Social media is a powerful tool for increasing your visibility, building relationships and connecting with others who are not in your geography. If you’re avoiding social media, you’re invisible to those who seek what you have to offer. Be visible and available in the virtual world so you can expand your success in the real world! Connecting with your virtual brand community helps you build and nurture real relationships – relationships that will increase your success and fulfillment. When building a social media strategy, we focus on these three essential elements.

Be Real

Personal branding is based in authenticity. Your virtual world brand must match who you are in the real world. Unlike personal interactions, the web gives you fewer opportunities to build emotional connections with your audience. You need to be crystal clear about what you want to communicate and commit to expressing the true you in everything you do online. In everything you write or post, incorporate your style and point-of-view. Use your headshots and video as ways for people to get to know you and connect with you on a deeper level. Being ‘real’ when building your brand in bits and bytes will help you stand out and make true connections with your virtual contacts.

Be Focused

There are literally hundreds of different social media tools you can use. It would be exhausting to try to be visible everywhere, and maintaining conversations on multiple social media channels will squander your limited communications time. Make targeted choices based on your brand attributes and audience to make better use of your resources. To get focused, start with your ideal community. You need to know who they are, where they show up on the web and how they like to interact. Learn where they go for information and find the industry and functional portals that accept guest posts. Identify the top blogs in your category and use them to post comments and connect with readers. Know which social media tools your ideal community favors to create the most contact points with your communications.

Be Consistent

Social media only works if you work it. Consistency builds recognition and memorability. Strong brands don’t go into hiding and when it comes to the web, that’s doubly true. To make consistency happen, create a routine by adding social media activities to your calendar or do-list. Strong relationships are built through regular, branded interactions. If you plan out a year a quarter at a time, you’ll be able to thread a story through your online communications to get your message heard and understood by those you seek to influence.