When it comes to personal branding through social media, most professionals gravitate towards LinkedIn and Twitter. Despite the fact that Facebook is the dominant social media platform, LinkedIn and Twitter are often seen as better suited for personal branding. This is in large part due to the perception of Facebook as a “Family and Friends” network. While LinkedIn and Twitter are certainly great platforms for personal branding, Facebook can also be used effectively for this purpose. Below are several tips to help you get started:
1) Don’t hesitate to be “friends” with colleagues. OK, this one is a bit complicated—there are many professionals that prefer to use Facebook only for personal activity. This is understandable… after all, most of us keep our business life separate from our personal life. But if you are committed to branding through Facebook, you’ll have to commit to connecting with other professionals. And once you’ve made this decision, remember to keep your activity professional—especially when it comes to pictures and videos you post.
2) Show your “other sides.” LinkedIn and Twitter don’t give you much of an opportunity to show off your family. Facebook is a great place to project the sides of your life that colleagues and clients wouldn’t see otherwise. Pictures of you and your family are a great way to add to your brand—instead of being one-dimensional, your contacts will begin to see you as a well-rounded individual.
3) Display your sense of humor. Facebook is a great place to share links, quotes and videos that make you laugh. And doing so is a great way to show off your sense of humor. It’s difficult to do this on LinkedIn, though you can do it on Twitter. But Facebook makes it easy—for instance, if you post a video, your friends can view it in Facebook instead of having to follow links to outside locations.
4) Demonstrate your expertise. Obvious promotion doesn’t work well on Facebook. However, subtle displays of your expertise can be very effective. If you read an article featuring breaking news in your industry, post a link to it! Add a sentence or two of commentary, and you’ll be sending a message to your readers that you’re knowledgeable and plugged in to current developments in your field.
While Twitter and LinkedIn seem to be the top platforms for personal branding, Facebook should not be ignored. Take some time to familiarize yourself with it before you jump in, and follow the tips we’ve covered to get started in the right direction.