Why Personal branding is your Social Media Hub!!

I stumbled upon an engaging post by Jay Baer @ http://ow.ly/10GdQ
on whether blogs should be at the epicenter of your SM strategy.  He argues yes, and makes some excellent points, but I have a slightly different view.

The real time web/mobile enabled, and various SM channels are exponential reach multipliers. It will be myopic to discard one over the other. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Corporate sites and microsites – all of them need to work in conjunction, but which is the most critical among them?

I say, Personal branding trumps everything else. Whether you are starting your blogging career,  or are an established one, want to create the next big enterprise,  or indeed lucky enough to work on a “national” brand, it all starts with Personal branding.  Engagement, and Dialogue on a one to one basis is at the bottom end of the Influence propagation funnel. It culminates in Trust, and it is easier to trust people than a corporation!!

While personal branding without wide reach is ineffective, so is having a personal brand without influence.  I think Brian Solis makes a great point when he says we are all “brand managers” in this new media.  http://ow.ly/10FgL

So, here is how I would use the following SM channels:

Twitter: For Personal brand building, Influence Propagation, and Driving traffic to blog or web site. Here are the ten commandments of Twitter :) http://johnantonios.com/

Blogs:  For Personal brand building, Influence Reinforcement, Driving traffic to corporate sites, micro sites

Facebook – Good for retention initiatives. It is a closed system, with little scope for exponential influence propagation.

Home page – The moment of truth for a brand. This is where you have brought the “party” to your place (to quote Trey Pennington, in this article http://ow.ly/10FRB). It is your time to bring out the fine china, and impress them.You (homepage) should be so captivating that your audience does not want to leave, or wants to come back every chance they get. In my mind, it is very important to include some “game” or “competition” elements to engage your audience even more, once they are there.  Easy navigation would be the other obvious element to have.

In summary, personal brand building is the foundation, and you have to use a combination of Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Corporate or Brand site (if applicable) to reinforce and capitalize on the trust that your personal brand has built.

Agree? Disagree? Ambivalent? Would love to know what you think. If nothing else, just a thumbs up or a thumbs down would be appreciated.

Cheers,

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16 responses to “Why Personal branding is your Social Media Hub!!

  1. Research the social media/marketing medium and become knowledgeable. There’s nothing better than first hand experience. Later, there are many things you will be able to delegate, but this is the one thing that you need to do. I spent months researching and understanding social media before I made many moves in the space for e.l.f.

    Build a following for your personal brand. If you are able to build a sizeable audience for your personal brand then you are closer to developing a social marketing strategy for your company.

    • “Build a following for your personal brand. If you are able to build a sizeable audience for your personal brand then you are closer to developing a social marketing strategy for your company”

      Ted, I could not agree with you more!!!, and Thank You for taking the time to provide feedback. It is the most precious gift for me :)

      Now, does that mean mean we are on the same page, or I should just shut up, do more research, and get more first hand experience??

  2. We seem to be on the same page here. But more first hand experience is always a good thing :-)

  3. A very interesting take on it. I’ll have to think about it a bit. I’m not good at spatial relations : )

    Would Coke say their brand is their hub? Yes, they may very well say that. You’re on to something.

  4. Some good insights and all I can say is just go for it, Cheers Jeff

  5. I love how you captured what I like to call “Personal Branding – One Big Happy Family” – you are absolutely right! If we learn to leverage the advantages of each, our brand is bound to get the proper exposure – but that certainly does not replace transparency and sincerity that are key to the prolonged success of the brand.
    The only thing I would have done different about this is positioned Blog/Homepage under the same heading.
    Great stuff Prince
    PS. I’m flattered that you summarized your Twitter beliefs with my commandments :) thank you!

    • Thank you John. I wanted to separate blog from the home page, only because if you are on the corporate side, you will still want to have your own blog, and direct them to the corporate site. For individual corporations, blog would equal the homepage (in most instances).

      I read your ten twitter commandments again, and they make a LOT OF SENSE!!!

      Thanks again for your feedback.

      Keep sharing!

  6. On the other hand regarding personal branding, it is not scalable. I listened to an interview with Brian Clark (CopyBlogger) and he was joking about the fact that Chris Brogan had said the biggest mistake he ever made was setting up shop as http://www.chrisbrogan.com. You can’t ever really sell it basically. Whereas if you set up a company with a personal/professional blog attached to it, you could sell the company at some point. Just something to consider in this brave new world :)

    • Thanks for dropping by, Jennifer. I think you are exactly right. You cannot scale a Personal Brand, unless human cloning has advanced to a stage I am unaware of :)

      I wouldn’t be feeling too despondent for Chris Brogan either. He commands a $22k a day premium for his time. Good for him, and all because of his personal brand.

