or need. As you consider your personal brand, think about the impression you want to make. Show your audience how you are unique and why a customer would want buy a product or service from you rather than someone else. You choose how you want your audience to feel about the business of you. Use social media to associate the brand of you with your product or service.
Your reputation sets you apart from others who offer similar products and services. There are others who want the same job, customer, or client. You will set yourself apart by showing your character, consistency and values. Let your audience know you are the person they want to do business with. Think before you post.
Social media sites are a little like a neighborhood. You get to know your neighbors through interacting in their environment. You listen to what they say and comment on their contributions. You wouldn’t knock on doors in your neighborhood and ask for a job. You show an interest in your neighbor. The neighbors know you are responsible by looking at the upkeep of your house and yard; and how you work in your community. Similarly in your digital neighborhood people notice if you are keeping your profile up-to-date, whom you are hanging out with, what you are saying, and what you have in common with them. Who do you associate with?
A track record shows that you have a history of experience that shows success: sales, promotions, training, conferences, events, skills, or whatever might interest the employer or customer. Your track record shows you are the kind of person with whom they want to do business. You can be trusted, and you will be around when they need you. Social media builds a track record over time.
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