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Good or bad? Social Media is Your Brand

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August 26, 2013 by EmilyCRios

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As time passes and technology advances new methods of communicating are developed and change the way people go about communicating. One thing that has caused an immense change in communication in the last few years is the increasingly popular use of social media sites. While these sites can serve as a way of interacting with friends they also serve as a way to build a personal brand.

In “The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing,” Stephanie Chandler writes that one of the most powerful ways to use social media is to use it as a toll to build your brand. Having an online brand that portrays who you are as a person and as a potential employee is important because more and more companies are looking to candidates’ online presence during the recruitment process. According to a Jobvite survey 92% of employers use or plan to use social media to recruit.

So where should one start in regards to creating their online brand? Scott Elser, co-founder of Launchpad Advertising, offers four points needed to create a social media strategy, which include finding your venues, discovering your voice, adjusting your volume and setting your strategy.

Discovering you voices in essential in developing a strong social media brand and any successful social media campaign. Online communication is different from face-to-face interaction in that there are not physical or visual meters to gauge what a person aims to communicate. So much of how we communicate come from non-verbal cues so when communication is occurring online one needs strive to develop a voice that conveys personality and that one values the ideas being shared because as Elser points out, “Engagement happens on a human level. Companies that succeed in social media humanize their brands–they create a unique voice and personality.”

One of the most beneficial things of creating your own personal online brand is that all the power lies in your hands because you are the creator deciding what content you want to send out and how you want to interact with your audience.

Creating a clean, professional social media brand can help in a job search, but how much stock should be placed in web presence alone? Klout is a company that measures users social influence and gives them a Klout between 1 and 100. Jeanne Meister writes that Klout scores are going to become increasingly more important and that online presence is going to replace the traditional resume.

When it come to creating a personal social media brand and how it can affect employment opportunities several questions come to mind including:

Should online presence be the only factor in getting hired?

Should you maintain separate social media sites for personal use and  for creating a personal brand to seek employment?

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4 thoughts on “Good or bad? Social Media is Your Brand

  1. Blythe says:

    Hi Emily– Creating, maintaining, and polishing one’s online presence for employment is really pretty interesting, and I don’t think there are any clearly defined golden rules yet. Social media is too new and still really developing so we don’t really know how to create boundaries with it yet. I’m a big believer in separating personal and professional life, but social media seems to blur those lines a bit. To answer your first question, I don’t think an employers should solely rely online presences for a hire. I say that for many reasons, but also it links to your second question. One’s online presence could be professional or personal, making it difficult for an employer to judge or measure. I think it’d be pretty tough to have a personal account and then an additional personal brand account. Now if you had a specific company you were promoting, then I think you’d have enough content to justify a separate account. However, your personal profile is still really public. What I’m gathering from the readings is encouraging me to transform my personal accounts with personal branding in mind.

    • Blythe,
      I definitely agree that social media is still developing and is constantly changing so proper boundaries are still not established. A person’s online presence and Klout scores says something about a person, but I don’t think it should be the sole basis for hiring purposes because I don’t feel like those means alone give the full picture of who a person is or they type of work they do or can do. I had not given much thought to branding in the past, but after the readings i think it is important for people to really think about what they want their brand to be and how they can share that brand effectively across different platforms.

  2. helenapeace says:

    Emily,
    You bring up and interesting point about a personal vs. a professional social media accounts. I debated if I should create new accounts for this class and chose not to. I decided that what I present personally is part of my brand. It’s part of what makes me who I am. I see that you decided to use your personal twitter as well. Do you think it was a good choice?

    • I went back and forth on whether or not to create separate accounts for school purposes and like you I chose not do. If the focus is all about building a personal brand than I felt that i would be confusing my brand my having multiple personal accounts. I feel like using my existing account was the right choice because i think it shows who I am as a person and the things I like or what projects I may be working on instead of solely being devoted to class assignments.

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