3rd Key to Using Social Media Responsibly: Build Your Personal Brand

Chris Syme Owner/Partner, CKSyme Media Group

Posted on August 23rd 2013

3rd Key to Using Social Media Responsibly: Build Your Personal Brand

When most people think of using social media responsibly, they think of the first two keys: protecting privacy and reputation. But the third key is the most overlooked and the most powerful: build your personal brand. A strong personal brand will not only position you positively in the eyes of potential employers and clients, it will fill a well of loyalty that will protect you in a negative event or crisis.

Keys1Consider this recent data from Reppler, an online reputation management company. They surveyed professionals involved in the hiring process at their companies and found the following:

  • 91% use social media to screen potential employees.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the major channels screened.
  • 69% have rejected a candidate because of what they saw on social media sites.
  • The major reasons for rejection were because they lied about their qualifications, posted inappropriate photos, posted inappropriate comments, posted negative comments about a previous employer, and demonstrated poor communication skills.
  • 68% said they hired someone because of what they saw on a social networking site. The major reasons those hires were made:
    • They gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit.
    • They presented themselves professionally.
    • Their profile supported their qualifications.
    • Their profile showed the candidate was creative.
    • The candidate had good references posted by others.
    • Showed solid communications skills.
    • Profile showed the candidate was well-rounded.

Social media benefits to personal brands are the same as those for corporate brands, only scaled to one: increased likes and followers, increased reach, developing a loyal army of advocates that will cover you in a crisis, placing your brand top of mind in a given sector, being tagged as an influencer, and increasing the opportunities for a better paying job by networking with key influencers.

The first step in building a personal brand is setting up a series of online profiles that have SEO power. These profiles will help positive information about you show up in search results for your name. The best go-to resource I have found for this process is a small and easy-to-read book by Herbert Tabin and Craig Agranoff called Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management (2010). Even though it is almost three years old, it’s still my favorite resource. This book is a practical manual with step-by-step advice on how to build an effective online profile from the ground up. It’s less than 20 dollars and well worth the investment. The book also contains helpful information on how to fix a problem, should you need online reputation repair.

Building a personal brand takes time and diligence. Many people see it as self-promotional and, well, it is. You are your own best advocate.  Build your own online image, or someone else will build it for you.

This is an excerpt from the new book, Practice Safe Social, available on Amazon.com in print or e-book. Get your copy today. 


Chris Syme

Owner/Partner, CKSyme Media Group

Chris Syme's latest book, Practice Safe Social, is a leading resource on how to use social media responsibly. Her agency, CKSyme Media Group specializes in crisis and reputation communications, training, and social media services. See her website at www.cksyme.com. Follow her on Twitter @cksyme


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Posted on August 23rd 2013 at 6:23PM

Very well written Chris Syme. I am agree with the mistakes which you have mentioned in this article. I have seen many times when frustrated employees leaves their job and criticize that organization. It shouldn't be. Personal branding is very important to grow the career of a person in the eyes of employer and clients. I am going in right way to improve social media presence on my name. Finally I love this post.

Posted on August 28th 2013 at 2:40PM

Good points, Navneet. I think employees should be able to vent when they leave a job they don't like, just not in public if they want to get another job! Good luck with building your personal brand.

Posted on August 25th 2013 at 3:57PM

I believe the importance of self branding cannot be stressedenough. You need to be careful with rrespect to the image you portray yourself on social media platforms. Thank you Chris, good read and I shared this with my followers. Cheers!


Posted on August 28th 2013 at 2:38PM

Agree totally Mike. Thanks for sharing the piece with others.