Today mashable.com posted an article that highlights the successful social media campaigns of 5 large companies. They describe the strategies each company launched and how/why they’ve seen success and growth because of them.
Working with both corporations and individuals on branding, I see a lot of similarities in the principles of success. While the tactics (and audience size) may be much different, the engines behind a successful marketing campaign drive the same purpose – to boost value in the eyes of your audience by increasing engagement and growing a mutually beneficial relationship with them. The successes highlighted in the article lend some valuable lessons for those on the personal branding journey as well:
Keep top of mind with your audience. Whether you’re looking to gain new clients or increase credibility in your industry, remember the old adage – out of sight, out of mind. Social media offers you numerous places and ways to connect with those you want to reach.
Engage where your audience wants to engage, consistently. Companies can enlist loyalists to participate in feedback and reviews, and reward them with deals and sneak peaks. The key is to engage where your audience will participate. That might be Twitter, that might be on a blog. Your goal is to know where to engage and participate with your audience. Are there blogs holding the relevant discussions for you, or are they happening inside a LinkedIn group? Know where they are and engage in the dialogue consistently.
Humanize your brand. Social media allows a company to engage in a personal discussion with their audience and show their personal side, whereas their website is more of a one-way dialogue and a means of promotion. The same is true for a personal brand. Your online reputation won’t get to where you want with just a profile and some self-promotion. If you want your audience to know you (and why they need you), let them see you – your interests, your expertise, your character – through dialogue and personal communication.
Have a strategy. Corporations don’t typically jump into social media and start tweeting or posting blindly. Their marketing departments have a plan with goals and a strategy laid out. The same is equally as important for you in communicating your personal brand message. A plan keeps you on track and moving forward toward your desired reputation and helps manage your time and efforts to be much more targeted.
What have you learned from the success of one of your favorite brands that applies to building a successful personal brand?