Effectively Branding Yourself with Social Media

Effectively Branding Yourself with Social Media

I attended a meeting last week where the guest speaker was none other than Tom Burrell, pioneer in multicultural communications, chairman and founder of Burrell Communications Group, and author of Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority. He gave a very thought-provoking and informative presentation on the power of images, media, and marketing.


Those three things, if done together well, can be the “trifecta” of effective branding.


Once your product is at its best and ready to be promoted (and “product” could mean a resume, a portfolio, a political campaign, or a run for homecoming queen), effectively branding yourself can really put you ahead of the pack.


The abundant popularity of social media makes it easier than ever to publicly brand yourself. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social networking sites are now major contenders with traditional media as far as spreading information and building buzz. For prospective employees in some industries, a good resume and a firm handshake are no longer enough. Employers regularly do Google searches and scan Facebook & Twitter profiles to get more background information on candidates. That said, there is a lot of opportunity there to use these sites to your advantage and take control of your Internet identity.  Google Profiles and About.me are also good resources.


As far as branding a product, Ava DuVernay is a good example. DuVernay, a Hollywood publicist turned film director, who leveraged her expertise in PR and marketing to build buzz around her independent film, “I Will Follow” (which Roger Ebert gave two thumbs up, by the way). Along with the film, she created a website, Twitter and Facebook pages, sharing news updates and regularly interacting with the film’s supporters. Once it hit bigger theatres nationwide, there was already huge buzz surrounding it on social media and film blogs.


My concluding example of effective social media branding would be President Obama (hello?!) who very successfully leveraged social media for his 2008 presidential campaign.


Social media puts a great deal of the power of personal branding & personal image in our own hands.  It’s up to us to take advantage.


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