How to Brand Yourself on Social Media

As college students getting ready for the world of internships, career fairs, interviews and landing our first professional jobs, it is important to start building our personal brands beginning with what we know best: social media.

A personal brand is the way you market yourself. You are a brand, and social media is your advertisement. Do your accounts look good? Are they professional and unique?

“It begins with yourself and selling who you are as a commodity," journalism professor Dan Eller said.

Thinking of yourself as a commodity may sound unappealing, but with job markets being more competitive as ever, you need to present yourself as somebody so valuable that people and companies want to pursue you — meaning you might regret Instagramming those pictures of you and your girls at that raging party on Hathway Avenue last weekend. Oops.

Everyone tells you college should be one of the best times of your life. Go out, have fun, date guys, make new friends, etc. But what they don’t tell you is it may not be smart to share every crazy college experience on your social media profiles.

If you plan on applying for any type of professional position after graduation (which should mean everyone), the first thing your employers will do is check your social media. If your cover photo on Facebook is a group photo at a party with red cups galore, or if the last thing you retweeted on Twitter was a crude semi-racist meme, then you might have just ruined your chances.

Don’t worry, though, you can redeem yourself! The easiest and smartest way to start would be to clean out your social media. Get rid of inappropriate photos, content and manage your settings to receive notifications that require approval for photos you’re being tagged in.

Digital Brand Strategist for Verdin Marketing and Cal Poly journalism alumna Whitney Diaz gave a few tips on how to improve your personal brand.

1. Think Before You Act

This means think before you like, comment, or share anything inappropriate, racist or sarcastically crude.

“Sarcasm does not have a font on social media,” Diaz said. 

People won't always understand your humor — it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Develop your brand strategy

She suggests that you write down a list of words that describe yourself. List your passions and things that you live  by. This list of values should be portrayed throughout your social media sites.

3. Find your voice and be consistent

Be true to yourself and your values and be consistent with the image you’re presenting.

College is so much more than just making memorable experiences. It is one of the greatest chapters in our lives to find ourselves and set the impression we will leave in the professional world.

“Use your [social media] platforms to define who you are, what is your brand and how people perceive you through your image," Eller said. "Consistency is key! Do what you believe to keep your brand strong. Those who put more time into developing themselves and their brands will be more successful."