I’m sure you’re with me on this one:
Your personal brand on Facebook is what helps to build loyalty to your central corporate page.
Users trust people, not faceless business pages customized to sales.
Users come to Facebook to communicate, and its updated algorithms are tooled for this: personal outweighs public, comments outweigh likes and views, and quality dominates over quantity now.
Users crave expertise and personality behind brands, and your personal brand of Facebook becomes that very mouthpiece to grow the audience and build positive customer relationships.
Long story short, personal brands are better than corporate. Grow yours on Facebook – and you and your business will succeed.
How to do that?
To hook the target audience, write on topics interesting to them. Simple as that. But how to know what they want?
Interact with them.
Specialists claim it will help to get information and understand what to post on your Facebook page. They recommend creating several (say three) social media personas to learn their content needs through targeting.
Sure enough, they are people with interests and needs relevant to your brand. Your audience is individuals you can reach on both business and individual levels. Their feedback will point your Facebook profile in the right direction and help to build it on trust.
Where to look for your audience?
Once you decide to grow a personal brand on Facebook, follow all the coworkers there. Check pages and groups they read, posts they share and comment, and specialists they cite or discuss.
Also, consider Facebook events in your niche and their audience: who are people visiting those conferences or webinars; would they be interested in your brand?
Say you want to build a brand as a content marketer:
Or, you write essays for students:
Examine their profiles to understand what could be potentially interesting for them to hear from you.
Send friend requests or subscribe to influencers and opinion leaders in your niche.
Also, pay attention to top bloggers. Follow their Facebook pages to examine how they communicate to the audience; also, comment on their content wherever relevant to prove your expertise and make broader audience notice you.
3) People who send you friend requests
Check each one carefully to avoid bots, spammers, and people irrelevant to your personal brand vision. You need to build relationships with like-minded fellows rather than grow the number of followers.
Your brand on Facebook needs followers who will help and understand you. In marketing language, they are your decent audience.
Want your Facebook page to succeed? Consider your audience through a benefit and expedience prism. It will help to define your mission, voice, and strategy to use for growing a personal brand online.
Your Vision and Strategy
SMM, content marketing, writing, design, or cooking – you are an expert at something by all means. But why do you need a powerful personal brand on Facebook, in particular?
Authenticity is what matters.
And the sharp focus is what you need for successful promotion.
- Set your values and prioritize them.
- Identify your passions and ideal traits.
- Ask yourself, “Why do I want to grow a personal brand on Facebook?”
- Depending on the answer, define your further actions: what to write, whom to follow, what groups to read, and what newsletters to subscribe.
Don’t play the others of yourself.
After reading tons of content on personal branding, positioning, goal-setting, and self-promotion, – have I forgotten anything? – it’s hard to resist the temptation of writing “polished” Facebook posts in the hope of surprising and educating your readers.
Your audience sense a phony a mile away. And such a play acting will drive you nuts sooner or later.
Be yourself. Don’t write anything along the lines of “I am as awesome as Neal Schaffer“ or “They told me I am a super writer. Again!” Posting selfies with your each and every Facebook post is not that professional, either.
Meaning, not form, is what you need to concentrate on.
Also, make sure to keep your voice and tone consistent. Confident but not cocky, young but not childish, funny or even sarcastic but not clownish – it helps to build a reputation and control people’s perceptions.
With more than two billion Facebook users, you see dozens of profiles every day. You see pictures, covers, information, their friend lists – and you get the impression of them. A few seconds you need to decide if they are trustworthy and smart. In other words, you judge them.
But you know what?
They do the same when seeing your profile.
Here on Facebook, you can draw a picture of who you are. Double down on the following details:
1) Photo, cover, information
Andy Crestodina nailed it at Orbit Media:
Show your face, consider a cover that would correlate with your business or professional hobby, smile in the photo to make a positive impression, and use contrasting colors and backgrounds to stand out.
Think, for instance, of Tim Soulo. Head of marketing at Ahrefs, he’s a speaker at many niche conferences, what we can read in his cover picture. Also, Tim uses a professional photo with a contrasting background, showing him to advantage.
