Five Things Successful Personal Brands Never do on Social Media
In the ever-evolving world of social media, it can sometimes be challenging to decode what exactly is “proper” etiquette. Because “personal” branding is another way of highlighting individuality, the “to each his own” philosophy often dictates the way in which people make decisions about what to post and how frequently.
With each platform or app catering to a rather unique user base, it is important that you deliver consistent messaging, “like” worthy visuals, and opportunities for engagement. However, the question that remains for so many people who are either growing or trying to successfully sustain a brand is, “What should I be doing and how often”? While there are numerous findings on the best times to post, there’s still some guesswork about what to post. I suggest before trying to answer the question to first get clear about what your personal brand is.
For example, if you’re a freelance journalist, news is what you do, yet your brand could be pop culture, politics, or sports. So establishing your brand is critical as it will often dictate what you post and share with your audience. Once you establish what your personal brand is exactly, there are five things successful people never do on social media.
Don’t Oversaturate –
Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, are really just mobile forms of television; therefore, personal brands can learn a thing or two about the way television content is distributed. On the one hand, you have a traditional television model whereby a new show is released once a week, some 30 minutes in length and some an hour in length. On the other hand, you have streaming platforms, such as Hulu and Netflix, that distribute the entire season of a show at one time. While seemingly very different, both models do the same thing: They give you just what you want with a few surprises, and then they go away. If they are really good, they keep you on the edge of your seating waiting for the next episode or season to air. The point is: Don’t over-do it. If you’re a travel blogger, give your followers beautiful photos from your seven-day cruise throughout the trip, but don’t post every hour of the day and also save a few photos to sprinkle throughout #TBT’s (Throwback Thursdays) or #FBF’s (Flashback Fridays). This will sustain your audience’s interest and also provide you with content that keeps on giving.
Don’t Be Inconsistent –
Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of television as she now leads a successful television network. What she did during 25 years as host of her own talk show was to establish herself as a lifestyle guru. While she is no longer a talk show host, her social media posts are still consistent with the topics she presented on her show: home and gardening, photos from her most beloved interviews, and announcements of things deemed her “favorites.” Brand consistency and brand loyalty go hand in hand. Without consistency, your users may find it difficult to remain connected with you because, ultimately, they’re not really sure who you are or what you represent.
Don’t Be ‘Ugly’ –
Former FLOTUS, Michelle Obama said it best: When they go low, we go high. Avoid engaging in negative talk or spats on social media. There is a right way and a wrong way to address naysayers and oftentimes that is just to say nothing. At other times, you can release a statement to address an issue that may have gone public, but do so in such a way that reminds your followers of who you truly are without going back and forth and getting into social media feuds. These things never end well and can often backfire and potentially ruin the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.
Don’t Be Misinformed –
There is a golden rule that says don’t discuss politics. We all know that can be a slippery slope depending on our audience. However, what’s worse, particularly on social media and in the current political climate, is to post about issues that you don’t know enough about or understand fully. Taking a political stance is certainly one of our freedoms, and having a personal brand affords one to be able to share his or her personal opinion about important issues; however, when positing about causes near and dear to your heart, it is more advantageous to approach it whereby you invite your audience to have a discussion with you through engagement vs. ignorance.
Don’t Be Predictable –
With your personal brand, you have the opportunity to be uniquely you. Since social media is a form of entertainment, be sure to occasionally shake things up a bit. Now, I’m sure some of you reading this are asking the question: How can I be consistent and unpredictable at the same time? Well, take Beyoncé, for example. Having recently received the honor of having the most liked picture ever on Instagram, Beyoncé has mastered the art of consistency and unpredictable. She is consistent in that she doesn’t post frequently, but when she does post on Instagram or her website, it is always reflective of the things she loves most: music and her family. However, where she is unpredictable is how we never quite know when she is going to drop her next album, or most recently, when she is going to have her next child. Still, both of these areas compliment her personal brand at its core.
If you use these 5 examples to guide your social media decision-making, your personal brand is more likely to increase visibility and sustain engagement. Always remember that everything you post is an extension of who you are and what you represent. Oh, and in case you forgot, the world is watching.
Some might say that last night’s Super Bowl LI got pretty messy in the end, but who better to swoop in during a commercial break and clean it up than Mr. Clean himself? Here are the top five things every brand looking to do a bit of sprucing up can learn from Mr. Clean.
