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It is an almost unanimous belief among business and consumer marketers that social media is critical to building a brand online. Keeping in mind that in 2016, 78% of U.S. Americans have a social network profile, you need to be aware that everything you do online will shape how others perceive you and your message.

So, how do you go about building a trustworthy, authoritative, personal brand on social media?

1. Be Recognizable.

Having the same name and profile photo across all social networks makes it easier to find you and much more memorable. Using your first and last name is preferable, and it is smart to avoid using nicknames as much as possible.

If you are just starting out and creating social media profiles, be sure to check all of your preferred social media platforms to see if your desired username is available.

If it isn’t, you can always come up with a suitable variation that is equally recognizable, such as adding your middle name or initial.

You will also need to think about the graphic imagery associated with your brand.

If you look at any well-known brand, you will see that they consistently use the same color scheme, fonts, and logo in their marketing activities.

Spend some time studying basic color psychology to ensure that you choose a color palette which best suits the feelings you want to evoke from your clients and customers and use them consistently.

2. Share Relevant, Helpful Content

People make purchases from those whom they know, like and trust. Establishing yourself as an expert in your niche is done by sharing helpful, knowledgeable content with your audience.

Be sure that your social media profile is not filled with sales pitches and links. Post simple, meaningful content and always be helpful. Ask questions and interact with your followers to show them that you care.

Post at least twice a day on each social media platform. If this seems like it is too big of a task for you to take on personally, you can hire a social media manager or schedule your own posts ahead of time with your choice of social media post schedulers.

3. Be Sociable

Social media is, after all, a place to socialize. Don’t focus all of your attention on your own posts and profiles. Be friendly, ask questions and converse with others on their shares as well.

Many great friendships, partnerships, and joint ventures have been made via social media. The more interest you show in others, the more curiosity will be piqued about you.

When someone messages you or tags you in a post, be sure to respond quickly. A good rule of thumb is to reply within 24 hours, less if at all possible.

Regardless of how you use your social media accounts – to build your email list, sell products as an affiliate, send massive amounts of traffic to your website, or obtain clients for a service based business – having a strong personal brand is imperative to your success. While social media marketing alone may not bring you overnight sustainability, the rewards are great if you determine to stay consistent with your marketing plan.

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