It can be very helpful to remember that social media branding mistakes happen in front of a global audience. Avoiding them altogether is obviously the best strategy.
There are thousands of hard working professionals trying to build a strong, lasting online presence and personal brand. Many (if not most) are turning to social media for this. But unfortunately, a large percentage end up creating unflattering brands on global social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
According to Jeremy Goldman, founder and CEO of Firebrand Group, far too many professionals post messages on these platforms complaining about their daily commute or bragging about a new purchase. Some even list full versions of their daily schedules to appear rash, to appear more important. Goldman cautions that this approach is foolhardy as very few people are likely to care.
Goldman says that while you are busy building your personal brand on social media, being positive about yourself and your focus is crucial. You need to be aware of how you are projecting your brand into the world. You could unknowingly smear your public image due to mistakes you didn’t even know you were making.
Some mistakes professionals make on social media are obvious even to the untrained eye. However, even seasoned personal branding professionals make some less obvious mistakes from time to time. The good news is that most of these mistakes are easy to avoid. You can also learn how to implement more effective personal branding strategies as easily as you can unlearn the ineffective ones.
Here are five common personal branding mistakes on social media that are best avoided if you want to develop a real and engaging personal brand online.
1. Share general copied posts
Personal branding experts recommend that you always customize your posts whenever you share updates or links on social media platforms. Do not use the standard share button texts or a generic template. This is true even when you’re promoting a product or connecting with someone on a professional platform like LinkedIn.
People will know when you took the time to write a personalized message. That alone will instantly improve your public image. It makes your followers know that you’re respectful, paying attention to details, and willing to go the extra mile – all of which add to your brand’s credibility. This maintains a strong image on social media and generates more likes, feedback, connections and networking opportunities.
2. Not being authentic
You may remember actor George Takei’s iconic 2010 social media posts. His joke posts were so frequent and entertaining that millions of followers wholeheartedly believed he was an extremely talented wild card. Unfortunately, it later turned out that it was actually Takei’s ghostwriter who had concocted his jokes and jokes. The public image of the former Star Trek icon has suffered a major blow as a result.
That just goes to show that social media branding mistakes are no joke. If this was the effect of inauthentic social media posts on a globally acclaimed actor, imagine what a perceived spurious perception of your personal brand could do to your personal brand.
When you meet someone in real life, it is likely to be a huge deterrent to find them lacking sincerity. It’s no different on social media. Your followers can know when you are being authentic, and they can also tell when you are trying to be someone who you are not.
3. Neglect of offline channels
The digital world has become a key platform in the personal branding industry. But if you don’t use your personal online brand in the physical world, you could be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Think of it that way. Many people fall in love with celebrities or public figures after seeing them in staggered interviews that reveal their real personality. They then search for these symbols on social media platforms for a closer and more personal follow-up.
You might prefer to get your followers on Twitter or Instagram first, but when you get the chance to meet those connections in person, grab them with both hands! This is a great way to leave a lasting and intimate impression on people who already value your brand and what it stands for. Events can cement these connections and build a long-term customer and fan base.
The worst-case scenario is that you may have wasted more or less 45 minutes on a coffee date if you fail to show up with someone you’ve met in person. However, when you’re on an equal footing, you can have a professional relationship that can last for decades. Interacting in person with your followers can only strengthen the connections you have built through your favorite social media platforms.
4. Focus too much on yourself
At first glance, this may seem counterintuitive. After all, you’d expect your personal brand to be all about you, right?
However, upon closer inspection, you will find that your personal brand is not so much about you, but about the services you provide to others. Personal branding aims to gather and distill all of your best qualities and qualities. It shows how you can help others achieve their goals and ambitions.
There is nothing wrong with projecting trust on digital channels. At the same time, you don’t want people to know you for shameless self-promotion. Staying generous and open to the people on your networks is a better way to have lasting relationships and improve your professional reputation.
5. Lack of focus
We’ve all seen these social media profiles whose owners will share celebrity gossip one day and deep political insights the next. Perhaps one of your social media profiles introduces you as an experienced copywriter. Another makes you seem more like a digital marketing specialist.
Of course, each of us has different skills and facets. There is nothing wrong with promoting these as part of your personal brand. However, inconsistencies in your branding can confuse your followers and, worse, make you seem unfocused at work.
Your digital personal brand doesn’t have to reflect the full range of your personality. Pick a few key traits that you want to showcase to the public and make sure everything you post online matches those traits. This should apply to all of your social channels.
For example, if your focus is on finance, startups, and entrepreneurship, keep offering advice, directing people to tools they can use for funding, and creating talking points on these topics. Don’t water down your brand by posting content that doesn’t correlate with your core focus.
The right social media branding
Branding yourself on social media takes persistence, commitment, and authenticity, both online and in the real world.
Make sure you have a focused, real personal brand that is consistently projected across all of your favorite social platforms – and then protect it. Often times, mistakes in social media branding happen when we’re in too much of a hurry. Slower. Proofread everything word for word. If you do this correctly, you are well on your way to making a lasting and positive professional impression.