Using social media to build your personal brand

publicme“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” – Tom Peters

Although Tom Peters coined “The Brand Called You” in an article in FastCompany magazine back in 1997, with the explosion of social media, personal branding is more important than ever.

Personal branding, a summation of how individuals are representing themselves online, is a phenomenon where people and their careers are perceived as brands. Your online presence including news, blog posts and comments, profiles on social networks, images, videos and personal web sites – essentially content of any kind that connects to you, makes up your personal brand. For individuals and executives, it’s important to gain control of this image you are presenting to the world. New tools for personal branding can help you create and manage a unique and powerful personal brand online.

Self-Packaging Through Social networks
Social networking is essential to growing a personal brand. Having an online presence today means creating and managing living and breathing profiles on the major social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The profiles and status updates are a great way to help you promote your personal brand. There are even companies like JumpStart offering profile set-up services, helping the not so tech savvy build an online identity. Since there are so many social networks out there, profile aggregators, such as profilebuilder and profileomat can help you to bring together all your online identities in one place.

SEO for Online Identity Management
Search Engine Optimization is a great tool to help manage a personal brand. With the focus on the keyword as the person’s name, the intent is to get high rankings for positive references when someone searches for that individual. Ziggs promises top visibility in search engines. And you can now control how you appear in Google by creating a personal Google Profile.

Personal Ratings and Reviews
We’ve been reading reviews on books and restaurants for years, and now we are reviewing each other. Encouraging business contacts to leave personal references and reviews on sites like LinkedIn and Naymz can help to build and enhance your online reputation.

Not sure what your personal brand looks like? Search for your name on a major search engine and see what is being said about you. People use the Internet as a tool to find information about people we meet in our personal and business lives. HR departments are using search engines and scanning social profiles on social networks to vet candidates. Social media has quickly become a part of our culture and has turned out to be a great way to create and promote your personal brand. Marketers can also benefit by offering these services to your clients. So whether your Web presence is minimal, or like mine, in need of some tweaking, the time is now to manage your online identity.