Attention High School seniors! We know social media has become a very significant part of your lives but do you know how to get the most out of it? The following series of blogs will help you understand how to use social media for your personal branding and marketing as it is very important to learn how to best represent yourself online as you graduate out of high school.
BLOG #1: DIGITAL HYGIENE
Author: Asma Fazal
Have you ever tried to google yourself? If you did, were you surprised when you saw the old and embarrassing selfies you had uploaded on Facebook or Twitter many years back? Were you afraid of what your professors or a potential employer might think of you if they had googled you? Now as we grow older, we need to realize the impact social media can have on our image and future. There are many instances when applicants get rejected from a job due to the content which they put out online. A news article by The Manifest indicates that “about 90% of employers look at potential employees’ social media profiles, and 79% have rejected a candidate based on what they found” (2020). To avoid this, you should begin by searching yourself online and see what shows up. And then one by one remove any outdated or unprofessional images or content from your social media and deactivate all inactive accounts. Moreover, avoid using complex email addresses that have different characters and numbers. Instead, use your first or full name in your email address if possible. Moreover, experts will advise you to be your authentic self on the internet, but there is a limit to how authentic you should be. Build an online presence that reflects the best parts of your identity and personality. And avoid sharing content that is too personal or unprofessional such as being under the influence of drugs or engaging in passive-aggressive online behavior (Hoskins, 2021). Furthermore, avoid disclosing personal information such as your address or family members through your images because too much authenticity can be harmful. Practicing digital hygiene isn’t a one-time thing. You should analyze and review your online presence from time to time and maintain your online identity as you go. All in all, always think twice before you post!
Blog #1 References:
Manifest, T. (2020, April 28). 79% of Businesses Have Rejected a Job Candidate Based on Social Media Content; Job Seekers Should Post Online Carefully. Retrieved July, 2021, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/79-of-businesses-have-rejected-a-job-candidate-based-on-social-media-content-job-seekers-should-post-online-carefully-301048157.html
Hoskins, G. (2021, May). Module 4: Contested Data: Privacy, Security and Intellectual Property. Retrieved June, 2021, from https://de.ryerson.ca/de_courses/templates/m/?c=2B7B82A7EC6DE40781FD6EF338B41892&m=4&p=149330
BLOG #2: How do you want to use Social Media?
Author: Asma Fazal
Now once you have deep cleansed your presence online, it's time to figure out your goals. In other words, how would you like to use social media, and for what purpose? Is it to brand yourself or your business or both? Once you figure that out, we will go from there.
Using Social Media For Personal Branding:
Create a personal portfolio website! You can use many platforms such as Square Space, Webflow, Wix, WordPress, Adobe Portfolio, Behance, Issuu, just to name a few. Most of these offer free domains and require no coding. Online portfolios are a great way to display your work and achievements and get attention, especially in the creative and design industry. You can also use your social media pages, specifically Facebook and Instagram, as your online portfolios. And remember to always keep your online portfolio consistent with your resume. Consistency in branding is key. Besides having an E-portfolio, you should also have LinkedIn where you can network and link your portfolio and resume. This is a great platform to make connections and find a potential job.
Using Social Media For Business Branding:
The majority of the tips we mentioned about personal branding would apply here as well. Having a good website for your brand is crucial. Forget Facebook and Instagram, recently, TikTok has attained great attention and has blown up many small businesses. Hence, business owners have started to use TikTok as one of their branding strategies. And “the key to brand success on this app is creating fresh, dynamic, and entertaining content” related to your brand and the services you offer (Cristea, 2021). Take some time to read this amazing article about How brands can take advantage of the TikTok phenomenon. Overall, having an impressive online presence is very important for your personal branding, even if it’s on TikTok.
Blog #2 References:
Cristea, M. (2021, February 05). How brands can take advantage of the TikTok phenomenon. Retrieved July, 2021, from https://business-review.eu/news-ro/how-brands-can-take-advantage-of-the-tiktok-phenomenon-217031
BLOG #3: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
Author: Chantalle Ross
Do you know who your audience is? If you do, that is great, but if you are unsure, here is some information you might find useful to get you started!
Build a brand community. This is a group of people that enjoy or come together for a shared joy that they all have in common. I often refer to it as your tribe. They are the people that are loyal to you because they are emotionally invested in that shared joy.
Be able to pivot. Think of yourself as a DJ at a party. If you see people not having a good time or not dancing to the music, you need to pivot from what you are playing to give more of what your audience wants. For example, if you notice that when you run analytics that your audience seems not to be participating in a particular part of your website, you might look at what is working well on your other pages and apply it to that webpage.
