You know full well that every business worth its salt needs a coherent corporate brand that speaks to its customers, employees, vendors, and — where relevant — investors.
You’re probably coming around to the idea that, love it or hate it, every professional (entrepreneur or no) needs a coherent personal brand too.
You might be less clear on what it takes to build a corporate or personal brand. If what you’re doing right now seems to be working well enough, in that you have paying customers and/or gainful employment, why mess with it?
Let’s shelve that question for a moment and focus on actual, actionable steps you can take to hone that brand. Specifically, on which websites and social communities should you focus your limited marketing resources?
Start with these five. Here’s how to get the most out of each.
LinkedIn is the place for businesses and professionals to see and be seen. It’s also a fantastic, if understated, branding platform.
In the early going, use your LinkedIn profile to build out your professional footprint — your network — and increase your credibility with people and companies learning about you for the first time.
As you grow, make LinkedIn your outward-facing hub for positive brand mentions and content. The LinkedIn page for Techstars, a global funding and mentorship network for startups, includes frequent posts showcasing the network’s depth and breadth. This content comes from Techstars advisors and alums as well as third-party media — a diversified approach that avoids repetition and choir-preaching.
Facebook has changed a lot over the years. While it’s still the go-to platform for semi-private social interaction, it’s increasingly important for businesses and professionals seeking new markets and greater branding flexibility. It’s a numbers game: with billions of active users, Facebook is the place to post breaking updates and media assets supporting your brand.
No, Google+ isn’t dead. It’s not even resting. It continues to be a viable social platform for individuals and businesses alike, particularly those looking to throw up a no-frills, on-brand presence that avoids the clutter and noise of other popular social sites. This Google+ profile for Steve Dorfman is a perfect example: a friendly asset that keeps first-time visitors and returning fans alike abreast of his company’s goings-on.
Twitter is best known for its bite-sized format and long-running bot infestations, but it remains a valuable and highly visible branding platform for companies and individuals alike. The Twitter handle for workflow management solution monday.com showcases its subtle power: scroll through monday.com’s timeline and you soon won’t be able to focus on anything other than the company’s distinctive red-green-yellow color scheme and bubbly font.
Want to get something off your chest? If you can fit it into 280 characters or less, maybe tweet about it. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves and compose a full-length blog post, complete with images and citations.
Aside from your personal or corporate website, which probably can’t match its organic search visibility, Medium.com is the best blogging platform out there. Make it your default for crunchy, detail-rich content that supports your professional or corporate brand.
Are You On Brand?
Admit it: you’ve thrown around the term “on brand” in casual conversation without quite being sure what it meant. The answer is both fuller and more obvious than you might suspect, but as HubSpot senior content strategist Carly Stec writes, “Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name.”
Getting and staying “on brand” requires some doing, but a cohesive and comprehensive digital footprint is a crucial early step. With these five properties, you’re on your way to getting that covered. Now, the fun really begins.