The five W’s of building a personal social media brand for business

I have a lot of conversations with clients, prospects and colleagues about how they can more effectively use their personal social media accounts for business purposes. Oftentimes, those same people are charged with owning the social media accounts for their organizations. They spend a lot of time thinking about strategy and execution around their company’s brand, but spend virtually no time thinking about how to maximize the impact of their personal social media brand, particularly in the context of how it can help them professionally.

Think about the FIVE W’s as you formulate your personal social media brand for business:

  • Who – Who are you trying to reach? Or trying to influence? It’s important to know who your desired audience is in order to share content that’s relevant and interesting to them.
  • What – What do you want people to know you for? Or what are you known for? Check out your Klout profile to see what topics you’re already known for, and determine whether you can build upon those – or if you want to change the conversation. (For example, my top Klout topics are PR, Cleveland, marketing, social media, advertising and business. Coincidence?)
  • When – When will you have time to post? If your time is limited, having a strategy in place is critical to ensure you’re using the limited time you have to devote to social media activities most effectively.
  • Where – Where (in the social media world) do you feel comfortable engaging in conversations? I’d suggest starting by finding one or two social media platforms you feel comfortable with, then expanding your network as you gain confidence and build your network.
  • Why – Why should you care? Or why should anyone else care? Understanding the impact social media can have on you as a business professional is crucial. If you don’t know why you’re using social media for business, you’ll never be able to commit.

Have you developed your personal social media brand strategy for business? Take a stab at defining what your five W’s are, and my guess is the roadmap will be a lot clearer.

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