Let’s be real: social media can be a vast, infinite (and sometimes scary) domain with thousands of people competing for the same eyeballs. You may be waiting for that one viral moment as your saving grace, boosting your content for the world to see.
We’ve all been there.
But what if we told you there was a better way to skyrocket your brand’s visibility?
That maybe the problem doesn’t lie in what you’re presenting, but instead how you’re presenting yourself to the world.
Truly effective social media profiles require specialized strategies to grow your brand’s visibility in online spaces. Your strategy may slightly differ depending on the platform, but the results remain the same:
A cohesive, searchable brand that your target audience can find in a matter of seconds.
It’s not enough just to have your social profiles set up. You have to articulate your value and establish a presence that attracts and serves your ideal audience. How to build an effective personal brand on social media (emphasis on the word effective here) lives and dies within that nuanced perspective.
Optimizing your social presence not only communicates a consistent brand identity, but also increases your relatability and memorability. It takes the average person eight interactions with your brand before they commit to a purchase (HubSpot), so what better, more accessible way to do that than through social media?
Let’s work smarter, not harder.
So… let’s go through how to build a personal brand on social media—the SimplyBe. way. The following breakdown outlines how you can optimize your social channels and set up your brand for success in 2024.
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Would you ever do business with an unfamiliar LinkedIn account sporting a blurry, unrecognizable profile photo? (We’ll let you answer that.)
Your profile picture provides a glimpse into who you are behind the screen. It’s likely the first visual representation of your personal brand that visitors experience, and the first thing that will pop up in a search bar—this is your first (and sometimes only) opportunity to make a good impression.
It’s important that your profile photo is a clear, high-quality, and relevant photo of yourself that accurately reflects what you (currently) look like in the real world. Use the same photo across every social platform, making it easier for your audience to connect with you wherever they go.
How to build a personal brand on social media: consistency.
Photo Tips for Instagram:
On Instagram, your profile photo rules everything. Whether it’s a polished headshot or a fun photo to showcase your personality, what matters is that it’s an authentic representation of you.
Photo Tips for LinkedIn:
In the world of LinkedIn, your cover photo is an additional visual moment that goes hand in hand with your profile image. It could be a relevant picture related to your profession, maybe even paired with your brandmark if you’ve got one.
As long as you’re not using a run-of-the-mill stock photo of random smiling strangers (we’ve all seen that one stock image that is seemingly used everywhere), feel free to get creative!
2. Carve Out a Name for Yourself
In theory, your headline would consist of your first and last name. Easy, right?
Strategically speaking, there’s a little more to it than that.
Think of your headline as an additional opportunity to add a special touch. It’s a space where you can concisely tell the world what you want to be known for, and the first thing you want them to see when they search your name.
Utilizing relevant industry keywords in your header will allow more people to find you based not only on what it is that you do, but also on the value that you can bring to them. It’s a chance to emphasize your uniqueness, to strike a balance between attracting an audience and differentiating yourself from other professionals in your field.
How to build a personal brand on social media: thoughtful, strategic insight.
Headline Tips for Instagram:
On the Instagram app, your profile heading can be edited in the section titled “Name”. Use this as an opportunity to provide more info to your audience and prospects by differentiating your profile name from your handle (therefore increasing your searchability).
Headline Tips for LinkedIn:
On LinkedIn, look for the section under your photo titled “Headline”. Your headline is where you provide a sentence that illuminates the value that you bring to the world. Make it more than just your job title—profile visitors can see that in your Work Experience section below.
3. Your Life Story (in a Nutshell)
There are few tasks more daunting than being asked to describe yourself in under 150 characters.
If you find yourself staring at the screen for over ten minutes with absolutely nothing to say, you’re not alone.
Let’s take some of that weight off your shoulders. The essence of your profile bio should be succinct but meaningful and describe who you are, what you do, and the value that you bring to your network and clients. Lean into your technical skills and specialties (utilizing language that your prospects are actually searching for!), therefore increasing your chances of popping up on your ideal clients’ search bars.
Imagine those ideal readers—hiring managers, prospects, brand partnerships. What could you say that would draw them into working with you? In short, lead with your value.
All that said, don’t be afraid to also get personal. Maybe you’re a passionate mother, a bookworm, a dedicated plant dad who loves to garden outside of the workplace. Not leading with but certainly adding these details makes you less of a robot and more, well, human.
Give your audience the chance to get to know you personally, and you’ll see the returns.
How to build a personal brand on social media: authenticity and transparency.
Bio Tips for Instagram
There’s a 150-character limit for Instagram bios, so remember to keep it short and sweet! Consider taking the extra step of creating story highlights to feature clips of your personality to even better tell your 360 story.
Bio Tips for LinkedIn
Located in the “About Me” section, your LinkedIn is where things can get a bit lengthier. With 2,600 characters of real estate at your fingertips, feel free to let your creative juices flow and highlight your brand mission, values, greatest accomplishments, and anything else of relevance to you and your industry.
4. Go the Extra Mile and Add Value Through Links
As wonderful as your social media profile may be, there’s no possible way to cram every single resource, accolade, value add, and offering within one social media bio.
Implementing relevant links into your profile gives your audience a chance to learn more about you (including the watchful gaze of your dream partnerships). Think: your brand website, a notable press feature, a link to access your recently published best-selling novel. Anything that will add credibility to your platform and leave your audience wanting to engage with you further.
How to build a personal brand on social media: invite people to look deeper.
Link Tips for Instagram
This just in! Instagram recently updated its app to allow users up to five links they can incorporate in their profile. (And it only took them thirteen years!)
Linktr.ee is another popular option to maximize this space. It allows your audience to click on one link to have access to many more. This is particularly useful when you’re promoting or sharing multiple links within a given time period.
Link Tips for LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s “Featured” section gives you the chance to share your accolades and peak your audience’s interest through visual links. The sky’s the beginning for this section, so don’t be afraid to brag on yourself a bit.