March 8, 2016
We’ve talked about WHY leaders need to develop a personal brand and overall STRATEGIES. This 3rd and final article of our personal branding series will focus on the specifics on how to easily build your personal brand on social media.
We’ve said it time and time again, both on the blog and to our clients on a daily basis — as a leader in today’s technology-connected society, social media is a must. While daunting at first — which networks should I join? how much time will it take? how much personal information should I share? — social media is the most efficient, economical and egalitarian way to share information and to consistently reinforce your brand as a leader.
At Allerton Hill, we always advise clients to use Twitter. It is mobile-friendly, easy and displays results in real time which means you are reaching your community now. Beyond Twitter, join the networks that your community is using. Are all of your students & parents on Instagram? You should be, too! Ask around and sign up but be realistic about how much time you can commit to updating multiple networks. It’s better to do one and do it well rather than spread yourself to thin and never post updates.
On any network you join, create a strong public profile so that users can find you easily. Use a clear photo of yourself — but not necessarily your official photo. Write a brief profile that includes your title as well as a few tidbits about yourself that help to make you accessible and makes it clear that this is your personal account.
Once you have a profile, what should you be sharing as the superintendent or other public leader of a school?
Share school news including upcoming events, post photos of yourself at past events and make note of achievements by your students and staff. Repost notices from your school’s official accounts.
Ask for feedback. Do you have a new policy in place? Are you considering one? Ask for input from your followers AND respond to any replies or direct messages you receive.
Be yourself. The best way to encourage honesty and engagement is to share your personality. Mix in tweets about your favorite hobbies, local pastimes and your opinions on “pressing matters” of the day such as sports teams, the Oscars and the weather.
Use photos whenever possible/appropriate. Photos stand out and encourage more engagement.
Use your school’s official hashtag to ensure your posts show up in searches.
It should go without saying, that your opinion on controversial subjects including politics and religion should not be included in your Twitter feed. But just in case, we’ll say it again: your opinion on controversial subjects including politics and religion should not be included in your Twitter (or Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook…) feed.