Recently, Quest International University held a webinar titled ‘Building A Personal Brand on Social Media for Professional Purposes’ hosted by Kalei Joethi Sahadevan, Senior Lecturer and Programme Coordinator of Quest International University. Ramya Chandrasekaran, Chief Communications Officer at QI Groups who has over 20 years of experience in brand building, reputation management, social media marketing and digital communication was invited as a guest speaker.
Ramya highlighted that it is evident that one of the things the millennials and Gen Z realised is that hunting for a job is no longer so straightforward: “As sometimes it feels they are born in a game of chess being played by an older generation. Even so, what you have to learn is truly about how you play that game by marketing yourself.”
“When I started working, social media wasn’t a thing, it was a different world back then, nobody even knew the term social media,” said Ramya.
Ramya shared with us some vital elements on building a personal brand.
For many, social media is a form of entertainment and a temporary escape bubble. Having said that, it is a powerful tool to tell a story and an important source of information.
According to Ramya, before you begin, you have to first identify your brand. Understand your story and what is the one thing you want people to know you for. Once you put a name to your story, you can identify the platform that you want to focus on.
“Don’t actively strive to be your own brand, you can’t be something that you don’t authentically relate to. It has to be something that resonates with you naturally. Because the only way you stand out is that you have a really interesting story,” she remarked.
She added that social media is not just about being on Facebook or Instagram. It’s also about information sharing and learning. There is so much good that comes out of this. “If you’re trying to position yourself as somebody who is an expert, these are the platforms you should begin with: Linkedin, Quora. You ask insightful questions, you share what you know and then you get people engaging in a conversation with you.”
Creating and curating engaging content was pointed out as a crucial part of a successful branding.
“What you post on social media, your success on social media depends entirely on the success of the content you post. Think of your social media interaction and content creation as part of your resume and the reflection of your professional attitude of your overall personality.
“Emphasise on what is your voice and use it only for positive interaction. Besides, the most important thing is to keep it authentic because if your content is vague, it’s not sustainable,” she explained.
“It’s also important to study the data. Once you slowly start building a following, use the data to understand how people are engaging with you, where your audience is coming from and what they find interesting,” Ramya stressed.
“If you have a story, figure out different ways to tell the story and don’t just make it about yourself, engage with your audience with thoughtful responses,” expressed Ramya.
Consistency is vital for your audience to remember you. Show them what you know and make sure that the content is relevant to them. Over a period of time, you will develop a brand as well as a community.
“You always have to apply common sense on how you are using social media, don’t use it mindlessly. Oversharing can overwhelm your audience. Be careful about how you use social media,” she advised.
For more information, check out QIU’s Facebook page.