The profile information speaks volumes, either. Detailed and complete, it’s a key to your successful brand on Facebook because it explains your area of experience, vision, and – why not? – some of your personal traits. Like Sol Orwell’s:
Don’t ignore the About section: do your best to complete it so others would know where to see more works of yours or how to contact you. Also, display your skills to let them know about your capabilities. A sweet spot could be linking back to your professional LinkedIn profile.
Update and share your status regularly.
Otherwise, the audience will lose interest and forget about your brand profile. Share the news about your upcoming projects, latest blog posts, press mentions, or any other updates to keep followers curious and waiting for more content from your side.
2) Privacy settings
Growing your personal brand on Facebook, make sure to filter information and content. Decide on preferences:
- Want to attract more people? Make some posts visible to the public.
- Share some private info? Let it be for friends only.
- Afraid of spam and malicious attacks? Turn off the tagging option to avoid unpleasant surprises.
And yet, don’t hide too much from the Facebook community. Your education and work information can attract people with similar interests, which can do a power of good to your personal brand.
People around you enjoy care and attention. They follow your views and sense of humor, so be considerate to them.
Online etiquette matters. Try walking the line:
- Be polite.
- Make jokes when appropriate.
- Be apologetic for mistakes.
- Speak in plain English.
- Remember and keep your promises.
- Go with your gut.
- Learn from the best.
- Give generous praise.
You might want to read Katherine Boo’s 15 rules for narrative nonfiction to get a clearer idea on how to write engaging posts and yet practice informative hygiene.
And now, for the most interesting part:
Create a Facebook group or page
To promote your personal brand on Facebook even further, start a new page there to support your business or interests.
Like Aaron Orendorff did:
A group will allow you to connect with the community of like-minded people, and a page helps to attract users who are in the same niche as you. As a result, your network will grow organically.
Neil Patel we all know as a marketing specialist behind Quick Sprout, Crazy Egg, and NeilPatel.com approves:
Communicate to the audience
Do you know that people best of all read Facebook comments, not posts themselves? Nothing personal, just human nature:
Comments help us understand where we fall in the range of perspectives about a particular view. We can agree with the poster (privately) and see how other people treat him when he shares his views. Sharing the same perspective as some of the commenters can help us feel less isolated, particularly if our view is held by the minority. Or we can disagree with the poster and find comfort in knowing that we belong to some sort of social collective–that our responses are in line with the larger social order.
With that in mind, answer all comments the followers leave below your Facebook posts. Start discussions, engage with the network, talk to them, and let them know you are open to communication and their opinion is of importance to you.
The same goes for groups and fan pages in your niche. Participate in discussions, share your professional views, respond to comments… Let the community see you are an expert and therefore engage them to follow your page and learn from you.
What to write
I bet you’ve already heard what your Facebook posts should look like for greater engagement:
- Write short and eye-catching posts (or, at least keep their visible part so).
- Craft funny and (again!) eye-catching pictures for your posts.
- Consider videos and Facebook livestreams.
That’s all fine but… any particular tricks?
Describe a phenomenon, not a particular person.
Consult with readers. It makes you all closer and allows you to get some interesting insights.
Contemplate, tell stories, keep one point per post.
Have a heart-to-heart talk with followers, but don’t moan! Mix long and short posts: sometimes we want to share something with readers but don’t have time to craft a long post by all rules of storytelling. Short Facebook posts may be engaging, too.
Share your feelings, memories, and personal photos. But don’t overplay! Photos matter, but make sure they are well-placed at this very occasion. (Sorry, Aaron, your profile is simply the primary example of how to build a personal brand on Facebook! :-))
More tricks needed? Feel free to check my seven keys to writing killer Facebook posts that bring clicks.
Humor and self-irony are your best friends on Facebook. (Besides comprehensive content, to be sure.) No one loves flawless people, so don’t be afraid of writing about your fails in common with achievements.
First, someone will write about them by all means. So take the lead and conduct an orchestra of criticasters.
And second, mistakes and failures make us who we are. Especially if we don’t hesitate to admit them and make the right conclusions.
Help others on Facebook. Listen to problems, recommend experts or services, introduce people to each other… In other words, deliver benefits to your followers. (They are called “friends” for a reason, right?)
And they’ll respond in kind.
The last but not least:
Have eyes on people around you. What do you love about them? What freaks you out? What would you mind learning from them?
Answer these questions and remember your answers. They are the keys to your brand success on Facebook.