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Rachel Sax

4 Lessons to Build and Establish Your Personal Brand Voice on Social Media

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I’m not an expert on social media marketing, but running my own brand has forced me to constantly think and re-think the ways I promote my products and reach new audiences – and social media has been critical in this effort.  Along the way I’ve learned a couple of things (the hard way) that you need to know to be smart when sharing your brand:

Keep personal and professional accounts separate.

As a small business owner, the idea of a new social media platform both excites and intimidates me.  The thought of reaching new customers is motivating but the question remains – what is the best way to reach them?  When Instagram first came out, I wanted to be a part of it both personally and professionally.  Having more than one account seemed daunting at the time, so I decided to stick to a single account.  ‘My brand is my lifestyle’ I would say to justify the choice.  It’s true that I keep my brand very personal, but the critical difference I failed to realize was the different audiences and their expectations.

Personal and professional Instagram accounts serve very different purposes: personal accounts are about savoring moments and sharing memories with people you know and who care about you, while professional accounts are for promotion, reaching new customers, and driving sales.  I would get frustrated if a branded post was falling flat amongst my followers, half of whom were personal contacts.  Additionally, I would hesitate to post too often, thinking I would annoy friends who followed me, in turn missing opportunities to gain followers.  Splitting my accounts proved to be a huge relief.  I no longer worried about annoying friends with too many hashtags on my personal account, or exposing my intimate memories and personal relationships to my clients.

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Keep a consistent message.

It may seem obvious but being ‘on brand’ is incredibly important.  Know your message and stick to it.  Your followers on a platform like Instagram will be following you for a specific reason: maybe they relate to your lifestyle blog, or they think your travel photos are beautiful.  Either way they will be more engaged if they continuously recognize and relate to your message.  In my early Instagram days, I played around with different filters, subjects, and photography styles.  Looking back at those pictures today, I recognize that they’re not bad but they weren’t sticking to my brand promise.  Keeping your posts consistent will not only attract more followers, it will help you define your brand’s message.

Know your platforms.

Similar to real life, people will react differently to the same information on different platforms.  The same joke that worked so well with your coworkers at the bar might not get the same reaction at the office the next morning.  Really think about how each platform can help you spread the same message in different ways.  For example, Twitter can be a great place for posting and discovering articles about topics related to your brand, but it may not be the avenue to post your latest promotional photos.  If people are following you on multiple channels, give them something a little different with each turn, keeping in mind the content that will surround yours on your audience’s feed.  A Twitter feed that’s purely a list of links to other platforms shows a lack of effort.

Keep it real.

Being deliberate about your social media presence and thinking critically about your message doesn’t mean you should lose what makes you unique.  There are plenty of social media ‘highlight reel’ accounts that try to leach on to every trending topic and hashtag their way into relevancy.  Think of social media just like you think of your products – the more genuine you make your brand’s social media presence the more your audience will appreciate the content you produce.

 

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