watch_followOver the past few years, savvy professionals all over the world have realised the vital role that social media plays in helping to boost their personal brand.

If you want to enhance your career progression, influence key decision makers, build your reputation as being knowledgeable in your field, establish valuable partnerships and even generate leads, then read on to find out how you can develop a strong personal brand using social media.

Top 5 Dos

1) Do use LinkedIn
As the social network for professionals, LinkedIn is essential. Ensure your profile is optimised by uploading your educational and employment history and connecting with colleagues (past and present) and business contacts, and don’t forget to regularly check who has viewed your profile – this may help you to build relationships with influential people.

The recent ‘Endorsements’ feature allows you to act as an advocate for your connections’ skills – and they you. Having others give you the thumbs up lends real credence to your profile. Also consider the discussion groups for further networking opportunities and to keep up-to-date about specialist topics in your field.

LI endorsments(1)

2) Do choose the right profile pic

While that picture of you dressed as an Oompa Loompa might showcase your wacky side, is that really the person potential employers want to invite to interview or that potential clients want to do business with?

standard LI profile pic

Some might argue this is worse than an inappropriate pic. Remember – your profile pic is the first thing people see so aim to portray a professional image.

3) Do audit your online presence

Run a Google search on yourself and see what comes up – removing old accounts you no longer use (MySpace anyone?) and deleting content/comments that could be seen as questionable.

4) Do consider separating your accounts

Not all of your social media accounts need to be about personal brand building. If you’re aching to talk about TOWIE somewhere, consider using a Twitter or Tumblr account labelled with just your first name or a nickname, saving your full name for profiles you’d be happy for employers and other businesses to see.

5) Do find and follow potential employers

80% of companies now use social media for recruitment, with 95% of those using LinkedIn, so by following the profiles of businesses you’d love to work for you could be one of the first to hear about new vacancies.

Top 5 Don’ts

1) Don’t ignore your profiles

It’s great that you’re on so many channels but empty/ignored profiles don’t say anything positive for your personal brand. If you’re short on time, focus on those that will help you to achieve your goals and make the effort to be active – posting regularly and making connections.

2) Don’t forget to filter!

What happens online stays online – and it has a habit of hanging around way after you’ve forgotten about it. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with your mum/boss/priest seeing it, don’t post it.

security camera 4003) Don’t forget your privacy settings

Update your Facebook privacy settings so only your personal connections can see your page content – it’ll help safeguard you from employers and other businesses seeing any random comments or photo tags you may have missed.

4) Don’t use bad language

Even with the most stringent privacy settings, there’s still a risk that what you post can reach people you wouldn’t want it to reach. So start thinking of less offensive ways to express your unhappiness at last night’s football result.

5) Don’t bad mouth others

Employers and potential clients look for people who can show professionalism, tact and work as part of a team. So even if you left your previous job on bad terms or had a bad relationship with a previous customer, don’t be tempted to badmouth online.

One final thing to consider – if you’re a SME business owner, building your own personal brand is even more important as it is often seen as being synonymous with your business. You want to position yourself as the expert in your field so you become the “go to” person in your industry and one of the very best ways to do this is gather testimonials from your customers, partners and connections.

Our award-winning Social Reviews Application is used by both B2C and B2B businesses of all sizes to gather customer/client feedback. To find out more or to request a demo, please call us on+44(0)1179 055 195 or email info@digitalvisitor.com today