Everyone has a personal brand. The question is: are you happy with your personal brand? If you’re not happy, can you identify areas that need improvement and what can you do to polish up your brand? Firstly we all have a brand before we have even thought about branding. Branding is what people say about us when we are not in the room. Some people will say that they don’t care what people think of them. That’s their brand. We make decisions that affect our brand every single day. The attitude we get from those around us is based on the reputation we have communicated to them intentionally or otherwise.
Social media platforms have presented us with extra room for building or killing our personal brands. There’s a lot of damage limitation of personal brands and public relations maneuvers going on social media. Anyone who needs to spruce up their image has a problem with their personal brand. Every tweet, every Facebook post, every YouTube video is an opportunity to build a personal. This is where authenticity wins. Human beings are naturally drawn to authentic storytelling. That’s why we love our grandmothers.
Now there’s a lot of pretending on social media and we see right through the fake branding. You’re destroying instead of building an authentic personal brand. What value are you leaving on the table with your interactions? Do you come across as one who complaints about everything and everyone? Are you the one who posts only on weekends to give the impression you party every day? People say you can’t put your life on Facebook and I agree but what they’re putting out there is also building the wrong impression about who they are.
Think about the value you bring to those reading your posts, articles, or listening to your videos. The reason people scroll through a Facebook or Twitter feed is because they have no time for most of the rubbish posts. If they spot something interesting they stop and click. If the content does not live up to their expectations they leave as quickly as possible and look for the next thing that will either entertain them or teach them something new.
Facebook, Google, and Twitter analytics can help you gain insights into what content resonates with your following. Data can help you to build a personal brand.
I think we waste far too much time on social media platforms because we don’t understand the purpose of social media. I think the word social is misleading people to think that social media is for socializing after the real work in the real world. No. Social media is the current state of the internet and we are building digital profiles of ourselves which future generations will study. This digital profile may be accessed by potential employers or business partners. So think about what you’re putting out there!
The future of social media is audio and video. We have seen this happening right before our eyes. Examples of these are Facebook Live and Twitter Live through Periscope. We have also seen Snapchat and Instagram Live. So we are seeing a combination of prerecorded video and live video.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram start off by opening up live streaming to celebrities to test the waters. Eventually everyone has access to live streaming. Google was smart to buy YouTube and now they also have YouTube Live Streaming.
Live video streaming is the current state of the Internet. The challenge is how we use it as individuals. My advice is that always consider building your own personal brand whenever you’re presenting yourself to the world through any form of social media. Focus on building relationships that are beneficial to you and those you interact with. In other words, provide value to others and relate to those who provide to you. If you’re the type who types obscenities on Facebook, don’t expect to be my friend or acquaintance, I find no value in that behaviour.
We will soon be moving into virtual reality so the skills you acquire in live streaming, video and audio will provide a soft landing for VR. In terms of audio, Anchor is providing 2 minute recordings which can be shared on all social networks. Anchor is effectively the Twitter of audio.
You need to have a social media strategy which promotes your personal brand. It should not compromise your work outside of the Internet and if it does, then you need a new strategy.
Social media is not some place where you go when you’re bored and want to be entertained. Yes it can be entertaining but it is the current state of the Internet and having a strategy of how you will interact is very important. If it feels like you’re wasting time then you need to revise your strategy. They say if you have nothing to do, you’re easily kept busy by other people doing their bidding.
As we await the rolling out of VR, learn video and audio streaming. You will need the skills in VR.
More and more people are beginning to realise how much time is being stolen by social media platforms. I have seen people deciding to leave certain social media platforms altogether. They feel they have become addicted and can no longer cope. Time is the biggest casualty of social media interactions. You feel that you could be wasting time. As much as you’re making friends on social networks, you’re also creating enemies. We know some people create spook accounts just to insult those they disagree with. In the last few months, I’ve seen friends either scaling down or leaving certain social media platforms especially Facebook and WhatsApp.
Social media is where most people spend their online presence. Mobile smartphone technology has enabled people to access many services and social media on the go. Smartphones have become the one target for advertisers to market products and services. Smartphone users are confused about getting all these social networks for ‘free’. Without a social media strategy, we run the risk of donating our time to cunning attention seekers who need our attention in order to digitally profile us for targeted advertising. Maybe you should start regarding the smartphone as a business tool, not just a consumptive tool. I will talk about this in another blog post.
What has been your personal experience with social media? Have you felt like quitting or quit then returned? My advice is if you’re going to quit, don’t announce it! Family and friends will make you regret quitting. Don’t feel obligated to join and win every quarrel. Some people steal your time for a living.
Do you use Periscope? Or is it just another platform too many? You can find out all about Periscope on their website here. One thing that I have discovered about all the various platforms is that each one has its own unique characteristics and attracts a unique demographic. A quick word of warning though is that on Periscope you may want to restrict live comments to the people that you follow on the platform otherwise you do get unwanted distractions when you go live. If you are streaming from an iPhone, the comments settings appear on the screen and you can disable comments from people who are not in your follower list.
If you already use Periscope, how do you use it? I have a hashtag #AskDereckTafuma which I use to collect questions from my various social media platforms. I answer those questions on Periscope. So I keep the Periscope conversation on Periscope just like I keep the other conversations on the other platforms. The comments I get on this blog stay here. This just helps me to understand the people on the different platforms as unique. I also post the Periscope to Twitter after finishing the broadcast as these two platforms are related. Twitter bought Periscope in 2015.
Let me know if use Periscope and how you use it?