First thing’s first, what is personal branding? Personal branding is a means by which people remember you. It’s not just your trademark, it is how you present yourself online and offline to potential clients and customers. Your personal brand is what builds your business online.

When you are creating and updating your social media profiles, you should keep in mind what you want your personal branding to say about your business. When your customers know you and can recognize you just by seeing your logo, for example, this creates trust. People like to know who they’re working with, so it’s important to create personal branding online:

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is a great first step when it comes to creating strong personal branding for your business. If you typically work with the younger generation (aka millennials), then you should target your appearance and messaging toward them and what they understand. Millennials know the ins-and-outs of social media, so it’s a good idea to use lots of humor and memes for them!

If your audience is typically an older generation, gear your messaging toward them. Instead of posting memes and jokes that might not be their style of humor or something they can relate to, focus on something they will find interest in. This could be messaging focused on family and raising children (or grandchildren), or content referring to careers and recipes, etc. Once you know your target audience, your appearance and messaging will more easier fall into place.

Engage Online

Once you have a following, engage with them! People don’t follow business pages for no reason. Be sure you’re posting valuable content for them, that will be engaging. Ask questions on your social pages relating to your business and your industry, and respond when your customers have something to say! Many businesses only respond to reviews online, but that isn’t the best practice. While you should be responding to reviews, you should also be responding to posts, comments, etc.

You don’t need to spend hours on social media building your branding by responding, but it’s a good idea to post things that get your customers thinking, then respond to their ideas and questions. Engaging content could be: tips and tricks relating to your industry, updates about coupons and special that you’re running, questions about your industry, or even questions not about your industry! Engaging with your customers online gives you a voice and a presence that will really stick with them and build trust.

Create Content – Use Your Voice

Have you seen Wendy’s Twitter page recently? They’ve become known for their witty posts and responses. While we don’t recommend “roasting” your followers and competitors, we do recommend using light-hearted humor and wit to get noticed. Be careful with your jokes online since it’s hard to read someone’s tone when they’re just seeing your words and not your face!

When you’re creating content for your social pages, use your own voice. Of course, you want to remain neutral and professional (i.e: no political or controversial posts or posts that aren’t family-friendly). Let your business have a personality online and your customers will appreciate the personalization! Who doesn’t love to follow a business that actually sounds like a human when they post? Your customers should know they’re talking to/working with a real person, even through the internet. Have fun with social media, it can be the most fun part of your job!

Streamline Your Appearance

This is a big one! Streamlining your appearance means you are easily recognizable across all social media channels. Nothing is more confusing than a business using different logos on Facebook and Instagram than they do on Twitter. Your logo, colors, and voice should be the same across the board, so customers don’t have to wonder if they’re looking at the right business’ page. Streamlining your appearance should be easy and make for a more professional online presence.

Get Involved

Get yourself involved online! Be in the conversation about your industry. It’s a good idea to follow pages relating to your industry on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For example, if you are a professional home and office cleaner, you should follow pages like: Clorox, Swiffer, etc. so you’re staying in the conversation. It’s not a bad idea to comment every so often on their posts, either! You can also get yourself involved by following local influencers (aka local social media gurus with plenty of followers), and commenting on their posts from time-to-time. This will increase your following and help you to be seen online.

Don’t forget to use hashtags relating to your industry! If you’re having a hard time knowing which hashtags to use, start small (#HVACUtahCounty, #BrokenHeater, #BrokenAC, HVACRepairUtah, etc), and then google “Popular hashtags for the HVAC industry” (or whichever industry you are in).

Social media can and should be really fun, and so should building a strong personal brand for your business! Follow these tips and you’ll be a step ahead of the game. To check out ‘9 Killer Personal Brand Statement Examples’ visit this awesome explanation on personal branding from Anthony Miles Smith here.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!