Five things you need to do to build your personal brand on social media

Want to grow your business or career online? Here are five things you need to do to build your personal brand on social media.

Social media opened the floodgates to direct consumer interaction with company accounts. And with this evolution of customer engagement came the need for each company to strengthen its brand, reinforce its voice, and provide valuable content for its followers. 

But what’s more important is that social media did the same to people. People now have more interaction with other people, and this evolution has given rise to the infamous Influencer Era.

In this era, individuals who confidently provide a consistent image thrive, and those who struggle to obtain a sizeable following lack personal branding. 

But both consumers and friends alike crave a face behind a brand – if they like what you’re selling, they’ll want to get to know you, and vice versa.

Five things you need to do to build your personal brand on social media

While you may already have a clear idea of how to build a personal brand, and you may already have a clear picture of your audience, it’s imperative that you connect the two on your social media, delivering a personal brand that retains followers and grows engagement with like-minded individuals who will empower you and your business or career.

So, to help you grow your business or career online, here are five things you need to do to build your personal brand on social media.

1) Choose your written tone of voice

It’s easy to have your own voice in person; your inflection, volume, and body language do a lot of the speaking for you. But online you don’t have the same privilege. Instead, you’ll need to convey your personality through style and tone – age-old writing techniques for engaging your reader.

We have a lot of choice when it comes to how we type online. You might forego caps, include abbreviations, or intentionally misspell words for humorous effect. The key word here is intentionally

Study what other people in your industry are doing. In some industries, swearing is perfectly acceptable. In others, peppering a paragraph with emojis is common. In others still, complete sentences and traditional eloquence are ubiquitous.

How do you fit into the tapestry of industry professionals? Do you want to distinguish yourself? Do you want to fit in? What would the real life you do? Would she stand out in a crowd or enmesh herself into the community?

2) Post pictures that tell your story

If you’ve ever created an online dating profile, you’ll remember this advice: people want pictures that show the real you. They want to see you engaging in your hobbies, wearing clothes that express your style, and behaving as you would in an everyday scenario. Your followers will appreciate the same glimpses into your personality.

Are you positive and family oriented? Share pictures playing board games with your family. Are you dark and mysterious? Theme your Instagram with black-and-white and low-light photos. Learn how to create a mood with your photography, and express your mood with your images.

Viewers will always appreciate high-quality and well-framed posts, so make sure that no matter who the real you is, she knows how to take a good photo.

3) Be creative

Remember that you’re unlike anyone else, and your branding strategy should reflect that.

Why do people want to follow you and not someone else? Maybe you post a picture of your pet tortoise once a week for “Tortoise Tuesday.” Maybe you have old third-grade poems you want to share with the world, or your kids spill juice every dinner no matter where you put their cups.

Make these little things a part of your brand and share them – the nuances of your life become you. Creativity often lies in little things that become big ideas.

As part of the creativity process, peruse other accounts you want to emulate. Then, consider if their color themes, clothing style, and other personal branding strategies reflect yourself. If they do, incorporate some of their inspiration. If their brand is something you aspire to, but doesn’t reflect who you are as a person, crafting inspiration from their ideas will often come off as insincere.

4) Keep learning

Many social media tips suggest that you hunt for trends and share the latest memes. But what’s more important than that is continual learning.

By understanding the latest technological advances and social media platforms, you’ll not only better your social media game but also yourself. Reward yourself with the gift of knowledge so you don’t feel out of the loop and this will in turn reward your followers. 

Subscribe to blogs that offer tech news relevant to your interests. Check out the latest hashtags and social movements and learn why they matter; consider your own stance. You don’t always need to follow the crowd, but you do need to know where the crowd is going.

5) Engage with your followers as you would in person

If you’re commenting on another person’s post, what will you offer them? A joke? A helpful link? Encouragement? What is the most ‘you’?

I’ve commented insincere, public encouragement on some accounts’ posts because I thought it would get me a follow. Embarrassing, I know! What would the real me do instead? I’d talk to them one on one, ask them questions, listen.

When you’re building a following on a personal account, you want to make sure you’re behaving how you would in real life. Otherwise, keeping up the facade will become exhausting.

And this embodies the crux of personal branding on social media: sincerity. Trends come and go in the digital space, but your core values and traits should always be visible on your social media. You can learn to market yourself while still being uniquely yourself if you know who you are.

Rochelle Burnside is a content specialist for, a review site with verified customer experiences, and an editor at, a company that guides writers with kind and quality service.

Photo by Becca Tapert