Cyrissa Carlson brought her #sparklesociety from Immerse Photography to WordCamp Dayton 2016 and inspired me to solidify my personal brand on Social Media.
Her workshop had many nuggets of wisdom, but five points stuck with me:
1. Keep your personal and professional accounts separate
So many cat pictures. I tried to justify the #catsofinstagram posts for so long with “it humanizes my brand!!” Nope. There is an audience for my sweet little #instacat, but Kitty doesn’t demonstrate how proficient I am as a writer or why people should follow me. Hello, new professional social media accounts!
2. You can post the cat pictures, but remember your audience
Not all cat pictures are created equal. I can post a cat picture on my professional account, if it’s something my target followers find engaging. They don’t want to know if she has a new toy, but they could relate if she’s napping on my laptop when I need to get work done.
3. Selfies get 30% more engagement
I shy away from posting selfies, but faces keep your profiles human. I appreciated Carlson’s reassurances that you don’t have to be selfie ready all the time. She suggested “stocking up” on selfies when you do look selfie ready by changing outfits and backgrounds, so you don’t have to take one every time you have something to say.
This resonates for nonprofits as well. It can be scary to step out from behind the designated logo, but you’ve got to keep it personal and post faces. Social media users follow your brand to feel connected to your cause, not see a constant stream of quotes and stock photos. Interview staff, volunteers, even clients with their written permission.
4. Custom hashtags track engagement
While I use a custom hashtag for my nonprofit brand accounts that I monitor regularly, I don’t currently one for my personal brand. I’m open to suggestions! Carlson uses her hashtags to measure the health of her brand and engages with people talking about her brand.