      Cheers,

  7. This is an interesting idea. I see my blog as the hub of both my social media activities and my personal brand. The brand itself is intangible. It evolves through the information we share on our own sites, blogs, social media accounts and in person when giving presentations, attending networking events, responding to messages, etc.

    So rather than being the hub, I think the personal brand is more of the outcome. My blog though is tangible (in a cyberspace sort of way). It is a destination people can go to in order to read my thoughts about marketing, Web dev and social media and it includes links to many of my social media accounts. In this online world my own site is the most permanent bit of real estate I have. While social media services like Facebook may come and go, my site is under my control. (As an ardent user of Pownce, which closed in Dec. 2008, I’m unhappily familiar with services going away.)

    In my case my blog is one section of my whole site. It produces the most content and supports the other pages. When I’m interacting on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, other blogs, it is usually the place I link to because it is relevant to whatever conversation I’m having. I can only convey so much in a Tweet, but when I add a link to a blog entry I can expand on my thoughts while also driving people to my site where they may also be interested in other pages.

    From this perspective I think that perhaps the blog/site is the hub and the social media sites and other activities form the spokes of the wheel that is our online persona/personal brand.

    • Heidi – thanks very much for taking the time to comment. Always appreciate your insights.

      Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the content on your blog a direct reflection of who you are – a more open look at what you stand for, how you think, including your domain expertise? In your case, personal branding dovetails nicely into a corporate branding presence on your website. You are the hub that evokes interest, and directs traffic to your website. It is slightly different for the large corporations who have to create SM policies, and deploy appropriate personnel to monitor, and manage their online presence. Thoughts??

      Cheers,

  8. I think we’re on the same page here, but it may be an issue of semantics. I feed the hub, but the brand is more ephemeral.

    My blog, tweets, etc. are the output of my mind, based on my collective experiences, the things I’ve learned, my sense of humor, my quirky word choices, etc. As such they reflect my knowledge and opinions and give readers a window towards understanding, at least a portion of, the essence of being Heidi.

    My personal brand, as is also true of corporate brands, is the reflection of that output as perceived by others. I can influence that perception through the choices I make in what I communicate, but the brand itself is really about that perception. It’s what makes people decide to recommend me on #followfriday, quote me in a blog post, or introduce me to their friends and perspective clients.

    The same is true in business though corporations represent the output of many individuals. The Apple brand stands for reliable products, user satisfaction, cool design, etc. Much of that comes from Steve Jobs and the people who work for him, but it’s also reinforced by those of us who are Apple “fan boys” and interpreted by us through our own experiences with Apple and other products and companies.

    I’m working with a company now on their social media campaign. They will be blogging, Tweeting, using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Right now I’m training over a dozen of their staff on how to participate. Each will bring their own personalities to their posts and demonstrate their own individual expertise in their subject areas. Ideally that will also reflect well on this company–demonstrating the knowledge of its employees and their enthusiasm and helpfulness as it relates to their field. They’re now just starting to write and interact but their knowledge already exists, as does the company’s skill at what it does. They also already have a brand that is somewhat understood by current clients. But their current and future activities will push this forward. They’ll increase name recognition, while also letting current and prospective clients know that they actually offer a greater range of services than those people normally expect. If all goes well the perceptions will change and grow. More people will have a clearer sense of what this company is really about. That perception is the brand.

    The company itself won’t change in this process. It’s already offering great services, it’s just that not all of their prospects know the extent of what they can do. As they communicate more about this, people will know and the brand will become a more accurate perception of the company.

    Does that make sense? We acquire knowledge, various personality traits and etc., and we guide what we communicate, but the brand is made whole by those who perceive and interpret it.

    Ideally the brand should be an accurate reflection of the individual or organization, but that’s often not the case. It’s only through our actions and communications that we can make the brand better reflect the reality.

  9. Great post Prince.

    I agree with your thinking and love the quality of the commentary you have generated.

    It made me think of one of my favorite articles from Tom Peters “A Brand Called You” in Fast Company but updates it for the digital age.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html

    Cheers

    Scott Armstrong
    BrainRider.com

    • Thank you Scott. Appreciate your kind words.

      Thanks also for link to the post written by the one, and only Tom Peters. He is a visionary, and saw this coming 15 years ago. Wow!

      Cheers,

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