Hopefully, you’ve here been following my blog series, Developing a Social Media Program. If not, you may want to go back before starting this one although each post is designed to be standalone and feel free to start here! (The earlier posts will still be out there!)
In this post, I’ll define the second step in developing a social media program, Normalizing the Social Media Identity. This is the second of eight posts I’ll be blogging about separately.
By now, you have decided on your goals and objectives, which social media applications to use (including a blog), and how to use them to achieve these goals and objectives.
Let’s talk about normalizing the identity presented by the social media apps.
The first task involves the personal brand.
If one has already been established, so much the better. If not, now’s a good time to start working on one. In this post, I won’t go into how to develop one. It’s beyond the scope of this series. A very good start is Personal Branding for Dummies. (Don’t snicker, Dummies books are a great and inexpensive introduction to many topics.) Coaches are also available. (I haven’t used one myself and would welcome any to approach me with their experiences here.)
After developing the personal brand, the next task is create an identity kit if one doesn’t already exist. This comprises the logos, fonts, and color schemas used for blogs, websites, business cards, letterheads, and any other materials, virtual or physical, that represent the individual or the organization.
An identity kit gives a common look and feel across various media and adds an element of professionalism. At a glance, someone can identify you and your message regardless of which medium or social media app is being used.
In developing an identity kit, I engaged the services of a professional graphics designer who also helped me with my blog. (And, did a great job even if I do say so myself! Check out www.someddi.com to see for yourself and click on the designer’s logo on the home page if you’re interested in his work.) If you have the skills yourself to do this so much the better. Just remember, don’t take too much on yourself.
The third task involves the profile used on each social media application. This offers opportunities as well as challenges.
The opportunities are to present via each social media app a brief summary of who you are and why you’re out there selling yourself. Each app offers a different channel to a potentially different community which can be leveraged to get your message out to.
The challenges involve keeping a consistent profile across these social media apps and not sending conflicting messages and confusing your audience. Or, worse, losing credibility with your following.
The best way is to take a top down approach.
Social media apps like LinkedIn and Twitter present an opportunity to present a short profile. Facebook presents another opportunity with its page feature which offers more possibilities for detail. Finally, a blog gives unlimited potential to present one’s profile. (Although, I do suggest not getting carried away.)
Use Google’s Adword Keyword Planner to identify key words relevant to a personal brand and then test to see how they perform before employing them in a profile. Start with the smaller profiles like LinkedIn and Twitter and then move onto Facebook and the blog. This layering effect will facilitate discovery by the various search engines.
The identity kit links the visual aspects of the social media program. The normalized profile links the story being presented.
Now, at the end of this step, our social media program has incorporated a personal brand onto the apps and developed a common profile and enhanced for keyword searches.
With the first step, I discussed how goals and objectives influence the social media app choices available. Then the importance of having a blog and the options available for setting one up were reviewed.
We now know what we want to do and how we’re going to do it.
But, a social media program is not a static event, or a fire and forget activity.
In the next post, Community Development, I will discuss how to form communities for social media apps because an audience is needed. We have built a platform, now we have to figure out how to bring the audience in. It’s no longer true, if it ever was, that if you build it then they will come.
There are eight steps summarizing how to initiate, maintain, and improve a social media program. Each of these represents tasks and interim deliverables. Third party tools are available to assist with these and enhance the social media app’s themselves. This ongoing series in my blog will discuss these.
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.