It’s been almost 60 years since Mr. Clean made his television debut. Over the course of nearly six decades, Mr. Clean’s promise has remained the same: Strong. Clean. Consistent.
Mr. Clean’s story is timeless and one that feels real to consumers. It’s a classic hero’s journey that you want to invest in.
Mr. Clean offers just the right balance of fantasy and reality. On the one hand, a man who loves to clean and is always walking around in the cleanest, crispest, whitest t-shirt and pants is hard to believe. Yet at the same time, what man wouldn’t want to look like Mr. Clean, and what woman wouldn’t want to be proudly referred to as Mrs. Clean? These different character traits have kept consumers talking about the Mr. Clean brand for over half a century, and each new ad campaign finds a way to build off what they’ve already done successfully in the past.
This year’s Super Bowl ad offered up a remix of the original Mr. Clean theme song, but what really stood out was the fact that Mr. Clean’s clothes appeared perfectly tailored (which is totally in for men) showing off his gluteus maximus, as well as some new dance moves that you’ll surely be seeing the next time you’re out at a bar or a party.
In case you’ve missed it, Mr. Clean is all over social media, particularly Facebook. After the Mr. Clean Super Bowl LI ad aired, social media users couldn’t wait to chime in on both his dance moves and his perfectly chiseled physique. He, in turn, offered up hilarious commentary in real-time to just about anyone who would indulge him. Check out the conversations below.
Moral of the story: If you’re going to play, don’t play dirty. Play ‘clean.’
1. Donnie – The Colored Section (2002)
Ahead of its time in many ways, Donnie’s debut album, The Colored Section (2002), contains lyrics that are still very relevant to Black America today:
See what it is to be blackmailed
See a real live conspiracy
Sign your name on the black list and know this
It’s American history…
2. Nina Simone – Black Gold (1970)
Who could ever forget Nina Simone’s empowering anthem, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black?” While most artists at that time focused on disco and funk, Miss Simone used her platform to inspire black youth to #StayWoke:
When you feel really low
Yeah, there’s a great truth you should know
When you’re young, gifted and black
Your soul’s intact
3. Common – Be (2005)
To simply call Common a rapper would be an understatement. Instead, he is one of hip-hop’s most conscious messengers. His 6th album, Be, features the track, “U, Black Maybe,” that paints a vivid picture of what it feels like to be Black in America:
You get judged, you get laughed at, you get looked at wrong
You get sighted for not being strong
The struggle of just being you
The struggle of just being us, black maybe
4. Stevie Wonder – Songs in The Key of Life (1976)
Stevie Wonder gave us 21 tracks of dripping gold on his classic album, Songs in The Key of Life. But with its funky beat and signature Stevie vocals, “Black Man” in particular will inspire you to invite some friends over to cut a two-step:
We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It’s time we learned
This World Was Made For All Men
5. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971)
If ever there was a song to solidify the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it would have to be the late Marvin Gaye’s, “What’s Going On.” Although it was released close to 50 years ago, in the midst of those slain, such as Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, and Michael Brown, Black America still, far too often, has to stop and ask, “What is going on?”
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – Ya
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today
6. Robert Glasper – Black Radio 1 & 2 (2012, 2013)
Robert Glasper’s 2012 album, Black Radio, was so good he gave us an encore just 1 year later entitled, Black Radio 2. With the help of rapper, Common, and college professor, Michael Eric Dyson, Glasper encourages us to “Stand Alone” if we have to in order to celebrate our unique individuality as black people.
Thank God we’ve still got musicians and thinkers whose obsession with excellence and whose hunger for greatness remind us that we should all be unsatisfied with mimicking the popular, rather than mining the fertile veins of creativity that God placed deep inside each of us (Michael Eric Dyson, 2013).
7. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Survival (1979)
There is no denying that no matter where you are or what you are doing, when you hear a Bob Marley song begin to play you can’t help but to feel #GoodVibesOnly. The song “Survival” reminds us that although we’ve been dealt a many of blows, we cannot and will not be destroyed.
Na-na-na-na-na, na-na, na!
We’re the survivors, yes: the Black survivors!
Tell you what: we’re the survivors, yeah! – the Black survivors, yeah!
We’re the survivors, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
Thrown in the fire, but-a never get burn.
These are 7 albums for us, by us. Happy listening…