Social media is a great playground for branding, marketing and self-promotion. But promotional efforts are often ignored or dismissed if they hold no benefit for the audience.
Here are some tips for self-promotion to help you reach and engage with your online audience:
1. Go Multimedia
Text is one way of reaching the public, but content like videos, audio and podcasts, images and other dynamic media can greatly improve your branding potential.
2. Create a Wealth of Information
With multimedia content in hand, position yourself as a source of information for the public. Use these social media sites as platforms for article syndication and promotion.
3. Be Ready for Questions and Conversation
Given the nature of social media, being a curator of industry documentation is one thing, being a responsive member of the social online sphere is another.
Use these platforms to seek out the relevant circles and connect the dots for those who are asking questions which you can answer, or research and answer.
4. Collaborate With Competitors
While it may not always be appropriate, working with competitors in a social media environment to serve the public can be to the benefit of both parties, the consumer and often the industry itself.
5. Cross Pollinate
Make sure to link between all of your social media profiles, and include links from your website or blog, providing a convincing reason why they should click on it. e.g. 'Follow me on Twitter and let's talk shop', 'Watch my free educational videos on YouTube'.
6. Import or Invite Your Contacts
Most social media sites have a contact import function, meaning you can submit your email or other social media details to find friends on the service, or send them an email if they aren't already signed up.
7. Set Up Alerts
There are many services out there that you can use to alert you when certain terms are used online. Google Alerts, for one, notifies you when content is created using your specified keywords so you can identify opportunities for promotion.
8. Create a Portfolio
By creating content, having conversations and answering questions you can showcase what you are capable of achieving. Facebook notes, MySpace image galleries or YouTube videos; try to keep one area designated to your portfolio of commissioned work, and also that which came about simply by connecting socially with your audience.
9. Don't Go Too Far
Social media is fickle in the way that the public aren't as responsive to hard-sell tactics or imposing marketing. A conversation, however, is often more appropriate.
The most important tip for self-promotion and personal branding is always give the consumer space, but also to be ready to tend to their needs in a transparent manner.