Be your authentic self. Highlight the best parts of you! Your audience does not want to see you when you are not exercising online etiquette and it could impact your brand in a negative way when you are not being honest.
Create an enjoyable user experience. Your digital platform should be user-friendly for your audience. It should encompass: looking good; feeling good, and should be user-friendly no matter the device that is being used. Use a cross-platform design to implement it. Check out this link to see strategies on cross-platform design strategies: https://bit.ly/3i9Qbiv.
Now that you have some tools in your toolbox, you will have a better understanding of your audience if you apply these strategies.
BLOG #4: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS!
Author: Chantalle Ross
Are you currently taking advantage of the social media platforms that are best for you? Having access to the internet has provided an easier way and an opportunity to capture an audience globally. Prior to social media, putting yourself and your brand out there for marketing and branding purposes would require more funding due to promotions via commercials, handing out flyers, running ads, and etc. However, times have changed and you can now market and brand yourself online through social media for free or for a low cost. Since you are all in high school, I will assume your cash flow may not match your financial desires yet, so having access to resources such as Instagram, would provide you digital real estate space to use for promotional purposes. Here are a few tips that you can take advantage of to make the most out of social media.
- Create an online identity. This is a great starting point to showcasing your brand to the world at no cost. It is as easy as creating a profile on Instagram.
- Use social media to create a brand community. This is a great way to expand your marketing reach and connect with like-minded individuals.
- Hang out where your audience hangs out. Choose the best social media for your type of medium. For example, if your work is digital art, you might choose to spend more time on a platform such as Instagram or Pinterest versus Twitter or Snapchat.
Now that you have some tips to take advantage of, it is also recommended that you collect email addresses and create your own website because some of these media outlets have had an expiration date and it would be unfortunate to have to build your community up again. For example, MySpace is no longer relevant.
To sum it up, remember to take advantage, but have a plan that if a particular platform goes down, you already have a backup plan.
BLOG #5: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF IT?
Author: Kelly Schaefer
Though you may not realize or embrace it, everyone individually is branded. This is described as personal branding which is the process of “developing, harnessing and classifying” personal information and providing a well-rounded vision for others to easily understand one’s identity — frequently accomplished by the use of social media (Jacobson, 2020). However, this concept is not stagnant, it can be spread to the professional world as plays into branding for other social media endeavors, such as a small business. But it is your personal branding that will help you succeed in progressing your essence. A brand is much more than a logo or a set color scheme. It is how it makes others feel and is grounded in taking a consistent approach across all platforms and social networks.
When it comes to branding, the addition of social media allows for an innovative way to connect with both personal audiences and consumers. In order to effectively utilize social media branding, consistency and individuality come to the forefront. We have to remember that a brand is much more than a logo and a color scheme, but instead a way your consumers feel. This feeling is built by taking a consistent approach across every interaction associated with your brand, whether that be as simple as a DM or a response to a story (Jacobson, 2020). It may take a bit of work to accomplish this, so we have two essentials to help you to begin your branding endeavors below.
1. Consistency is key
The first, and most important, step is to creatively develop a common thread that people will recognize as your brand, personally or professionally. Take this brand, for example, Amarilla wool appears to be dedicated to vibrant colors and creative, satisfying images that appeal to the eye. Their colorful display picture mates the vibe of their feed, which accomplished brand cohesion. Their name Amarilla is also a color that also plays into this.
2. Measuring the impact of branding efforts
Branding is about your voice, imagery, and target audience. Because these are more qualitative measurements, it may be harder to measure success. That is why harnessing insights and web analytics is essential when it comes to maintaining and growing your brand. When you measure the impact of your brand using tools such as Instagram Insights, you are then able to record and report the small details which both positively and negatively affect your brand, you can analyze these results and then optimize what you have learned from their statistics (Laurel et al., 2019). The image above provides a demonstration of Amarilla wools accounts reach, which highlights the use of Reels to be their primary successor to reach more accounts. For more information click here to learn more about web analytics for branding!
Blog #5 References:
Jacobson, J. (2020). You are a brand: Social media managers’ personal branding and “the future audience”. The Journal of Product & Brand Management, 29(6), 715–727. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-03-2019-2299
Laurell, C., Sandström, C., Berthold, A., & Larsson, D. (2019). Exploring barriers to adoption of virtual reality through social media analytics and machine learning — an assessment of technology, network, price, and trialability. Journal of Business Research, 100, 469–474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.01.017
Final Group Project by: Asma Fazal, Chantalle Ross, and Kelly Schaefer