Social Media and Your Personal Brand

A bill has been making its way through the New Jersey legislature that would implement a social media curriculum for middle school students. The bill, which passed 37-2 in the Senate this month, would require the course to instruct students on “cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics.”

The New York City Department of Education has also released a media guide for students 13 years old and older. The guide was created after recommendations from students, parents, and school administrations. It aims to instruct students on the same issues as the New Jersey bill.

Another main argument for the social media instruction is that it will teach students how to market themselves. For students, portraying themselves in a positive and professional image will help impress college admission officers, and them to be successful as they enter the career world.

The issue of portraying oneself positively and professionally online doesn’t just lie with students; many adults are guilty of things like over sharing, negativity, and general inappropriateness on social media sites. Our potential and current employers, colleagues, clients, acquaintances are just a few of the people who view our online profiles. For many situations, our social media profiles draw the first impression people have of us. Here are some tips on building your brand and making that impression a positive one:

 1. Your photo

Choose a good quality photo of yourself. Avoid cropping others out, and avoid photos that are of your children or pet instead of you. The photo you choose becomes a logo for your personal brand. So choose carefully!

2. Watch what you say

Avoid heated discussions, and avoid comments about religion, race, gender, and politics. Also, avoid using curse words or any language that could be considered foul. 

3. Security setting

Popular social media sites like Facebook are always adding new features and changing the security settings. Be aware of these changes to protect yourself and protect the things you only want a select group of people to see.

4. Your work

Many employers have created a policy for social media standards that employees must adhere to. Be aware of your company’s standards. Also, if you use your personal site for business, draw a line between personal and business posts and be aware that those who follow you for business purposes may not appreciate some of your personal posts. In most cases, it is better to set up a business page or another account.

Another way to build your personal brand, and draw followers to your social media pages is to create a personal website. Today, it is easy to find websites, such as WordPress, that will allow you to easily create a personal site. This is a place where you can make a working resume that can be updated as you gain accomplishments. You can also link to your social media sites to draw in more followers. Having a personal site will greatly increase your SEO, and help you reach out to people. Here is an easy personal website guide. As always, if you have any questions please contact us!

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