Oftentimes we associate marketing with a company that sells a certain product or service; however, we also market ourselves (consciously and unconsciously). We need to become more aware of our actions and how others see us, which is not just helpful for a job interview, but it is also helpful for our everyday living. With the invention of social media in particular, we should be well aware of what we are posting and how it affects us. Everything we post affects our personal brand. Here are a few tips on marketing yourself on social media:

1.      Identify your target market

Identify how each social media site can be used for a different target market. For example, LinkedIn is mostly for professional networking.  This is not the place to post photos from your Christmas party.  Facebook tends to be a little more open, but at the same time, remember it is not as private as you think.  Nothing is wrong with posting pictures having fun but take a double look at the photos to ensure they are not sending another message.

2.      Be yourself

Consumers, employers, and peers can tell when you are being fake, especially if they know you personally and see you frequently. Make sure your posts are representative of who you are. You don’t want people to wonder if they can trust you.

3.      Utilize your best asset

Get to know yourself a bit more.  Find out what your best asset is (perhaps get advice from friends) and be sure to post accordingly so you are showing off that asset.  Of course this does not mean your nicely sculpted 6-pack, unless it is relevant for your business – a gym, for example.  What you put out there is what people will gravitate toward.

4.      Grammar is still important

When making posts on any social media site, remember to spell check and also grammar check.  You don’t want people to think you cannot communicate effectively. Most text editors come with some type of integrated language help.

5.      Set your privacy options

Some social media sites allow you to change your permissions.  For example, on Facebook you can choose who you want to see certain pictures or certain posts.  There is also a feature that allows you to approve photos you are tagged in before they get posted to your profile.  Even though you were out last night enjoying a drink with your friends, the photo you are tagged in might send a completely different message.

6.      Pay attention to other people’s privacy

Have a professional message that you can use when sending a friend invitation on a professional network such as LinkedIn. Don’t become a stalker if a person does not respond or fails to communicate with you. Respect their privacy and don’t share conversations or other content that might be sensitive.

7.      Be careful who you add

Add individuals you know or are familiar with.  If someone adds you and you do not know them, do some research on them, look at the mutual connections and ask your friends about them before you add them.  They could either be a great connection that could lead to opportunities or just someone fishing for personal information.

8.      Do not post too frequently

It is important to post content and update your profile, so that your network can get to know your personality; however do not overdo it.  Posting every 5 minutes can become very annoying, especially if the posts are similar. 

9.      Watch out for likes and comments

Be careful what you like and the type of comments that you make.  Remember those are seen by persons you do not know as well.  What you like and the types of comments you make says a lot about who you are as a person. It might also come back to haunt you at some point in the future.

10.  Know your social media sites

Not all sites are for you.  Select your choice of social media sites carefully.  Be in tune with what each type of site is used for, and ensure that your posts are within their guidelines.  This shows that you respect the site, yourself and also the people using it.

Nicolette Satchell is an MBA student in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. She can be reached at ns1016@nova.edu